VANUATU – VANUATU

Aktivni vulkan Jasur na ostrvu Tana-Active volcano Yasur, Tanna Island

Aktivni vulkan Jasur na ostrvu Tana-Active volcano Yasur, Tanna Island

Bungalovi na ostrvu Iririki preko puta glavnog ostrva Efate-Bungallows on Iririki Island opposite the main island of Efate

Bungalovi na ostrvu Iririki preko puta glavnog ostrva Efate-Bungallows on Iririki Island opposite the main island of Efate

Deca se igraju-Children having fun

Deca se igraju-Children having fun

Decji pozdrav-Greetings from local children

Decji pozdrav-Greetings from local children

Demonstriranje paljenja vatre-A demonstration of lighting the fire

Demonstriranje paljenja vatre-A demonstration of lighting the fire

Dobrodoslica-A welcome

Dobrodoslica-A welcome

Drvo banjan u centru sela Jakel na ostrvu Tana-A banyan tree in the Yakel village, Tanna Island

Drvo banjan u centru sela Jakel na ostrvu Tana-A banyan tree in the Yakel village, Tanna Island

Kad nebo potamni-When the sky gets dark

Kad nebo potamni-When the sky gets dark

Laguna-The lagoon

Laguna-The lagoon

Lokalni ples na glavnom trgu sela Jakel na ostrvu Tana-A local dance of the Yakel tribe, Tanna Island

Lokalni ples na glavnom trgu sela Jakel na ostrvu Tana-A local dance of the Yakel tribe, Tanna Island

Lokalni ples-A tribal dance

Lokalni ples-A tribal dance

Lokalno pleme na glavnom trgu-A local tribe on the central square

Lokalno pleme na glavnom trgu-A local tribe on the central square

Mele vodopadi na Efateu - Mele Cascade Waterfalls on Efate Island

Mele vodopadi na Efateu – Mele Cascade Waterfalls on Efate Island

Mele vodopadi na Efateu- Mele Cascade Waterfalls on Efate Island

Mele vodopadi na Efateu- Mele Cascade Waterfalls on Efate Island

Mele vodopadi na Efateu-Mele Cascade Waterfalls on Efate Island

Mele vodopadi na Efateu-Mele Cascade Waterfalls on Efate Island

Mestani pripremaju hranu-Natives preparing food

Mestani pripremaju hranu-Natives preparing food

Pijaca-A marketplace

Pijaca-A marketplace

Pogled na glavni grad Port Vila sa ostrva Iririki-A view of the capital Port Vila from the Iririki Island

Pogled na glavni grad Port Vila sa ostrva Iririki-A view of the capital Port Vila from the Iririki Island

Sa plantaze kafe-From the coffee plantation

Sa plantaze kafe-From the coffee plantation

Zalazak sunca-A sunset

Zalazak sunca-A sunset

Zene i deca plemena Jakel na ostrvu Tana-Women and children of the Yakel tribe, Tanna Island

Zene i deca plemena Jakel na ostrvu Tana-Women and children of the Yakel tribe, Tanna Island

Državu Vanuatu, do pre tridesetak godina britansko-francusku koloniju Novi
Hebridi, čini grupacija od osamdeset tri ostrva u Melaneziji, u južnom
Pacifiku, od kojih je najveći broj nenastanjen. Ono što vas na aerodromu
odmah obraduje jeste lokalna folklorna grupa, sa veoma prijatnom muzikom
pacifičkih predela, kao i natpis da je ova zemlja izglasana za najsrećniju
na svetu u 2006. godini. To se zaista od prvog trenutka oseća i zapaža na
licima ovih ljudi koji su uvek nasmejani i ljubazni, a za kriminal kao da
nikada nisu ni čuli. Iako više nego skroman, ekonomski status sigurno
doprinosi nekim negativnim društvenim pojavama, kojih ovde skoro i da nema.
Setio sam se da sam se, odmah po završetku studija medicine, dugo dopisivao
sa lokalnim ministarstvom zdravlja, kome su bili potrebni lekari posle
sticanja nezavisnosti. Moram priznati da sam se ipak, posle toliko godina,
zapitao kako bih podneo toliku udaljenost i izolaciju, makar i u prijatnom
okruženju. Glavni gradić Port Vila, na ostrvu Efate, i danas ima samo
nekoliko asfaltiranih ulica u centru, nekoliko dobrih restorana sa
francusko-kreolskom kuhinjom i nekoliko boljih hotela, dok sva ta
infrastruktura nedostaje na ostalim ostrvima.
Ono što se, međutim, može doživeti u ovoj zemlji znatno prevazilazi sva
očekivanja, posebno odlazak na ostrvo Tana, mada su i ostrva Pentekost i
Espirito Santo posebna po svojim lepotama. Na Tani se nalazi živi i veoma
aktivni vulkan Jasur, koji je poznat po tome što se vozilom može stići skoro
do samog oboda kratera. Već u podnožju vas čeka dobrodošlica sa pesmom
Vanuatu people are friendly…, ali meštani se veoma retko upuštaju u dalju
avanturu odlaska ka vulkanu, osim vodiča. Potpuno razumljivo, jer stravičan
prizor stalnog izbacivanja užarenog kamenja i pečurki gustog dima samo je
ponekome podnošljiv događaj, posebno kad padne mrak, a pred vama se odvija
spektakularan vatromet uz zaglušujuću tutnjavu iz grotla, kao padanje bombi
u daljini. Nekoliko desetina metara ispod, nalazi se jedinstveno sanduče
vulkanske pošte, u koje se može ubaciti razglednica. Dobio sam je.
Drugi jedinstveni događaj je poseta lokalnim plemenima i upoznavanje sa
njihovom kulturom i običajima, ali poseta u kojoj ste skoro sasvim sami, uz
saznanje da je kanibalizam ovde do skora bio normalna pojava. Njihov trud,
ljubaznost i mogućnost da celo selo izvodi čitave rituale i plesove samo za
vas, taj spektakl ipak čine posebnim. I na kraju, poseta izolovanom plemenu
Jakel koje živi kao u prvobitnoj zajednici. Njihov ples na prostranom
utabanom platou ispod džinovskog banjan drveta u koje ulaze i na kome prave
kućice, čini ovu posetu nezaboravnom. I još kad vam vodič, kome je samo
najintimniji deo tela oskudno umotan u slamu i upravljen na gore, kaže da se
upravo vratio iz Londona, gde je bio kod princa Filipa, da je najteže podneo
hladnoću i cipele, nađete se začuđeni i pitate kako. Odgovor je: ”Kulturna
razmena”!
To je britanska formula za dugo i snažno održavanje tradicionalnih
kolonijalnih veza.

Februar 2008.
________________________________________________________

A group of 83 mostly uninhabited islands in Melanesia in the South Pacific
comprise the state of Vanuatu which used to be a British-French colony,
called the New Hebrides until some 30 years ago. As soon as you get to the
airport you are nicely surprised by a local folklore troupe, playing some
very pleasing music from the Pacific region as well as a board saying that
Vanuatu was voted the happiest place in the world in 2006. This can really
be felt right from the start and is showing on people’s faces, they are
always smiling and kind; as far as crime is concerned, it is like no one has
a clue what that is. Even though the very modest economic standing of the
country certainly contributes to some antisocial behaviour, it barely exists
here. I remembered how, immediately upon my graduation in Medicine, I
started a long stream of correspondence with the local Ministry of Health
who were recruiting doctors following the gaining of independence of the
country. I have to admit, that many years later, I asked myself how I would
have coped with such isolation and being so removed from everywhere else,
notwithstanding the pleasant surroundings. Even today the capital city of
Port Vila on the Efate Island has only a few tarmacked streets in the
centre, a handful of good restaurants with French-Creole cuisine and a few
good hotels, while this infrastructure is lacking on all other islands.
Yet, what you can experience in this country surpasses all expectations;
especially on the island of Tanna, even though the islands of Pentecost and
Espirito Santo are also special in their beauty. On the island of Tanna
there is a live and very active volcano, Yasur, known for the fact that it
is possible to come to the edge of its crater by car. Already at the foot of
the volcano you are greeted by a song Vanuatu people are friendly., however
local people very rarely engage in the adventure of visiting the volcano,
except for the guide. That is completely understandable, because the
terrible scene of burning stones being belched out and mushrooms of thick
smoke coming out constantly is an event that few can tolerate; especially
after dark falls and you witness a spectacular fireworks accompanied with
the unbearable rumble coming from the depths of the crater, like bombs being
dropped nearby. A few dozen meters below is a peculiar mailbox for ‘volcanic
post’ where you can drop your postcard. I actually received it at home.
Another unique experience is a visit to local tribes and getting to know
their culture and customs; yet it is a visit on your own with the full
knowledge that cannibalism used to be a normal occurrence here until
recently. Yet the locals are kind and put an effort into their performance;
the fact that the entire village performs their rituals and dances just for
you sets this spectacle apart from the rest. And finally a visit to an
isolated tribe that live like in prehistoric times. Their dance on the
spacious well-trodden clearing under a gigantic banyan tree into which they
enter and make small huts inside, made this visit unforgettable. And then
the guide, whose private parts only are barely wrapped in straw and sticking
upwards, tells you that he just returned from London where he met Prince
Philip and how the most difficult bits for him to endure were the cold and
wearing shoes, you feel dumbfounded and ask yourself ‘how is this possible?’
The answer is ‘cultural exchange’.
That is obviously the British formula for maintaining strong colonial bonds
for a long time.

February 2008

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