FIDŽI – FIJI

Zabava na bazenu-Entertainment by the pool

Zabava na bazenu-Entertainment by the pool

Decja igra na plazi na ostrvu Mana-Children playing on  the beach on Mana Island

Decja igra na plazi na ostrvu Mana-Children playing on the beach on Mana Island

Hindu hram na Fidziju-The Sri Siva Subramaniya Hindu temple in Nadi, Fiji

Hindu hram na Fidziju-The Sri Siva Subramaniya Hindu temple in Nadi, Fiji

Hotel na Fidziju-A hotel in Fiji

Hotel na Fidziju-A hotel in Fiji

Laguna na ostrvu Mana-Lagoon on the Mana Island

Laguna na ostrvu Mana-Lagoon on the Mana Island

Na krstarenju-Captain Cook cruises

Na krstarenju-Captain Cook cruises

Rajsko ostrvce Tivua-The paradise Tivua Islet

Rajsko ostrvce Tivua-The paradise Tivua Islet

Stari turisticki vozic-Coral Coast Railway

Stari turisticki vozic-Coral Coast Railway

Svakog dana, u svakom trenu i na više načina, menjaju se boje mora koja okružuju ovaj poznati mali arhipelag u južnom Pacifiku. Čini se da svi pomorski i posebno vazdušni putevi vode preko ovih ostrva, a odatle se odvajaju ka brojnim manjim grupama ostrva, atola, arhipelaga u nepreglednom prostranstvu ovog najvećeg okeana na svetu. Fidži ima dva velika i najvažnija ostrva: Vanua Levu i Viti Levu na kome je glavni grad Suva i moderna vazdušna luka Nadi. Tu je još više od tri stotine manjih ostrva i oko pet stotina ostrvaca. Vulkanska, krečnjačka ili koralna, ova ostrvca uglavnom služe za turističke posete na jedrenjacima ili kruzerima koji lagano klize kraj njih u smiraj dana i na purpurnom horizontu ostavljaju nezaboravan doživljaj južnih mora. Plodna zelena ostrva, na kojima sve raste, neprestano menjaju svoj pejzaž, od koralnih grebena i vulkanskog peska, do belih plaža i malih vodopada u šumi mangrova, tako da su utisci uvek impresivni i drugačiji.

Kao i u ostalim predelima Melanezije, domoroci vole napitak koji se naziva kava, iz familije bibera, koji liči na tečno blato, a i sličnog je ukusa. To nije alkoholno piće, ali je blago omamljujuće, s laganim umirujućim efektom od koga malo utrnu usta i jezik, dakle, postiže se i blago anestetičko delovanje. U davna vremena koren te biljke žvakale su mlade devojke, a zatim se pripremalo piće kojim se ponosno častila cela porodica. Plemenski vođa bi ga posebno pripremao za važnog posetioca, koji bi ga ispijao iz posebne posude koja se zove tanoa, i time postao trajni prijatelj sela.

Stari crveni vozić, koji više liči na dečju igračku u raspadanju, nekada je južnom obalom prevozio šećernu trsku, a danas – turiste. Ostareli kondukter u cvetnoj košulji, koji sebe naziva Mr. Coconut, prodaje kesice sa bombonama koje se u toku vožnje bacaju deci, a koja u tužnoj sceni, iznurenih lica, veselo trče za vozićem do poslednjeg daha.

Život u malobrojnim mestima na ovim ostrvima skoro potpuno je usmeren ka turizmu i velikim hotelima na njihovim obodima. Mešavina religija takođe doprinosi posebnoj privlačnosti – od raznih hrišćanskih misija koje se više od sto godina otimaju o svoja mala stada vernika po pacifičkim ostrvima, preko lokalnih religija, hinduizma i islama. Metodistička crkva je najmoćnija, a sa velikim uživanjem pratio sam jednu njihovu večernju misu, praćenu ritmičnim duhovnim pesmama i plesom.

Otkako su 1874. godine preuzeli zemlju posle smrti moćnog lokalnog kralja koji se zvao Cakobau, Englezi su uvezli toliko radne snage iz Indije da danas polovinu stanovništva čine Indusi. Vođen plavičastim dimom incensa, zalutao sam u mali indijski hram na kraju grada. U njemu je već odavno završena ceremonija, ali dva mlada sveštenika kao da su priželjkivali društvo jednog stranca pridošlog iz neke daleke i nepoznate zemlje. Više od dva sata vodili su me po hramu i pričali o svojoj postojbini i religiji, o kojoj sam tom prilikom dobio toliko saznanja koliko i mesecima lutanja po Indiji. I oni su od mene saznali nešto o pravoslavlju.

Razumevanje je najčvršća spona među ljudima, a religije tada i nisu toliko važne.

Avgust 2003.

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Every day and every moment, in a multitude of ways, the sea surrounding this small famous archipelago in the South Pacific changes colour. It seems like all sea routes and especially air routes go across these islands and then branch out towards smaller groups of islands, atolls, or other archipelagos in the infinite space of this largest ocean on Earth. Fiji has two large, most important islands, Vanua Levu and Viti Levu, where the capital Suva as well as the modern airport of Nadi are situated. Around them there are more than 300 smaller islands and about 500 islets. Volcanic, limestone or coral, these islands are mostly visited by tourists on sailing ships or cruisers that slowly glide amongst them at sunset while the purple horizon creates an unforgettable image of the southern seas. Fertile islands full of lush greenery grow all sorts of plants and thus constantly change their landscape, from coral reefs to volcanic sand, to white sandy beaches and small waterfalls in mangrove forests. So the scenery and its images are always changing and are impressive.

Similar to other parts of Melanesia, the locals like a drink called kava, a plant from the peppercorn family, which resembles liquid mud and tastes something like it. It is not an alcoholic drink, but it is mildly sedating, with a calming effect which numbs the mouth and the tongue, so it has a mild anaesthetic effect too. In the olden days, the root of kava was chewed by young girls and then a drink would be prepared to proudly serve to the whole family. The village chief would personally make it for important visitors who would drink it from a special receptacle called tanoa, thus becoming the village friend forever.

An old red train, which resembles a toy train falling apart, used to carry sugar cane along the Southern coast but now it carries tourists. An aged train conductor in a flowery shirt, who calls himself Mr Coconut, sells packets of sweets which, during the ride, we throw to children. In a sad scene, the children with tired faces cheerfully run after the train until they lose their breath.

Life in a few places on these islands is completely devoted to tourism and the big hotel complexes at their edge. The mixture of religions is also very appealing – from various Christian missions which fight for their small following on Pacific islands, to local religions – Hinduism and Islam. The Methodist church is the most influential and I followed their evening mass accompanied by rhythmic spiritual songs and dance with great pleasure.

Since taking over the power in 1874, after the death of the mighty king Cakobau, the British brought so many workers from India, that today half of the population is Indian. Attracted by the bluish incense smoke, I strayed into a small Indian temple at the city’s edge. The ceremony had already finished, but two young monks seemed to be waiting for the company of a foreigner who came from a far and unknown land. They took me around the temple grounds for more than two hours, telling me about their homeland and their religion; on that occasion I learned more than I did in months of my wandering around in India. They learned a bit from me too, about Orthodox Christianity. Understanding each other is what holds people together, and then religion is unimportant.

August 2003

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