Glinena armija-The Terracotta Army

Glinena armija-The Terracotta Army

Hram na jezeru u provinciji Junan-A temple on the lake in the Yunnan province

Hram na jezeru u provinciji Junan-A temple on the lake in the Yunnan province

Letnja rezidencija kineskih kraljeva-The summer residence of the Chinese kings

Letnja rezidencija kineskih kraljeva-The summer residence of the Chinese kings

Olimpijski stadion Pticje gnezdo i Centar za vodene sportove-Olympic stadium the Bird's Nest and the Beijing National Aquatics Centre

Olimpijski stadion Pticje gnezdo i Centar za vodene sportove-Olympic stadium the Bird’s Nest and the Beijing National Aquatics Centre

Pejzaz na reci Li-A scenary on the Li River

Pejzaz na reci Li-A scenary on the Li River

Starac sa kormoranima za ribolov na reci Li-An old man with the fishing cormorans on the Li River

Starac sa kormoranima za ribolov na reci Li-An old man with the fishing cormorans on the Li River

Stari centar Sangaja-The old centre of Shanghai

Stari centar Sangaja-The old centre of Shanghai

Sve moze biti na meniju-Anything can be on the menu

Sve moze biti na meniju-Anything can be on the menu

Tri pagode pored grada Dalija-The Three Pagodas near the town of Dali

Tri pagode pored grada Dalija-The Three Pagodas near the town of Dali

Ulaz u Zabranjeni grad-Entrance of the Forbidden City

Ulaz u Zabranjeni grad-Entrance of the Forbidden City

Veliki kineski zid-The Great Wall

Veliki kineski zid-The Great Wall

Urumqi

Urumqi

Urumqi

Urumqi

Urumqi

Urumqi

Unutar Zabranjenog grada-Inside the Forbidden City

Unutar Zabranjenog grada-Inside the Forbidden City

Sve moze biti na meniju-Anything can be on the menu

Sve moze biti na meniju-Anything can be on the menu

Sloboda napustanja partije-The freedom of leaving the party

Sloboda napustanja partije-The freedom of leaving the party

Nebeski hram - The Temple of Heaven

Nebeski hram – The Temple of Heaven

Najpoznatiji budisticki hram u Kunmingu-Yuantong Temple in Kunming, Yunnan province

Najpoznatiji budisticki hram u Kunmingu-Yuantong Temple in Kunming, Yunnan province

Kamena suma-Wooden forest

Kamena suma-Wooden forest

U Pekingu-In Beijing

U Pekingu-In Beijing

Nebesko jezero pored grada Urumqi-Haevenly Lake near Urumqi

Nebesko jezero pored grada Urumqi-Haevenly Lake near Urumqi

Ples bez kiše-Dancing with no rain

Ples bez kiše-Dancing with no rain

I pored divljenja koje osećate prema kineskoj kuturi i narodu, pa tako pripremljeni pođete u posetu toj zemlji, na samom početku bićete sigurno razočarani neljubaznošću i nerazumevanjem. Kao da vas niko ništa ne razume, niti želi da vam pomogne. I zaista vas ne razumeju. Verovatno, kao pripadnici velike nacije, misle da bi vi trebalo da razumete njih, osim kada je reč o jugoslovenskom ratnom filmu Most koga su skoro svi Kinezi gledali, znaju da odzvižde muziku iz filma i, svakako, glavni glumac Bata Živojinović je decenijama njihov nacionalni heroj.

Ipak, putovanje kroz tu zemlju je u svakom trenu drugačije. Vozom ono traje beskrajno dugo, avionom je toliko efikasno da je u pet minuta, kao po komandi, avion napunjen ili ispražnjen, ali zato je noćni autobus poseban događaj. Sedišta se obore i pretvore u ležaje i svi poskidaju svoje cipele. Ipak, mesto u kome se probudite, učini da se odmah zaboravi „mirisna“ noć.  U našem slučaju bilo je to mesto na samom jugu zemlje, u blizini Laosa, koje se naziva Dali, sa tri elegantne vitke pagode, koje paraju nebo.

Putovao sam po Kini, divio se raznolikosti, vozio bicikl sa Kinezima. Obišao sam velike gradove koji deluju futuristički, kao što su delovi Šangaja. Video sam provinciju, koja još živi kao u dalekoj prošlosti. Doživeo sam prirodne lepote Kine koje se mogu zamisliti samo u bajkama ili na kineskim pejzažima, koji izgledaju kao da su nestvarni. Kad sam otišao u Gvejlin na reci Li i ugledao „kamenu šumu“ u izmaglici, razumeo sam inspiraciju kineskih slikara.

Severna i, ujedno, najveća kineska provincija, površine kao tri Francuske, naziva se Sinđang i čini šestinu kineske teritorije. Kroz nju je nekada prolazio drevni Put svile, odnosno severni put Marka Pola, u njegovom pohodu na Daleki istok. Dugi planinski lanci, Altaj i Pamir, presecaju jednu od najvećih pustinja na svetu, pustinju Gobi, u čijem se pesku kriju ostaci drevnih civilizacija i ruševine starih gradova Jiaohe, Gaochang, Beiting, kao i grobnice vladara ranih dinastija, pećine sa crtežima Bude i velike figure u kamenu. To je autonomni muslimanski deo Kine u kome najveći deo stanovnika čini narod Ujgura, kao i Kazaci, Mongoli, Kirkizi, Tadžici, Tatari, Uzbeci i mnogi drugi.

Zabranjeni grad u Pekingu i druge letnje i zimske palate kineskih careva, kao i Veliki kineski zid, zaista su vredni divljenja, posebno ako se zna kada su nastajali, kao i to kako je Evropa izgledala u to vreme.

Jedna od najvećih alternativnih umetnica današnjice, Marina Abramović, i njen tadašnji partner Ulaj, hodali su 1988. godine svako po dve hiljade petsto kilometara po zidu, krenuvši sa suprotnih strana, da bi se sreli na sredini i rekli jedno drugom zbogom. Bili su to, ujedno, umetničko putovanje i lična drama.

Lepota kineske umetnosti, njena arhitektura, kao i dostignuća njene nauke i medicine u prošlosti, danas čine univerzalne vrednosti. Savremena Kina je, međutim, veliki zmaj koji je natkrilio celokupan novi svet, na koji pomalo ispušta novogodišnje konfete, a pomalo vatru. Konfete su simbol svega što proizvodi savremena Kina i što je potpuno preplavilo svet, a vatra signal upozorenja sile koja dolazi sa Istoka i sa kojom više nema kompromisa. Ona sigurno, na svoj postepen i strpljivi način, tiho osvaja ovaj svet. I kao što ratnici terakote čuvaju svog cara već više od dve hiljade godina, tako danas kineska ekonomija čuva ovu zemlju od velike svetske krize, ali i čuva dobar deo sveta koji polako i strpljivo osvaja.

Pod svojim uslovima, svakako.

 

Septembar 1995.

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Despite the admiration you may have for China’s culture and its people, and so equipped you go to visit this country, it is a pity that at the very start you will become disappointed with rudeness and inconsideration. It seems like no one understands you nor wants to help you. And they really do not understand you. Perhaps as members of a big nation they may think you need to understand them; unless it is the case of a Yugoslav war film,

”The Bridge”, that almost everyone has seen, knows how to whistle its tune and recognises Bata Živojinović, a Serbian actor, who has been their national hero for decades.

Yet travelling through this country is a peculiar experience. By train, it takes forever; by plane it is efficient because the aircraft can board and disembark in 5 minutes, like by a military command; but the night bus is truly ‘different’. The seats are pulled down and turned into ‘beds’ and everyone takes their shoes off. However, when you wake up and see your surroundings, you immediately forget the ‘smelly night’. In our case that was a place called Dali, in the very south of the country, close to Laos, with three lean pagodas piercing the sky.

I travelled around China, admired its diversity, rode a bike together with the Chinese people. I visited big cities which look like something from the future, especially parts of Shanghai. I saw the countryside where life seems to have stopped centuries ago. I experienced the natural beauties of China imaginable only in fairytales or seen on Chinese landscape pictures; they look surreal. When I went to Guilin on the River Li, and spotted the ‘Stone forest’ in the mist, I immediately grasped the inspiration of the Chinese painters.

The Northern province of Xinjiang, three times as big as the surface of France, makes up 1/6 of China’s territory. Once upon a time, the Silk Route went through it, namely, the Northern Route of Marco Polo on his travels to the Far East. Long mountain chains of Altai and Pamir cut through one of the biggest deserts in the world, the Gobi desert, whose sands conceal remnants of ancient civilisations, ruins of the ancient cities of Jiaohe, Gaochang and Beiting, as well as the tombs of the rulers of early dynasties, caves with the drawings of Buddha and huge stone figures. This is the autonomous Muslim part of China where the majority of inhabitants are Uyghurs as well as Kazakhs, Mongolians, Kyrgyz people, Tajiks, Tatars, Uzbeks and many others.

The Forbidden City in Beijing and other summer and winter palaces of chinese emperors, as well as the Great Wall of China are all admirable, especially if you know how they came into existence and what Europe looked like at the time.

In 1988, one of the biggest alternative artists of today, Marina Abramović, and her partner Ulay, each walked 2500 kilometres on the Wall, starting at its opposite ends in order to meet in the middle and say good-bye. It was an artistic journey as well as a personal drama.

The beauty of the Chinese art, its architecture, as well as the long legacy of breakthroughs in science and medicine represent universal values in today’s world. However, contemporary China is a huge dragon shadowing over the entire new world upon which it alternately releases New Year’s confetti and blasts of fire. Confetti is the symbol of everything Made in China that has saturated the world markets, whereas fire is a warning signal from the Eastern superpower that does not allow compromise any longer. For sure, in its own way, gradually and patiently China is quietly conquering the world. And much like the teracotta warriors have guarded their emperor for more than two thousand years, the modern Chinese economy is guarding this country against a major economic crisis; it is also guarding the rest of the world, while slowly and patiently conquering it.

And of course, always on China’s terms.

 September 1995.