We were misunderstood, says Russian group in Goa after locals accuse them of performing 'black magic'

02:22 PM Feb 07, 2023 | PTI |

Locals stopped a drama enacted by some Russians in Goa alleging they were performing black magic, a charge denied by the foreigners who on Tuesday claimed they were misunderstood and that they were only staging a drama based on the life of king Vikramaditya.


The incident took place on January 30 in Pernem taluka of North Goa district when a group of locals stopped the performance.

On Tuesday, Russian Federation citizen Olga Makhnovetsky and Belarusian citizen Mikola Dranich, who introduced himself as a theatre actor/director and graduate from the Russian State Institute of Performing Arts, spoke to reporters in Panaji about the incident and said they had informed about their performance to the local panchayat in advance.

“We want to clear the misunderstanding which arose during our performance in the form of a rumour about black magic. We want to make it absolutely clear that we are not ministers of any cult or ardent supporters of any religious outfit,” Makhnovetsky said.

She introduced herself as the ”daughter of Yuri Marin”, a celebrated Russian filmmaker who is known for the movie “Window to Paris”.


She said her colleague Dranich is a theatre director and actor and specialises in puppet shows. Speaking about the Pernem incident, she said “We are just performers. The story of our performance belongs to an Indian epic about king Vikramaditya and his seven-year-ordeal with the planet Saturn,” she said.

The whole story carries a strong legacy of Indian culture, which ”we love dearly”, she added. Explaining what happened on January 30, Makhnovetsky said the event was held on a Saturday, considered to be ruled by the planet Saturn or ‘Shani’.

“The colours used in the telling of this story are traditionally black and navy blue, from what we understand, which is the reason for the dresses we were seen in,” she claimed. Makhnovetsky said they were heartbroken that their efforts to honour the ancient Indian story were met with such harshness. She said they had informed the local panchayat in advance about their performance, which was ”free for all”.

Makhnovetsky said they were ”simply misunderstood by some well-meaning locals”, who only wished to protect their loved ones from something harmful. “We just wish they hadn’t taken us at face value and had the patience to understand that we were only doing a theatrical performance and not some ominous ritual,” she added.


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