The Balkans: “Whose Is This Song?”

Recently several Macedonian bloggers published links to the online documentary “Whose Is This Song?” by a Bulgarian director Adela Peeva on their blogs and started discussing the story. The documentary was filmed as an idea that the director got during a dinner in Istanbul with several friends (a Macedonian, a Serb, a Greek and a Turk), when all of them said that the song playing in the background was from their country.

First to publish [mkd] a short review of the documentary was Arheo Blog:

[…] Although the documentary doesn’t have any political tendency, the search for an identity of a song shows the search for the identity and national impatience for the nations from the Balkans. Instead of connecting them, not knowing the situation, in some moments Peeva has to deal with emotional reaction of the interviewed people thinking that she is offending them. Trying to connect the cultural heritage for the Balkans, this time through music, Adela Peeva at the end will conclude that it’s almost unbelievable how only one song with unknown background can create hatred in people. This is shown in the end of the movie, in the scene where one Fiesta is transformed into a field that is on fire and its save by “people from different ethnicities”. This is happening at the border between Bulgaria and Turkey.

Although it’s a great documentary, I was intrigued by the two facts said in the movie – “That this is a war song and that the rhythms are from North Europe, because they are not typical for the Balkans”. It’s up to you to determine which song it is.

When the post of Arheo Blog was shared [mkd] on Kajmak.ot there were several reactions:


I don’t know why there is always a tendency to look for argument and reasons for national tendencies. That is always the case for the Balkans, because politics is unavoidably connected with history. I stand by: “that the documentary doesn’t have any political tendencies”, because it’s made with another purpose. Probably it didn’t have that motive at the beginning, but the results show something completely different. This is something that we have seen several times when there is mixture between cultural heritage and achievements of different ethnicities and civilizations. Everything artistic that includes more sides, by the nature of this region will lead to nationalism and it will be considered as motive with political tendencies.


Yes, yes. It’s made by completely naive reasons to find the true origin of the song. That’s why she says to the Bosnians that the Serbs have the original (although she still hasn’t been in Serbia), she plays the Bosnian version to the Serbs, and to the Bulgarians she says that the Turks claim that the song is theirs.

There is nothing naive in the documentary… and if it’s full with something it’s politics. But it’s good that it’s made in that way – it shows the nations here in the best way :).

The blogger Razvigor also published the video and wrote [mkd]:

[…] The author of the film in the part for Albania said that she would return, and that really happened with her last movie “Divorce Albanian Style” [mkd]. Is that movie available on the internet also?

These are the things I was talking about when I was searching for the Macedonian Michael Moore [mkd].

There are two version of the song in Macedonia: from the town of Prilep “Oj ti Paco Drenovchanke” and from the town of TetovoOj devojche, ti Tetovsko jabolche.”


  • 4Rs

    It’s funny how an unrecognised FYROM (former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) try to claim whatever they can even music which clearly doesn’t belong to them for the sake of creating some sort of history for world wide recognition. To all the FYROM bloggers you can’t claim history, it actually has to have happened – Doh !

  • Makedonomahos

    Macedonia=GREEK since 2500 B.C.

    FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) has nothing to do with real Macedonia that is part of Greece and part of the Greek civilisation.

    No change of name of FYROM=No entry in EU and NATO of FYROM

  • Emre

    This song is %100 Turkish song even those who have this song in their language Greek,Serbs,Bulgars it wouldn’t change it as all those nations been living under the Turkish Government for ages.

    Please dont be funny.

  • Emre

    This documantery was very nice I would like to thank a lot who prepare it.

    By the way I understand why the bulgarians wants to ban Turkish news on their TV. I can not say that all bulgarians are the same but I have imagine them just like in the movie acourding to them there is two nation bulgarian and others. same for the serbs racist people. Style of them ”I know all” if any other claims that they are all wrong.

    After whatcing all video I belive this is our song ”Balkans” From Turkey to Albania,Serbia,Bosnia,Bulgaria,Greece and all other balkan nations.

  • gjosu

    @4Rs and Makedonomahos

    You didn’t learn a single thing from this documentary, did you?

    Btw, the Macedonian musician was the ONLY ONE who said that the song probably wasn’t Macedonian originally. All the others were trying to lynch Adela. I feel sad for you.

  • Eleni Elefterias Kostakidis

    I think this documentary does have some political tendencies. everything IS political. She unveils the problems of these ‘imagines’ communities in the Balkans and even though she does show some negatives of these people mostly she shows that they need to overcome these and that there are many similarities such as their shared music. They are more alike than they think and that is what I understood from the film.I am at present writing a paper / review of this film for the Modern Greek Journal 2014 produced through the University of Sydney in Australia.

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.