Imagine yourself on the beach: white sand, blue sky, unbearable sun, sublime water, the sound of the sea/ocean surrounding you. You turn right or left and you see only white people around you. If you make abstraction of the nature, you can easily say you are somewhere in the West of Europe. And then you observe that the only locals of the “exotic” island are working, asking you if you want something to drink, bringing you food or trying to make you feel more comfortable on a private beach.
While visiting Willemstad, the capital of Curacao island, we took a trip back in time at the Slavery Museum – Kura Hulanda. The owner appears in several pictures around Africa – a Dutch man who built the museum, gathered the objects exposed inside and redesigned the entire area. The guide told us that the area, in which the museum stands today, was one of the worst ones in the city. Multiple locals visiting the museum are impressed of how beautiful it is recreated. And I need to admit that it is like a small village in the heart of the city, a complex of hotel, restaurants and the museum. The tour will start with different exponents the owner bought, dating back to Mesopotamia. It takes around 30 minutes and the tension will increase as you don’t see any connection with the island; you will just wait and wait. And then, suddenly, you exit and in the garden you see the statue of Nina Simone. Here the speech is changing, we are entering into the sad history of the island. We learn about the invasions on the island, first Spanish and Portuguese and then Dutch. The guide will show how people used to threat people, holding them, beating them, enslaving them. You will visit a room modeled as the ships on which the people from Africa used to be brought to the Caribbean. Stories, different stories about cruelty and the “glorious opportunism” the whites saw in the weakness of African people. It is almost impossible to process the information, it is hard to believe that humans were able to do this to other humans. And when you think that not that much time passed it is even harder. Did you know that Germany had also an important role in the slave trade? You can read about it here. The last tour in the museum is a small trip in Africa: gods, masks, Egyptian gates, houses.
The museum is a MUST for any traveler in Curacao and not only. We should learn from past mistakes, be more kind with each other, we are all humans. But as we arrived in Amsterdam we were announced that there will be a dog control as we get out the plane. The only person controlled in front of us (already 75% of the passengers out) was black, even if the dog didn’t reacted in a certain way. Discrimination shouldn’t have a place in this world.