GVAJANA – GUYANA

Drvena katedrala Svetog Djordja u glavnom gradu-St George's Anglican Cathedral in the capital, made of wood

Drvena katedrala Svetog Djordja u glavnom gradu-St George’s Anglican Cathedral in the capital, made of wood

Dzamija u unutrasnjosti zemlje-A mosque in the countryside

Dzamija u unutrasnjosti zemlje-A mosque in the countryside

Fabrika secera-A sugar factory

Fabrika secera-A sugar factory

Gradska vecnica-Georgtown City Hall

Gradska vecnica-Georgtown City Hall

Indijski hram-Radha Krishna Mandir Indian Temple

Indijski hram-Radha Krishna Mandir Indian Temple

Kako se obuci za skolu-School dress code

Kako se obuci za skolu-School dress code

Medjunarodni konferencijski centar-The International Conference Centre

Medjunarodni konferencijski centar-The International Conference Centre

Najpoznatija pijaca u Dzordztaunu sa reke Demerara-A view of the main Stabroek Market in Georgetown from the Demerara River

Najpoznatija pijaca u Dzordztaunu sa reke Demerara-A view of the main Stabroek Market in Georgetown from the Demerara River

Pijaca u Dzordztaunu-Stabroek Market in Georgetown

Pijaca u Dzordztaunu-Stabroek Market in Georgetown

Spomenik 1763. posvecen borbi protiv ropstva-The 1763 Monument dedicated to the struggle against slavery

Spomenik 1763. posvecen borbi protiv ropstva-The 1763 Monument dedicated to the struggle against slavery

Sudnica-The High Court

Sudnica-The High Court

Postojale su nekada tri Gvajane na severu latinoameričkog kontinenta, engleska, holandska i francuska. I sve su ostale na tom mestu, malo promenjenih imena, ali sa istim sferama uticaja velikih sila. Ova Gvajana je bila pod britanskim patronatom, a zatim, posle osamostaljivanja, pod izvesnim levičarskim i kubanskim uticajima kada se još nazivala Kooperativna republika Gvajana. Sada se priklonila Udruženju karipskih zemalja (CARICOM), mada su neki ostaci socijalizma i dalje prisutni u vidu zarđalih pogona za preradu šećerne trske, koji, međutim, daju jedan od najkvalitetnijih šećera na svetu. Oko njih se miljama širi sladunjavi miris sa plantaža u okolini glavnog grada, koji se naziva Džordžtaun.

Odlika ovog dela sveta su brojne i velike reke koje se nalaze u sklopu amazonskog basena. One klize u Atlantik svojim muljevitim vodama, praveći ogromne močvare u slivovima tako da, nažalost, iako pripadaju karipskom području, Gvajane uopšte nemaju plaže. Ako je za Evropljane Dunav velika reka, ovde bi to bio beznačajan rukavac. Reka koja protiče oko glavnog grada naziva se Demerara i tek je treća po veličini u zemlji; s jednog kraja reke jedva se nazire drugi, a prelazak preko najdužeg pontonskog mosta na svetu traje beskrajno.

Najlepši primerci kolonijalne karipske arhitekture, sa oknima i čipkastim rezbarijama na prozorima i nadstrešnicama, nalaze se u Džordžtaunu. Pored gospodskih kuća, koje su na taj način napravljene u drvetu, posebno se ističu katedrala Svetog Đorđa kao jedna od najviših drvenih katedrala na svetu, istorijska Gradska kuća, koja podseća na drveni bavarski zamak i predstavlja sjajan primerak gotske arhitekture, viktorijanske zgrade Vrhovnog suda i Stabroek Market-a, ili najstarija crkva u Gvajani St. Andrews Kirk.

Međutim, prave lepote ove zemlje nalaze se duboko u njenoj unutrašnjosti. Divlja i nedovoljno istražena priroda eko-sistema u predelima kao što su Rupununi, Iwokrama, planine Kanuku i Pakaraima, ili najviši vodopadi u ovom delu sveta, Kaieteur Falls, koji su zaštitni znak Gvajane, pružaju izvanredne mogućnosti za otkrivanjem jedne nove dimenzije ove zemlje. Ovde se mogu videti veoma retke životinjske vrste, kao što su džinovske vidre, ogromni mravojedi i kajmani, preko leoparda i puma, do najneobičnijih majmuna, ptica, zmija, kao i mnogih drugih retkih stvorenja. Nepregledna prostranstva tropskih prašuma smenjuju se sa savanama i brojnim rekama koje čine sliv Amazona. Svojim vekovno tradicionalnim načinom života u njima žive razna indioska plemena, kao što su Makushi ili Wai-Wai, intimno povezana sa prirodom od koje sve dobijaju. Iako su ovi predeli uglavnom ostali nedirnuti, novi putevi i mostovi koji se grade, posebno ka susednom Brazilu, uvode polako civilizaciju i sve rizike koje ona nosi po ovaj neiskvareni svet.

Zlato se od pamtiveka ovde tražilo i iskopavalo. Još je Sir Walter Raleigh, tokom svojih ekspedicija krajem XVI veka, tvrdio da se u ovim izgubljenim predelima, između slivova reka Amazon i Orinoko, nalazi mitska kraljevina El Dorado, čiji je kralj bio prekriven zlatom. Brojni britanski, holandski i portugalski istraživači i avanturisti vekovima su išli tragom ove legende, neki čak i tvrdili da su ga videli.

Ipak, pravo zlato ove zemlje nije ono koje sija, već je to njena neprocenjiva priroda.

Decembar 2011.
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There used to be three Guyanas in the northern part of the South American continent, the English, the Dutch and the French. They have all stayed where they had been, with slightly different names, but within the same interest zones of these big powers. This Guyana was under the British protectorate until its independence when it got under the leftist influence of Cuba and was then called the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. Now it is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and yet some remnants of the socialist society are still present –notably in the shape of the rusty machinery for sugarcane manufacturing. Still, it produces the highest quality sugar in the world. The plantations emanate a sweet smell that travels for miles around the capital city Georgetown.

One feature typical of this part of the world is the presence of many great rivers that are all part of the Amazon basin. The rivers flow towards the Atlantic, but as their waters are muddy they form huge marshlands on the way, so unfortunately, the Guyanas do not have any beaches as such even though they are Caribbean countries. For Europeans the Danube may be a huge river; here it would be regarded merely as a small tributary. The river flowing around the capital is called the Demerara and is only the third largest in the country. Yet you can barely see the other shore from the opposite bank and crossing over the longest floating bridge in the world takes an eternity.

The most beautiful examples of the Caribbean colonial architecture with lace like woodwork on window sills and eaves are to be found in Georgetown. Apart from the gentry houses made of wood in this way, of particular significance are: St. George’s Cathedral, one of the highest wooden cathedrals in the world, the historical City Hall which is a splendid example of the Gothic architecture and resembles a wooden Bavarian castle; then the Victoria Law Courts and the buildings in the Stabroek Market, or the oldest church in Guyana, St. Andrews Kirk.

However the true beauties of this country are deep in its countryside. The wild and yet unexplored eco-systems of areas such as Rupununi, Iwokrama,the Kanuku mountains, and Pakaraima or the tallest waterfalls in this part of the world, the Kaieteur Falls which are Guyana’s best known landmark, provide a tremendous opportunity to explore new dimensions of this country. Here you can spot extremely rare animal species such as giant otters, giant anteaters and caymans, through leopards and pumas to the most unusual monkeys, birds, snakes and many other strange creatures. Inifinite tropical jungles alternate with savannahs and many rivers which are all tributaries to the Amazon. They are inhabited by various Amerindian tribes such as Makushi or Wai-Wai, whose traditional way of life has not changed for centuries, in their initimate relationship with nature that provides for all their needs. Even though these regions are mostly untouched, the new roads and bridges that are being built, especially towards the neighbouring Brazil, slowly introduce civilisation and all the risks it brings along to this innocent world.

Here, since times immemorial, gold was sought after and exploited. Even Sir Walter Raleigh claimed, during his expeditions at the end of the 16th century, that between the basins of the Amazon and the Orinoco, there was a lost kingdom, a mythical El Dorado, whose king was covered in gold. Numerous British, Dutch and Portuguese explorers and adventurers have followed the legend for centuries, some of them even claiming that they have seen El Dorado.

Yet the true gold of this country is not the one that shines, it is its priceless natural riches.

December 2011

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