The exhibition “Green and Black: Story of Tea” by Desa Đorđević Milutinović, PhD, museum advisor of the Natural History Museum in Belgrade, opened in the Gallery of the National Museum Kraljevo, on Thursday, February 23rd, 2023, starting at 7 p.m. The audience was first greeted by Darko Gučanin, director of the National Museum Kraljevo, who referred to the long-term and very successful cooperation between the two museum institutions. He emphasized that the Natural History Museum in Belgrade, founded at the end of the 19th century, is one of the oldest and most recognizable museum institutions in Serbia. After that, he introduced the guests and gave the floor to Slavko Spasić.
Slavko Spasić, director of the Natural History Museum in Belgrade, expressed his satisfaction that he is again in the National Museum in Kraljevo and that he sees many interested faces in the audience. He emphasized that “The Story of Tea” belongs to the exhibition series “Gifts of Nature” launched in 2010. As part of the series, exhibitions on chocolate, wine, coffee, as well as caviar were realized, which is currently on display at the Cultural Center of Serbia in Paris. He also pointed out that in the preparation of the exhibition “Green and Black: Story of Tea” cooperation was achieved with the embassies of China and Japan.
Violeta Cvetanoska, senior curator of the National Museum Kraljevo, pointed out in her address that the exhibitions of the Natural History Museum are among the most visited in the Gallery of the National Museum Kraljevo and thanked the author, Desa Đorđević Milutinović, for the exciting journey with the smell of tea, on which she is taking visitors this time. The story of tea, about the rituals of its preparation, about the inspiration in creating utensils for serving it is a story about a lifestyle, about the metaphysics of everyday life in which we are complete as beings with tea. China is proving to be a culture that has managed to preserve the tradition of tea preparation and use and turn it into its own heritage that it shares with the world.
The exhibition was opened by the author Desa Đorđević Milutinović, PhD, museum advisor of the Natural History Museum in Belgrade, who thanked the National Museum Kraljevo for its hospitality and good collegial planting. In her presentation, she drew attention to the fact that the word tea in our culture is young and is related to the arrival of the tea plant in the 20th century to these areas via the Russians. Hence, it is extremely interesting what term we used for herbal teas, which are part of the heritage and have been used for centuries, and so far only the word decoction has been found. She explained the difference between green tea, which is older, i.e. original, while black tea was created by mistake. Namely, since the tea leaves travelled from China to England for a very long time, there was a process of boiling, i.e. fermentation, which turned the green tea black. This is why black tea is a European product, and for a long time Europeans did not know that there was even green tea, which is an original Asian product.