BELGIJA – BELGIUM – BELGIQUE – BELGIË

Trijumfalna kapija na ulasku u Jubelpark-The Triumphal arch at the entrance of Jubelpark

Trijumfalna kapija na ulasku u Jubelpark-The Triumphal arch at the entrance of Jubelpark

Tepih od cveca na Velikom trgu u Briselu-A flower carpet on the Grand Place in Brussels

Tepih od cveca na Velikom trgu u Briselu-A flower carpet on the Grand Place in Brussels

Skulptura Atomium u cast Svetske izlozbe u Briselu 1958. godine-The Atomium monument built for Expo '58 in Brussels

Skulptura Atomium u cast Svetske izlozbe u Briselu 1958. godine-The Atomium monument built for Expo ’58 in Brussels

Tepih od cveca na Velikom trgu u Briselu - A flower carpet on the Grand Place in Brussels

Tepih od cveca na Velikom trgu u Briselu – A flower carpet on the Grand Place in Brussels

Prizor sa plaze u banji Knoke-A beach scene in Knokke

Prizor sa plaze u banji Knoke-A beach scene in Knokke

Prizor sa plaze u banji Knoke -A beach scene in Knokke

Prizor sa plaze u banji Knoke -A beach scene in Knokke

Prizor sa plaze u banji Knoke - Beach scene in Knokke

Prizor sa plaze u banji Knoke – Beach scene in Knokke

Notre-Dame de Laeken Church

Notre-Dame de Laeken Church

Magritove slike u Kasinu Knoke-Casino Knokke Magritte paintings

Magritove slike u Kasinu Knoke-Casino Knokke Magritte paintings

Briselska berza-The Brussels Stock Exchange

Briselska berza-The Brussels Stock Exchange

Statua kralja Boduena i katedrala Sv. Mihajla u Briselu-The statue of King Baudouin and St. Michael's Cathedral in Brussels

Statua kralja Boduena i katedrala Sv. Mihajla u Briselu-The statue of King Baudouin and St. Michael’s Cathedral in Brussels

Belgija, središte Evrope i raskrsnica Zapada, jedna je od najmanjih
evropskih država i jedna od najgušće naseljenih. Iako je postala nezavisna
tek 1830. godine, Belgija je razvila snažan nacionalni identitet
zahvaljujući različitim nacijama koje su tu obitavale, oko njenih velikih
reka, i gradile stvaralačku i multikulturalnu sredinu. U njenom mikrokosmosu
je, ipak, ostao očuvan valonski i flamanski mentalitet, kao spona vekovnog
zajedništva, ali i povremenih nesporazuma. Francuzi, Flamanci i Nemci čine
tri konstitutivne zajednice, koje su se uvek međusobno dopunjavale, ali i
bile izvor političkih problema. Umetnost kompromisa se, zbog toga, veoma
razvila u ovom civilizovanom društvu, ali kada je kasnije pokušano da se
isti model nametne nekim drugim sredinama, često je doživljavao neuspehe, pa
i ratove.
Ne mogu nikako da se otmem utisku da mi je to najsnažnija asocijacija na ovu
lepu zemlju i njen glavni grad, Brisel, kao središte evropskih institucija i
zapadnih vojnih sila. U svom zanosu otpora novom svetskom poretku
zaboravljam na njegove lepote i jedan od najlepših trgova na svetu, Veliki
trg (Grand Place) u centru grada, na kome visoka gotska kula gradske većnice
kao da uranja u nebo. Belgija ima i najbolja piva na svetu, od kojih su neka
sa voćnim primesama i svakako najbolju čokoladu, prefinjenu kuhinju, stare
gradove…
U prijatnoj atmosferi poznatog restorana u centru Brisela razgovaram sa
svojim prijateljem, stomatologom Srećkom Đurkinom, o njegovom životu u
Belgiji i o naporima koji je uložo da bi ovde uspeo u svojoj profesiji.
Njegova ordinacija u Aveniji Vinston Čerčil odiše kombinacijom prefinjenosti
otmenih starih stanova i najsavremenije medicinske tehnologije.
Promenada duž ogromnih belih peščanih plaža gradića – banje Knoke na severu
zemlje pruža hladnu lepotu i smirenost, dok oblaci slede neku čudnu
pravilnost na svetloplavom nebu, baš kao na slikama Renea Magrita. On je
islikao veliku kružnu balsku dvoranu Kasina Knoke, najprominentnije zgrade
na šetalištu pored mora, u kojoj se svečanom večerom završava kongres
plastičnih hirurga Beneluksa. Prugaste bele kućice za presvlačenje na
morskom štrandu dočaravaju neku felinijevsku atmosferu, ali bez  žamora,
muzike i galame kao njegovim filmovima.
Ovo je, ipak, Severno more.

Septembar 2006.

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Belgium, in the heart of Europe and at the crossroads of the West, is one of
the smallest European countries and most densely populated. Even though it
gained its independence only in 1830, Belgium developed a strong national
identity owing to the various peoples inhabiting the area around its big
rivers, building a productive and multicultural environment. Yet in its
microcosm the Wallon and the Flemish mentality have been preserved as ties
of longstanding unity, but also of occasional misunderstanding. The French,
the Flemish and the Germans are the three constituent nations that have
always complemented each other, but were also at the source of some
political problems. Because of that, the art of compromise has been
developed to a high degree in this civilised society, yet when this model
was forced upon other environments, it often failed and even led to war.

I could not help myself but associate this beautiful country and its capital
Brussels with the European institutions and Western armed forces. Carried
away by my dislike of the new world order, I managed to forget the
attractions of Brussels – its Grand Place being one of the most beautiful
squares in the world, the gothic spires of its City Hall piercing the sky.
Belgium has the world’s best beers, some with fruity flavours, and
definitely the best chocolate, sophisticated cuisine and beautiful old
cities.
Enjoying a pleasant atmosphere at a famous restaurant in the heart of
Brussels, I converse with my friend Srećko Đurkin about his life in Belgium
and the effort he put into becoming a successful dentist here. His dental
practice, set in Avenue Winston Churchill, combines the sophisticated style
of older residences with state of the art medical technology.
The promenade, next to the long stretches of a white sandy beach, in the spa
town of Knokke in the North of the country, was suffused with beauty and
tranquillity, whereas the clouds in the blue sky followed a curiously
regular pattern, just like in the paintings of René Magritte. He has painted
the inside of the large circular ballroom in the Knokke Casino, the most
prominent building on the promenade, where the Congress of the Plastic
Surgeons of Benelux was drawing to a close with a gala dinner. White,
striped changing rooms on the beach somehow brought about a Fellini-like
atmosphere, but there was no clatter, music or noise like in his films.

After all, this was the North Sea.

September 2006

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