LAOS – LAOS – ປະຊາຊົນສປປລາວ

Civilizacija je prisutna-Civilisation is present

Civilizacija je prisutna-Civilisation is present

Drvo zivota na zidu hrama-A Tree of Life on the the back of Wat Xieng Thong wall

Drvo zivota na zidu hrama-A Tree of Life on the the back of Wat Xieng Thong wall

Hram u staroj prestonici-A temple in the old capital

Hram u staroj prestonici-A temple in the old capital

Lokalni viski-Local whisky

Lokalni viski-Local whisky

Male statue Bude u pecini na reci Mekong-Small statues of the Lord Buddha in the Pak Ou cave on the Mekong River

Male statue Bude u pecini na reci Mekong-Small statues of the Lord Buddha in the Pak Ou cave on the Mekong River

Mladi monah u hramu-A young monk in the temple

Mladi monah u hramu-A young monk in the temple

Pogled na Vientian sa Trijumfalne kapije-A view of Vientiane from the Patuxai Gate of Triumph

Pogled na Vientian sa Trijumfalne kapije-A view of Vientiane from the Patuxai Gate of Triumph

Ulicna pijaca na ulazu u kraljevsku palatu-A street market at the entrance to the Royal Palace in Luang Prabang

Ulicna pijaca na ulazu u kraljevsku palatu-A street market at the entrance to the Royal Palace in Luang Prabang

Velika zlatna stupa u centru glavnog grada-Pha That Luang-a large gold-covered stupa in the centre of the capital

Velika zlatna stupa u centru glavnog grada-Pha That Luang-a large gold-covered stupa in the centre of the capital

Vesela prodavacica-A cheerful vendor

Vesela prodavacica-A cheerful vendor

Vrt u Luang Prabangu-A garden in Luang Prabang

Vrt u Luang Prabangu-A garden in Luang Prabang

Zlatna vrata hrama-Golden doors of a temple

Zlatna vrata hrama-Golden doors of a temple

Neko je u svom putopisu nazvao Laos mestom gde se duša odmara. Dolazak u glavni grad Vijentijan to sasvim opravdava, a stara prestonica Luang Prabang je više toga. Tu se duša ne samo odmara, već prelazi u stanje takvog blaženstva iz koga nikada ne želi da izađe. Sve je tamo tako mirno, pa izgleda da je drevna prestonica na reci Mekong utonula u večiti san koji teče kao i sama iskonska reka. U tom snu vidite hramove, kao što je Vat Sjen Tong ili Vat Sene (vat znači hram), koji vam svojim zlatnim ukrasima sužavaju zenice sjajem i lepotom.
Plovidba rekom Mekong do pećine sa hiljadama malih Buda i ostalih relikvija, koje hodočasnici ostavljaju svom jedinom božanstvu, romantično je putovanje pored sela kraj reke. U njima se proizvodi lokalni viski i pakuje u bočice sa malim kobrama ili škorpionima, što navodno pojačava snagu i potenciju.
U hramu na brežuljku u gradu  prepuštate se starom obredu darivanja slobode: kupujete zebicu u kavezu i puštate je da slobodno odleti kroz oblake mirisnog dima, koji vas tako obuzima da imate utisak kao da vas približava samom Budi. U podnožju hrama već je suton i glavna, od samo četiri ulice, postaje duga pijaca sa najlepšim rukotvorinama koje ovaj narod može da pruži. To su, uglavnom, tanki svileni šalovi u svim bojama budizma, ali i brojni drugi odevni predmeti, srebrne ogrlice, narukvice i nakit fine izrade. Pošto nema uličnog osvetljenja, duga kolona prodavaca sedi uz svetlost sveća i nenametljivo nudi sve što misle da vam se može dopasti. Ali i tu ispoljavaju neko diskretno predosećanje da često ponude upravo ono što vam se sviđa, ili je, možda, tamo sve tako lepo i neodoljivo, ko zna.
Još pre šest časova izjutra, mladi monasi u ritualnom redu stoje i lupkaju svojim metalnim posudicama, u koje im žitelji stavljaju hranu, najčešće nešto pirinča ili malo voća. Ponekom od njih katkad zazvoni mobilni telefon, ali to su većinom dečaci, koji treba jedan deo života da provedu u hramu, uz molitve i meditaciju. Hrana im služi samo kao sredstvo za održanje života, ali moderne tekovine i tu ne izostaju.
Ručak kraj jezerca, prekrivenog ogromnim cvetovima lokvanja, zatim poseta Nacionalnoj palati u kojoj je, u doba francuskog protektorata u Indokini, živeo poslednji kralj Laosa, kao i jednom od salona za tradicionalnu masažu, ili bar masažu stopala u izlogu istog salona, samo je deo dnevnog rituala na ovim prostorima.
Laos je zemlja u koju, od trenutka kada ste kročili u nju, već želite da joj se vratite.

Decembar 2006.
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Someone mentioned Laos in their travelogue once as a place to rest your soul. Arrival in the capital city of Vientiane confirms this fully, whereas the old capital of Luang Prabang exceeds expectations in that respect. Your soul not only rests here but transcends into a state of blissed nirvana which it never wants to leave again. Everything is so peaceful here that it seems the old capital on the Mekong River has entered an eternal dream, which flows like the ancient river itself. In that dream you see the temples such as Vat Sin Tong or Vat Sene (‘vat’ meaning a temple), whose golden decorations and shiny splendour make you squint.
Cruising down the Mekong River to the caves with thousands of small Buddha statues and other relics left by pilgrims to their only god, is a romantic journey enabling you to see the villages nestled along the river banks. They produce local whisky, packed in small bottles containing baby cobras or scorpions, believed to enhance male libido and stamina. In a temple atop a hill, you are engrossed in an ancient freedom giving ritual – you buy a caged chaffinch and then let it fly to its freedom through a cloud of fragrant smoke, which envelopes you so powerfully that you feel like it is bringing you closer to Buddha himself. At the foot of the temple it is already sunset and the main street (out of the total of four streets) transforms itself into a market selling the most beautiful handicraft these people can make. They are mostly long silk scarves in all the traditional colours of Buddhism, but also many other garments, silver necklaces, bangles and filigreed jewellery. As there is no street light, the long line of street vendors are sitting by candlelight, offering you discreetly what they think you may like. It is almost like they have an inner sense of what you will like, or perhaps everything is so beautiful and irresistible anyway, who knows.
As early as before 6am young monks line up in a ceremonial procession, clinking against their metallic receptacles; the local population would fill them with some food, usually some fruit and a little bit of rice. Sometimes a mobile phone would ring, but most boys were there to spend only part of their life at the monastery, praying and meditating. While the food serves only the purpose of keeping them alive, ways of modern living have crept in as well.
Daily rituals here include lunch at the lake covered in gigantic lotus leaves, a visit to the National Palace which used to be home to the last king of Laos during the French protectorate times in Indochina, as well as enjoying a traditional massage or at least a foot massage in the parlour’s glass frontage.
As soon as you enter Laos, you are drawn to it, wanting to go back to this country even before you have left it.

December 2006

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