22-09-2017 by redazione
The history of the first Chinese who landed on the shores of the Indian Ocean is six hundred years old.
It was in fact 1417, according to Beijing scholars who recently published a volume on the travels of the great oriental navigators, when Zang He with a fleet of 40 ships, arrived in Malindi, after having touched India, Oman and probably the coast of Eritrea.
Zeng He, a Chinese in Malindian
A few years ago, the discovery of Chinese coins in Mambrui, by a pool of oriental and Kenyan archaeologists, had already brought back to mind the history of this great traveller sent out on the outskirts of the world still little known by the Chinese Empire.
Previously, the currents and expectation of gold had brought the Eastern fleets to Madagascar and from there to Mozambique to the north.
Someone had probably already climbed the Horn of Africa, but Zeng He arrived there directly without detaching too much from the coast.
Zeng had been headed by Emperor Ming Zhu Li, who had taken over a fleet of sailing ships.
Chosen because of his Muslim family, Zheng reached India and set sail from there to travel to Africa, but was the victim of a shipwreck on the island of Pate.
Here many of his men stopped and legend has it that they mixed with the local population, giving rise to a race, which the inhabitants of the Lamu archipelago call "wasanga".
The same wasanga is considered to be descendants of the Chinese.
Then Zeng He, who knew India, Indonesia and all the Indian Ocean up to Guangzhou, was fascinated by Malindi and stopped there for a long time, making you return or stop after other sea adventures.
The historian Wang Ming describes the meeting with the population of Malindi as an unusual, peaceful event and with a "surprise", a particular gift from the local King to the Chinese navigator.
On his fourth trip to the Western seas, Zheng He reached the kingdom of Malindi, in East Africa, which then sent a delegation to China donating a giraffe to the Chinese emperor. At the time the giraffe was called by the Chinese Qilin, and considered a propitious animal, which became a historical testimony of the friendly exchanges between China and Africa. It should be remembered that in Somali, giraffe is called' jili'.
Some scholars believe that the Chinese of the time we have called the giraffe Qilin according to the Somali diction' jili'.
The sure thing is that Zheng He's trip to Kenya began his friendship with the African people.
Today, the Chinese are a custom for Africa. They do not come for cultural interchanges but to sell services and to colonize the consenting states economically. Intents very different from those of the Islamic explorer Zeng He, the first "mandarin" with the "mal d'Afrique" of history.
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