ISTOČNI TIMOR – TIMOR-LESTE

Biciklisticka radost-The joy of riding bike

Biciklisticka radost-The joy of riding bike

Crkva u Diliju-A church in Dili

Crkva u Diliju-A church in Dili

Katedrala Bezgresnog zaceca u Diliju-The Church of the Immaculate Conception in Dili

Katedrala Bezgresnog zaceca u Diliju-The Church of the Immaculate Conception in Dili

Na plazi Area Blanca-Area Blanca recreation area

Na plazi Area Blanca-Area Blanca recreation area

Narodna radinost-tais-Traditional hand-woven tais

Narodna radinost-tais-Traditional hand-woven tais

Pijaca-A marketplace

Pijaca-A marketplace

Stari portugalski garnizon, sada kulturni centar Uma Fukan-Old Portuguese garrison building, now Uma Fukan Cultural Centre

Stari portugalski garnizon, sada kulturni centar Uma Fukan-Old Portuguese garrison building, now Uma Fukan Cultural Centre

Statua Hrista iznad grada-Cristo Rei statue above the city

Statua Hrista iznad grada-Cristo Rei statue above the city

Vredni krojac-A diligent tailor

Vredni krojac-A diligent tailor

Zemlja oblika krokodila-A crocodile-shaped land

Zemlja oblika krokodila-A crocodile-shaped land

Zgrada Vlade Istocnog Timora-Government building of Timor Leste

Zgrada Vlade Istocnog Timora-Government building of Timor Leste

Atmosfera u crkvi-In the church

Atmosfera u crkvi-In the church

Crkva u Diliju-A church in Dili

Crkva u Diliju-A church in Dili

Drzavno pravobranilastvo-Attorney General

Drzavno pravobranilastvo-Attorney General

Rostilj na plazi-Barbecue at the beach

Rostilj na plazi-Barbecue at the beach

Skola u Diliju-The Liceu, a school in Dili

Skola u Diliju-The Liceu, a school in Dili

Skrivena od sunca-Sun protection

Skrivena od sunca-Sun protection

Vecera na plazi-Skewered fish roasted by the road

Vecera na plazi-Skewered fish roasted by the road

Vocna simfonija-Fruit symphony

Vocna simfonija-Fruit symphony

Najmlađa nacija na svetu je slogan koji Timorci ističu u svakoj prilici kad je reč o njihovoj zemlji u obliku krokodila, kojih zaista ima na ponekim plažama. Legenda kaže da je neki dečak spasao malog krokodila i pomogao mu da uđe u vodu. Krokodil dečaka nije pojeo kad je porastao, već ga je vodio na putovanja po svetu na svojim ledjima, da bi se posle smrti pretvorio u ostrvo koje su naselili dečakovi potomci.

Posle godina ratovanja, teškog i oružanog odvajanja od Indonezije, Timorci su konačno srećni u sopstvenoj zemlji za koju su se borili. Radi svake sigurnosti, mir još održavaju jake međunarodne snage, tako da je glavni grad Dili preplavljen ljudima u policijskim uniformama raznih zemalja. Njima je ovde očigledno dobro, a i lokalnom stanovništvu ulivaju sigurnost. Emil iz Beograda je direktor civilne avijacije Istočnog Timora skoro deset godina, a moj prijatelj Nenad Pandurović, koga srećemo na mnogim stranicama ove knjige, proveo je ovde nekoliko godina rada i, pored ostalog, zaradio infektivnu groznicu dengu. Zbog toga se ozbiljno čuvam komaraca na ovom mestu, ali to ipak nije garancija da se malarija ne može dobiti. I dok razne države postepeno napuštaju grupu onih koje još nisam posetio, razmišljanje o toj bolesti, o kojoj me svi pitaju čudeći se kako uspevam da je zaobiđem, prestaje da bude toliko važno.

Sa ogromne drvene terase hotela “Esplanada”, u kolonijalnom stilu, vidi se obala – šetalište, koje bi se u razvijenijim gradovima nazivalo Corniche, kao u Bejrutu ili Marine Drive u Bombaju ili, jednostavno, promenada. Daleko je od bilo kakve ekskluzivnosti jer se na plaži, na zarđalim rešetkama, peče riba i neki mesni produkti, uz treperavu svetlost i izgladnele pse, ali sa širokim i srdačnim osmehom koji krasi te ljude.

U produžetku te plaže, iduci Avenijom Avenida dos Direitos Humanos (Avenija ljudskih prava), nalazi se lepa prostrana plaža sa belim peskom koja se tako i naziva – Areia Branca. Ona pruža posebno uživanje u senci lokalnih barova, uz hladan kokos i rakove sa roštilja, jer mi se čini da se mnogi ne usuđuju da uđu u vodu zbog morskih krokodila. Na njenom kraju se uzdiže brdašce Futakama, na kome se nalazi statua Hrista koja čuva grad, slično kao u Rio de Žaneiru, ali, svakako, u mnogo manjim razmerama.

Poseban doživljaj je poseta najvećoj otvorenoj pijaci Hali Laram, smeštenoj u hladu ogromnog mangrovog drveća. U tom beskrajnom šarenilu ljudi i petlova, spremnih za borbu, mogu se naći sve vrste lokalnog voća i povrća, poznata timorska kafa koja se prodaje direktno iz velikih vreća u kojima je dopremljena, organski gajen duvan, ružičaste tikvice, minijarurne ljute papričice, crvene banane i morske alge. Na obližnjoj pijaci, namenjenoj turistima, nalazi se veliki izbor ručno rađenih tkanina koje se nazivaju tais.

Timorci su pretežno katolici, a to je nasleđe koje im je ostavila dugotrajna portugalska prevlast i zato se, iako sličnog mentaliteta, nikako nisu mogli uklopiti u Indoneziju, jednu od najvećih muslimanskih zemalja. Nezavisnost, uz znatnu međunarodnu podršku, kako to u nekim slučajevima biva, doneće im, nadaju se, ako ne bolji, a onda bar život po sopstvenom izboru.

U ovom trenutku, oni deluju veoma srećno.

Januar 2011.
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‘The youngest nation on Earth’ is the slogan that East Timorese like to emphasise each time when their country, shaped like a crocodile, is mentioned. And by the way, on some beaches here you can run into crocodiles. A legend has it that a boy once saved a baby crocodile and helped him get into the water. When it grew up, the crocodile did not devour the boy, but took him on journeys around the world on his back, and then after his death the crocodile turned into an island inhabited by the boy’s offspring.

After years of warfare and difficult separation from Indonesia through armed conflict, the Timorese are finally happy in their own country for which they fought so hard. Just in case, the peace is guarded by strong international forces, so that the capital Dili is swamped by people in police uniforms from various countries. Obviously they are doing well here, and the locals feel safer with them around.  My friend Emil from Belgrade has been the director of the East Timor civil aviation for ten years, whereas Nenad Pandurović, a friend of mine that keeps cropping up on many pages of this book, has spent several years working here, and amongst other things got infected by Dengue fever. That’s why I am taking serious precaution against the mosquitoes here, but there is no guarantee that you will not get infected. And while the group of countries that I still have not visited gradually gets smaller and smaller, everyone is asking me in wonder, how I managed to avoid this disease. But I think about it less and less.

From the large wooden terrace of the colonial style Esplanade hotel, you can see the walkway next to the sea, which would be called Corniche in Beirut, or Marine Drive in Mumbai, or simply a promenade. There is no glamour here, because fish and meat products are grilled on rusty grills on the beach, in dim light and accompanied by starving dogs, but with a wide, warm grin that is hovering on the faces of these people.

Following that beach, walking down the Avenida dos Direitos Humanos (The Avenue of Human Rights), I run into a vast, beautiful beach with white sand, which is called just that – Areia Branca. The atmosphere in the shady local bars is very cosy, with cool coconut and grilled prawns, not least because many people are afraid to enter the water because of the crocodiles. At the end of this beach there is a small hill called Futakama, with a statue of Christ guarding the city, like in Rio de Janeiro, but certainly in smaller proportions.

A visit to the largest open air market, Hali Laram, situated in the shade of huge mangrove trees, is an unusual experience. In the endless multitude of colourful people and roosters ready to fight, you can find all kinds of local fruit and vegetable, famous Timorese coffee that is brought to the market in huge sacs and sold directly from them, organically grown tobacco, pink pumpkins, miniature hot chillies, red bananas and seaweed. At the nearby  market meant for tourists, there is a vast choice of hand woven fabrics, called tais.

The Timorese are predominantly Catholics, a heritage from the long Portuguese rule, and that is the reason why they could never fit in with Indonesia, one of the largest Muslim countries in the world, despite a similar mentality. The independence, helped by significant international support as it happens, will bring them, if not a better life, then at least the life they choose for themselves.

At this very moment they look really happy.

January 2011

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