PANAJI: President Ram Nath Kovind today praised Goa for its cosmopolitan character and called its people "global citizens" due to their extensive contact with the world.
Kovind, speaking at a civic reception organised here, said the warm attitude of Goans, besides the state's coastline and natural beauty, ensured that it continued to attract tourists in large numbers.
The president started his 12-minute speech in Konkani for which he received a loud round of applause from those gathered at the reception.
"Goa was a centre of international trade and, in the past, traders from as far as Japan and Africa have visited it. Goans are real global citizens due to their extensive contact with the world. The state is an example of cosmopolitan culture," Kovind said.
"Renowned cartoonist Mario Miranda has portrayed Goa's culture through his cartoons to the world. The ancestors of Lata Mangeshkar belong to Goa," he said.
The president wished good health to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who recently returned to the state after undergoing treatment in the US for a pancreatic ailment.
"My wish is that he should remain healthy and lead the state towards progress. Manohar Parrikar, during his tenure as Defence Minister and Goa Chief Minister, has proved his mettle on the basis of his capability, simple behaviour and honesty," Kovind said.
He invited people of the state to visit the Rashtrapati Bhavan when they are in New Delhi.
"The Rashtrapati Bhavan is not only for the President of India, it is for all countrymen. Whenever you come to Delhi, you are welcome to visit the Rashtrapati Bhavan," he said.