12 February, 2011

Kunabrev + gravplass

Jeg ble vist gravplassen, som er formet som en liten landsby.

Det er ikke lett å lage fotdekorasjonene – shakiraer..
"Paul i Kuna Yala", del 2: Dette brevet fortsetter der det slapp i Kuna-konflikten, som jeg postet for et par dager siden. Det dreier seg om den av urbefolkningsgruppene i Panama som går under navnet Kuna. Mange av dem bor på østkysten, i et isolert og autonomt landområde. Jeg var der noen uker, og mener jeg har mitt på det tørre når jeg påstår de har en sosial ukultur.

I "vesten" har vi tradisjon for å betrakte urbefolkningsgrupper med 500 års dårlig samvittighet og omvendt rasisme. De har såvisst blitt behandlet som hunder av våre forfedre, men det gir dem likevel ikke rett til å svine til naturen og behandle meg ufint i dag. Siste halvdel av mitt åpne brev til dem følger nedenfor. Det er ført i pennen for syv år siden, så juster prisene for inflasjon. I min neste Kuna-post kommer enda en video, og en artikkel som er vinklet mer positivt enn dette, så vennligst ikke fordøm meg fullstendig for mitt arrogante menneskesyn før bildet er komplett.

Hun vokter en grav, som holdes ren og pen
Her slapp jeg sist: I have some ideas that has proven to work really well in other places. In the following, you will see my suggestion of how to treat a tourist:
  • ARRIVAL AT AIRPORT: Charge no landing tax of one dollar and twenty-five cents, and transport the tourists to your island free of charge.
  • INTRODUCTION IN VILLAGE: Explain to the tourists that you charge ten dollars per person for the right to see your communities, and ensure them that these money will benefit the whole society, providing equipment for school, hospital, water supply, administration etc. Then give the tourists a general introduction to the island, pointing out the school, the hospital, the direction of the cemetery and the coconut plantation. Then take them on a brief short tour of the island, after informing them that they must always ask before taking a photo, as some people do not wish to be photographed. Also tell them not to give money or gifts to children on the street.
  • FREE TOUR: Start by giving each tourist a coconut to drink. Many have not tried that before, they will love it. Then take them to see people constructing houses and building boats. Explain briefly about the traditional techniques used. Show women working on their molas and shakiras, artisans working with wood, hats and hammocks. Anything available will do, and the visitors will love it. Some of them will probably give a tip to the guide after the tour, if he has done a good job. The tourists will now feel very welcomed, and might have questions or desire to explore on their own. Before they do, inform them of what the island offers: 
  • LODGING: Present two kinds of lodgings. If they want to sleep in a bed, you should offer clean rooms with a new set of bed sheets every day, toilet paper and soap and a nice breakfast with for example coffee/tea, chicha, bread, fruit and egg. For this you can charge ten dollars. The other option is to sleep in a hammock in a house and eat breakfast with the family, to the price of five dollars per night. This will be an adventure to many tourists. 
  • RESTAURANTS: The restaurants must offer traditional meals with ingredients like fish, bread fruit, platano, lobster and coco. Hamburgers are only for emergencies. 
  • GUIDED TOURS: You can offer tours to the beach, to the coco-nut plantation, up the river or to other islands. The price would depend on the number of tourists. Some would probably like to try to paddle their own cayuco. 
  • HANDICRAFT AND MUSEUM: Last, but not least, tell the visitors that all buying of handicraft must happen in the museum/cooperative. This can be a house divided in two sections. In one section they should be shown some traditional artefacts and old instruments. In the other section they will see a wide selection of the local production; molas, wood figures, paintings, hammocks, hats, etc. You have a lot to offer, and here the tourists can look at it with no pressure. On the back of each item, place the fixed price and the name of the artisan. A small part of the price could benefit the museum.
Rikelino, en dyktig båtbygger, med hans familie. Virkelig en god mann.
RESULT: The tourists will feel relaxed and welcome, so they will be tempted to stay longer, return another time and recommend the island to other tourists. Changes will not happen over night, but with time, Mulatupu Sasardi will be mentioned in the guide books as the friendly and traditional island in San Blas.

The threats of the alternative
If island life continues to develop as it does today, then the beaches will be jammed with garbage and kids will learn to beg for money by their parents, as soon as they see a camera. Some tourists will give money or gifts, and so the children will be even more encouraged to beg. They will then be less appreciative of their parents and often spend the money in candy and soda, even cigarettes and beer. The increased begging will scare many tourists away, and give a bad image of the island. Only sick people beg, it is without honor.

In the future, people will also drink more alcohol, use more drugs and see more television, making them more violent and less social. Many islanders have told me that I must pay for taking a photo because I can sell the photo and earn money. What they do not understand is that 99% of all travelers do not sell their pictures. They merely take them as souvenirs to their friends and family. And it is not possible, as one man told me, to record a song on the island and make a CD of it. It simply does not happen. In my case, I put my photos on the internet, which is like a big computer library where everyone can see my images, free of charge.

Jeg fikk veldig fin kontakt med ungene her, disse tre er totalt kule.
I also film a documentary for Norwegian television, which means I earn money filming. Very few are like me, I am an exception, and my salary is low, after Norwegian standards. What you should be aware of, however, is that every single photo or video recording that leaves your island, is a helping hand in tempting more tourists to come. It is promotion. Do not be mad, if you see an old woman from Mulatupu Sasardi on the front page of a magazine. It can happen one day, and when it does, thousands of people that never knew that the Kunas even exist, will learn about you.

Thanks to my program, 500 000 Norwegians will learn that you make a roof of 2500 branches, that your coco-nuts are of very good quality and that your handicraft is beautiful. That really helps, but still I had to pay around a hundred dollars during my stay, just to film it! In the 53 countries I had traveled, I never saw people as greedy as you. You actually demand that I pay you to do you a very big favor. Every good photo that leaves Kuna Yala, helps Kuna Yala. Think about it. And even if you might think I am rich, I can not afford a house in my country, I do not own a car and I do not own a television set. But I love my bicycle, I love the children of Mulatupu and I still love traveling. I hope you will consider my advice above. If God wants, I will return in ten years time, to see how things are going.

Sincerely, Paul Olai-Olssen viajero – productor - fotografo

 Hva jeg enn misliker ved Kunaenes væremåte, har det INGEN TING med denne jenta å gjøre ...
(følg serien "Paul i Kuna Yala")

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