quinta-feira, 10 de maio de 2012
''A WHALE OF A TIME IN GREENLAND''
Greenland's summer solstice was momentous. Not only did the Arctic island throw off the yoke of colonialism, but also locals feasted on the flesh of rare whales, writes a news editor for The Economist ...
Given the choice of subsisting on seal or whale I would plump for the former, without enthusiasm. A mouthful of seal flesh has little to recommend it, unless you are drawn to a slippery, dark, lamb-like meat that tastes as if it had been left to stew in a dirty aquarium. But neither is whale tempting: chewing its skin is like gnawing a strip of leather soaked in cod-liver oil. In either case, at least on the first encounter, a diner is likely to experience a faint sense of nausea. If you must have whale, cetacean biltong (whale jerky) is more palatable than the fresh stuff.
Most Greenlanders, however, relish both meats when the chance arises. A recent weekend in Nuuk, the Greenlandic capital, saw a triple excuse to indulge. The summer solstice, which serves as the national day, coincided both with the replacement after 30 years of a much-disliked government and with celebrations for throwing off (sort of) three centuries of Denmark’s colonial yoke. As a result, Nuuk was in a festive mood. The pretty red-and-white Greenlandic flag fluttered from every bus, official building and school-child’s hand. The town was criss-crossed by processions of men in white anoraks and jovial women in coloured beads and embroidered seal-skin outfits. Visiting dignitaries enthusiastically ripped veils from new pieces of public art: in one square revealing a statue of seals at play, while above the town beach appeared three slabs of concrete holding aloft a ball of stone.