MOLDAVIJA – MOLDOVA

Hotel Kisinjev u glavnom gradu-Chisinau Hotel in the capital

Hotel Kisinjev u glavnom gradu-Chisinau Hotel in the capital

Manastir Sv. Teodora Tirona-The Monastery of St. Theodor Tiron

Manastir Sv. Teodora Tirona-The Monastery of St. Theodor Tiron

Moldavska Akademija nauka-The Moldovan Academy of Sciences

Moldavska Akademija nauka-The Moldovan Academy of Sciences

Moldavski vinski podrum-Moldovan vine cellar

Moldavski vinski podrum-Moldovan vine cellar

Promrzli ulicni svirac-A frozen street singer

Promrzli ulicni svirac-A frozen street singer

Skupstina grada Kisinjeva- Chisinsu City Hall

Skupstina grada Kisinjeva- Chisinsu City Hall

Spomenik kralju Stefanu Velikom-The Monument of King Stefan the Great

Spomenik kralju Stefanu Velikom-The Monument of King Stefan the Great

Stadion u Pridnjestovlju-Stadium in Transnistria

Stadion u Pridnjestovlju-Stadium in Transnistria

Stari ruski autobus i dalje vozi-An old Russian bus still in use

Stari ruski autobus i dalje vozi-An old Russian bus still in use

Tolstojeva bista na trosnoj kuci-The bust of Leo Tolstoy atop an old house

Tolstojeva bista na trosnoj kuci-The bust of Leo Tolstoy atop an old house

Trijumfalna kapija u Kisinjevu-Triumphal arch in Chisinau

Trijumfalna kapija u Kisinjevu-Triumphal arch in Chisinau

U sporednoj ulicici glavnog grada-In a back street of the capital

U sporednoj ulicici glavnog grada-In a back street of the capital

Saborna crkva i Trijumfalna kapija-The Cathedral of Christ's Nativity and Triumphal arch in Chisinsu

Saborna crkva i Trijumfalna kapija-The Cathedral of Christ’s Nativity and Triumphal arch in Chisinsu

Zemlja žena i vina. Bolje reći, devojaka koje su više nego lepe, ali ponekad
nisu na dobrom glasu. Njihova lepota se, nažalost, unovčava ili, čak,
prelazi trgovinu belim robljem. U samoj zemlji se to ne vidi, osim lepote
koja je svuda prisutna i, kažu, veoma pristupačna. Kada su vina u pitanju,
činjenica da je ceo bivši Sovjetski Savez pio moldavska vina, govori sama za
sebe o broju vinograda i vinskih podruma na relativno maloj teritoriji.
Beskrajne padine ka Crnom moru, izložene velikom broju sunčanih sati,
omogućavaju gajenje izvanrednih sorti grožđa, dok su vinski podrumi dužinom
svojih hodnika ušli u Ginisovu knjigu rekorda. Jedan od njih je Milestii
Mici, dug čak 250 km, ili poznati podrum Cricova, kroz koji se krećete
automobilom i posmatrate uskladištene boce čiji se broj izražava u
milionima.
Nekada je Moldavija bila ogromna zemlja, u vreme njenog najvažnijeg vladara,
kralja Stefana Velikog, koji je odolevao Turcima još dve stotine godina
posle Kosovskog boja. Tada je ona zauzimala i veliki deo teritorije današnje
Rumunije, koja u to vreme nije postojala pod tim imenom. Sve do pre jednog
veka bila je to oblast egzotičnog imena Besarabija, u čijem se sastavu
nalazio i jedan deo današnje Ukrajine. Staljin je, naravno, sve to pripojio
velikom Sovjetskom Savezu i naselio znatan broj Rusa, tako da su danas ruski
i rumunski paralelni jezici u svakodnevnoj komunikaciji. Često se može čuti
dijalog u kome jedna osoba govori ruski, a sagovornik rumunski, što nikome
ne smeta. Rumunski je, ipak, zvanični jezik.
Glavni grad Kišinjev je novijeg datuma, izgrađen u sovjetskoj eri, sa
znamenjem tog doba u vidu širokog bulevara i nekoliko mamutskih državnih
građevina, i to je, reklo bi se, skoro sve. Ostatak grada iza centralnog
dela podseća na veliko selo u kome žive dobri ljudi i lepe Moldavke, mada se
i tu oseća prisustvo novih bogataša, ali u znatno manjoj meri nego u Moskvi
i Kijevu. Sveti Teodor Tiron, mali pravoslavni manastir s plavim kupolama i
zlatnim krstovima, kao da blagim pogledima svetaca zaštitnika na ulazu,
svetih arhanđela Mihajla i Gavrila, prekida tu socijalističku harmoniju
betona. U zelenilu u kome je smešten, ovaj gradić uživa u blagodetima svoje
udaljenosi od moderne Evrope, koja ipak nalazi načina da mu se približi.
I, tek da se ne zaboravi u koje vreme živimo i u kome je izazivanje
nestabilnosti glavna strategija velikih sila: u jednom delu ove, inače male
zemlje, smestila se još jedna manja, koju za sada priznaju samo Rusi,
Pridnjestrovska Moldavska Republika. Ime joj potiče od obližnje reke
Dnjestar, ima svoju vojsku, zakone, parlament, vize za sve osim za Ruse, a
monopol na ekonomiju drži lokalna kompanija Sheriff. Čak su i moldavskog
predsednika, kad je krenuo u svoje rodno selo u toj oblasti, vratili sa
granice.

Proveo sam veče u restoranu sa ciganskom muzikom i plesovima šareno obučenih
lepotica. Ima neobično ime za ove krajeve: “Ekvator”. A možda i nije, možda
je ova zemlja neki vertikalni ekvator koji deli Evropu od puteva koji vode
ka Istoku.
Tim putevima nekada su prolazile vojske i prenošena svila.

Novembar 2008.
____________________________________________________________

This is the country of women and wine. Better say – girls and they are more
than beautiful. But sometimes they have a bad reputation. Unfortunately
their beauty is used to make money, sometimes in such extreme ways as human
trafficking. You cannot spot anything like this in the country itself, apart
from women just being beautiful and, they say, approachable. When we
consider wine, the fact that the entire Soviet Union drank Moldovan wine
speaks for itself. The number of vineyards and wine cellars is huge for a
relatively small territory this country occupies. Infinite plains descending
towards the Black Sea have many hours of sunshine daily and lend themselves
to growing excellent grape varieties, while the wine cellars have got into
the Guinness Book of Records owing to their unusually long corridors. One of
them, called Milestii Mici is 250 kilometres long; another famous one is the
Cricova wine cellar through which you pass in a car while looking at,
literally, millions of bottles in stock.
Once upon a time Moldova was a great country, at the time of its most
important ruler, Stefan the Great. He resisted the Turks for another 200
years after the battle of Kosovo. Then Moldova occupied a large part of
today’s Romania which at the time did not exist under that name. Until a
hundred years or so ago this area had an exotic name – Bessarabia which
comprised part of today’s Ukraine. Stalin, of course, annexed all those
areas and included them in the great Soviet Union, settled there a large
Russian population, so that today, Russian and Romanian are used in parallel
in everyday communication. You can often hear a conversation where one
person is speaking Russian and the other responds in Romanian, and no one
minds it. After all, Romanian is the official language.
The capital, Chisnau or Kishinev, is relatively new, built during the Soviet
era and bears the characteristics of this period, such as a wide boulevard
and a few state buildings of mammoth size, and that seems to be all. The
rest, outside the city centre, reminds of a huge village where good Moldovan
men and beautiful Moldovan women live; the presence of nouveau riches is
felt here, but to a smaller degree than in Moscow and Kiev. A small orthodox
Monastery of St. Teodor Tiron, with its blue domes and golden crosses, the
archangels Michael and Gabriel at its entrance looking meek and protective,
interrupt the socialist harmony made of concrete. Situated amongst a lot of
greenery, this town enjoys the advantages of being far removed from Europe,
which in turn still finds a way of getting closer.
And just so we do not forget the times we live in, where the main strategy
of superpowers is to destabilise local areas: in this, already small
country, there is one more, even smaller country, for now recognised only by
the Russians – The Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. Its name is derived
from the nearby River Dniester, it has its army, legislature, parliament,
entry visa from which only the Russians are exempt, and its entire economy
is monopolized by a local company called Sheriff. They even turned away the
Moldovan president when he headed that way to visit the village where he was
born.
I spent the evening in a restaurant with Gypsy music and dancing beauties
clad in multicoloured outfits. The restaurant has a name unusual for this
region: ‘Equator’. Perhaps it is not so unusual, maybe this country is some
sort of a vertical Equator, separating Europe from the routes leading to the
East.
Those were the routes down which armies advanced and silk was transported a
long time ago.

November 2008

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