Monday, June 10, 2013

CNN's Bourdain gives a sensational report on "Congo" on "Parts Unknown"

Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” original series for CNN, mostly about culinary delights abroad, came to a sensational season conclusion Sunday night with a broadcast of “Congo”, with main link and videos here
Bourdain stressed the colonial history of the Congo before it became “independent” at mid 20th Century. 
The Belgian King Leopold had exploited the land and the people in a way that would even make American slavery seem almost generous by comparison.  Natural resources from Congo were taken to build modern day Belgium and the Netherlands.  It’s possible for the Left Wing to make a huge moral case out if this history.
Much of Bourdain’s journey was on his own boat down the Congo River, as he stopped at various towns that have decayed into ruins since the 1960s.  Food was often improvised, such as a river stew that he showed. 

Bourdain actually crosses into Congo from Rwanda, and says that Rwanda is reasonably civilized now, with Internet and some modern infrastructure, fifteen years after horrible civil wars. 

Earlier episodes of “Parts Unknown” had visited Libya, finding it more civilized than expected, and Peru.  Bourdain went into the Andes, but not to the highest places leading to the Altiplano and to Bolivia.  In Peru, Bourdain had to pay off local “guardian angels” in order to travel into the mountains by car to explore chocolate production.  

Wikipedia attribution link for Congo map here

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