Author: Yvonne Vaz-Ezdani Genre:
ISBN: 978-81-905682-4-1 Price (PB) : Rs. 295 Mail Enquiry
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It was this book that started off all of Goa,1556’s publication activities….

Six decades or two generations ago, a little-known chapter of the history of Goans opened up in Burma, which was at that time a part of the British Empire.

Goan migrants from the then Portuguese colony got caught up in the real-life drama and Japanese bombings of the city of Rangoon (now Yangon), and other parts of the country.

The stories in this book, told by survivors of that war, recall in vivid detail how peaceful lives were shattered and the subsequent scrmble that occurred to evacuate to India. Some even walked home. These narratives of grit and determination in the face of fast-changing fortunes, have been collected by the editor, who wished to put down in print the incredible accounts she had often herself heard as a young girl growing up in post-independent Burma.

The book, when first published, was met with surprise as many in Goa were then not aware of this chapter of Goan migration history.

Songs of the Survivors is edited by educator Yvonne Vaz Ezdani, who herself lived in Burma till the early 1980s, along with a large extended family from Saligao that has largely since resettled here. Ezdani keeps busy with counselling students, and her two daughters Shannon and Rachel are settled in Australia.

Writes editor Ezdani, “In an instant (during the War in 1941), the Goans’ comfortable and serene lives were shattered and they were plunged into chaos and fear.” Many trekked back to India, through jungles and mountains and streams, and the stories of this generation, slowly fading  away with age and memory, is recorded in this book. But some Goans even decided to stay on during Japanese occupation. When one reads their stories, the perils of migration and its impact become all that more stark, a reality often forgotten back in Goa. Some 20 contributors were born and grew up in British-ruled Burma. She writes: “This book may be about Goans in Burma, but it also seeks to record tales of determination and survival that are relevant to the human spirit everywhere.”