DOMINIKA – DOMINICA

Ambijent gradica Roseau-Roseau town atmosphere

Ambijent gradica Roseau-Roseau town atmosphere

Ambijent gradica Roseau-The capital Roseau town atmosphere

Ambijent gradica Roseau-The capital Roseau town atmosphere

Deo unutrasnjosti ostrva-Island interior

Deo unutrasnjosti ostrva-Island interior

Karipska arhitektura-Caribbean style architecture

Karipska arhitektura-Caribbean style architecture

Misticni ambijent Indijanske reke-Mystic atmosphere of the Indian River

Misticni ambijent Indijanske reke-Mystic atmosphere of the Indian River

Muzej Dominike-The Dominica Museum

Muzej Dominike-The Dominica Museum

Prodavnica suvenira-Souvenir shop

Prodavnica suvenira-Souvenir shop

Smaragdni bazen-Emerald pool

Smaragdni bazen-Emerald pool

Tropska suma-Colourful tropical wood

Tropska suma-Colourful tropical wood

Unutrasnjost ostrva-Island interior

Unutrasnjost ostrva-Island interior

Mapa ostrva-Island map

Mapa ostrva-Island map

Crkva u unutrasnjosti ostrva-An inland church

Crkva u unutrasnjosti ostrva-An inland church

Karipska arhitektura - Caribbean style architecture

Karipska arhitektura – Caribbean style architecture

Karipska arhitektura-Caribbean style architecture

Karipska arhitektura-Caribbean style architecture

Misticni ambijent Indijanske reke-A mystic atmosphere of the Indian River

Misticni ambijent Indijanske reke-A mystic atmosphere of the Indian River

Morski pejzaz-Sea landscape

Morski pejzaz-Sea landscape

Skulptura lica karipskog indijanca-A sculpture of a face of a Caribbean Indian

Skulptura lica karipskog indijanca-A sculpture of a face of a Caribbean Indian

Ambijent gradica Roseau-Roseau town atmosphere

Ambijent gradica Roseau-Roseau town atmosphere

Prolazeći kroz Karibe, Kolumbo je davao imena ostrvima onako kako mu je trenutna inspiracija nalagala. Tog dana je bila nedelja, latinski dominica, i – eto imena ostrvu. A kada su ga pitali kako izgleda, zgužvao je papir i pokazao na njega. Brdovita zemlja, obavijena i obrasla u večito zelenilo, koje pomalo uliva strah, slično kad nadlećete Amazon ili Papuu Novu Gvineju, kad ispod sebe, osim džungle, ne vidite ni traga civilizacije. Srećom, ostrvo je relativno malo, pa i taj utisak kratko traje.

Žali se taksista kako im pošta često zaluta u mnogo poznatiju Dominikansku Republiku i nikada se ne vrati. Jednom je čak zatekao vojnika na aerodromu, pa mu je bilo čudno, jer je znao da oni nemaju vojsku. Ispostavilo se i da je vojnik stigao u pogrešnu zemlju. Rekao sam mu da to nije nista čudno, jer je i meni engleski konzul u Beogradu izdao vizu na Dominican Republic, umesto na Commonwealth of Dominica. I taj Komonvelt je, izgleda, preveliki. Ko će ih sve popamtiti! A ni konzul nije sveznajući, da bi znao baš sve  o prostranstvima svoje zajednice naroda. Smatrao sam da bi bar on trebalo da ih poznaje.

Dominika nema plaže senzacionalne po svojoj lepoti i zato se ovde nije razvio onaj masovni turizam koji, na kraju, sve pokvari. Ovde nema hotelskih kompleksa, već samo manjih grupa bungalova za turiste koji tragaju za prirodnim lepotama: malim vodopadima, skrivenim smaragdnim jezercima ili čistim rečicama, kojih ima koliko i dana u godini. Tropsko cveće u svim nijansama zastupljeno je u baštama stanovnika Dominike, koji s ponosom ističu da u njima struji krv starih karipskih plemena. Naime, ovo je jedino ostrvo na kome postoji rezervat za karipske indijance kojih ima oko tri hiljade i koji veoma podsećaju na južnoameričke, od kojih su i potekli. Taj rezervat se naziva Karipska teritorija, a on je ujedno i nacionalni park. U ostalim delovima ostrva, indijanci su pomešani sa stanovnicima afričkog porekla.

Glavni grad se naziva Roseau i nalazi se na jugozapadu zemlje. Veoma je živopisan i tipičan gradić sa karipskim identitetom, u kome se, kao i svuda u okolnim zemljama, prepliće anglo-frankofonski uticaj u svemu: od hrane, do imena sela i gradića, koji su tek nešto više od malo većih sela. Putnički brodovi američkih kompanija sa više od 25,000 ljudi, kad pristanu u ove majušne karipske luke, više liče na svemirske brodove koji su se tu slučajno obreli ili na privremene solitere koji su natkrilili gradić i vide se sa velike daljine. Ako bi se nekoliko takvih brodova iskrcalo u isto vreme, bilo bi tu više ljudi nego u celoj zemlji. Ti novi instant osvajači, ipak, samo uživaju u koloritu karipske arhitekture, u kome su male drvene kuće i njihove terase okrečene svim pastelnim bojama i oivičene drvenom rezbarijom koja se ovde naziva gingerbread. Na malim improvizovanim pijacama prodaju se lokalni suveniri, brojni začini, koji su najvažniji produkt ovog podneblja, i sezonsko voće i povrće koga ipak nema u onoj meri u kojoj se očekuje.

Jedan od najlepših utisaka je vožnja takozvanom Indijanskom rekom, jednom od onih 365, koliko tvrde da ih ima. Ona se nalazi pored gradića Portsmouth na severu i nekada davno je bio glavni grad. Zbog najezde komaraca, koji se u to vreme u XVIII veku nisu mogli suzbiti, on to, ipak, nije mogao ostati. Tu je i utvrdjenje Fort Shirley, garnizon engleske vojske iz doba borbi sa Francuzima, dok Dominika konačno nije pripala Englezima, prema Pariskom sporazumu iz 1763. godine. Lepota Indijanske reke je u njenim rukavcima sa avetinjskim drvećem, koje se nadvija nad mirnu vodu punu riba, ambijent u kome je sniman čuveni film Pirati sa Kariba, kao i na mnogim drugim lokacijama u ovoj zemlji. Dok čamac usporeno klizi kroz rukavce, osećam kako nas posmatraju iguane, neke čudne ptice i džinovski leptiri. Pravi vestičji ambijent, ali u svojoj lepoti ipak odraz jedne istinski ekološke zemlje, koja želi da očuva svoje prirodne lepote i resurse za koje ne želi da budu pokvareni masovnim turizmom.

To se naziva ekološkom državom u pravom smislu reči.

 

Novembar 2008.

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As he was passing through the Caribbean, Columbus named the islands on the spur of the moment. That day it was a Sunday,dominica in Latin, and that’s how this island got its name. When he was asked what this island looked like, Columbus scrunched a piece of paper and pointed at it. A mountainous land, enveloped in eternal greenery, it gives you a slightly scary feeling, similar to the one when you fly above the Amazon, or Papua New Guinea, when you see nothing but the jungle and no trace of civilisation. Luckily the island is small so this impression is short-lived.

The cab driver complained to me how often the post went astray to the better known country of Dominican Republic, never to be seen again. Once he saw a soldier at the airport and thought it strange, as he knew that Dominica did not have an army. It turned out that even the soldier made a mistake and flew to the wrong country. I replied that this was not unusual, because the British Consul in Belgrade issued me a visa for the Dominican Republic, instead of the Commonwealth of Dominica. This Commonwealth seems to be too big – who would remember all of its members?! Even the Consul did not seem to know all of the states’ names by heart in this huge transnational union. I thought he should be the one to know them all.

Dominica does not have those sensationally beautiful beaches, hence mass tourism has not been developed here. Just as well, because it usually ruins everything in the end. There are no hotel complexes here, just small bungalows for tourists who are in search of true natural beauties – small waterfalls, hidden turquoise lakes, or clear brooks which are as many as days in a year. Tropical flowers in all imaginable colours are to be found in the gardens of the Dominica people, who proudly point out that they have blood from the ancient Caribbean tribes in their veins. Namely, this is the only island with a reservation for the Caribbean Indians, who are only 3000 and look very much like the Latin American Indians, who were their predecessors. This reservation is called the Carib Territory and it is a national park at the same time. In other parts of the island, the Indian indigenous people are mixed with the people of African origin.

The capital city, Roseau, is situated at the Southwest of the country. It is a very picturesque place with a typical Caribbean identity where, like in all neighbouring countries, English and French influences vie for supremacy – you can detect them from food names to village and city names, the cities being only slightly larger than the villages. American cruise liners carrying over 25,000 passengers look really alien when they moor in the tiny Caribbean harbours, resembling either spaceships that strayed or temporary skyscrapers visible from afar, towering over the city. If passengers from a few such ships disembarked all at the same time, there would be more people around than there is in the entire country. Yet these instant tourists enjoy the colourful Caribbean architecture, small wooden houses with balconies painted in various pastel colours and decorated with intricate woodwork, calledgingerbread. In small makeshift markets, local arts and crafts and spices are being sold, the latter being the main produce of this region; as well as seasonal fruit and vegetable which is not as abundant as may be expected. One of the loveliest experiences is the ride down the Indian River, as they call it here, one of those 365 that have been claimed to exist in the country. This river is adjacent to Portsmouth, a city in the North of the country which also used to be the capital in the days long gone. In the 18th century because of a huge swarm of mosquitoes that could not be overcome at the time, the capital had to move.

Here is also Fort Shirley, English Army’s garrison from the time of wars with France, until Dominica eventually fell under British jurisdiction according to the Treaty of Paris from 1763. The beauty of the Indian River is in its estuary where spooky looking trees hang above the water abundant with fish – the backdrop for The Pirates of the Caribbean, the famous movie shot here and at other locations in the country. While we slowly glide on water I can feel that iguanas, some strange looking birds and gigantic butterflies are all watching us. The atmosphere is reminiscent of witches and wizards that just may be lurking around. Yet the beauty of this country is reflected in the wish to preserve Dominica as an ecological state, with its beauties and resources intact by the mass tourism.

And this is the true meaning of an eco-state.

November 2008

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