This Political Party Wants to Make Nap Time Compulsory

Much ahead of the 2022 elections, a Goan party leader is promising he will preserve sussegad, a laidback appreciation of life, if he's elected.
nap beach
Photo: Dan Burton courtesy of Unsplash

In the run-up to the 2022 polls in the coastal Indian state of Goa, a major electoral promise has already been made. Goa Forward Party leader Vijay Sardesai has promised voters a compulsory siesta hour between 2PM and 4PM if he’s made Chief Minister of the state.

Goans take their siesta hour quite seriously, and the time after lunch is often reserved for some rest and recuperation. Most establishments down their shutters and professional appointments are put off.


Speaking to The Indian Express, Sardesai talked about the need to preserve “sussegad”, a laid-back contentment towards life. “Sussegad is derived from the Portugese word ‘sossegado’, which means a relaxed, carefree, chilled-out attitude that’s associated with Goa,” said Sardesai. “The word ‘sosseg’ means peace. And mind you, an afternoon nap is an integral part of sussegad. It is clinically proven that a short nap or siesta boosts your memory, improves job performance, lifts your mood, and makes you more alert.”

The spirit of sussegad is closely associated with the state stereotyped by the many tourists that throng it as a sun-sand-surf paradise, and apparently the daily siesta is where it all started. In the traditionally agrarian state, people would be up early to toil in the fields or catch fish for the morning markets. The need to balance work with rest led to the ritual of an afternoon nap, which evolved into an integral element of sussegad.

But that in no way makes Goans lazy, as some stereotypes would have you believe. “Even though we are sussegad, we still meet our deadlines. It is the culture of Goa. Everyone needs to learn from this and respect this,” Sardesai said

He makes a valid point. In 2020 especially, the world has realised the importance of slowing down and resting for a moment. It says a lot about our lifestyles that most people complain they have ended up working more from home than they would in offices before.

Sardesai’s promise then shouldn’t just serve the purpose of reminding Goans of the importance of sussegad, but perhaps we should all be taking a leaf out of his book. I know I would love nothing more than a compulsory post-lunch siesta.

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