Tunisia: a fantastic country

  Speaking of Tunisia, the vast majority of Chinese may know little about this North African country, but every “Star Wars fan” will at least say: Oh, I know George Lucas’ movie “” Star Wars was filmed there, and the exterior scenes of Skywalker’s home planet, Dardoni, were taken from the peculiar scenery of southern Tunisia. Indeed, it would be a shame to go to Tunisia without seeing the Star Wars filming locations. When I went to Tunisia, I drove from Tripoli, Libya, past Zuwara and along the rugged mountain road to a place that moviegoers have long been familiar with, looking for familiar scenes from the film.
  It’s not a big place, but it’s here, sldi Driss, the home of Luke Skywalker in the first Star Wars movie “The place that everyone dreams of going to, for “Star Wars fans”, this is the holy place in their hearts. Today, this is a small hotel, all its rooms are underground, the words “Star Wars” are written in English on the wall at the entrance, and some related movie stills are posted, so that people can immediately enjoy the fun Match the scene in reality to the scene in the movie. Although this little inn is so simple and humble, it can’t even compare to a rural family hotel, but its unique, rustic atmosphere makes people fascinated.
  In 1977, when the famous American director George Lucas was preparing to choose an ideal filming location for the first “Star Wars”, he found that Maitmata in southern Tunisia was the ideal place to shoot “Star Wars”. It is more than 20 kilometers away from Gabes. It consists of several villages, not only with unique scenery and peculiar buildings, but also attractions and cities suitable for different themes and backgrounds. The location of the mysterious planet Dardoni in the first film was shot in southern Tunisia, where the terrain is undulating and barren, like the surface of the moon.
  The Maitmata area, where Sidi Dris is located, is dominated by Berbers. In the 11th century AD, due to the rapid expansion of the Arabs, the Berbers who originally lived in central and southern Tunisia were forced to move south, and some of the residents moved to today’s Maitmata area. It is hot and dry here, with temperatures as high as 40 to 50 degrees in summer. The clever Berbers dig caves in the soft yellow soil, dig a large pit as a patio, and then dig holes in the walls of the pit for living. It is not difficult to see from Sidi Dries that this typical cave dwelling is generally divided into two floors, each with a different function. In the past, local residents were mainly engaged in agriculture, but now they still live in cave dwellings that are warm in winter and cool in summer, and have converted their residences into small hotels for tourists, which are very popular with “Star Wars fans”. People here You can enjoy the unique taste of life. If you eat another Tunisian food “couscous” (cOUSCOUS), it will be a great enjoyment.
  I chose to enjoy my lunch here, sitting in Luke’s “home”, and the host served a hot couscous. This is the national food of Tunisians, we call it North African millet, it looks like Chinese millet, and it is also light yellow. In fact, Arabs in many countries in North Africa are very fond of this food. It is similar to Italian pasta. It is a small dough made of wheat flour, with braised beef or vegetables in it, which is steamed and eaten. I feel that it is a bit like the peasant meal eaten in rural northern China. A large pot of couscous is steaming, and the food is mixed together, which is very enjoyable to eat.
  Perhaps it is because of the infinite charm of Sidi Dries that in 1997, George Lucas returned to Tunisia with a crew of 250 people, and went deep into the oasis of Tuo and the Tataine Mountains to continue to complete his “Planet”. The Great War prequel. Like him, there are other famous directors who are fascinated by the scenery of southern Tunisia. The great director Steven Spielberg also came here to select the scene when he filmed “Raiders of the Lost Ark”: British director Anthony Minghella won the Oscar 9 for his shooting. When the award-winning film “The English Patient” was chosen, not only the desert and salt lakes of Tunisia were chosen as the film’s location, but also the lively streets of the region were filmed as Cairo, the capital of Egypt during the war.
  The shooting of many British and American blockbusters in Tunisia has brought considerable influence and benefits to the country’s tourism industry, and the Tunisian government’s tourism department has attached great importance to foreign media. When we drove to Tunisia, Mr. Tijan Hardy, Minister of Tourism of Tunisia, Vice Chairman of Tunisia-China Friendship Association, and Chairman of the World Tourism Association, hosted a banquet in person to receive us. Chinese Ambassador to Tunisia Liu Yuhe and many Chinese working in Tunisia also Attended the welcome event.
  I interviewed Mr. Tijan Hardy, Minister of Tourism of Tunisia, and he said: “I very much hope that you will introduce more of Tunisia’s culture, scenery, history, etc. to the Chinese people, so that the Chinese people can have a deep understanding of Tunisia and take Tunisia as your subordinate. A tourist destination.”
  Chinese Ambassador to Tunisia Liu Yuhe also told me: “The tourism department of the Tunisian government attaches great importance to this event, and they hope to promote more friendly exchanges between the people of China and Tunisia through your reports and publicity. ”
  In the welcome event, Mr. Tijan Hardy also specifically talked about his perception and impression of China, and enthusiastically introduced to me how Chinese tourists travel to Tunisia. He emphasized that Tunisian culture is extremely open. He said: “Unlike other Arab countries, Tunisia’s culture is deeply influenced by European culture, and the Tunisian government has a tolerant attitude towards ethnic and religious policies. Therefore, Tunisia’s culture integrates the characteristics of various ethnic groups and cultures. We can respect each other, tolerate and understand each other.”
  From Gabes to Tunisia, when we were
  in Libya, our cell phone signals were blocked, and we couldn’t communicate with the country for several days, which made some friends think that something happened to us. Later, when I drove to the Tunisian land crossing, there was a signal from Tunisia Telecom, and I quickly sent a text message to my home to report safety. Stayed in Gabes for the first night in Tunisia, then drove to Sfax, the second largest city in Tunisia, and then to Sousse, the third largest city. The weather is hazy and drizzle along the way. The scenery of Sousse has the charm of a small town in France and Italy. After the rain, the air in the city is fresh, and the weather is a little cold, but it feels very comfortable.
  The Colosseum in Sousse is what impressed me the most. From 146 BC to 439 AD, the Roman Empire ruled Tunisia for nearly 600 years. At the same time, the Romans brought European civilization to Tunisia. They built temples, arenas, and amphitheatres everywhere in Tunisia. These relics are still here today. . At the beginning of the 3rd century AD, the Romans built
  splendid building of two Berbers (Liu Wu sketch) in the shooting location of “Star Wars” in Sousse – El Jay The Colosseum, famous French writers Maupassant, Flaubert, etc. have all made a special trip to visit here, describing it as “the world’s most wonderful Colosseum”, “a sign and symbol of the existence of the Roman Empire in Africa”. This building, which is comparable to the arena in Rome, Italy, is 36 meters high, has 500 gates, and can accommodate 40,000 people. It is currently one of the three largest ancient arenas in the world.
  The height of the arena wall is five times that of the Forbidden City wall in Beijing. The arcades around the venue are connected with each other, which are tall and grand, and solemn, making people feel very small when walking. After I climbed up the stairs and entered the auditorium on each floor, I leaned over and looked down. The entire arena was like a flat cauldron. The open space where people and people, people and beasts were fighting, was flat and wide, with strong barriers and no A place of escape. Although there are ruins and broken walls now, I can still vaguely feel the scale and splendor of this huge building from the base of the thick stone and the thick broken granite columns. People who have watched the movie “Gladiator” can recall the thrilling gladiatorial scenes in the movie here, and recall the fierce and bloody stories of ancient Rome. At that moment, I almost forgot that I was in Tunisia, North Africa, and thought I was in Rome, Italy, or the ancient Roman Empire.
  Local residents talk about this arena,Naturally very proud and proud. A female student said to me: “We pass by this arena every day, and of course we know its history well. We are very happy to have such a monument next to us.”
  Another female student said: “It is a kind of Symbolism and description, it means that our city is very old, and it also shows that our culture here has long been influenced by the Romans.” On
  the way from Sousse to the capital Tunis, I saw neat olive groves everywhere, Tunisia is the world’s largest One of the main producers of olives, we drove along the way, there are olive groves on both sides of the road, and the towers of the mosques here are no longer round, but rectangular, with different styles. I also noticed that the life of Tunisians is very leisurely, and the small shops on the road are always full of people chatting and drinking coffee.
  When I traveled through the Tunisian countryside, it felt a little like entering the countryside described by some French or European writers. The cold climate, the unclear sky and the leisurely villagers sometimes pass by a small town full of white houses, sometimes pass through a dense olive grove, sometimes see a shepherd grazing a few sheep, or sometimes see a roadside Men in dark blankets and women in variegated fabrics, I just want to say that as an exotic traveler, even if the local scenery is very ordinary, it still feels wonderful.
  The night after arriving in Tunisia, the Chinese embassy in Tunisia invited us to have an unforgettable Chinese buffet at the embassy. The cabbage specially bought by Ambassador Liu Yuhe from Libya was very popular with us. The next night, a friend from Huawei in Tunisia invited us to have a steaming hot pot again. The atmosphere was so lively that it was like returning to China. Everyone drank Erguotou and sang karaoke. –In the city of
  Tunisia, I also had a small experience of getting lost. One day I was strolling on the street with a few friends, and suddenly found that there are old trams in Tunisia, so I walked slowly along the tram tracks, taking pictures and enjoying the pleasant scenery along the way. On the way back to the hotel, I got separated from my friends in the crowd. Considering that many local people do not understand English, I found a hotel, asked about the locals, and quickly found my place.
  ”White Lotus” on the Mediterranean Sea
   Tunisia is now a relatively developed country in Africa, where more than 900/0 are Arabs, and the rest are Berbers, Jews and other minorities. Islam is the state religion, and only a few people believe in Catholicism. Even so, in Tunisian cities and towns, people wearing traditional Arabian clothes are not very common anymore, and the Arab businessmen here are quite westernized. Not only young people use suits and jeans as their daily clothes, but also the upper class and intellectuals Wear more suits. Women basically don’t wear robes and headscarves, but wear a variety of popular European and American clothes, even modern women wearing fancy clothes are not uncommon. Its openness and freedom are evident.
  Like the Chinese, Tunisians are very hospitable, and the government, including the government, attaches great importance to tourism, and its tourism infrastructure is quite good. At present, there are more than 800 tourist hotels in Tunisia, 35% of which are four-star hotels and above, and the total number of beds exceeds 210,000. France, Germany, Italy and other European countries are the main source countries of Tunisia’s tourism industry. According to official statistics, since the beginning of the 21st century, Tunisia has received more than 5 million foreign tourists every year, earning more than 1.5 billion US dollars in foreign exchange, and it has been increasing day by day in recent years. Today, Tunisia has also signed a tourism cooperation agreement with China, and many Chinese people have begun to take Tunisia as their tourist destination.
  At the Chinese Embassy in Tunisia, I interviewed Ambassador Liu Yuhe. According to him, there are only more than 20 Chinese in Tunisia, and only more than 4,000 Chinese travel to Tunisia every year. He said: “The Tunisian government hopes that more Chinese people will come here, and their tourism minister also said that they will open more Chinese restaurants, so that more Chinese tourists can feel at home. I believe that with the development of China’s economy, With development and people’s income increasing, they will choose to travel more to Tunisia and experience the strange scenery here.”
  When I was in Tunisia, I also interviewed some Chinese working there, and they also praised the openness and beautiful scenery of Tunisia. , which was very unexpected to them. A businessman who runs a trade said to me: “I adapt very quickly here, I feel very free and happy.”
  Another girl who came to study here said: “There are fewer Chinese here, and the Tunisians are very warm to us, and we are very welcome wherever we go.” And a tourist said: “I don’t come here to work for a long time. It’s long, but the Tunisian landscape makes me feel very intimate, and I feel that the landscape here is very rich in layers.”
  The richness of the Tunisian landscape and the openness of its culture stem from its long, romantic history. Since ancient times, the buildings here are mostly white, hidden in the shade of date palms, palms and olive trees, like white lotuses floating in the Mediterranean Sea. According to Greek mythology, Ulysses and his crew were floating in the sea. When they saw the white lotus, they decided to take root and multiply here. The history of Tunisia can be traced back to more than 1000 BC. At that time, the Phoenicians, who were famous for their voyages and business, established the city of Carthage on the Mediterranean Sea and developed into a powerful Carthaginian empire. Today, the city of Tunisia was still Carthage at that time. A small seaside village in the suburbs of Taiji City. The name “Tunisia” is said to be derived from the name of the goddess “Tanis” worshipped by the Phoenicians. This beautiful goddess is known as a symbol of light and is widely believed to bring prosperity and happiness to the world. Later, after several changes, “Tanis” was changed to “Tunisia” and became the name of the country.
  Ambassador Liu Yuhe said: “The Phoenicians have lived here for a long time and created a splendid culture, and they have left the ruins of the city of Carthage, which are very spectacular and beautiful.”
  After the Phoenicians, the Romans invaded Entering here, burning the Carthage domain, leaving more imprints on the country. In 698 AD, the Umayyad Dynasty built a large-scale construction in what is now Tunisia, built a new city, and built a port and a dock. The residents of the original Carthage City moved here. From the beginning of the 13th century to the end of the 16th century, the Hafs dynasty officially established the capital of Tunisia, and built magnificent palaces, Arab markets, etc., making Tunisia the cultural center of the Maghreb region. Today’s Tunis is a city that integrates ancient Arab architecture and modern architectural art. One side of the city is a modern new city, and the other side is an old city with a traditional national form. There is only an ancient city between the new and the old city. Door.
  Liu Yuhe said to me: “Tunisia is a crossroad of cultural fusion. Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, and Byzantines all lived here, forming a complex and multi-layered cultural landscape in Tunisia.” Explaining why Tunisia is so open among Muslim countries, he said that women in Tunisia not only have the right to vote, but also have a higher social status. Tunisia practices monogamy, and women do not need to wear headscarves. Through the introduction of the ambassador, I learned more about Tunisia.
  From the place where ancient people competed and fought, to the place where aliens fought in fantasy, the scenery of Tunisia combines the charm of history, humanities and nature, and is full of romance, magic and fantasy. From the south of Tunisia along the Mediterranean Sea all the way to the north, many buildings and scenery that you inadvertently see on the way will be amazing and impressive, those cafes dominated by blue tones, the modern sculpture park by the sea, and the greenery. The olive groves and the leisurely and beautiful Port Pedestrian Street make people feel unique and vivid, with endless charm and endless meaning. It’s no wonder that some people say that in Tunisia you can shoot vast, rich landscapes without any special effects. Since the shooting of “Star Wars” and other blockbusters, the Tunisian government has provided many privileges for international film shooting. In recent years, it has built a world-oriented film production center in China – the film city Hamama. The impact and benefit of a “Star Wars” to Tunisia may not be overestimated. And I feel that Tunisia is really a country worth visiting again, beyond my imagination for some North African countries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *