About T. (the unorthodox expat)

This blog is written by an American living in Serbia with the Serbian man who cast his spell a long time ago.

Chronicles of Serbia are just that, my little diary of life here. They are letters home, discoveries,  and scraps of this and that.

I have a dream of letting the world know how amazing Serbia is. This country is breathtakingly jam-packed with historical sites.  For instance, one day, I visited a Roman ruin, a concentration camp, and a Turkish fort. All in one town!

The hospitality is beyond extreme. The people are generous and inviting.

The villages are what fairy tales are made of. But really, they are! My Grandfather once told me the villages remind him of the U.S. when he was a child on a farm.

Antiquities married with modern convenience. This country is a gem.

I love to share my love for this wonderful land. I hope you will come to visit!

I invite you to read about my adventures in this mystical, diverse, much-untouched land.

Join me for a cup of coffee or tea and take in my adventures or my follies.

~Thanks for stopping by~


30 thoughts on “About T. (the unorthodox expat)

    • Hi T! This is Bojana. I moved back to Serbia from Shanghai a year ago and I want to shape my life in a more open way over here. I started an art studio with a friend and we’re organizing small art gatherings every Saturday where we draw and have a glass of wine. If you’re interested stop by sometimes, or just stop by anytime for a small talk. You can find our address on Google, Art Studio Lady Lerdi. Hope to see you!

  1. All of us who have followed their heart and moved with their love to their home country will understand you – it is, no doubt, difficult at first to adjust, especially if ones freedom to say what one thinks, the choice of going out where and when for shopping or meeting a (girl) friend for coffee, to work or not to work etc. etc. is severely curtailed, but …… in the end we get there!! 12 years out here now – and I would do it again tomorrow! I follow you now to see how YOU cope. All the very best – Carina

    • Hey Carina, I am just catching up on some really old messages. Having a little one is so distracting. Now she is getting bigger and I have more time. Thanks for stopping by and giving me a pep talk!
      I love your blog! Thanks for the sweet comment! xo

  2. As usual, one thing leads to another.
    Hi there, by the way 🙂
    Was reading some comment you wrote on “ouradventureincroatia”, so thought “why not check out what an american lady is doing in serbia.
    Nice pages, so thanks for sharing, as they give an idea of regular life of (just) somebody in serbia.
    Guess your potatoes are also ready to be harvested, just like ours here in dalmacija.
    Cheers from (hot) dalmacija, pim, the dutch guy behind svinisce.blogspot.com.

    • I will have to check out your blog a bit more. Toddler distractions are constant for me. 🙂 hard to sink my teeth into a book or a blog! Thanks for stopping by!

      • Hi there in Serbia,
        distractions come from everywhere, it’s up to you what to do with them.
        So if you feel like it, see my blog, and if other things ask for attention (those many things to do), leave it for the moment you think of it 🙂
        I somehow manage to do like that, with one phrase in mind: NO OBLIGATIONS !
        (Let’s keep them obligations in other, less easy living, parts of the globe.)
        POLAKOOOO !!!

    • I am just happy to have found your blog. I love reading about “westerners” living in the eastern formerly socialist world. Always fun to read! And for the record I am a flip flop girl too. High heels on cobble stone just seems dangerous! Thanks for following my blog too

      • My pleasure! So much easier walking in heels in England – don’t have to keep my eyes peeled for potholes all the time! But I still try to get away with my flip flops most of the time!

    • Drobro dosli! Welcome! I look forward to comparing notes on our homes! I love chatting with my neighbors. :)I have read your blog before and I love it. I look forward to chatting with you in the future! 🙂

  3. Hi tee
    Im ati a canadian that moved to serbia 7 years ago and married a serbian hungarian girl.
    Im still here and we have a 3 year old. Just came across your blog and it looks very much like a fun read. Feel free to get in touch via email.


  4. Hi Tea!

    I am a 24-yr old American woman married to a Serb. I stumbled across your blog and thoroughly enjoyed it! It is cool to see someone who has had similar experiences in Serbia. My husband and I just came back from Serbia in December after a three month visit. We are planning to go back in a few months. It would be nice to touch base with a fellow American while in Serbia. Feel free to shoot me an email.


  5. Dear T,

    My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
    ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in Serbia, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,

  6. 1/9/2015


    Мир Божији, Христос се Роди!
    Peace From God, Christ is Born!
    Glorify Him!

    I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. I’m an american Serb and had lived in Belgrade for a couple of years, many years ago. I’m sending you a site that you might find interesting. It is written by an American Serb. Baba Mim, Mim Bizic, from Pittsburgh has created this site for American Serbs to learn more abut their culture. You might also enjoy it. I’ve copied out the section on St. Sava and the hymn which you will note is written in Latin letters which may be of help to you in learning the words. Every Serbian child wherever he/she is born knows that hymn and those words as soon as he can speak. Keep writing; I enjoy your adventures and wish I could live there again.

    Good wishes to you and your choir.


    (January 27)

    Beautiful young ladies from Akron, OH, on
    St. Sava’s Day, which they celebrated 1/31/2010

    (To see the entire translation of this song, go to the WEBSITE TESTIMONIALS page)

    1. Uskliknimo, s’ljubavlju,Svetitelju Savi, Srpske crkve i skole, svetiteljskoj glavi. Tamo venci, tamo slava, Gde nas srpski pastir Sava:

    Pojte mu Srbi, pesmu i utrojte. (Repeat)

    2. Blagodarna Srbijo, puna si ljubavi. Prema svome pastiru svetitelju Savi. Bosna i Hercegovina, Svetog Save dedovina,

    S’tobom slave slavu, Svetog oca Savu.

    3. Voyvodina pitoma; Srem, Banat i Backa, Slavonija, Banija, Lika i Krbava, Crna Goro sestro mila, Zdravo i ti, s’nama bila,

    Da slavimo slavu, Svetitelja Savu.

    4. Milesevo slavi se telom svetog Save, Koga slave svi Srbi s ove strane Save. Sinan pasa vatru pali, Telo Svetog Save spali,

    Al’ ne spali slave, niti spomen Save.

    (April 27, 1595), Orthodox Holy Thursday, Sinan Pasha burns the relics of St. Sava on Vracar Hill.)

    (This verse tells about the Monastery Mileshevo where St. Sava’s body laid in repose for centuries before being burned by Sinan-Pasha. Although his body was burned, they could not burn out his glory or his memory.)

    (Matushka Kathy adds:

    St. Sava’s body burned in Belgrade on Holy Thursday, April 27, 1595

    Belgrade is bombed by the Germans on April 6th (Great and Holy Saturday) through April 10th, 1941

    The allies then bombed it in 1944 on April 16th (Paskha Day-ORTHODOX EASTER!) and the 17th (Easter MOnday) trying to rid the Germans out of Belgrade.

    The latest bombing took place as we all know from March 24, 1999 through June 5, 1999 which included Paskha (Easter), April 11, 1999.

    And people wonder why the Serbs are so obsessed with history.


    (Turks burn the holy relics of St. Sava at Vracar in Belgrade in 1594-painting by Uros Predic.)

    To enlarge all, photos, click on lower right hand corner of image.

    5. Pet vekova Srbin je u ropstvu camio, Svetitelja Save ime je slavio. Da zivimo svi u slozi, Sveti Savo Ti pomozi.

    Pocuj glas svog roda, srpskoga naroda.

    (For 5 centuries, Serbs were under the Turkish yoke, but the name of St. Sava was always celebrated.)

    6. I mi, tvoji Srpcici, s ove strane mora, Srpske krvi, imena; srpskoga govora, Slavimo te Sveti Savo, Srpske skole mudra glavo,

    O dicnoga slavlja, Oche Svetosavlja.

    (The last verse says…. “and we, your little Serbians, on this side of the ocean, of Serbian blood, name, and language, also celebrate you, dear Father St. Sava, you, who always valued knowledge.”)


    His Grace, Dr. Bishop Mitrofan, with our gorgeous American Serbian children in Boston, MA, for St. Sava’s Day Celebration, 2009


    V.Rev. Zivojin Jakovljevic of St. Sava’s Cathedral in Parma (Cleveland, OH) stands directly in front of the site where St. Sava was born, lovingly called “Misici,” Serbia.


    This WWI silk pillowcase shows Serbia and Montenegro were with the ALLIES during that time period. Unfortunately, the Serbs’ undying loyalty to America was shamefully betrayed by men and countries who should have known better.

    God bless Serbs, loyal American allies!


    The Decani Monastery in Kosovo is under heavy guard because the world knows that the treasures INSIDE the Monastery are priceless heirlooms to the World!

    Right inside this church is found the Nemanjic Family Tree history, one of the greatest frescoes ever made!


    Here’s “USkliknimo” (St. Sava’s Hymn) in Serbian Cyrillic as it appeared in an old SRBOBRAN newspaper issue:

    On this spot, in this church, they held the Serbian National Sabor in the 12th Century!

    The very same church is where St. Sava was Christened!

    Exact spot where St. Sava was Christened. (You walk down some steps!)

    Bell that was in use during St. Sava’s times.


    I wrote this in 2006 before my Mom passed away…..:

    “I remember when I said my poems to Sveti Sava 50+ years ago, and my 87 year-old mother can still recite hers. Her long poem ends like this:

    “Sve vishnjem se molim Bogu, da nam daje ljubav, slogo. Da se brat sa bratom miri, da se Srpski jezik shiri, da slavimo Srpsku slavu, to nam zeli Svetitelja Savu!”

    “I pray with all of my heart that God grants us love and togetherness; that brother with brother makes peace; that we keep alive our Serbian language, that we honor our Saints Day; that’s what St. Sava wishes for us.”


    Sta Volim? I Love St. Sava’s Day!

    (Aliquippa & Monroeville Parishes)
    By Milana Karlo Bizic, Jan./Feb. 2006

    There are beautiful photos of St. Sava’s Day being celebrated by our Serbian children in Kosovo on the KIM website. Even more unbelievable, is seeing the children in Johannsburg, South Africa, ALSO celebrating St. Sava’s Day.
    Thanks be to God!

    I’m sure my favorite holiday is St. Sava’s Day. I eagerly look forward to the January 27 celebration as much as any young child waiting to open gifts on Christmas Day. My heart pumps doubly fast when I hear the first notes of “U–s–klik-ni-mo s’ljubavu….”and by the time of the last verse that talks about “and we children on this side of the Ocean, of Serbian name and blood,” I’m just somewhere else in my own universe.

    I revel in hearing the children say their declamaticas (Serbian recitations) to calls of “Bravo! Bravo!” perhaps coupled with shrill whistles, and hard and fast clapping. Of course, this all follows the last line of poetry said, when nervous parents and grandparents can finally breathe again and join the rest of us in the congregational celebration to Saint Sava.

    The thirty-two children who took the stage at St. Elijah’s Center in Aliquippa gave an inspiring, flawless performance, thanks to the persistent efforts of Protinica Ana, Fr. Stevan Stepanov, the Sunday School teachers, the children and their parents and grandparents. Good-natured hoots of approval revealed the listeners’awe after long poems were recited in perfect Serbian diction.

    John Buffalini, an eleventh grade junior student at Center High School, served as Master of Ceremonies, his confidence immediately putting everyone at ease. He was warmly welcoming, reminding me of a young Serbian Bert Parks conducting the world famous “Miss America” contest. (He sings the epistle equally as well many Sundays. Metropolitan Christopher, you must remember this name for the School of Theology, as Fr. Stepanov has said many times that John would make an excellent priest from the time he was in second grade!!! Let’s face it. John is going to do well with whatever profession he chooses. We just hope he remains with us!)

    Although the St. Sava’s Day performance was after church on Sunday, January 29, the practicing started in November, right after Thanksgiving. Those extra practices on the weekdays were worth it. No more last minute stuttering over declamaticas or saying one or two lines in English. These great-grandchildren of St. Sava were absolutely wonderful!

    Smiles came readily to the audience as each young angel looked like a symphony orchestra conductor minus a baton after a brilliant performance as he/she bowed this way, then that in acknowledged appreciation, followed by even more enthused clapping on the final bow to the middle. One after another these youngsters came, bringing gifts that no-money-in-the-world could buy to all. “Bravo, brav-o!”

    “Sta volim? Volim rijeka kad je cista, volim zvezdu kad se blistra….” Hearts were made young again as people nodded to one another…”that’s the poem I said when I was young,” or “I remember my mother reciting that one to me! Dva desetog ovo veka, Sveti Sava na nas ceka.”

    Although all students did a fine job it was such an incredible joy to hear John Buffali and 8th grader Natasa Cvetkovic take turns, alternating every paragraph between English and Serbian in the poem about St. Sava. “Ko to lupa?”

    Paragraph after paragraph this old poem went on, audience eyes darting from the poised young man on the right to the equally confident young lady to our left. Three paragraphs, four. So far so good. Flawless, flawless so far. Then you could almost see the audience’s breathing almost stop half way through, probably every mind thinking, “It’s so good, I hope they don’t forget now.” Six, seven, eight paragraphs and still they went on. Now by this time you could hear a pin drop. Hearts stopped like dead battery clocks. “Keep going, keep going” I heard my mind whisper pathetically. Then finally the end, where the two teenagers said the poem’s last stanzas so dramatically together that heartfelt bursts of appreciative cheers rocked St. Elijah’s Center. I couldn’t help but think how proud St. Sava must have been, witnessing this heavenly joy brought home to the people here on Earth!

    Afterwards, I thought people would head for home in droves, but almost everyone stayed for beautiful fellowship dinner afterwards, even with threats of snow.

    What could be better than the above? How about St. Sava’s Day celebrations two weeks in a row, and with a visit from Bishop Artemije from Kosovo thrown into the mix!

    In deference to Fr. Malich’s personal Slava of St. Peter in Chains on Sunday, January 29, and the possibility of an unexpected but most-welcomed guest, the Monroeville congregation celebrated the following Sunday, February 5.

    While I’m very partial to Aliquippa’s St. Elijah’s heavenly choir, I couldn’t help but be delighted with Monroeville’s St. Nicholas Choir too as they sang with such gusto under the direction of the master, Milutin Lazich. Um-umm! What fantastic voices answered the prayers of the many participants in the altar, led by Bishop Artemije!

    The Sunday School children sang “Uskliknimo,” and “O Boze Nas” and “Krst je sila i za mene, krst je spasenje…” as the congregation went up for nafora before the choir continued singing….what else? “Uskliknimo” all the way to the end!

    Even though it was Super Bowl Sunday, the church hall was packed for a wonderful dinner. Bishop Artemije told of watching the children in Kosovo give their speeches for St. Sava’s Day, and never dreaming he would be lucky enough to be halfway across the world, to hear recitations to St. Sava again in America. Then he spoke of the extremely hard times faced by the Serbian people of Kosovo and Fr. Malich as always, urged the people present to give as much as they could to help our suffering Serbian brethren.

    Sitting right next to Georgeann Klipa, I couldn’t help but see that she, not a wealthy woman by any means, lovingly answered Fr. Malich’s call, emptying her checkbook, but filling her heart. And this wasn’t the first time. If all of us could follow examples like the Klipas and the Silianoffs and others, our poor Serbian people wouldn’t be in such dire straits. Who else do they have to help them but us?

    Congratulations, Monroeville. You are very generous givers!

    Bishop Artemije stayed to watch most of the 62 young children recite poems, sing Bible songs, act in plays and do a Question and Answer session about the Life of St. Sava. This time, the Master of Ceremonies was none other than George Klipa, following in the footsteps of his late father, +Steve Klipa, who was posthumously awarded the medal of St. Sava for all of the good deeds he did for his people by V.Rev. Dr. Bishop Mitrofan of the Eastern American Diocese. George was absolutely perfect, sometimes bending down on his knees and congratulating every participant so each thought of himself worthy of a star in a Hollywood sidewalk. As they walked down the stairs, they received gifts from the honored Kumovi Robert and Diane Ray and their children.

    While ALL the children were again delightful, special mention must be made of (1) Judy and Ivan Obrknez’s two youngsters, Evdokia & Vaso, singing (belting out with all their hearts!) about Serbia: “Bices si ti, sto si bila!” to the delight of the crowd, (2) the handsome young Karas boy, four year old Dushan, son of Paul and Tracy Karas, when he said without missing a word, and delivering it as if he were in TV Broadcasting school at college, the entire NICENE CREED. Joi, joi, joi! The joy that day in Monroeville. The future is assured!

    That’s right, St. Sava. Your children on this side of the ocean, of Serbian name and blood, will, Daj Boze, continue to sing to you with joyful hearts. They’ll do their best for you and for themselves, making us all proud. Just like their parents, grandparents, and great-great grandparents, they’re wonderful Serbs. And in being good Serbs, they’re even better Americans!

    Holy Father Sava, we thy sinful servants ask:

    Lead us to give our hearts to God first,
    Lead us to live for Christ the Lord first,
    Lead us to seek His righteousness first,
    Lead us to desire Orthodox truth first,
    Lead us to remember the Saints first,
    Lead us to cherish the Church first,
    Lead us to love one another first,
    Lead us to seek unity of all first;
    Holy Father Sava, pray to God to save us.

    Tone 8

    O guide of Orthodoxy and blessed teacher of virtues,* purifier and enlightener of thy homeland,* beauty of monastics,* most wise Father, Holy Sava,* by thy teaching thou didst enlighten thy people,* O flute of the Spirit, pray to Christ God for our souls.
    Tone 8

    As the first great hierarch and co-worker with the Apostles,* the Church of thy people magnifies thee;* and since thou hast found favor with Christ,* save us by thy prayers from every calamity,* so that we may proclaim to thee: Rejoice, God-wise Father Sava.

    Thanks to Fr. Dan Rogich and his THE SERBIAN PATERICON. ERPKIM Archive:


    St. Nicholas Monroeville Jr. Tammies in front of the Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh, June 13, 2009

    Have you heard about the St. Sava School in Milwaukee, WI?


    Visit their church there too!

    Be sure to see V. Rev. Fr. Zivojin Jakovljevic’s new book called

    A Workbook for Students
    and Teachers.

    Fr. Jakovljevic writes: “The Irish in America are very proud of their identity. They proudly wear their national costumes, decorate their homes and themselves with green, and play their national music. They faithfully observe St. Patrick’s Day as their naitonal holiday and almost all of us Americans join them in the celebraton. Jews and other national and ethnic groups in America also proudly preserve their national identities, cultural heritages, languages and religions.
    We Orthodox faithful need to preserve and cherish our Orthodox Faith unaltered.”

    Singing with love to St. Sava 2010

    Pittsburgh St. Sava 2010

    Let us sing with love to our St. Sava, Serbian churches and schools, glorify his holiness!

    Wherever our St. Sava is, there are wreaths and glory, Sing to him, thrice!

    Glorify him!”

    These BEAUTIFUL children from Kansas City know all the words to St. Sava’s Hymn, “Uskliknimo” and sang it for me while their parents were performing for the 67th SSF Festival in Aliquippa, PA! 2008. They were in Joliet for 2009, and Chicago’s “One Love” too, in 2010!

    These kids could make ANY heart happy!

    Here’s another song young American Serbs like to sing at picnics and other happy gatherings.

    “Oj Srbi-jo!”

    This song shows Serbs are proud of their Serbian Orthodox heritage: Thank you, Mother, for what you’ve given me! Truth, Freedom in my heart; Karadjordje and Voyvoda Stepa!


    Kids in Phoenix waving their little Serbian flags! Photo from Denise K.

    Display at the B.F. Jones Memorial Library in Aliquippa, in honor of the 67th Serbian Singing Festival held in the area Memorial Day weekend-May 23-25, 2008.



    This is the Nemanjic Royal Family Tree from which St. Sava’s family originated. It is located in the Decani Monastery in Kosovo! There is a similar fresco in the narthex of the Patriarchate of Pec from the fourth decade of the 14th Century. This is our history! This is our future! We must always be vigilant in defending Kosovo for those who come after us.

    Here I am lighting this candle in Decani Monastery in the name of all of the Serb National Federation members living and dead in America, who always defended Kosovo through the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries!.


    Serbian kids EVERYWHERE know the Hymn to St. Sava:

    These children from Serbia were on a field trip with their teachers to this Lazarica Monastery. Fr. Zivojin (from Cleveland) and I purchased candles for them to light for all the martyrs who died throughout the centuries. Then we all sang “Vjecnaja Pamjat” (Memory Eternal) and “Uskliknimo” together.
    Here are some other Serbian teen-agers who are just like you, and their teachers at another Serbian monument.

    It seemed everywhere we visited, school children were out learning more about their country’s historical sites! We made sure we told the students how very much we loved them all… each one of them!

    These children BLESSED themselves before singing “Uskliknimo” for us!

    Wherever our St. Sava is, there are wreaths of glory! We loved them!

    Look at THESE children singing “Uskliknimo” in the St. Sava VRACAR Cathedral in Belgrade. They were on a field trip from Voyvodina schools, 2006.

    Click here to read more about St. Sava’s HRAM in Belgrade

    (Above) St. Sava’s Cathedral in Belgrade

    St. Sava’s Day in Aliquippa
    by Milana Karlo Bizic 2-8-08

    “Ko to lupa?” Who knocks on our heart on St. Sava’s Day each year the way Prince Rastko (our beloved St. Sava) knocked on monastery doors centuries ago?

    In Aliquippa, PA, one could say it started this year watching ever reliable Bisa Kovachevich and her daughters Stephanie and Nada proudly bringing the Kolach and Koljivo up the steps of St. Elijah as the bells were joyfully pealing, calling the faithful to service.

    Peering down from the choir loft, admiring honored Kumovi, Natalie Suder and Alex Osman, standing so upright, wearing their red/blue/white trobojnicas, holding aloft their special candles throughout the service with a pride not unlike that found in the finest of Serbian soldier flag bearers, counted as another joy.

    Capturing with your eyes the Click! Click! Click! mental snapshots of a dozen gold-clad altar boys in absolute synch doing formations in front of the altar or left altar door with their silver and gold crosses, fans, and candle holders, better than any star football players making X’s and O’s moves on a chalkboard made it 3-0.

    It’s your inside alertness alarm going off, with the promise of “coming soon!” —the hustle, bustling preparation of the distinguished tutors huddling around the small altar table, bringing the wine, kolach, koljivo, then giving the hand wave signal to the waiting Sunday School class representatives; the Kumovi passing their candles to the back so their hands are free to turn the kolach with Father.

    Ko to lupa? (Who’s knocking?) It’s St. Elijah’s balanced and strong 35 member choir singing “Slava tebi Hriste Boze” (we celebrate You, Lord God), as the kolach is turned, and after all is said and done, a chorus of joyous “Mnogaja Ljeta” (“Many Years!”) and singing verse after verse of “Uskliknimo” as the well-pleased parishioners go up for nafora.

    All this even before the first Declamatcia (Recitation) is said!
    Ko to lupa?

    The Sunday School Class of 2008 did a magnificent job of reciting their poems to St. Sava. Proto Stevan and Protinica Ana were as proud as peacocks as the children said their poems in perfect Serbian diction. Father said: “I want to congratulate our dear Sunday School Children for a job extremely well done. They were all so well dressed, so well behaved, so well prepared and so proud to say the poems they had worked so hard to prepare. This brings me to the dedicated parents and grandparents who brought these children to practices, and more importantly, who worked with them and practiced with them daily so that they would shine on stage. Afterwards, as I watched them run and play after the program, I was so proud and happy to see yet another generation learning and growing together in their Serbian Orthodox faith.”

    Not only the parents and grandparents got kudos, but also the dedicated Sunday School Teachers and Program Coordinators, Georgette Osman and Brian Hayden. The Mother’s Club with Seya Mabee and Lynn Popovich at the head had everyone thanking them for a wonderful dinner afterwards.

    From Juliana Mistovich’s flawless recitation of “Dobrodoslica” (Welcome) to endearing Elijah Kosanovich’s “Eto Dragi Gosti Mili” (Here we are, Dear Guests!), a big “thank you!” for a job very well done! St. Sava himself would have been so proud!

    Special mention should be made of “Ostajte Ovdje!” (Stay Here in Serbia) a poem by Aleksa Santic performed flawlessly by Natasha Cvjetkovic. Update 2010: Natasha graduated from Hopewell High School and was the recipient of TWO academic scholarships!
    Here is the Poem RASTKO (WHO IS KNOCKING?) written by Vojislav Ilic that has been translated for us by V.Rev. Fr. Dr. Mateja Matejic! Sharing knowledge this way, Fr. Matejic knows that one of you out there reading this might be the one to VOLUNTEER to say the poem at YOUR CHURCH next St. Sava’s Day. Start practicing now! Thank you, Fr. Matejic! This is wonderful!

    Vojislav Ilic[1] RASTKO

    Who is knocking at this hour
    of the night so dark and scary
    on the gates of silent, sleepy
    Holy Mount monastery?

    Peaceful dreams of monks at midnight
    a cry pierced, and they awoke.
    “Grey-haired Fathers, open the gates!”-
    a voice begged. The silence broke…

    “Lo! My soul seeks enlightenment,
    and my body needs repose.
    I am sleepy and exhausted,
    I am weak, so weak… God knows

    But strong is my will which made me
    come to you and leave my kingdom
    to dedicate life to people,
    to my country and its freedom.

    I abandoned Court and crown,
    throne and scepter made me weary;
    I came here to seek enlightenment
    in this humble monastery.

    Open the gates, honored Fathers!”
    (This voice filed the hearts with shudder.)
    “Accept me, a prince and ruler,
    as your modest, younger brother.”

    Heavy gates were slowly opened.
    Hinges squeaked. A frightened owl
    spread its wings and flew in darkness
    like a lost and lonely soul.

    At the threshold of the temple,
    where God’s name is highly rated,
    with a lighted torch uplifted
    the guardian-Father waited.

    When he lifted his torch higher
    the light formed a radiant bow;
    a boy barefooted and innocent
    stood outside in the snow.

    His face was pale like an icon.
    Unkempt hair his head protected.
    Yet a wisdom divine, holy,
    on his forehead was reflected.

    The old monk embraced the youngster,
    on his forehead a kiss implanted.
    “We accept you, dear child,” – he said,
    “Your wish and plea have been granted.”

    Many ages have since gone by,
    ( All this happened long ago),,
    many ages have since flown
    and many more will yet flow.

    But that boy lives even now,
    deathless, as it is his story.
    He was RASTKO, son Nemanja’s,
    SAINT SAVA, clad in glory.

    By Vojislav Ilic. Translated from Serbian and versified by Fr. Mateja Matejic

    [1] Mateja Matejic, Glorifying Saint Sava, Kosovo Publishing Co, Columbus Ohio, 1977, 8-9
    Jan.25, 2009

    2009 St. Sava’s Day Celebration at St. Elijah’s Serbian Orthodox Church, Aliquippa, on Jan. 25, 2009.
    Celebration with V. Rev. Fr. Adam Yontich filling in for Fr. Stevan Stepanov.
    Brother & Sister, Alex & Jessica Osman were Honored Kumovi.

    Turning the Kolach on St. Sava’s Day in Aliquippa’s St. Elijah 2009<—click here
    St. Sava's Day in Aliquippa, PA 2010
    with V. Rev. Stevan Stepanov


    Clcik the above image to Magnify
    the words so you can learn it too!

    St. Sava's Day in Lenexa, Kansas 2010
    Congratulations Bajich Kumovi!
    (click photo's lower right hand corner to enlarge)
    Tijana Bajich Samardzija posted a photo
    of all 15 of the Bajich grandkids together for Thanksgiving, 2011:

    From Left to Right, 1st Row:
    Jovan Bajich, Luka Bajich, Milan Bajich, Milana Samardzija Mundweil, Marija Bajich. 2nd Row: Slobodan Kanatzar, Mariana Bajich, Anna Bajich, RoseMary Prodonovich, Sara Bajich, Dr. Radmila Samardzija, Maia Bajich, Simo Bajich, Harold Kanatzar, Nikola Cubric

    You can be sure they all said poems to St. Sava!


    And how about the St. Sava Church in Indiana's Web Blog? Read about it here!


    We love the folks at St. Sava's in Schererville and Merrillville areas!
    Read, but don't forget to come back!

    In too great of a hurry? Check out these videos made by Dorothy Paunovich:

    "WE are so fortunate to have Dorothy on our team, she is wonderful to work with and is extremely talented and gifted. She has fabulous ideas and is a whiz on the computer. She has put us on the map! We are getting rave reviews, even from non-Serbs!" Roz and Milan Opacich (Schererville, IN)

    2009 Serb Fest: Immigrants of Steel

    2009 Serb Fest Slide Show

    Serbian Weddings- SVADBE!
    Congratulations to Fr. Dejan Tiosavljevic and his faithful parishioners of St. Sava's Serbian Orthodox Church in Cypress (Houston), Texas, 77429, with the Consecration their new church on Nov. 12 and 13, 2011, with 5 Bishops and many clergy being present. It was a grand day for all. Congratulations, St. Sava Houston!

    Greetings arrived from Prince Aleksandar of Serbia and his family; Governor Rick Perry of Texas, U.S. Senator John Cornyn, and United States Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson.

    Kum for the occasion was Jonathan Stigant, Ktitor-Builder.

    Go back to the top of the page for other selections!

    These links and the ones on the following pages are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the webmaster of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. The owner bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links.


    Also be sure to visit the other selections we have here for you: Christmas, Slava, Role of the Guslar, WWI, WWII, etc. Scroll to the top again….. 

    • Thanks so much! I will get to learning!! I should have thought of that before! Srecan Bozic i Srecan Nova! I hope that you will be back one day at least for a visit! This is a wonderful land.

  7. I’m an American living in (and blogging about) the U.K. It’s a very different proposition, I’m sure, from living in Serbia with a young child, but some of the expat stuff carries over. Glad to find your blog.

  8. Hello T! Glad to have found your blog 🙂 I’ve been here a year and half (not counting the two times I ran home with the baby – winters here are Rough!!).Would love to grab a coffee (or something stronger) with you and get some Adviceon thriving – as opposed to surviving here…. By way of introduction, I’m an Indian writer/lawyer/reluctant cook who lives with her 2 year old and Hubby in Gandhi Eva….Too lazy to have a blog but I do have an FB page 🙂

    • Hi Shibi! Where are you, BG? I live in the south. But I would love to chat on FB or Skype! and do you know about the Belgrade foreign Visitors club on FB? There are lots of expats to communicate with there! I wish I were closer, but I’m not that lucky.

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