Ismét elhívtak egy 50 perces tömény beszélgetésre az Ozone Network Egyenlítő című világba tekintő műsorába 2015 májusában.
Itt látható a műsor.
Az első részben utazásról, kulturális érdekességekről beszélgetünk, a második részben az Isztán országokról (Kazahsztán, Kirgizisztán, Tadzsikisztán, Türkmenisztán) beszélgetünk, sajnos Afganisztánról nem esik szó, pedig csak arról órákat lehetne beszélni.
What to pack before you start to travel?
Rule number 1: be light, dont carry too many things! Try to be under 15 kg!
□ 1 bigger, 60l backpack, 1 smaller backpack for daily use
□ Rain jacket
□ 1-2 Socks and 3 underwear
□ Light jacket or sweater Continue reading 'What to pack for travel'»
Africa in outline 3
Africa in general
I have already wrote a big summary about Afrika, but now I am going to tell about the western part’s characteristics.
(What is) like the life?
I usually ask people if what they do in their free time, what they like? They like watching movies – they say. And what kind of films? Nigerian. And why? Because it is told there what like is the life! Tell me an example, please. For example how you can find out if your husband cheats on you and so on.
So they can see how it feels when their best friend betrays and robs them, causes them difficulties. Well, Nigeria is a good school for life. Life is like this there, accordingly it is the same anywhere else in Africa. Hard world.
It is also happend at my host family in Burkina Faso that they gave advancement to the master who naturally disappeared after that and caused them difficulties. In this way roof will never be on the house. ’Neither money, neither beize’, ( I mean: roof.) as the hungarian proverb says.
Nigerians are not liked either, here in Gambia, because they commit crime, they decieve
people. However everyone admits that they are very smart and fast. Either I do.
Nigeria in a little traffic
Foreign teachers are mainly imported to Gambia. They come here alone to work to get free from their family. So they don’t have to support their whole family i.e. other 20 relatives, who do nothing. However if a Gambian undertook this (teacher) position he would have to support that 20 people in his family because he couldn’t tell a lie at home that he doesn’t get enought money, he spends it for renting a flat etc.,. Since they see how much he recieves.. the village is small. But the salary is not enought for that 20 people. So rather they don’t go to work as a teacher. It is an interresting way of thinking whatever happens. If I won’t get into a better situation why shoud I sweat for the rest lazy pople?
Guinea-Bissau – waiting for water in thecapital city
One of the family members used to be a police officer who explained the letters of the word „police” this way: „polite, obedient, loyal, intelligent, courtesy, efficient”. I whis it would be like this.
In general we deal with the dark side of the colonization, however if we see it from the europeans’ point of view there were a civilizational sense of mission in the Europeans and they go there with their own value system f.e. to Africa. They thought, they supposed that Africa waits for evangelism so they tried to naturalize such a structure there what was strange to the local culture. There is room for debate if it was good or bad…but time may have proved their right, as education is the only way out from poverty in Africa today.
I gave a lecture with slide-projector in Gambia
If do they need to have education, more comfort, healthcare system, clear water, less epidemic?
Order? So there is given less possibility for the „vendetta”-type blood-feud. Anyway there is enought place for the vengeance in their legends and in their everyday life untill today.
Ultimately I borrowed a school book and there was asked to pay attenction of „beware of book piracy” on its reverse side.
Chiken is on the road – Gambia
But let’s tell that, if someone bought a false one how does he/she get to know about this warning? Or if the warning is also on it, it is a good imitation.
Conversely it fulfills its original function in theory because you (can) decide if you want it like this or not. How it is questionable for me, too, because a little photo is attached to their book titled Social and environmantal study, which tries to teach the north-south direction, but this photo interpretes badly the text, so we shouldn’t wonder that they won’t have a clue about the north and south.
Therefore the problem is not caused by the piratical edition but the book was written poorly originally.
And I don’t want to show further again but if neither the author, nor the teacher knows it, what comes out of that??? So that’s all that there is, what we can see, if we go beyond the surface and the stereotypes.
Senegal – scene in the kitchen
Usually the students don’t get homework but in turn once a family memeber came home, he/she got the task to collect all presidens and capitals of 30 countries (nem akarok nagyon beleszólni, de esetleg meg lehetne említeni, hogy afrikai vagy európai országokra gondolsz..). I understand the latter but the leadears are totally unnecessary, that doesn’t add anything to their knowledge, when even they haven’t got a clue about where Europe is situated. There are taught needless „grains of sand”, that is endless. This is unnecessary and impossible. Instead they should learn about the desert’s laws, characteristics. Well that’s all about it.
Model for big familie
I experienced this in several places that the parents are never together with their children, don’t play and I didn’t either see the warm relation between men and women, that they would huddle up against, perphaps they would hug each other. Therefore I looked for public opinions about its reason. More people admitted this but only one person succeded to say reasons, when I asked about it. He/she told if you play with them, he/she meant with the children, the other people thinks they are silly.
Going to the church
According to the other reason if you degrade to the children you won’t be respected as a parent. They conceived it that usually the grandmother acts the part of person, who takes care of the children. Well, it is interresting…
The grandmother cooks, washes the cloths, feeds. The grandfather disciplines so he will be the authority in the family. In turn they achives that the kids are going to fear (and respect) from their father. So violence – respect – fearness… with this I may have described the modern political and social structure of Africa. It is quite rough…
Coming of Islam
Anyway I know that the islam arrived here with the merchants at first but it follows they gain economical power, after that they worn themselves into political power to. Then the next step is that they displace the old leaders and they rises to power. Generally it happens in the following way: they state about the cheef, the boss, he wanted to kill them. Therefore they declare dzsihad against him and burn everything around him, because now they own not just the econiomical, but the religious support as well to execute this. Compared to this, Europeans just carried slaves at the very start, they didn’t encroached, they even didn’t send missionaries.
Anyway the coming of islam was also helped at the end of the 11th century, that they gained economical power by the trade. Therefore the people started to close, to believe in the islam religion’s supernatural power, that makes people wealthier. Finally they also reimbursed (it comes again I have already written that they adopt religion because of interest).
Dzsudzsu magic close to the body, Gambia
So, I usually ask people about the colonization, f.e. did it ever have a positive effect? In genreral they say yes to the education because before there wasn’t education at all. But lots of people also criticize it. They say that Europeans created it only for the colonizer bureaucrats have local reinforcements, f.e. writer.
Now I would transale it as they educated for the reason locals have a job.
As other positice affect was told that the country became international so it got a view for other cultures, other technical civilizations.
Benin, no for the slavery
Anyway if we take a look to the slavery objectively, it had excisted before on local level, too. The neighbour tribes’ and villages’ residents were forced to be slave, they have them worked on the lands generally. Women were raped, animals were sent away, men were killed. This was the situation before the white people arrived. So there was nothing new in this, just that, they were taken into an unkown country.
I just add to this that now the same thing is happening. They are in the same slavery, just it is us who knocks on the frontdoor of the factory. In the point of Africa they try to knock into Europe, catch up us, even to get to an unkown land. They sell themselves and work day and night for little money, that it is still better than the uncertain future and exposure to permanent danger at home. However they don’t confess it in this context.
Well, as I read their history book, it is written that they had evolved states long before the colonization, too. The „chef-system” was born with the administration, so the „boss structure”, what reportedly operated wonderfully. But then there is only one question I have. If 50 years ago, when these african countries achived their independece, why didn’t they returend to this wonderful system?
Africa needs support?
The missionaries appeared only after the slavery trade ended. They purchased land, built schools, so in any way we swear at this system, there were people who got energy into Africa – let’s says it like that – to make it suitable for the existance in the new structure.
The bosses have to be payed down to send their kids to school! It is absurd! But this tumbled around 1846, because the bosses usually sent someone else indstead of their own children, becuase they were afraid of killing them by the white people.
Gambia – the elections is the get-out?
They weren’t just taugth to write and read by the missionaries but embroidery, too. The monks took care about the poor and the sick people in their residual free time as well. So they didn’ just teach writing and maths but also practical things! And now they throw this to our head? If they had learnt that before Africa wouldn’t be in a situation like this today.
There were some taboos in their old systems such as the women shouldn’t eat black pigeons because they won’t have milk. Anything they did on Saturday they had to repeat. However I guess these habits can be new if they think about days.
They don’t call anyone loudly at nigth because the bad ghosts get to know that person’s name and they will haunt him/her.
Can the youth make change?
So the name has always had magical power. If someone owns the name he/she owns that person, too. That’s the reason that everyone’s name is secret when he/she gets it. By the magic’s appearance in Europe, the insider people had also got an own secret name with. And if somonene answered for the calling of this secret name he/she surely were going to die.
In Western Africa is typical that people vistit the „marabu”, so the local woodoo saman to ask curse for their displeased acquaintances. It doesn’t matter if that person is poor, the main thing is he/she shouldn’t succeed what he/she is doing etc. The woodoo works, that’s why Africa is poor. It is interresting for me why they don’t ask well-being for themselves instead, why they ask bad for others.. this tells a lot about their culture.
New Africa? The money would solve the problems? No!
So than you shouldn’t care about others are OK as well if I am OK too, so it wouldn’t be disturbing. So it seems the base turn of mind is that we degrade people around us. Of course it is not only true in Africa.
The marabus, let’s tell the samans, creat the so called „dzsodzso”. These are generally crops packed in goatskin or islamic texts because of extension of this religion. So they were quasi talismans what people kept around their waist or arms and this protected and cured them if it was needed.
But these are the latest ones, so not the traditionals but they were samans of the islam.
For example, my host’s sister suffered from anemia and she couldn’t be cured by the western methods. So she visited a traditional saman who bathed her and prepared her a medicine. Of course she got worse, therefore she had to sit into boiled water. This helped, so finally she recovered.
There also were taboos such as it is banned to use wooden tooth-cleaner during the night, at a meeting or at sunset. It is also banned to frighten the kids because they are usually be collected by slave collectors during this.
There were also a tribe where it was banned to touch an aligator. Well, I am curious about if who tends to palpate them.. but it is obvious these are quasi statute books and they regular the cohabitation. They are in taboo form because in this way superstitious people are going to observe the rules. The true is they don’t really care with common sense.
In South Africa, if someone wants to cure himself from AIDS he has to rape a virgin girl, or to eat albinos in Tanzania.. But why them? Why is it easear to kill someone instead of putting up a condom? In Congo you need to eat pigmies for this wonderful healing. Madness! I am telling it serously.
Senegal, albino man, but why them?
But the only thing I cannot understand why everyone continues to do these habits despite noone gets better from the AIDS sickness? Why? Isn’t the stupidity immortal? Not even here.
Xmas thoughts by crossing border to Laos (reloaded 2005)
I had to leave Thailand after two months because my visa expired. I couldn’t go to Burma by land and returning to get a new Thai visa, because Thailand wouldn‘t let me back through that border as I’m being Hungarian citizen I cant get visa on arrival here. In Burma it is not allowed to stay, just a day. So if I exit Thailand I cant return and the same way/day. I can’t stay in Burma legally too. It would be interesting to sleep on the border bridge in noman’s land, then settle down, make a new state and collect money for crossing my territory, as Burma and some other countries do with the tourists.
So lets go to Laos. Nearing to the Laos border in East Thailand the poverty is more visible, nobody speaks English and body language doesn’t work here. Is it the real face of Thailand; or the modern Bangkok? At the border I had to pay a penalty because I overstayed my visa (but according the stamp not), but there was not too much option for me because if I retune to any city to any immigration office I will waste more time and money anyway.
But this was an occasion what made me think about the subject (theme) of: relationship between the state and the citizens. How the ‘social contract’ (using terminology of Rousseau) become one-sided, how we (citizens) lost control over the state? It is my permanent doubt, how can I be a part of (any) system and if not, why not? Hegel said in his law-philosophy: people get relationship to each other, but the real truth and ethic they get only through the state which validates their (our) contract. Hmm, it arranges the relationship between the people but doesn‘t speak too much about my relationship with the state. And I speak not just about the fact that I cannot choose: whether state integrate to (or to be interned) me?
I was burn into a system of stable rules (into existing system) where I have to keep the rules. But what about the other side? Why the police, tax office, politicians etc. Why are they not keeping the contract the same rules? I feel myself not in the correct situation. What can I do? Against the system I can’t do anything in a direct way. So instinctively I made ‘passive resistance’ with an illegal job, not asking for the bill etc., and being loyal to the people who feel like me. (Who’s reflex works on the same way.)
So then I was faced with the question: do I want to be part of this system? Or a more exciting question: May I be not part of the system?? In other dimension: May I wish for non-polluted air, respected environment??This is a question for the families too/also who want educate their children at home , but the state (low) force them to bring their children to the public school. (It happened recently in Hungary, even the parents were teachers and the Judge checked the parent’s ability. Law is law.)
Am I a member of the society? Am I Hungarian? Can I use these labels? The unity of organic societies (nation, tribe, family) traditionally given through the land and religion. (Blood and Earth. There was initiations for the young members) But nowadays the people get relationship through mechanical process as society, market, and state. Am I Hungarian?
If I think in the “culture nation” where we have common and deep mental – spiritual tradition: my answer would be yes without any doubt. But if I think of “state nation” where the community is founded by the constitution (which relationship I think is only one sided) , my answer: I’m not sure because of the atrocities that I suffered in my the past.(with all beaurocratic system)
The Hungarians are a strange nation. There is a joke about us, when Lucifer guarded nations in hell he didn’t have to look after Hungarians when they wanted to escape because they pulled each others down in the bottom of hell. Or another saying: If there are two Hungarians they never have the same opinion. Or: if your neighbor’s cow died they wish yours will die too! (You can be sure yours will die soon.) During our history there was just fighting against each other and our nation suffered much more than others.
So after all, it is a miracle how we react when we are hearing our national anthem – we are full of emotions together. Maybe not a miracle just a genetic law, as we lost our archaic models, and get out from the primary community (tribe, village), we becoming individuals. But we need the feeling of the community, so we want to step into the relationship (being a good citizen) even though we know it is not balanced relation (the state and me), just one sided contract. Usually we become a part of the system because we don‘t want (not strong enough) to change it.
The state doesn’t want strong people!! (Look at our lifestyle, education system tending towards to, etc. The state need people who don’t questioned the system which suit them to keep their influence (economical, religious etc). So these people silently will suffer this system. (Good citizens) If we want to re-arrange the relationship, the contract – we will be the bad people, be punished, evacuated, killed, expelled etc. Theoretically democracy let us have a chance to renew this contract but “though we are a lot, but it is too few” and we don ‘t gain/find contact with each other (and many times even we can’t find ourselves J because we are weak).
So how can we put a new stamp on the contract? Can we put a new stamp on the contract (Were the Old and New Testament this kind of contract where the changes became officiousness?) All modern culture-nations tended to be state-nations, finding a state possibility (frame) for that culture. But it takes time (eg. Switzerland) and needs a common political culture and constitution which pays attention to regional interests. In this way different cultures finding a new “language” as for example: the good standard of living.
This year Hungary join the European community. This community doesn’t hurt our Hungarian identity. So the question: to be Hungarian or not to be it just depend on us (me), on our feeling.. But to create a culture-nation is different: it is not possible create with ideology (eg. Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Sovietunion) making (creating) a common past without common language and culture.
The research of communist ideas failed on that countries. The “war-front friendship” in WW1 was a good example about separation of the official ideology and the private (people’s) feeling. In the “official hours” they shot each other and in the evening they played cards together. Of course if there is had been brainwashing before, it would have not happened this front friendship. And the states know it. The modern military training is about it.
The media brainwashing before the modern wars is necessary to avoid this kind of self consciousness. To be a part of the state or not? How much do I have to give up of my freedom (free thinking)? May I equalize the nation and the state? Where is the limit? Where should I let them in (politically and ideologically) and where I need free decisions? And who is standing under the power of whom? Who writes the contract? And who will renew it? May I be an independent part of the system? Unfortunately not. Maybe yes,- I thought – if I’m not at home. But unfortunately not, as I realized at the immigration office. Stepping on the land of Laos and I found the bureaucracy centre (immigration office) and they ask me money for the stamp (I had visa already). This is the relation between the system and us!!
So I paid the entrance fee and this way I signed the “contract”. This is a relationship between the states and their citizens. So let’s go back to the present continuos tense. Many trucks were waiting at the border which will closes at 6pm inspite of the big traffic. The fees for the custom control are signposted. Drivers paying, but the office is close soon. The drivers, I think, are not too happy wait one more day because the government don’t put more officers or let the border open longer. So the drivers can experience the one sided contract too. And where is the person’s decision? Not too much option. One of my two selves told me: Gabor stay at home and you don ‘t need to be in this situation.
But my other self said: if you stay at home even it is even worse because there is the same problem but permanently.So I entered Laos and sat in the pick ups back with another 25 fellows and in these few square meter still waiting for some more!! Yes they are very economic and anyway there is no traffic on the roads just every 5-10 minutes one truck or pick up full of passengers and goods passes. Pakse – The hotel is dirty and expensive because there is no competition. I arrived to communism. In the the board a rule attract my attention: gambling and political meetings are prohibited. In some hotels it is even warnings: bringing gun and explosive materials is forbidden. I must use left (communist) thinking and driving.
This system kills the human will to work or to do anything. Making will-less citizens. Even though in their communist flag were the hammer and sickle, but it doesn’t make them to work more then necessary. Life stopped in 1975 (the date of the revolution). The houses are in bad condition and were repaired by the French colonist last time. Being a French colony only gastronomically thing left, is the baguette. Pakse as a small town has two bus stations 15 km from each other and no public bus! So if you want to go to north you have to take the shared taxi which is expensive compared to my previous 50-km travel to the city. (Interesting to observe why in Thailand cheaper the transport if they giving more comfort and there is less people and the petrol more expensive?
What makes this communist country ineffective? There was a small bridge where they employed one policeman to push the button controlling the traffic light. The official inflation is 1% and bank interest is 6 %. The best business. So why don’t people invest in capital in this country?? Maybe they know how the communist statistic works? Their money is called “kip” and on every note there is the same face looking at us. Cult, but not culture. Very sad if one nation doesn’t have any other national hero or poem expect the president (and sad if the famous people were discriminated against, expelled and denied possibilities.)
Laos’s population is 6 million (I think more) and having territory the same size as Britain. The country is rich in natural resources but the people are poor. I think the difference is ending up in someone’s pocket (leaders, opportunist loyalist). Average official salary is 20$ but of course everyone can earn black money. This is the socialism. A few years ago the government started to allow the private enterprise. New economical wind.
The temples are in bad condition but the monks are nice. One of them asked me to teach the English tenses to him. I tried and afterwards he showed me the secret part of the temple. It seems the English tenses are the magic words for “open sesame”. The long distance buses are full even on the top, looking like the bottom of a big camel and inside also packed with chickens. The village people come to buy food into the city. Such a paradox!! And of course Thai music on the bus. Very strong cultural pressure from Thailand. The Chinese influence is more economic and to expand they offered to build a road for Laos to the Thai border giving the free flow of Chinese products to confront the Thai economy. .
The 4000 islands in the Mekong River is remote and quiet part of south Laos. Many island still have no electricity but have TV. They use accumulators to get power transporting from the main land. I spent my New Year eve here meeting a man who studied in Soviet-union so we could speak in Russian! He was really happy to talk Russian again and remember his youth. On this island we can find the only railway in Laos! Yes, built by French to supply the colony. Here the Mekong drop and has beautiful waterfalls around this area and the biggest in South East Asia. But I arrived too early so I watched as they were emptying the garbage bin into the water.
This is the island where you can meet dolphins but not too many of them because of fishing with grenades in Cambodian side killed and expelled them. Here we can see the house of the president and easy to find it because the asphalt road lead only to his house. Rest of the island is dirt road. Yes, in the communist system everybody is equal. (But some of them more equal – as Orwell wrote in the animal farm. Silent place but the tourism arrived. It was difficult to find local restaurant!On the field near to the village a group of children had caught a snake and they brought it around the village as proudly as a winners cup. Singing and colourful birds, and time for rice planting so the peasant used water buffalo to cultivate soil. Some people use water pipe made from bamboo to smoke.
The young monks were begging me for cigarettes and always asking me whether was I married. I cycled around and was invited to a wedding again. I was the most welcome person and I got as many good wishes as the young couple. And then, to loud music everybody including the grandmother was dancing. And drinking. Surprisingly the women were drinking as well the young people. Here I met another man who studied in Baku, Sovietunion, so I could communicate with someone in Russian. I got lift with Thai ex-students to CHAMPASAK to the temples which are part of the world heritage. Strange combination: Hindu trimurty statues in Buddhist dress. Special but eclectic. On the road side I found a Buddha statue and the tree growing around him. I liked very much.
BOLAVEN PLATEAU here grow the most expensive coffee in the world. The nature gave me a surprise here. A 60-meter high waterfall jumped out from the jungle. It was not mentioned in the guidebooks nor even anyone in the village. Quiet and green so I loved this place. In this area there were many small tribal villages with just a path leading there, where the naked children were hunting for fish with arrows. One man was hammering a piece of warmed metal to make a knife. Young 5-6 year old children were pounding/smash the rice in a wooden pot. Chickens, pigs, dogs around you as usual.
The structure of the village was interesting: in the middle there was a ghost house where they make a ceremonies and sacrifice cows and around in the circle was he village itself. In the village I asked for water but the people just showed me the river. Real life. Leaving the plateau I wanted to make a shortcut to North Laos but local people told me there was no road. I didn‘t believed them (as usual) so I went. There was a road of course, so I hitchhiked. Behind the car was a huge dust cloud because there is just a dirt road. It is 100 % sure that here is no foreigner. I stopped at a village and immediately I was the guest of two marriages. I started to think about this country: is here always marriages?
SAVANNAKHET an old city on the bank of the Mekong river with many restaurant but they are empty as a Balaton lake in Hungary in the low season. Sad. There are some shops selling everything which you need for a romantic walk at the full moon evening: lock, tuner, torch, equipments to repair your bicycle etc. The atmosphere is a little bit like as a south Catalonian village. Wonderful buildings in bad conditions saying to you: we had better times 100 years ago during the French rule. But for contrast there is a huge and new Catholic Church in its garden folk are playing football. Another popular game is the French Pétanque. The poverty of the city is not problem just a felt disharmony with the present. I felt the aroma (the brilliant past) of this city which had gone. Kind of a ghost town. The poor villages are OK, there never was any difference and everyone socialized in that environment. But here was a declination.
Vientiane –the capitol city Gabor Csonka the Hungarian vandorboy
If you want to travel this year to Georgia with me, contact me for the details
our journey starts on 3th july 2015
For the the program click here
Mindaz amit látni lehet a korai kereszténység gyöngyszemeiből, változatos építészettel és gyönyörű tájakkal, valamint barátságos emberekkel, érdekes nyelvekkel, kulturális és gasztronómiai élvezetekkel, mindezeket és sok mást ezen az úton mindenki garantáltan megtalálhatja. Változatos programunkban látványos részei az UNESCO világörökség részét képező műemlékek is, de nem csak történelmi városok, várak, kolostorok, templomok, zarándokhelyek, barlang városok szerepelnek ajánlatunkban, hanem tavak, erdők, sivatagi táj, hegyek, gleccserek, hőforrások, és borvidékek meglátogatása is. Pár fotó ízelítőnek: