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segunda-feira, abril 18, 2005

Diário de viagem
4 de Março

Logo de manhã, o nosso amigo S. vem ter connosco com o jornal na mão, sorridente. De facto, não há melhor do que ler uma notícia sobre o povo português quando se está do outro lado do mundo. Sobretudo se, de acordo com essa notícia, há quem não pense em nós como um bando de hobbits, baixinhos, escuros e de bigode.

Guardei o recorte do jornal e transcrevo aqui esta notícia incrível:

Acehnese lament the disappearance of their blue-eyed heritage
Agence France-Presse in Lamno

Hundreds of years after Portuguese settlers landed in Aceh, one of their most enduring legacies has been their contribution to the local gene pool.
The coastal villages near Lamno have for generations been famed for their fair-skinned, blond-haired and even blue-eyed people, testi-mony to the European sailors' presence four centuries ago.

But although some of the fair-skinned locais are still around, residents say that not one of the blue-eyed descendants survived the tsunami, "There were only a dozen or só of them in each village and they're all dead," says Jamil, a worker from the hamlet of Ujong Muloh, not far from Lamno en the west coast of the province.

Along the miles of battered coastline, palm trees and whole houses have been swept away by the waves. Paddy fields have become salt-encrusted islands and women wearing matted pakn-leaf hats spend their days burning washed up debris on the beach. Locals refer to the fair-skinned simply as "the Portuguese".
The Portuguese arrived in Indonesia in the 16th century, before being chased out by Dutch colonial forces.
There were families with blue eyes. They used to live by the sea but they all died”, explains another local, echoing a familiar refrain among the temporary camps around Lamno where people uprooted from their homes and livelihoods now live.

In the local school in Meutara, two or three children look more like European children than Indonesians, but none have blue eyes.
Too young to attend classes, Rauzatul Jannah has a shock of blond hair that would let her pass for a Scandinavian child. The three year old is well known in the area and in the wake of the tsunami her fame is only set to grow.
In the small port of Glee Jong, Wardiah, 25, scratches an outline in the ground where a simple wooden building used to stand. "Over there, there used to be a family of people with blond hair and blue eyes, but they died."
She has features like other locals but surprisingly fair skin. "People ask me where I'm from and I tell them I'm from Lamno."

Girls from the area have always drawn the attention of neighbouring Indonesians. Suitors have for years been visiting the region in the hope of leaving with a bride.
According to local legend, the "women with doll's eyes" were sometimes stolen away against their will to other parts of the archipelago.

Djunaidi, 20, has pale skin. At school, children would call him the albino, he says. While three out of four people from the village were killed in the tsunami, he explains he was able to reach the hills.
Cut Chairiah, 36, a local official recounts how during traditional Muslim festivais, Glee Jong filled with people's visiting relatives, giving the impression the village had been taken over by Europeans.

On the outskirts of Lamno, volunteers are still busy collecting the decomposing bodies of those killed two months ago. None has seen any blue-eyed survivors.
One question tempting locals is whether the recessive blue eyes will again be thrown up by the gene pool and return to the region one of its treasures.

South China Morning Post, 4 de Março de 2005