MOZAMBIK – MOZAMBIQUE – MOÇAMBIQUE

Cekajuci barku-Waiting for a boat

Cekajuci barku-Waiting for a boat

Zgrada TV Mozambika-State TV building

Zgrada TV Mozambika-State TV building

Zeleznicka stanica u Maputu-The railway station in Maputo

Zeleznicka stanica u Maputu-The railway station in Maputo

Ulicni suveniri-Street souvenirs

Ulicni suveniri-Street souvenirs

Ulaz u gradsku pijacu-Entrance to the City market

Ulaz u gradsku pijacu-Entrance to the City market

Tvrdjava Maputo-The Maputo fortress

Tvrdjava Maputo-The Maputo fortress

Skupljanje ribarske mreze-Drawing of the fishing net

Skupljanje ribarske mreze-Drawing of the fishing net

Riblja pijaca-A fish market

Riblja pijaca-A fish market

Prodaja batika-Selling batik

Prodaja batika-Selling batik

Predsednik Samora Machel, otac nacije-President Samora Machel, father of the nation

Predsednik Samora Machel, otac nacije-President Samora Machel, father of the nation

Poznati hotel Polana u Maputu-The famous Polana Hotel in Maputo (2)

Poznati hotel Polana u Maputu-The famous Polana Hotel in Maputo (2)

Plaza nadomak glavnog grada-A beach at the outskirts of the capital

Plaza nadomak glavnog grada-A beach at the outskirts of the capital

Odmor na plazi-Having a rest on the beach

Odmor na plazi-Having a rest on the beach

Narodna biblioteka-The National library

Narodna biblioteka-The National library

Kolonijalna ku-ça-A colonial house

Kolonijalna ku-ça-A colonial house

Kadrala Gospe Bezgresnog zaceca-The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

Kadrala Gospe Bezgresnog zaceca-The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

Dok sam kao dečak sakupljao sličice iz čokoladica “Zemlje i gradovi sveta”,
jedan grad, zbog svog neuobičajenog imena, ostao mi je posebno u sećanju.
Zvao se Lorenco Markez. Četrdeset godina kasnije preplavilo me je to sećanje
dok sam ulazio u taj isti grad, danas Maputo, glavni grad Mozambika, zemlje
koja sebe naziva biserom Afrike. I mnoge druge to čine, ali, za razliku od
nekih, Mozambik po svemu zaslužuje takav epitet. Ta zemlja je na neki način
drugačija od mnogih drugih na ovom kontinentu. Nekada portugalska Istočna
Afrika, koju je u XVI veku istraživao lisabonski trgovac Lorenco Markez, ova
teritorija odiše neodoljivim kolonijalnim šarmom, koji su joj Portugalci
ostavili u nasleđe svojim katedralama, avenijama i priobalnim utvrđenjima.
Veoma lepo obnovljen stari hotel “Polana” u centru Maputa, poseban je svet,
u kome se još oseća miris burmuta, pomešan sa slatkasto-opojnim mirisom
porto vina, tek pristiglog u luku jedrenjakom iz Lisabona. U obnovljenim
salonima od mahagonija još se oseća ustajalost proteklih vekova, koja
podseća na staru kolonijalnu slavu. Prijatno mi je to osećanje i uživam u
njemu dok ispijam porto, koji me vraća u prošlost. Napolju je ipak neka nova
realnost, nastala najpre na temeljima borbe za nezavisnost, a zatim u dugom
i mučnom građanskom ratu.
Novi Maputo danas postepeno dobija oblike savremenog grada, a na njegovim
beskrajno dugim plažama vijore se ogromna platna sa printovima afričkih
motiva i kriju se brojni mali restorani sa izvanrednom morskom hranom i još
boljim portugalskim vinima. Lepe i zanosne mulatkinje svojim stopalima
graciozno rasteruju novorođene krabe po pesku, u ritmu koji nije samba, ali
kao da jeste, samo je podignuta za još jedan stepen afričkog etno zvuka.
Kako se ide ka severu zemlje i dublje u tropski pojas, priroda je sve lepša
i zanosnija, a posebno u jednoj od najlepših oblasti, arhipelagu Bazaruto.
Duge peščane plaže su ispresecane lagunama, koralnim grebenovima i ribarskim
naseobinama, u kojima se mogu videti stare kuće, prekrivene patinom
nekadašnjih kolonijalnih zemljoposednika, poneka izbledela parohijska crkva
ili džamija. Kulturno-istorijski bogato ostrvo na severu Ilha de Moçambique
obiluje tim starinama, nalazi se na listi Uneskove kulturne baštine i
podseća na obližnji Zanzibar. Blagi islamski talas ovog dela sveta čini ga
veoma posebnim i diskretno se prepliće sa katoličkim. Ovde se čini da vere i
nisu tako važne koliko opuštenost, tiha ali ritmična pesma i ono staro
portugalsko osećanje saudade, koje znači sve ono neprevodivo što ide uz
ljubav i patnju.

Mart 2006.
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When I was a boy, I collected picture cards from chocolate wraps, called
‘Countries and cities of the world’. One particular city stuck in my memory
because of its unusual name, Lorenzo Marquez. Some forty years later I was
overwhelmed with that memory when I was entering this city, now called
Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, a country that calls itself Africa’s
pearl. Many other countries aspire to that name, but unlike them, Mozambique
really deserves it. In a way, this country is very different from many other
ones on the African continent. Once a Portuguese colony in East Africa,
explored by the Lisbon merchant Lorenzo Marquez in the 16th century, this
land exudes an irresistible colonial charm inherited from the Portuguese in
the guise of the old cathedrals, avenues and seafront fortresses.
A nicely refurbished old hotel “Polana”, in the centre of Maputo, is a world
of its own, where the smell of snuff mixes still with the sweet heady scent
of Port wine, just arrived on a sailing boat from Lisbon. In the refurbished
mahogany lounges the fustiness of past centuries still fills the air,
reminiscent of the glorious colonial past. I like this feeling and enjoy it
while I drink this very Port which transports me to the past. Yet, outside
is a different reality, developed through the fight for independence and
then in a long and dreadful civil war.
The new Maputo is gradually getting the look and feel of a modern city,
while the gigantic canvasses with motifs from African life decorate the
city’s interminably long beaches, hiding numerous little restaurants with
excellent seafood and even better Portuguese wines. Beautiful and enchanting
mulatto women graciously scatter baby crabs with their feet, moving on the
sand in a rhythm which is not samba, but sounds like a samba with higher
tones of African ethno sound.
As you go further North and deeper into the tropics, the nature is even more
beautiful and captivating, especially in one of the prettiest regions – the
Bazaruto archipelago. Long sandy beaches are interspersed with lagoons,
coral reefs and fishermen’s settlements where you can see old houses from
the time of colonial landowners, an occasional faded parochial church or a
mosque. Ilha de Moçambique is an island in the North, rich in cultural and
historical heritage and abundant in old sites; it is also on UNESCO’s World
Heritage list and it resembles the neighbouring Zanzibar. A mild Islamic
influence makes this part of the world really unique, as it discreetly
intertwines with the Catholic one. It seems that various faiths are not as
important here as being relaxed, enjoying quiet but rhythmical music and the
old Portuguese feeling of saudade, whose meaning is untranslatable but has
to do with all those things around love and suffering.

March 2006

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