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Serbian Blog Roundup

Categories: Eastern & Central Europe, Serbia, Arts & Culture, Development, Economics & Business, Education, Elections, Environment, Food, Governance, Health, History, Ideas, Labor, Politics, Travel, Youth


A house at the Golija Mountain – by Bogdan Cirovic

At English section of Serbiancafe discussion board, Toshiba blogs out [1]:

Village of Rudno at Golija mountain is at altitude of 1200 meters. You would need four hours from Belgrade to get here by car. Beauties of one region are not the creeks and the forests, those are people. Golija people welcome all. True kind hearted hospitality is manifested at every step of the way. When they see you first time, they will be high in spirits, ready to share a good joke. When I get up in the morning I usually bump to ten bags at my doorstep. Somebody brings freshly baked bread, kajmak [2], white cheese, meat… When I ask around nobody would tell me whose present those goodies were. They care about me and other visitors. It illustrates dimension of friendship and general hospitality of Golija people. They know I am a city guy in a outlook for contact with nature.

[…]

Production of the first-class potato in this area is supervised by the Dutch. To get all the standards required for export of potato peasants undertook special training in Holland. A week before a trip to the Netherlands many had to take drugs to be able to sleep. They were overexcited because number of them has not left the region ever. They all got to the Serbian capital city of Belgrade. I remember a picture from downtown restaurant that night. Half of the village salutes the other brevier half for gaining courage to get aboard of an airplane headed to Amsterdam.

[…]

When I tell them about plentiful tourism opportunities, peasants look at me as if I suggest them to cheat. They have to get hard work sweaty to perceive earnings as honest money. I would like to see government involved to protect life in that area. I would love to see their kids after university studies to come back thus contributing native region as future doctors, agronomist and managers. If you defend the life in the area of Golija, you would be successful in preserving the whole nation. […]

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In her personal notepad, a young Serbian actress Bojana Maljevic [3] posts another travel account [4] (SRP):

I am back from Banja Luka [5]. Evening before “the agreement [6]” [about strengthening of bonds between Serbia and Republic of Srpska [7]] was signed I acted in theatre play called “Ship of Love” at their National theatre. Representatives of that lovely theatre and representatives of Zvezdara theatre [8] also signed an “agreement”. (I have not signed anything except a wage receipt:)….
Well, it was really beautiful. The theatre was packed full with people, we preformed as if we didn’t take a month long break before, we were rewarded by a long applause, our hosts were kind hearted. […]

I am sure papers are flooded with headlines about [visit of] three hundred [Serbian] entrepreneurs and various presidents [to mark signing of multilateral accord]… Except great crowd and neat weather election campaign marked my stay in this city.

Once I was in Slovenia days before general elections nobody could tell ballot vote was to be held on Sunday. Political campaigns in that state are very discreet as citizens are not interested in politics and election period (similar to other happening in Slovenia) goes pretty smooth and boring. Slovenians can’t spell out names of country’s ministers, not to speak about their deputies and wives…

In Slovenia politicians are not TV show celebrities. They are not celebrities at all. I asked around why is that. They all told me they don’t care about who would win elections as there would not be much difference common people. […]

Banja Luka is quite other way around. Something similar can be seen and felt in Serbia during any election campaign. [A real battle] starting at finding better place to put billboard and ending when activist engage in arranging concerts to entertain different tastes. Not to mention children cheering to welcome party officials and Big Brother alike awaking we had this morning [by a loud car announcing ] […]

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Chris Farmer ironically focuses [9]on Serbian constitution drafting [10]. His short story probably roots in a latest buzz that all political factors across the nation are debating whether to support the draft:

“If you will excuse me, I REALLY have to hurry.” There was a small crowd gathered in front of the Serbian parliament this afternoon and I had to elbow and head-butt my way through the few but stalwart people blocking my path. “There is not much time,” I protested. “I have to get them to look at my DRAFT CONSTITUTION [11]!” Silence fell. Suddenly I was the cynosure of all eyes. “Constitution,” the word of the day, cut through the opposition like a hot knife through kajmak [2]. […] “My proposal,” I orated, “is a simple one. This constitution was already been written many years ago and is still used all around the world. This draft brings order to chaos.” […] The Rules of Monopoly. I stood up straight again was preparing to read (a few of the onlookers had dived in to scoop up a few handfuls of play money). Clearing my throat, I looked around and saw, to my surprise, that the crowd had listlessly turned away and was heading back to the parliament building entrance. “Hang on!” I cried. “Will no one listen to my idea? Why shouldn’t the rules of this game apply to the country? Are we not all being bought and sold every day by a handful of extremely rich players? Are not the properties of the country being traded, merged, and bankrupted by a group of nine or ten people?” […]

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Serbian blogers joined the mainstream media in a widespread discussion about the country’s brands [12]. B92 News reports [13] on the national gourmet product:

[…] Leskovac [14]-style grilled meat is protected as a brand by the Intellectual Property Bureau. […] The initiative for protecting the brand was started and financed by officials representing seven private butcher shops in Leskovac, with the help of local self-administrations. The Leskovac “Grill-Off [15]” is an annual barbecuing festival held in the city every year and will he held once again this year in between September 4–10.[…]

Pitchweis from Kikinda [16] exposes [17] people’s ignorance when brand talk is on (SRP):

Have you noticed word “brand” is widely misused last few months. After hearing all that fuss we can conclude Serbia has a great brand potential. […] I read one scary thing in local newspaper. Our town mayor or someone else stated that mammoth [18] is Kikinda’s brand!?! I wonder how mammoth [19] can be our local brand without being showcased on town square to be hailed and greeted by our citizens?!? […]

Bg anon quotes [20] Blic [21] daily newspaper article titled “foreigners afraid of large portions”:

[…] Welcoming people, atmosphere, nightlife, restaurants, bars, river boat(s) cafes, girls – they are the things most foreign tourists find attractive about Serbia. […] The [British] are keenest on the rivers Sava [22] and Danube [23], river boats and night life, the French are interested in our architecture and museums, the Germans both of the above and the Italians are interested in our fashion (yes, this surprised me too) and they often seek Serbian designer clothes and Serbian girls […] Some tourists complain that portions are too large in our restaurants. Often they are double the size of what you receive in Western eateries – Jovanov laughs.

Dejan Stankovic gains a lot of reader’s reactions to his brand inspired post. He says [24] (SRP):

I have never seen “made in Serbia” label. I realized that when I noticed made in Lesotho printed at the bottom of my shirt’s label. […] I remembered watching one American giving a statement for news. He was arguing Serbs have to reach up to their potential and can’t get into commodity of being [shortsighted] because our nation has plenty to offer. He started listing: amazing raspberries, strawberries… than he got confused and repeated: beautiful raspberries and (he added) blackberries … so he switched to another topic. […] Few days ago, in downtown Lisbon, I discovered delicacy shop selling white cheese, ajvar [25], sauerkraut [26], […] – and everything was made in Bulgaria, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Croatia… […]

Misha replies:

[…] Our tractors are super popular in China. Italians are crazy about not being able to enter their market. […]

Lionsgate:

My friend’s wives used to head to Belgrade just to buy apparel designed by Dragana Ognjenovic [27]. It would be great if she could open stores in every business hotspot of the continent, because those black costumes are ideal for a business woman. Except that, for the price of one Armani garment you can buy four to five of her dresses […]

Kiko:

[…] To some extent Serbia can be associated with food and night life so we should invest more in tourism to make our night-out authentic brand. If you are looking for some “made in Serbia” product that can be recognized by a huge world market chances are you won’t find it. [Ratko] Mladic [28] [accused by the Hague tribunal] is main Serbian brand. […]

VanjaGator:

1. I know people from English language part of the globe who are so fond of “No problem” bars. […]

2. Voda Voda [29] has a pass for sure. Even NSF certificate was granted to them.

3. We have nice music scene, some of the bands could go international (Darkwood Dub [30], Popecitelji…)

Dejan Stankovic:

Meaning of marketing(branding) was well put by [Henry] Ford [31] in his well-known joke – Duck lays eggs discreetly, on the other hand chicken makes noise so the whole estate could hear. […] The whole world eats chicken eggs, just few use duck eggs. […] The question is – which eggs are nested by us? When we brand those eggs the question may be raised – what was the upheaval all about?

Bladerunner:

Only product we can glorify is healthy organic food. We are an agricultural country, no doubt about that, so why not use our potential to its fullest. Mick Jagger [32] and his friends all turned to organic and maggot food. As long as there are worms, its OK. […]

VanjaGator:

In the society of rich it is good to play cards of healthy foods and diet. Perhaps we can invent some kind of Serbian diet?

Float Like a Bu:

[…] There are some nice stuff dating from communism time ([when we lived in] SFRJ [33]) pushed into history only because negative association with abandoned system. […] One designer from West Germany [34] got a nice idea to patent semaphore from East Germany. He made it to an annual profit of 3 million euro. Even Berlin officials decided to place back those traffic-lights blueprinted in old fashion across the whole city . […] Maybe we could dig deep to find value and inspiration in our past. For example some unique icons from the era of socialism can be relived and proudly labeled by our country.