Acorns Serb Style

Not long ago, I was in the field working on cherries. The nature loving tree hugger that I am was thrilled to find a new (to me) kind of acorn.

Check these out. I love the fuzzy hats! They are so fun!

Instantly, I was reminded of the big furry hats traditional Serbian kolo dancers wear in one of the dances I saw. I love the traditional costumes. They are gorgeous.

Life does imitate nature.

I love Serbia.

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Knjazevac Charming Beauty

My town is exceptional in its beauty. So much so, that it won an award this year. It will be will be listed in the network of “European Destinations of Excellence” Here are the pics to prove it!
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Above is the Main Street bridge.

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The view of a locals enjoying drinks at Casa Dolce cafe and beyond to St. Georges Church in the distance.

And below a boy casts his fishing line into the Timok River.
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Then there is the iconic opposite side of the Timok. Post card material.

One of my town favorites is the old arch rimmed pavilion. A brilliant place to sit and watch the world go by.

The town is filled with beauty everywhere, sometimes it sneaks up on me.

cool and old

cool and old

See, even the ruins are lovely! And if you look up above the door, you will see it used to be an arched doorway.

Bright colors, painstaking iron work and carved wood doors create the kind of eye candy that decorates the town.
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This is my town, and it is stunning no matter what the season.
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Even the people are gorgeous and their traditional costumes are fantastic, not to mention the dancing! Anyone for the Kolo? OPA!
Yellow scarves ans red socksIf you are thinking of making the trip to visit us contact one of these agencies, They have English speakers who can help you.

Come visit!  We can chat over coffee, or even better,  Rakija!

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https://www.facebook.com/turistickaorganizacija.opstineknjazevac?fref=nf

https://www.facebook.com/groups/knjazevacinfo/

Dobar Dan Y’all!

 

 

Sveti Trifun 365-46

I posted yesterday about February 14th holidays. After I wrote the little blog, THE MUSIC BEGAN. I was in the middle of changing and dressing Little Miss when it started. I got so excited to go see what was going on I could wait to be finished with her and to dress myself.

A crowd of people enjoying free wine and rakija

A crowd of people enjoying free wine and rakija

Soon enough, good camera in hand I was on my way… Just outside there was a band playing traditional Serbian music.

A Grandma and he little grandbaby were up on the terrace above looking down on it all.

Grandma and grandbaby

Grandma and grandbaby

Waiters from the Cafe Pariz  were milling about the crowd with trays full of FREE wine and rakija. Almost immediately, I was offered some, after declining once and a brief conversation in Serbian,  he asked in English where I was from. Then offered me a little wine again. The second time was a charm. Wine in hand, I watched the show. Since I was already buzzed off of my Turkish coffee and no breakfast, the wine made me a little but more buzzed.

Traditional band

Traditional band

It was the cafe owner’s Slava. Sveti Trifun, pronounced Teefoon, is the patron saint of wine. There was a gorgeous loaf of bread in the shape of Grapes on a table with the traditional Slava set up.

Grape shaped bread

Grape shaped bread

I believe it got around that I was an American, for when the traditions started a man came over and told me where I should be watching so I could get good pictures. He was very nice, polite, and helpful. I am so glad he cared enough to show me.

First there was the lighting of the candle like we do for out slava. Then the owner went over to the grape vine and  cut a couple pieces off the grape vine.

Cutting the grape vine

Cutting the grape vine

Pouring the wine

Pouring the wine for a prosperous new season

Then the breaking of the bread with a friend.

Breaking the bread

Breaking the bread

I know they do this every year. I remember last time I was here for February 14th I could hear the music, but I was stuck in the apt in a cast. No going to check things out. I am so glad I can get out now.

Stray Dalmatian

Stray Dalmatian

There was a sweet Dalmatian lingering about waiting for some love in the form of food. He was so sweet but malnourished. I threw him some bread twice and saw some others do the same. I wish I could do so much more. I feel so bad for the many sweet strays here. They break my heart.

The gypsy lady caught taking her pic

The gypsy lady caught taking her pic

There was a lone gypsy lady there. I think she, along with many others were feeling good from the wine and rakija. After she saw me taking her picture, she really wanted to talk to me, but my Serbian or lack there of made it impossible for us to understand one another. There again, it could have been something how much she had to drink impairing her speech and my ability to understand. She was very persistent, so much some bystanders helped me to escape, twice!

Kolo Party

Kolo Party

She had a merry time. She danced as I would have liked to have and later joined the Kolo line. I had to get back up to the little one. But I got some pics of the dancing from the window.

The little one got to watch too.

Little Miss at the window

Little Miss at the window

Knjazevac Kolo

First of all Happy New Year!! I thought a post about dancing was an appropriately festive topic for New Years day 2013.

December 28, I was excited to attend a an evening of Kolo Dancing in our town. It was awesome. The town kids worked hard to learn a bunch of different Kolo dances from all over Serbia. Some Greek and Turkish Dances were also included because that is also a part of the heritage of Serbia. The borders have moved around quite a bit over the last several hundred years. The history is rich and multicultural. It is fascinating learning about the dances and traditions. And here, the past doesn’t seem so far away. At times, I feel as if time has stood still.

Serbian girls from Knjazevac singing traditional Serbian songs

Serbian girls from Knjazevac singing traditional Serbian songs

The performance started off with singing. Not the kind most of us are used too. If I hadn’t taken an intercultural music class in college, I would have been super shocked and maybe even turned off. The discordant song was originally sung by shepherds who sang so that other herders miles away could sing along. At least that is what I learned in the class.

The music in this clip from the movie Savior is the kind of song the girls were singing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5KWDc7q6Og

Below is an example of Serbian music, but not a shepherds song. I love it. so beautiful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tecQs5ria0c

 

Serbian Band

The band pictured played some really good music. I was impressed. When I hear these bands, normally I think circus music. The strong brassy umpas and fast choppy “flow” of the music is totally not my style, but these guys played a  pop song with Balkan flavor. and it made me appreciate the music so much more. Then they played a traditional song and it was back to the circus for me, but I do like the circus.

Fury White hats

Fury White hats

Some of the costumes were so cool, but I couldn’t help but think how hot these hats would make the dancers. Back in the day where there was little heat and the costumes and the Kolo would keep you warm, but now. SO HOT! Thank God it is just for performances.

I sat with a crowd of people from my husbands village. They found me waiting for the show, I was so pleased to have their company. I love how friendly people are here.

Friends from Vina

Friends from Vina

 

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When I went to a practice, I asked the girls if it was difficult to get the boys to dance. The reply was  a unanimous “Yes”! They began with no boys, but managed to lure them into the group. Though I am not sure how they did it. I know my Serbian husband didn’t even want to attend the performance. Rakija is the only thing that may possible get him to dance. Without a doubt the Kolo would not even be a possibility for him coupled with Rakija.

Kolo in a White Dress

Kolo in a White Dress

ankle lock

This segment was pretty cool, the guys here locked ankles and hopped in a circle. There were some other pretty creative moves. Tricky tricky.

Little boy Blue and his girl in Green

Little boy Blue and his girl in Green

In spite of the fact, nothing on the lad above is blue, this outfit on the fellas screams “little boy blue come blow your horn”, I love it. If you are unfamiliar with the Mother Goose Nursery rhyme here is a picture of “Little Boy Blue”, click the link below.http://www.rmichelson.com/Artist_Pages/Sanderson/Mother-Goose/Little-Boy-Blue.html

Serbian Bagpiper

Serbian Bagpiper

This guy was kind of a shock. I know I have heard of these pipers before, but the Scotch bagpipes have so much influence on the world we rarely hear about these slavic drones. These pipes, though similar, had a distinctly different sound.

Yellow scarves ans red socks

The show ended with Turkish fashion of old. Satiny sultan attire sporting tambourines to add to the music. What a great finale. SONY DSC

When all the bows were taken and the auditorium was pouring its contents out the doors, the band on stage began to play again. Everyone on stage did their own Kolo and little children left their parents to go dance on stage. This was a wondrous end to a wonderful night. SONY DSC

I wish I could have videotaped the folklore dances last Friday night. They did such a great job!  But if you are itching to see  the Kolo, here is a link to a performance in Belgrade. These are adults doing the same dances I saw, on a more difficult level. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yB-OLdf8UI

Happy New Year to all! Celebrate the new days we have been blessed with!