MAURICIJUS – MAURITIUS – MAURICE

Biskupova kuca - Bishop's House

Biskupova kuca – Bishop’s House

Branje secerne trske-Sugar cane harvesting

Branje secerne trske-Sugar cane harvesting

Crkva u mestu Kjurpajp-A church in Curepipe

Crkva u mestu Kjurpajp-A church in Curepipe

Detalj indijskog hrama-A detail from an Indian temple

Detalj indijskog hrama-A detail from an Indian temple

Dzamija na Mauricijusu-A mosque in Mauritius

Dzamija na Mauricijusu-A mosque in Mauritius

Dzinovski lokvanji u botanickom vrtu -Giant water lilies in the botanical garden of Pamplemousses

Dzinovski lokvanji u botanickom vrtu -Giant water lilies in the botanical garden of Pamplemousses

Glavni grad u noci-Port Louis at night

Glavni grad u noci-Port Louis at night

Lokalni dvorac-Chateau Labourdonnais

Lokalni dvorac-Chateau Labourdonnais

Lokalni ples-A local dance

Lokalni ples-A local dance

Nasmejani Mauricani-Smiling Mauricians

Nasmejani Mauricani-Smiling Mauricians

Ostrvo-Island Ile aux Cerfs

Ostrvo-Island Ile aux Cerfs

Pjer Poavr-mala statua na Sejselima-Pierre Poivre-a small statue at Seychelles

Pjer Poavr-mala statua na Sejselima-Pierre Poivre-a small statue at Seychelles

Pod zastitom Uneska-planina Le Morne-A UNESCO world heritage site-Le Morne mountain

Pod zastitom Uneska-planina Le Morne-A UNESCO world heritage site-Le Morne mountain

Secerna trska-Sugar cane

Secerna trska-Sugar cane

Solana u regionu Tamarina-Salt pans in the Tamarin region

Solana u regionu Tamarina-Salt pans in the Tamarin region

Solana u regionu Tamarina-Salt pans in the Tamarin region

Solana u regionu Tamarina-Salt pans in the Tamarin region

Tamilski hram - A Tamil temple

Tamilski hram – A Tamil temple

Tri lepe Indijke ispred lokalnog hrama-Three beatiful Indian girls in front of a local temple

Tri lepe Indijke ispred lokalnog hrama-Three beatiful Indian girls in front of a local temple

Veliki zaliv-Grand Bay

Veliki zaliv-Grand Bay

Arapski pomorci nazivali su ga Dinarobin, za Portugalce je bio Ilha do Cisne ili Labudovo ostrvo, krajem XVI veka Holanđani su mu dali ime Mauricijus, po jednom svom princu, Francuzi ga prozvali Île de France, a Englezi, koji su poslednji došli početkom XIX veka, vratili su holandsko ime, koje je zadržano i posle sticanja nezavisnosti 1968. godine. Stanovnici sestrinskog ostrva Reunion nazivaju ga još i Šećernim biserom Indijskog okeana. Umesto gracioznih labudova, do pre nekoliko stotina godina, ovde je obitavala smešna debela ptica dodo, koja nije mogla ni da poleti, ni da potrči, pa je, samim tim, mali broj primeraka ove retke i jedinstvene vrste ubrzo pojeden i istrebljen. Danas je, po sećanju, ostala samo na suvenirima.
Kao mali zeleni smaragd, Mauricijus je smešten u belini pene talasa, koji zapljuskuju njegove koralne hridi i prelaze u lagano talasanje šećerne trske na širokim plantažama. Peščane plaže, tirkizne lagune, šume fikusa i bamijan drveća sa džinovskim korenjem, plantaže šećerne trske i poznatog čaja Bois-Chéri, čak tropske džungle i planine, sve je to stalo na ovo ostrvo oskudne veličine, ali bogate vegetacije. Poznati francuski botaničar Pierre Poivre, čije prezime igrom slučaja znači biber, bio je administrator Île de France i Île de Bourbon (Mauricijus i Reunion), tadašnje francuske Istočnoindijske kompanije početkom XVIII veka, koji je na ova ostrva doneo mnoge začinske biljke kao što su karanfilić ili muskatni oraščić. Osnovao je i nadaleko čuveni botanički vrt kraljevskih dimenzija Pamplemousses, kada je francuski san bio da se na ovom ostrvu gaje svi začini i zatim izvoze u Evropu. Pošto su u to vreme Holanđani držali monopol nad začinima u svojim kolonijama, on je tajno morao da ih prenosi iz njih na Mauricijus. Bilo je to vreme francuskog romantizma u kome je Bernardin de Saint-Pierre na ovom ostrvu smestio radnju svog romana Paul et Virginie, ljubavnu priču uoči Francuske revolucije, sa tada već progresivnom temom emancipacije robova.
Kuće tadašnjih bogatih francuskih kolonizatora, koje čak pretenduju na reč zamak (château), danas su obnovljene kao turistička atrakcija. Svojim dugim verandama dočaravaju trenutke u kojima su guverner Mahé de La Bourdonnais i druga vlastela uživali u povetarcu koji je njima strujao, dok su odlučivali o sudbini naroda Indijskog okeana.
Taj narod je vekovima gradio mešavinu, u kojoj danas više od polovine stanovnika čine Indusi, kao i kreolska populacija potomaka Francuza i Kineza koji žive na ovom malom prostoru. Indijac koji govori kreolski francuski – čudna i sasvim nerazumljiva jezička kombinacija, bar za nas strance.
Iako je prvenstveno smatramo turističkim odredištem, ova zemlja doživljava veliki ekonomski napredak, zahvaljujući jakim vezama sa Indijom i Francuskom. Glavni grad Port Louis nije više samo romantična luka za pomorce pustolove, kao što je bračni par Kojadinović koji je decenijama plovio oko sveta u svojoj jedrilici Kli-Kli, da bi svoju mirnu luku konačno pronašao ovde, na Maskarenskim ostrvima južnog Indijskog okeana. Iako su višespratnice čak i ovde zavladale gradskim prostorima i dale mi jednu novu dimenziju, arhitektura hramova, džamija i crkava ostaje najlepši deo ostrva, kao i miroljubiva mešavina raznih naroda, koji ovde žive i slave svoje praznike: Indusi slave Diwali, praznik svetlosti, ili Cavadee, tamilski praznik punog meseca, hriščani slave Božić i svog sveca apostola maurićanskog Père Laval-a, Kinezi svoju Novu godinu, a muslimani praznuju Ramazan.
Život kao festival?

Januar 2002.
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The Arabian seamen called it Dinarobin, for the Portuguese it was Ilha do Cisne, or Swan Island, and at the end of the 16th century the Dutch gave it the name Mauritius after a Prince of theirs. The French called it Île de France, and the English who came at the beginning of the 19th century returned it its Dutch name which was kept after independence was won in 1968. The inhabitants of the sister island Réunion also call it Sugar Pearl of the Indian Ocean. Instead of graceful swans, a funny fat bird called dodo lived here until a couple of hundred years ago. Dodo could not fly or run, therefore the small number of these rare and unusual birds were quickly eaten by the settlers and eventually got exterminated. Today dodo is only remembered on souvenirs.
Like a little green emerald, Mauritius looms from the white foam of the waves lapping its coral reefs; they then slowly metamorphose into waves of sugar cane undulating on vast plantations. Sandy beaches, turquoise lagoons, forests of multipliant and banyan trees with gigantic roots, plantations of sugar cane and famous Bois-Chéri tea, even tropical jungles and mountains, all of that fitted on this not so big island with lush vegetation. A famous French botanist called Pierre Poivre, whose name incidentally means ’pepper’ was the administrator of the Île de France and Île de Bourbon (Mauritius and Réunion) of the French East Indian Company at the beginning of the 18th century. He brought many spices to these islands, including clove and nutmeg. He also founded a well renowned, king size botanical garden Pamplemousses, when the French had a dream of cultivating all different spices on this island and then exporting them to Europe. At the time the Dutch had a monopoly over spice produced in all colonies, so he had to secretly smuggle them from those colonies to Mauritius. This was the time of French romanticism when Bernardin de Saint-Pierre set the background to his novel Paul et Virginie on this island, a love story in the eve of the French Revolution, boasting a topic of slave liberation, a progressive idea for those times.
Houses of the rich French colonisers, with pretensions to be the châteaux, have been refurbished and today are tourist attractions. Their long sprawling porches make it easy to imagine the governor Mahé de La Bourdonnais and other nobility sitting on them, enjoying the light breeze while deciding the fate of the peoples of the Indian Ocean.
These very people created such a mix over the centuries so that more than half the population are from India, as well as the Creole population, the descendants of the French and the Chinese living in this restricted space. An Indian person speaking Creole French – a strange and really incomprehensible linguistic combination, especially for us foreigners.
Even though it is primarily considered to be a tourist destination, this country is experiencing great economic development, thanks to its strong ties with France and India. The capital city of Port Louis is not anymore just a romantic port for sailing adventurers, such as the Kojadinović couple who sailed for decades around the world in their yacht called Kli-Kli, until they settled here in the calm waters of the Mascarene Islands in the South Indian Ocean.
Skyscrapers have appeared even here in cityscapes and given them a new dimension, but it is the architecture of temples, mosques and churches that remains the most beautiful part of the island, as well as the peaceful mixture of various peoples who live here and celebrate their holy days: Indian people celebrate the Diwali Festival of Lights; or Cavadee – festival of the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai; Christians celebrate Christmas and their own saint – Apostle of Mauritius Père Laval; Chinese celebrate the Chinese New Year and the Muslims celebrate Ramadan.
Life is a festival…

January 2002

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