THE CHAMELEON AND THE BUFFALO: Peace Boat passengers learn about trauma and reconciliation in Mozambique

Photo: At the port of Maputo, Peace Boat arranged an arts and music cultural festival with partners in Mozambique. The festival featured traditional Japanese arts such as Taiko drumming, and Mozambican dances. (Joseph Hincks)
At the port of Maputo, Peace Boat arranged an arts and music cultural festival with partners in Mozambique. The festival featured traditional Japanese arts such as Taiko drumming, and Mozambican dances. (Joseph Hincks)

The power was out at the Cidadela das Criancas orphanage and the visitors from Peace Boat waited in the dark dining hall. Somebody switched on a torch and then, a shriek: shiny bugs swarmed the open windows at the new light; they collided with faces, popping on the vinyl tablecloths and scuttling over laps. “At that point, I just wanted to go back to Japan,” said 21-year old passenger Jinno Akari later.

When Peace Boat docked in Maputo on December 18, Jinno joined a small group of passengers embarking on a two-day programme to learn about reconciliation initiatives after Mozambique’s civil war, which claimed the lives of more than 1 million people between 1977 and 1992.

Mozambique has seen an influx of foreign capital in recent years, however the majority of its population still works in industries such as agriculture and fishing. (Joseph Hincks)

Portugal’s colonization of Mozambique, which ended when the Europeans abruptly pulled out of the country in 1975, is regarded as having been particularly divisive —> Read More Here

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