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Year III  No 12-13, 2015  price 15 KM www.nacionalnarevija.com

Waiting for 2016

WHAT IS WAITING AROUND THE CORNER


th th On Onthe theoccasion occasion ofof 900 900 anniversary anniversary ofofthe thebirth birthofofStefan Stefan Nemanja, Nemanja,

EXCEPTIONALILLUSTRATED ILLUSTRATEDMONOGRAPH! MONOGRAPH! EXCEPTIONAL Old Old and and new new texts, texts, biographies biographies and and services, services, poems poems and and studies, studies, photographs photographs and and paintings! paintings! Use Use the the opportunity, opportunity, get get your your copy copy with with a discount! a discount!

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P R O L O G U E

SORROW OF MASTERS IN THE AGE OF CHARLATANISM

Publisher “Princip Pres” Cetinjska 6, 11000 Belgrade Tel.: +381 (11) 322 70 34, 322 16 92 www.nacionalnarevija.com princip.press@gmail.com Director and Editor-in-Chief Mišo Vujović Editor Branislav Matić Technical Editor Aleksandar Ćosić Photography Editor Dragan Bosnić Header and Cover Design Jovan Željko Rajačić Associates Milovan Vitezović, jerej Jovan Plamenac, Nebojša Jevrić, Dragan Lakićević, Bojan Mandić, Jovo Bajić, Dejan Bulajić, Dejan Đorić, Đorđe Srbulović, Mihail Kulačić, Zoran Pejašinović, Slobodan Krstić, Sandra Kljajić, Senka Trivić, Sandra Josović, Dajana Korolija, Radmila Đević, Vesna Kapor, Aleksandra Glišić

Nothing Lasts Forever I

f young Vasko Popa showed up in Belgrade today and presented the manuscript of his immortal Upright Country to “leading publishers”, the half-educated little editors would mock him. They’d ask him to find a sponsor for his book. Perhaps some, with their concreted brains, would even accuse him of being a residue of some “former regime”. If a gentlemen-like young man named Ivo Andrić brought his just finished collection of stories, he’d first be confronted with a series of indecent refusals. Then they’d invite him to stand in line with the suddenly literated TV show hosts and singers, with provincial comic book writers, crooks and little journalists. In the center of charlatanism and triviality. Then, with a bit of luck and mercy of the background structures, he’d reach the cross-eyed switchman deep in the lagoon. He’d request him to simplify Anika, reduce Đerzelez and kick out Mustafa Madžar. To dissociate himself from Crnjanski, become member of the Party and have a more positive attitude towards “minorities”.

Translated by Sandra Gagić & “Globe Translations“ Marketing Mirko Vujović Secretariat and Distribution Dragana Dimitrijević, Milenko Vasilić Print “Portal”, Belgrade Office for the Republic of Srpska “Princip Pres RS” Nikole Pašića 1, 78000 Banjaluka Tel/Fax: +387 (51) 304 360 srpska@nacionalnarevija.com Dijana Petković, Director Office for Australia “Princip Press Australia PTY LTD”, 12/24 Loch Street, 3182 St Kilda West, VIC Jelena Janković, Director

Cover page: In Sirogojno (Photo: Svetlana Dingarac) CIP - Каталогизација у публикацији Народна библиотека Србије, Београд 008(497.6 Република Српска) ISSN 2334-8518, COBISS.SR-ID 199401228

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How would Ivo, Miloš, Vasko react? Would they retreat into the margins and wait for “better times”, printing their master pieces on digital and giving them as gifts to friends? Would they make a humble living by overwriting memoirs of written down generals and politicians, making them smart and great? Or would they accept “the rules of the game”, and become joyful employees of the sorrowful protectorate? It was never easy to survive as talented, serious and master in this storm. And it has probably never been as difficult as it is today. Leonid Brezhnev said a lot of things in his lifetime, but for one he must be honored: “Comrades, we must help the talented. The untalented find a way anyhow.” 

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CONTENTS

Panorama 04 PRO­LOGUE 06 AL­BUM: IN LONG BLINKS

Road Sign 14 INVITATION: ABUNDANCE AWAITING US 24 CITIES: GOOD NATURE AND OLD NOBILITIES 34 PEOPLE AND WATERS: THE TARA AND DRINA 44 PILGRIMAGES: HI­LAN­DAR 54 FREEDOM: FORWARD TO THE HOMELAND

Culture 62 OLD MASTERS: MO­MO KA­POR 70 A DIFFERENT ANGLE: FASHION IN THE GREAT WAR 74 LIFE, NOVELS: VLA­DI­MIR ME­DE­NI­CA 84 OUTLOOKS: JEV­GE­NIJ VO­DO­LAZ­KIN 90 ARS SAC­RA: DIV­NA LJU­B O­JE­VIĆ

Introducing 98 THE WINNER: VA­NJA UDO­VI­ČIĆ 106 RESORTS: MORE THAN STUDENT CAMPS 110 RE-READ: LESKOVAC 114 HIT: “MER­KUR”, NEW OFFER Partner of the Publication: SECRETARIAT FOR RELIGIONS OF THE REPUBLIC OF SRPSKA

THIS MAGAZINE IS PRINTED WITH SUPPORT FROM THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE OF SERBIA SRPSK A  No 12-13  2015

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY UROŠ PETROVIĆ, A WRITER

 Secret of water  Forest magic  Eva. Sunset. Lamp

In Long Blinks

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n unusual creative personality is before us. One of the bestselling contemporary writers for children in this part of Europe, playful and mysterious, intelligent and unpredictable. He does not make us readers but accomplices. There is no safe distance with him and safety of the observer, one must be inside and try, must take a risk and say one’s word, make one’s step. Uroš Petrović (Gornji Milanovac, 1967) lives in the same way in which he writes. He went rafting on wild waters, flew in a balloon, searched for truffles, rinsed gold on the Pek River, tamed wolves and horses. He has seen things from unusual angles, reached the points from where some completely new worlds get opened. Created software as a game and turned game into software. Taught us to learn. He was bringing photographs from all over. Serious, deep and mysterious. In some genres truly brilliantly done. He presented them to us at about a dozen solo exhibitions in Serbian countries and broad. As many as four of his photographs were selected by Microsoft for desktop of “Windows 7” operating system. Titles of Petrović’s photographs are an important element of reading the image, entering deeper layers of meanings and interpretation (Bulldog’s Dream, Parrot and Darkness, Forest Magic, The House of the Rising Sun, The Last Day of the old Cherry Tree, Eyes of Wisdom...). Sometimes it seems as if he is writing a novel with photographs. He has excellent photographs of temples, city, children, animals, everyday situations. On this occasion, we are primarily interested in landscapes, that great and simple test for every photographer. Genius loci of this region. Because we are in it and it is in us.  (B. M.)

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The Morava River

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Freedom

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TOURIST POTENTIALS OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA

Abundance

Waiting As a forgotten beauty and contemporary homeland, Srpska emerges before us and is captivating. Noble and cultured, it is not prone to boasting and self-advertising. It has patience and dignity of a bridge builder. It knows that its beautiful cities and temples, waters and national parks, canyons and mountains, spa resorts and ethno villages must simply be discovered. And afterwards everything will come to its place by itself By: Vanja Vojinović

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for Us

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Srpska has many excellent terrains for paragliding

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S

 Hotel and swimming pool in Spa Resort Vrućica, Teslić municipality Ethno-village Stanišići Having coffee in Prijedor Train “Ćira“ near Dobrun

rpska is rich in unique natural beauties, national parks, spa resorts and cultural and historic monuments, and its tourist is thus diverse and rich. It offers almost everything – from adventure, ethno, ecology and spa, to cultural and religious tourism. A place for rest can be found here both by those who love peace and adventure lovers, those who are focused on nature and those who love to explore the spirit and charm of old local towns. Numerous archaeological findings and historical monuments are testimony to civilizations and peoples who have been populating the area of today’s Trebinje and its surroundings. This town has 29 national monuments, as well as the Museum of Herzegovina, which preserves great archaeological treasure. There is the Branković Tower from the 14th century, towers in Bugovina, Skočo’s Tower in Gomiljani. Trebinje also holds the Gračanica of Herzegovina, the monastery church of which is a faithful replica of the famous Gračanica from Kosovo, endowment of King Milutin. It was built in 2000, on Crkvina Hill above Trebinje, with a desire to fulfill the testamentary wish of Jovan Dučić, a famous poet from Trebinje, and it was done. His remains were transferred from the US and buried in the crypt of the monastery church. In the vicinity of the town there are monasteries Zavala and Tvrdoš. Frescoes in the Zavala church were painted in 1619 by Georgije Mitrofanović, a monk from Hilandar and a great Serbian painter. Monks of the reconstructed Tvrdoš Monastery took under their care the old vineyards in Trebinjsko polje (70 hectares) and planted as much as 60 hectares of new vineyards in Popovo polje, and the monastery today has two wine cellars that are famous far and wide. Bileća, the city with rich cultural past, stands out for necropolises of medieval tombs, near the entrance into the town, along the shore of the Bileća Lake. There is also Dobrićevo Monastery from the 13th

Bardača Priceless treasure of Srbac municipality and the entire Srpska is the famous Bardača, a natural reservation with 11 lakes, unique in this region, a rare area of nature with colonies of protected waterfowls, lake and other water flora and fauna. Bardača offers numerous possibilities for recreational tourism, and traditional Gastronomy Festival, which attracts numerous visitors, is organized here every year.

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century, with excellent frescoes, Church of the Holy Martyr Lazar and Heroes from Kosovo, Temple of Saint Sava, Church of the Holy Archangel Michael in Trnov Dol, Church of the Holy Prophet Elijah on a small island in the Bileća Lake. SANCTUARIES AND MEMORIALS Višegrad is one of the oldest inhabited places in today’s B&H. Famous for its bridge over the Drina and the novel about that bridge, for which Serbian writer Ivo Andrić was crowned with the Nobel Prize for literature in 1961. One of the major local tourist attractions is certainly Andrićgrad. Although still under construction, it has recently been opened for visitors. One can walk down the main street (Promenade), look at the buildings of the Andrić Institute, the City Hall, hotel, department store, as well as other buildings built in the spirit of old Serbian and European architectural heritage in this region. Magnificent Square of Nikola Tesla has been completed, and it is dominated by 2.4 meters high monument to the Nobel Prize winner Ivo Andrić. The city tavern “Goya” is also opened at the visiting time. Dobrun Monastery stands out among numerous sacral buildings of Višegrad and the surroundings. The settlement of Dobrun, established in the Middle Ages, is older than Višegrad, and the monastery itself dates back to the times of Serbian Emperor Dušan. Tourists should not miss a ride in popular “Ćira”, a train on narrow-gauge railway tracks, which runs from Mokra Gora, via Dobrun, to Višegrad. Tourists who visit Rogatica will also have a lot to see. In the area of the municipality there is the famous Bridge on Žepa, as well as necropolis with tombs Borak, Retep-Paša’s Tower, and another 87 sites with 2,628 tombs. And on the other side of Srpska, next to Krupa on the Vrbas, there is a monastery dedicated to Saint Elijah from the 14th century. The cascades of the Krupa and mills along this river are also a real attraction for the visitors of this small town. On the mountains between Teslić and Banjaluka there is Liplje, a Christian Orthodox monastery from the 14th century, for its architecture one of the most beautiful sacral buildings in B&H.


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The Capital The capital and the largest city of Srpska – Banjaluka – also called the “City of Greenery” (thanks to its numerous parks and alleys), will be a separate topic in this edition. On this occasion, let us only mention the pearly Temple of Christ The Savior, Banski dvor and Palace of the Republic. The Kastel Fortress in Banjaluka is one of the oldest buildings in B&H. With its unique urban spirit, as well as cultural, entertainment and other offer, Banjaluka is one of the most magnetic points in tourism of Srpska.

Turbulent history and cultural and historical heritage of the town of Laktaši can be seen in numerous local archeological sites. Most of them are in the valley along the Vrbas River, which stretches along the entire municipality of Laktaši, and divides it into two parts. One should certainly see the tombs in the necropolis of Osoje near Slatina, near a log church from the 18th century, as well as remains of Roman Thermae on Zidine, below Jelića brdo in Laktaši. In Doboj, our attention is attracted by the Gradina Fortress from the 18th century, reconstructed in early 21st century. It is a cultural and historical monument of high value, where one can see, among other things, replicas of old weapons and antiques. NATURE AND OTHER MIRACLES The rivers of Tara and Vrbas offer ideal conditions for adventure tourism. They enable combinations of various activities of this type, and they are drawn in all tourist maps of the world as top rafting destinations. Rafting is the best way for nature lovers to discover the charms of the Tara Canyon. The Vrbas River also offers great possibilities for development of sport, recreation and tourism. Because of its canyon, rapids and cascades, this is one of the most suitable rivers in Europe for white water kayaking. Conditions for rafting are also perfect, and in 2009 Banjaluka was the host of the World Championship in this sport. The fans of underwater world have a possibility to enjoy diving adventures. Canyons of the Vrbas and its tributaries, with steep slopes, are excellent for free climbing and mountaineering. The rivers of Drina, Pliva and Ugar are a real magnet for all fans of fly-fishing and fishing. SRPSK A  No 12-13  2015

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Below Kozara Moštanica Monastery, one of the oldest in Krajina, hidden on Kozara not far from Prijedor, was given its name after the small river on which it stands. Petar Pecija Petrović, leader of uprising against the Turks was buried next to the monastery church. Kozarac, also below the slopes of Kozara, is still dominated by the tower built in 1736, during extension of the former fortification.

 On the Vrbas: Rafting, jumps from the bridge and fishing on white water A small lake in National Park “Sutjeska“

 On the bank of the Sava

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Hydro-accumulation Perućac, created in the process of dividing the Drina River with a concrete dam, turned a part of this river’s basin into a 52 kilometers long lake. There is organized sailing on small boats on this lake all the way to the Višegrad Bridge. The Zvornik Lake is also very attractive. It is an artificial accumulation created through construction of hydro power plant “Zvornik”, on the narrowest part of the river, on the exit from the famous Canyon of Drina. There are excellent conditions for fishing (hucho, trout, carp, chub), swimming, kayaking competitions and other water sports. The town of Jezero, exactly at the point where the Pliva empties into the Great Pliva Lake, half-way between Jajce and Šipovo, is excellent for all those who want to escape from the city noise and relax next to the cascades of a mountain river, as well as for fishermen who want to try themselves in the catching of creek trout. In the valley, and still surrounded by a beautiful mountain range, this place provides excellent conditions for paragliding, mountaineering and mountain biking. In addition to the Pliva Lake, there are another two lakes nearby, the Big and Small Đol, extremely popular among fishermen. Although the Municipality of Foča is well known for the attraction of rafting on the Tara and Drina, its most important tourist jewel is “Sutjeska” National Park, with Perućica rainforest, and the mountains of Zelengora and Maglić, Volujak and Vučevo. With lots of wildlife and beautiful lakes full of fish, this national park, the oldest and the biggest in B&H, is very attractive for tourists, hunters and fishermen.

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In the vicinity of Foča, on the road to Sarajevo, there are sand pyramids which are, we may certainly say so, a unique natural wonder. Created for a long time, through soil erosion, combination of frosts, heats, rain and strong winds, these sculptures with interesting shapes are similar to those in Colorado, Dolomites and Đavolja varoš. Furrowed sand pillars rise from their wide foundations and narrow down toward the top, thus representing an exceptional geomorphologic rarity. CAVES, MOUNTAINS, WATERS In the vicinity of Teslić there is Rastuška Cave, with beautiful jewelry, in which significant bio-speleological species and paleontology excavations were discovered. The longest cave in Srpska is the Big Cave, and the biggest underground ice structure is Ledana pit in Ribnik municipality. In cave “Pod lipom”, they discovered Paleolithic engraved drawings, the oldest in the territory of the Republic. In addition to drawings, they also discovered stone tools, artifacts from the Lower, Middle and Upper Paleolithic. On the major road Šipovo-Kupres above the village of Vagan, on the altitude of 920 meters above sea level, there is Vaganska Cave. Typical karst cave, it is rich in mountain jewelry. It has eight units (Shepherd hall, Fox channel, Gallery of Simo Šolaja, Janjski channel, Ceremonial hall, Hall of the Giants, Abyss channel, Hall of Rade Marijanac).

Orlovača Seven kilometers away from Pale, Orlovača cave belongs to the group of largest and most beautiful cave systems in B&H. In its immediate vicinity is the spring of the Sinjevo Creek, behind the high rock of Orlovača. By now, around 2,500 meters of the cave hallway and channel have been explored. The jewelry of Orlovača, created over millions of years, is exceptionally rich.


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In the vicinity of Šipovo there is excursion ground called Janjski otoci, a fascinating combination of natural force and beauty, and not far from it, between Banjaluka and Prijedor, there is an attractive excursion ground Eco-Centre “Ljekarice”. It has nine pools suitable for fishing and water sports, and one of them has been developed as a swimming pool. According to estimates, Bara Gromiželj near Bijeljina is 450 million years old. It is a destination that nature lovers must not miss, a place with quick sand and habitat of rare species of fish “umbra krameri”. Olympic Centre “Jahorina” is a perfect place for the fans of winter sports. Ski slopes on Jahorina are suitable for both the beginners and professional skiers. Excellent terrain configuration, abundance of high quality snow, good climate, 20 kilometers of slopes for alpine skiing, as well as soft slopes, numerous hotels and restaurants, make this mountain one of the most beautiful and most famous ski resorts in the region. Vlašić Mountain, in Kneževo municipality, has forested pasture slopes with skilifts, excellent for alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboard and sledging. It is regarded as the first quality air spa, with a wide range of health benefits. Kozara, the mountain beauty near Prijedor, has been a national park since 1967. This very attractive mountain is the perfect destination for those who love nature and winter sports. It dominates this part of Srpska with its height, vastness and beauty. As a memory to Kozara soldiers who were killed defending the freedom, in the central part of the National Park, Mrakovica, there is the famous Memorial Complex (Monument, Memorial Wall and Museum), built in 1972. Borja mountain, near Teslić, is excellent for those who love nature and recreation, especially for skiers who like Nordic disciplines. The nearby Sports-Recreational Centre and Motel “Hajdučke vode” complement the offer. SPA RESORTS AND ETHNO TOURISM Since Roman times, thermal springs used to bring settlers and travelers to Teslić. Banja Vrućica is well known for good quality thermal mineral waters. It has developed programs for health, wellness, recreational and congress tourism. It is beneficial in rehabilitation of cardiovascular, rheumatology and neurological disorders. The Health-

Vilina vlas Not far from Višegrad there is Stara Banja, namely Rehabilitation Centre “Vilina vlas”. The main medicinal properties of water, rich in radon, come from its radioactivity. Thermal waters are also rich in sodium, potassium, magnesium, aluminium, lithium, strontium, manganese, iron, ammonium-hydro carbonate, aluminium-oxide, oxides of iron and other metals.

care-Tourist Complex includes hotels and a sports-recreational facility. In the territory of Laktaši municipality there are two spa-recreational centers: Spa Resort Laktaši and Spa Resort Slatina. Thermal waters of Spa Resort Laktaši have been well known for its medicinal qualities since ancient (Roman) times. In immediate vicinity of Prijedor there is the Centre for Physiotherapy, Rehabilitation and Health Tourism “Mlječanica”. This spa resort is a place for the treatment, among other things, of inflammatory and degenerative rheumatic, neurological and skin diseases. The tourist offer of Prijedor is complemented by a medicinal water spring Lješljani, which is excellent for the treatment of skin diseases. (Spa Resort Lješljani is under construction, and water and the natural surroundings are currently used primarily as excursion ground, for recreational purposes.) In the area of Prnjavor there is Spa Resort Kulaši, the benefits of which are a rarity in the world. Its water is characterized by a high degree of alkalinity, and low level of mineralization, which gives evident results in the treatment of psoriasis. Spa Resort Dvorovi, near Bijeljina, has be­neficial geo-thermal water that cures ma­ ny diseases. For those who love nature and ethno to­ ur­ism, an excellent place in Srpska is Zelenkovac, mountain resort in the valley of the creek with the same name, near the village of Podrašnica in Mrkonjić Grad. About fifteen mills were built here a few centuries ago, and in April 2002 this place received the status of ecological zone. Also attractive is the complex in Ribnik, which consists of four villas (“Pliva”, “Sana”, “Vrbas”, “Una”) and one bungalow (“Luka”). Within the complex there is a good wine cellar. Special attraction is ethno village of Sta­ ni­šići, three kilometers from Bijeljina. In addition to numerous programs of Serbian cultural heritage, it is also adorned by the Monastery of St. Nicholas. s SRPSK A  No 12-13  2015

 Delicacies: Gastronomy is one of important tourist advantages of Srpska

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Good Temper and Old Nobilities

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In the category of city tourism, Banjaluka, Višegrad and Trebinje certainly stand out. Three old cities, with a profound worldview and developed sense for enjoying the life’s pleasures, are simultaneously filled with young people and various modern contents. Their taverns, open air markets and promenades, their waters and excursion sites, temples and views, museums and monuments, offer something you will not find anywhere else. The best thing would be to explore this as the local experts would do

The Old Town in Trebinje

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ТУРИСТИЧКА ОРГАНИЗАЦИЈА РЕПУБЛИКЕ СРПСКЕ

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ear after year, destinations in Srpska are becoming increasingly attractive to local and foreign guests. Those who want to meet something new and different, to enjoy in a differently conceived culture, gastronomy and entertainment, have been circling the cities in Srpska, primarily its city break destinations, increasingly often. And Banjaluka, Višegrad and Trebinje certainly stand out in this category in Srpska. These are cities of culture and long tradition, interesting stories and legends, but also good entertainment. They will fill your time in an interesting way, enable you to relax and refresh, but also make you want to keep coming back and discover. Each of these destinations is characterized by diversity and uniqueness of their offers. In a relatively small area here you can find a large selection of things for which in some other countries you would need to travel a few hundred kilometers. If you don’t want to be a typical tourist, do not miss to see the most interesting places and experience the things in which the local population enjoys. Experience Banjaluka, Trebinje or Višegrad as a local. We will propose a few activities, programs and rituals that are considered to be indispensable when you are in one of these cities. TAVERNS, MARKETS, PROMENADES

 A walk in Andrićgrad

Regardless of the time of day, feel free to take a break from your daily routine and sit in one of numerous cafes, have a coffee, wither the traditional local black coffee or espresso. Cafes are open in all seasons, but it is precisely known in which season and where is the best place to enjoy one’s coffee, because of the view on the Vrbas, Drina and Trebišnjica, or view on the city promenade. If taverns are the souls of the cities of Srpska, markets are their hearts. Take a

On the Hill The people of Banjaluka love Banj Hill (also known as Šehitluci), maybe more than other attractions in the vicinity. Everybody who visits this city and have some more time go there for a walk and a little exploration. There are three legends explaining the origin of the name of this excursion place, and we will certainly write about them some other time.

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walk through a market of one of them. You may get to know the gastronomy of that region, as well as people, customs, tempers. You may also hear the latest information from the country and abroad, firsthand. The markets of Banjaluka, Višegrad and Trebinje will certainly make you feel like a local, especially when you discuss with the sellers on stalls about cheese from Herzegovina in wineskin or in oil, about monastery cheese trapist, about the famous plum preserve from the surroundings of Višegrad, Borič potato, Višegrad and Herzegovina honey, unique Herzegovina beans polјak, grapes, figs and many other delicacies you will find there. In all three cities and in any time of the year, daily walk down the city promenade or river banks is indispensable. Cities are alive, full of people of all ages. Spring is maybe the most beautiful season for those city walks, when trees in all the streets of Banjaluka turn green, as well as planetrees in Trebinje, and when Bikavac in Višegrad blossoms. When you are in Banjaluka, it is recommended to go somewhere near the Vrbas, next to the green water and if possible get some barbecued ćevapčići, the Banjaluka brand, of course. Certainly one of the best ways to feel the charms of the river is to sail in dajak, the authentic Banjaluka boat, used by generations of locals, and each one of them has its story. And of adrenalin is the factor that drives you, the best choice for you is the rafting adventure down the Vrbas Canyon, in day or night version, it’s up to you. There are many beautiful places down the Vrbas, when you go down the river canyon in the direction of Jajce, on major road M-16. We should mention at least Šeher, Rekavice, Krupa on the Vrbas... Krupa je has been increasingly popular lately, because of restored mills, bridges over the magical cascades and developed walking paths.

 Concert in Kastel in Banjaluka

On the River If you are in Višegrad in the summer, you must swim in the Drina. Sail on little boats that are passing down the river daily, and then reach some parts of the canyon that cannot be reached from the bank. You should swim and enjoy in fresh fish from the Drina, caught and prepared in the same day.

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Ћу­при­ја на Дри­ни, Ви­ше­град Bridge on the Drina, Višegrad

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Photographs: Branislav Andrić, Ana Despenić, Archive of the TORS

BRIDGES, BANKS, RITUALS Višegrad lives with the bridge and the Drina. Increasingly important things have been happening next to the bridge or on it, just like what Ivo Andrić describes in his famous works. The bridge is the key to Višegrad. We suggest that you take a coffee, tea or something else from the nearby cafes, and then sit on the bridge and enjoy by looking at the Drina in its eternal course, at the “constancy of change”.

In the Dawn Just like every person from Trebinje who is dedicated to religion and spirituality, early in the morning you may attend a religious service in one of the temples in the city, or in one of the old monasteries nearby (Tvrdoš, Petropavlov, Duži, Zavala, Dobrićevo).

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Definitely take a walk through nearby Andrićgrad (Kamengrad), go to a movie theatre and see some good films from around the world, which you can always find there. Indispensable in the life of Višegrad, Andrićgrad is an accomplished vision, a mixture of different styles and epochs. In words of director Emir Kusturica, the creator of this city within the city, it is also an image of what Višegrad could have looked like if it hadn’t been bypassed by the Renaissance and some other historical periods. And in Trebinje, the city-museum, on every corner numerous gifts by Jovan Dučić to his hometown will greet you and mesmerize you on every step. This giant of Serbian literature has left a permanent mark in his Trebinje. Today, he rests on


the Crkvine Hill, above the city, in Gračanica of Herzegovina, where one can enjoy in the beautiful view of every corner of this city. The citizens of Trebinje are also proud of yet another masterpiece that has remained from Mehmed-paša Sokolović: the Perovića (Arslanagića) Bridge on the Trebišnjica, the biggest underground river in Europe. In the very heart of the city, this river surfaced in all its beauty. On several locations along its banks you can enjoy, for example, in the best Herzegovina prosciutto and superb Herzegovina wines, of the noblest types of grapes that are grown only a few kilometers from the city center. If you want to feel like a local, after all the activities during the day it is manda-

tory that you go out in the evening. It can be a dinner in a traditional restaurant, where you will have an opportunity to feel the permeation of gastronomies from the East and the West, all made of local produce, from nearby farms and fields, with no GMO products. You may also opt to go to a night club, with live music almost until early morning hours. It is up to you. One way or the other, we are certain that neither the cities nor their people will disappoint you. Because, this is a noble country, with good people, with interesting cities and beautiful nature.  SRPSK A  No 12-13  2015

 Trebinje: Gifts of Herzegovina

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SMALL JOURNAL OF SAILING ON THE TARA AND THE DRINA

See It Through

My Eyes

Rafting is not just an adventure. The river teaches us patience and calmness, specific kind of wisdom. To admire, to love and respect it. It sometimes cruelly warns shallow and haughty people. Otherwise it multiply returns care and gifts. It amazes and recuperates us. We are in nature, nature within us. Everything is in everything, borders don’t exist. What we are searching for and what we find is the point of balance within us, a forgotten stronghold By: Sandra Gagić

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n the Foča-Nikšić highway, twentyodd kilometers from Foča, about a hundred meters from the place where the rivers Tara and Piva join and make the turquoise Drina, in the vicinity of Perućica, the only virgin forest in Europe, “Sutjeska” National Park, Tjentište, Trnovačko Lake, in the place where nights are cool and the sky becomes heavy with stars, which stand so low that it seems one could reach each one of them in only one jump, there are about twenty rafting camps. They are visited by adventurers, nature lovers and those who wish to, at least for a moment, escape the buzz and heat of the city, hear the silence, feel the smell of air and soil and taste of water. Rafting on the Tara and the Drina is organized from March to October. Sailing from March to May, when the water level is very high and its temperature 5-7 degrees Celsius, requests previous physical preparation. From June to October, the water level is lower, its temperature 10-12 degrees Celsius, so previous preparations are not necessary and even children can take part in it. The journey begins on the river Tara in Montenegro. During the summer months, when the water level is low and the river slower, it lasts 4-5 hours through Montenegro and Republic of Srpska. Besides the excitement during rowing in the rapids, it’s also a good opportunity to, while passing the calmer parts of the Tara, listen to the songs from other passing boats, enjoy the view of the canyon, the tall cliffs on both sides of the river, to enjoy the sun and bathing in the Tara, so-called Tear of Europe, whose water is safe for drinking in its entire course. During high water levels, however, when only the most experienced and bravest rafters, mainly skippers, dare to undertake this voyage, it lasts only about twenty minutes.

Dimensions of the Heart The skippers of Foča participated in organizing and securing the World Championship in Rafting held in 2009 in Banjaluka. During the great floods in Foča in 2010, they transported people and their household items from the endangered area with their rubber boats. When the raft with Lithuanian and Russian guests capsized in the rushing icy Tara in June this year, the skippers immediately and without second thoughts, although jeopardizing their own safety, set off with their rafts to save the tourists.

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Guides-skippers coordinate the rubber rafts. Before entering the boat, they hold a brief course about using the equipment and behaving on the river. Milan Rudinac from Foča, who has been sailing the Tara and the Drina for about ten years now, and is cofounder of the “Wild River” camp, says that the main worry of the skipper is the safety of the guests. Participants in the rafting must also be aware of potential dangers, use protective equipment (helmet, safety belt, neoprene suit and boots) and listen to the skipper’s instructions. The river is unpredictable and capricious and must be treated with respect. Exaggerated and unfounded self-assurance of the inexperienced ones can only lead to accidents. In July, due to not respecting safety rules, a young man from Montenegro died in the rapids of the Tara during rafting. CREW FROM FOUR CONTINENTS Skippers from Foča are not just plain adventurers, but very brave young men, always ready to help anyone in need. They, however, don’t speak much. Silent and moody, like the river they love so much, with hearts as big as mountains surrounding them, each word they say is measured and thought through several times. Nothing excessive. Profit here is not a measure of success, or the reason why they are doing this. – I wanted people who come here to see all this through my eyes, the way I see it – says Rudinac. He doesn’t say much, but it is enough to see how he touches the river while sitting in the boat, how he collects each empty can, plastic bottle or cigarette butt, thoughtlessly thrown on the river bank by some previous guests, how he carefully puts them in the bag in his boat, the love in his eyes while he watches the trees and the rocks, the respect with which he treats each, even the smallest and seemingly least dangerous rapid. When building his camp, he erected wooden bungalows and small houses looking up to old Serbian ones among the trees, trying not to move any of them. Those that had to be moved from their original place, he took out from the ground and planted them nearby. And then, all of a sudden, everyone feels that they are really watching the world around them through his eyes; that nature


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Special Nature Reserve The Tara Canyon, 1.337 meters deep, is the deepest canyon in Europe and second deepest in the world, after the Great Canyon of the Colorado River. In 1977, the Tara basin was enlisted in UNESCO’s “Man and Biosphere” program as a special nature reserve. The last 29 kilometers of the Tara’s course make a natural border between Srpska and Montenegro, while the last 18 kilometers of this river, before it joins the Piva to become the Drina, have more than 20 rapids and are most exciting for rafting.

is within them and they are in it, and that there is no border separating them. That everything is one. And Milan knows he succeeded to, at least for a day, teach at least one human to watch the world around him with his eyes. – People come from all parts of the world – he says. – Once we realized that the crew of six we gathered for rafting is made of people from four continents: New Zealand, Brazil, Russia and Germany. “Wild River” is almost at the very bank of the Drina, several dozens meters from the water. On a sunny day, the colors of the Drina flow from the most beautiful shades of green, to turquoise and blue. Although it is fast, the water level is low and the river seems calm, as if one shouldn’t be afraid of it at all. Only at dusk, when the sun sets behind the mountain and the water becomes dark, its level becomes higher and roaring increasingly louder, one can feel its true power and strength. One realizes how forceful and dangerous this river is, the river next to which our ancestors grew up, dived into its waters and sang to it, many of them even ended their lives in it. And when the night falls, after the rafting, in the camp, when nature calms down and guests go to sleep, the Drina lulls them to sleep with its roaring. Before the magnificent landscapes of the canyon of the Tara, the Drina and the mountains surrounding them, one can think about how small we are before powerful nature, or doesn’t have to think about anything, just let everything worrying them go down the fast waters, to fill their entire body with scented mountain air and return recuperated to everyday life, with the Drina in the hair, lungs full of oxygen, heart filled with love and enormous wish to come back again very soon. SRPSK A  No 12-13  2015

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P I L G R I M A G E THE “NATIONAL REVIEW” ON THE HOLY MOUNT OF ATHOS: MONASTERY HILANDAR

The Divine Throne of Eternal Serbia By: Mišo Vujović

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P I L G R I M A G E Hilandar is first mentioned in 1076, as an abandoned Greek monastery Helandarion in a part of the Holy Mount of Athos. However, it is probable that the endower and the founder of the original Hilandar, almost one hundred years earlier, around 985, was the monk Georgis Helandarios. In documents from 1169, among the signers of the annual act stand the name of the prior of Hilandar called Gerasim, which points to the fact that 30 years before the arrival of St. Sava and St. Simeon (1197), a brotherhood already lived in that monastery

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he December sun was bathing in the foamy waves, which were left behind the ship “Agios Panteleimon”, leaving the port of Uranopolis to Daphne, the main port of the only monastic country in the world. A flock of sea gulls flew behind the great ship, white as snow, waiting for the food crumbs, which were thrown from the ship by monks and pilgrims. About ten years ago, the photograph which traveled around the world represented a monk from the Holy Mount of Athos from whose palm a white sea gull is taking pieces of bread, flying at rooftop level. This morning, the white squadron hunted its first morning meal. Uranopolis, or the Divine Town, represented a port and a gate of a monastic country for centuries. Set in the oasis of the park of the Holy Mother of God, had an unusual scent. And the morning tumult before taking on ships which sailed to the Holy Mount of Athos had a kind of a praying harmony. In the 80s of the 20th century, this fishing settlement, because of its emerald sea clarity, sandy beaches and the proximity of the Holy Mount of Athos, became an attractive tourist destination. The town in which dominates the watchtower is left

The myrrh and the vine of Saint Simeon After his death on February 13th 1200, St. Simeon was buried on the south side of the monastery, where monk and pilgrims kiss his grave. Eight years later, because of the fight between Simeon’s/Nemanja’s sons Vukan and Stefan, St. Sava decided to bring his father’s relics in order to reconcile his brothers The holy myrrh flew out from the relics, which also flew from the grave. About 15 years ago, a Serbian priest from Holland Vojislav Bilbija, a man of a unique gift made a silver sarcophagus for the grave of St. Simeon the Myrrh-Flowing. After the moving of his relics, the vine grew out from the grave whose fruit still help sterile couples to get children. The Hilandar church land, near Jerisos, lying on several tens of hectares, is a gift from the Turkish bay to whom the vine of St. Simeon helped in getting his heir.

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behind us. We sail along the coast, covered in low vegetation and olive groves. On only a few kilometers from Uranopolis begins the territory of the monastic country. On the peninsula’s slopes the remains of several smaller monastic communities sketes and hermitages. “Imagine a prince today who is refusing his great power, taking of the silk and the velvet clothes and accepts poverty of monastic tonsure, from which the Serbian people will rise and finally begin to see”, says Dragan Tomić, one of the contributors of Hilandar. IT HURTS TO THE BONE A beautiful December day and a few fishing boats on the blue high seas. “Hilandar”, announces the ship captain, telling the passengers to prepare for landing. The ship lands on a church land called Jovanica. It is the first station from Uranopolis to Daphne. On a deserted monastery property, father Panteleimon, a born German, who accepted Orthodoxy twenty years ago, succeeded in renovating the deserted monastery pier in only a few years, the palace, the vineyard, the olive groves. German diligence, as spoke the late old man Mitrofan of Hilandar, made a small paradise for a short time of a deserted pier of the coast of the Holy Mount of Athos. Several hundred meters from Jovanica, we ran into a white blanket, which is not frequent for this time of year. On several places, it is half a meter thick. The old military “pinzgauer” in which we drove last time in the army, successfully overcomes the snowdrifts. In about 20 minutes, we cross on the other side of the peninsula. In a picturesque and wooded part of the peninsula lies Hilandar. “An eternal gift to the Serbian people”, wrote in 1198 the Byzantium Emperor


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Alexios III Angelos in his document in which he gives Hilandar to the great Stefan Nemanja and his son, the young monk Sava. We stop on the hill above Hilandar. On March 12th 2004 from that same place I took photographs of the remains of the monastery building from which smoke was still gushing. Today, the sky above the holy monastery is covered in big building cranes. Chained with scaffoldings and metal constructions, the holy monastery reminds us of a former power of a nation and its country with its monumental character. In March 2004, two tragic events took place. The fire in Hilandar and the pogrom in Kosmet. At one moment we thought that the Hilandar and Kosmet flame would wake us up, that the soot of burning deeds would regain our consciousness. The same questions repeated this time again, while we were passing through the stone entrance of the monastery. Could only a chimney crack swallow all these centuries and some other endemic fissures have passed through this crack? Isn’t it strange that Hilandar burns so easily? That pumps are blocked, electricity is gone, that helicopters do not fly, that firefighters are asleep? Did angels took a vacation or are they tired from the Serbian fighting, from fights in which we win only ourselves, and then repent for things we haven’t or have done? The monks have testified that a force was fighting ear St. Sava’s chapel. Maybe the Saint tried to extinguish the fire, but he changed his mind, let it hurt to the bone. Leave a scar as a reminder. Not even the hegumenia of Hilandar, the Mother of God with three hands, did not raise her third hand. However, the Saint and the Protector did not let the fire get to Milutin’s endowment, with Lazar’s parvis in which lies the immortal Obilić’s sacrifice with an aureole. THE SPRING, THE NURSERY, THE PEAK Monatery Hilandar was a part of the destiny of Serbian people. During the medieval Serbian country, Hilandar was very powerful, as a religious lighthouse, the first university, the biggest artistic workshop, the nursery of religious people and missionaries... Hilandar left a priceless treasury to its homeland, which only the great people

can have. And the Serbian people, thanks to Hilandar and other endowments, above all the medieval ones, gave a priceless heritage to the world cultural treasury, which is today in Kosmet, bearing the brunt of new protected vandals. Through history, as most of our medieval churches, it was raged, destroyed, burned... Only Milutin’s church is left intact, built on the bases of the old Nemanja’s church, which was built on the remains of the devastated Hilandar church. Hilandar was destroyed in pirate robberies, in earthquakes, of which the strongest was in 1585, when most of Hilandar towers were torn down. In several horrible fires, great heritage was lost. Most of the treasure was destroyed in the fires of 1722 and 1776. There were demolishing in order to make it bigger, more spacious and powerful. Hilandar was the mirror of power of Serbian rulers for centuries. The power of Serbia was represented by it. King Milutin torn down the small church, which was built by St. Simeon and St. Sava. The medieval Serbian lords built these small churches and chapels, building themselves in them and their descendants in the eternity of Hilandar. It has a special place in the soul of every Orthodox Serb. Many people still dream of going to the “White Hilandar in the Holy Mount of Athos”.

Prayer for Esfigmenos In the end of 80s of the 20th century, the Monastery Esfigmenos came into a fight with the Patriarchate of Constantinople (the Mount of Athos is under its jurisdiction), because of the dialogue with Patriarch Bartholomew with the Pope. Monastery Esfigmenos, whose motto is “Orthodoxy or Death”, stopped all contacts and called off the obedience to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and not mentioning their patriarch on divine liturgies. They sent a bishop from Constantinople to calm down the rebelled monks. The monks of Esfigmenos “cancelled their hospitality” to the Bishop of Constantinople, who found shelter in Hilandar, from whose small brotherhood it was said that it was friendly with the attitude of their brothers from the neighboring monastery. The monk of Hilandar welcomed their unexpected guest. After the liturgy, the bishop of Constantinople, thanking the prior Nicanor for welcoming him, noticed that the monk of Hilandar do support the monk of Esfigmenos, even if they are mentioning the Patriarch of Constantinople. “We meniton the patriarch, but we pray for our brother from Esfigmenos”, said Nicanor.

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Bells

“An empty atheist soul needs no bells.” Said the young monk Amfilohije, the former student in Athens, a bit angry for the welcome of the communist ambassador Peko Dapčević in Hilandar, to the prior Mojsej. “Don’t be mad, father Amfilohije. Not one knows what our souls keep inside and what the bells can find in it. We did not ring the bells for him but with the hope that those bells would wake something up in his empty soul”, said tenderly the old man.

The monks of Hilandar: Mitrofan, Kirilo and Milutin

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Today in Hilandar, besides construction work which are believed to be finished in 2013, lasts the renovation of the monastery brotherhood. The monk of Hilandar have accepted the horrible fire quietly, along with their zeal and prayer. The first Epitrope, father Metodije points us that the religious renovation of the monastery is in its prime and that it will build better basis and give a new strength to this church. “Since World War II the monastery brotherhood is most numerous. Forty monks and novices live and pray to God in Hilandar today. The brotherhood is rejuvenated, giving new strength and announcing better times fro Hilandar and the homeland”, says father Metodije, on whose

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young shoulders lies the great renovation of Hilandar. In the last few years, right next to the monastery, there is a beautiful hospitable palace, a new bakery was built in which monk Milutin bakes the best monastic bread. “Saint Simeon made a powerful empire, but he later saw the nonsense and the rotten character of this world’s powers with his religious eyes, and he departed with his youngest son, monk Sava”, says monk Milutin, pointing at the vine growing out of the myrrh-flowing grave, after St. Sava took his father’s relics in order to reconcile his brothers. Father and Son, St. Sava and St. Simeon didn’t chose the Holy Mount of Athos by accident – the park of the Holy Mother of God, for their monastic adventure, which is the start of the horizontal and vertical lasting of Serbian people. “The Holy Mount of Athos is an empire without a crown, a nation without an army, a country without women, a treasure without money, a wisdom without school, a kitchen without meat, an everlasting prayer, a connection with the sky with no interruptions, a hymn to Christ, death without regret”, sang St. Bishop Nikolaj of Žiča. 


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F R E E D O M APPROACHING THE CENTENARY OF THE SALONIKA FRONT AND LIBERATION OF SERBIA IN WORLD WAR ONE

Heroes, Ahead to Homeland

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“To the heroic sons of Serbia, France, Italy, Great Britain and Greece who, faithful to the legacy of their ancestors, fought in these places and fell for freedom and world peace 1916-1918.” This is written on the white marble monument in Policastro, Greece, eleven kilometers from the border, where the anniversary of the epopee which decided the outcome of World War I will be marked again this September

By: Bane Velimirović

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F R E E D O M Cadets of the Military Academy of Belgrade on the Serbian Military Graveyard in Thessaloniki

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irst you cross the border in Evzoni. The name of this place means frontiersman in Greek. Then you drive along the highway eleven kilometers towards the south. There, near the town of Policastro, fifty nine kilometers before Salonika, the inscription on a large board informs you: Monument to the warriors from Great Britain, France, Greece, Italy, Serbia, who fell at the Macedonian front 1915-1918. The name of each country is written in its original language; Serbia is, naturally, written in Cyrillic letters. We turn and, via an unpaved road bending upwards, reach a small church on the top of a hill. Beside it, on the eastern side, a large cross ascends towards the sky, almost twice as large as the church. From there, you can see far to the plain spreading to the seashore. About fifty meters lower, on the famous Point 104, a monument was raised to the heroes of the Salonika Front from five allied countries. It has a pentagonal basis pedestal, with a stone torch on top. It is made of white marble. Each of the five sides has a coat of arms of each of the allied countries, as well as an inscription in the original language: “To the heroic sons of Serbia, France, Italy, Great Britain and Greece who, faithful to the legacy of their ancestors, fought in these places and fell for freedom and world peace 1916–1918.” The inscription in Serbian is on the northern side, between the Greek inscription on the western side and Italian on the eastern, facing towards Serbia, towards the place where the eyes of Serbian heroes and martyrs were facing to 90 years ago when, from these plains, a bit more to the west, they started a break-through without comparison in the European history of warfare. The range from the symbolic Point 104, where we are, to Point 2.525 on Kaimaktsalan, and a series of other points over 2.000 meters high, was conquered through tough battles and with a

Press “The Serbs, reinforced with the strong contingent of Yugoslavs, completely changed the whole situation on the Balkans”, reported the London Times after the break-through of the Salonika Front. “The victory in the Balkans is a worthy competitor of other successes of the allies. Serbia, for which Kaiser said it did not exist any more, showed that it is still alive, and very much alive indeed!” wrote The Daily Mail, while The Daily Express says: “One of the most prevailing results of these victories is that the Serbs are victoriously entering their country, which will make Austria tremble from this army one more time.”

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terrible number of casualties. That is – today we know – what decided World War I. On the northern side of the marble monument on Point 104, above the mentioned words, today still stands the coat of arms of the Socialist Republic of Serbia, with wheat, a wreath and a five-pointed star. The country which suffered that heroic sacrifice of incredible proportions and performed the superhuman achievement was called Kingdom of Serbia and its coat of arms was different. About ten meters north from this obelisk stand the busts of premiers of the allied countries that took part in the holding and breakthrough of the Salonika Front, in late summer and early autumn of 1918. The busts are also made of white marble and face towards the obelisk and the south. Facing them, from left to right, from west to east, you can see: Aristide Bpiand (1863–1945), first minister of the French Government and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, premier of Kingdom of Italy. Eleftherios Venizelos, president of the Greek government (after the abdication of the pro-German Greek king Constantine to the benefit of his other son). Nikola Pašić (1845– 1926), president of the Kingdom of Serbia Government. David Lloyd George (1863– 1945), first minister of Great Britain. ON THE FRONT OF THE RESURRECTED ARMY In the center of the plateau where the monuments stand, a circle with an inscribed cross is made of paths and plants. While we slowly walk the paths which are the arms of the cross, we hear in our heads some unknown rumble, booming, battle cries deafened with explosions coming from somewhere. Life or a movie, this or some other reality, it does not matter, we hear it in our own heads. Chronicles state that the transfer of the Serbian army from Corfu and Tunisia to the Salonika harbor began on April 12, and was mostly completed by the end of May 1916. Although insufficiently recuperated, with an uncompleted reorganization, the Serbian army had to go into the fire before time, due to the pressure of the allies. Out of the previous 13 infantry divisions, after the Golgotha in the darkness of the Albanian mountains, after Vido and the Blue Tomb, 6 new ones were formed with old names. In terms of formation, the reorganized Serbian army had


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The busts of the allied countries government presidents in Policastro

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three armies, two divisions each. The chief commander was Crown Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjević, the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command was General Petar Bojović. The First Army (Morava and Vardar divisions) was commanded by Colonel Miloš Vasić, the Second Army (Šumadija and Timok divisions) by Duke Stepa Stepanović, the Third Army (Drina and Dunav divisions) by General Pavle Jurišić Šturm. It consisted of 147.000 men, 124.000 of them directly in the battle units. There were 370.000 allied soldiers (124.000 Serbian, 127.000 French, 119.000 English) on the 450 kilometers long front, from the Orphan Bay to the Ohrid Lake. Opposite of them, 350.000 Germans and Bulgarians were holding the frontline. In March 1917 – due to the losses in battles which took place in autumn of the previous year (after the break-through of a hard mountain line of Bulgarian defense, after conquering Kaimaktsalan, liberating Bitola and moving the front 50 kilometers towards the north, and before the offensive was canceled in the calculations of the allies) – a new forced reorganization of the Serbian Army was made. Two armies were formed with three divisions each, with dukes Živojin Mišić and Stepa Stepanović as commanders. SRPSK A  БРОЈ 12-13  2015

SERBS LIKE A STORM Although many subversive-propaganda activities were aimed at them, even from the allies, it was impossible to shake the morals of the Serbian army. They knew they were not there to resolve a strategic or tactics issue, but to resolve fate. And the new moment of faith, which turned out to be the right one, came in the summer of 1918. Historians described the political, diplomatic, military, intelligence and other games from those times. Writers, especially those who participated, described the battles in an extraordinary and startling way. If you really wish to know how that war looked like and what an accomplishment it was, read The Life of a Man in the Balkans by Stanislav Krakov (this issue of the National Review presents a passage from the book).The secret preparations for the offensive, according to the Franco-Serbian agreement, began in June 1918. The center of the attack was supposed to be in the Serbian part of the front, in the area of the Maglen mountains. “If the Serbs suffer a failure, they should not count on our help to improve the situation”, warned on September 9, 1918 general Wilson, chief of the British Joint Staff, who was against the offensive.


Soon everyone will realize that the Serbs never expected such help. September 15 was determined for the beginning of the attack. In the evening of September 13, the Supreme Command Chief of Staff, Duke Živojin Mišić, issued the following order: “All commandants, commanders and soldiers must be pervaded with the idea that the success of the offensive depends on the rapidness of penetration. This rapidness is at the same time the best guarantee against surprise attacks by the enemies, because it achieves derangement in the enemy lines and full freedom for our activities. We must penetrate arrogantly, without stopping, until the ultimate limits of human and horse strength. Into death, just do not stop! With unswerving faith and hope, heroes, forward to Homeland!” After twenty two hours of extensive artillery preparations, the Serbian attack on the Bulgarian and German positions began on September 15, 1918 at 5:30. The rest is history which each of us must know and remind ourselves constantly. Names, divisions, accomplishments, places, dates. The commander in chief of the allied forces on the Salonika Front, French Marshal

Franchet d’Esperey informed his Government during the September fights: “The operations must be slowed down, since there is no communication for delivering food to the advancing French troops. Only the Serbian troops do not need communications, they advance forward like a storm.” SO THE WAR WAS DECIDED

Polikastro: cadets of the Military Academy of Belgrade are paying respect to the fallen heroes of Salonika Front

Four days later, the Serbian army was already deep inside the Vardar valley and cut the strategic communication routes of the enemy Gevgelija – Skopje and Prilep

Casualties “Serbia paid its successes with a great number of casualties. It is estimated that it lost 1.200.000 soldiers and civilians, or 28 percent of its pre-war population, and suffered material loss amounting to about 6 billion golden Franks, which was almost a half of its national treasure. It mobilized 700.000 soldiers during the war and ended it with an army of about 150.000 people, including about 20.000 volunteers from other Yugoslav countries. In the battles on the Salonika Front and during the last offensive, 9.303 soldiers and officers died in battles or from injuries, and 6.020 were buried at the Zeitinlik cemetery in Salonika.” (Dr Petar Opačić: Salonika Front)

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F R E E D O M – Gradsko. Krivolak was conquered on September 22, Gradsko (the main enemy warehouse on the Skopje – Salonika railroad) on September 23, on September 25 the Serbian Equestrian Division enters Štip, Veles was captured on September 26, a day later the Serbian Equestrian Division appears at the Bulgarian border and starts towards Sofia. Both Serbian armies advance via the Kumanovo – Kriva Palanka – Ćustendil routes. Exactly 14 days since the beginning of the Serbian offensive which the allies joined with 11 days of delay, Bulgaria signed the “armistice convention” on September 29, 1918, which is practically only another name for capitulation. On the fourth October day, their King and Commander in Chief Ferdinand fled Bulgaria. The German emperor Wilhelm II sent a telegram to the Bulgarian king: “Sixty two thousand Serbian soldiers decided the war. What a disgrace!” The Serbian army was in Vranje on October 4, and in Vladičin Han on October 5. The most advanced positions of the allies remained as far as 180 kilometers behind! In the dawn of October 13, the troops of the Morava Division came to Niš. On November 1, 1918, at 10 a.m. sharp, Duke Petar Bojović leading the Dunav Division entered Belgrade. Such a penetration had never been seen in the European history of warfare. “The Serbian attack on the enemy, entrenched in a rock above them, represents one of the most brilliant accomplishments in this war”, writes the British

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premier Lloyd George in his memoirs, the same gentleman whose marble image we see near Policastro, the same whose commander in chief almost threatened on September 9 that the Serbs, in case of trouble, cannot count on their help. British military writer Liddell Hart wrote: “The Serbian achievements in Macedonia not only shattered a pillar of the Central Forces, but also opened the road for advancing towards the Austrian background. The German Supreme Command lost their nerves in only a couple of days.” “On September 15, the Balkan Peninsula became the most significant battlefield. The military power of Bulgaria was broken in only ten days. It seems that the consequences of these events are crucial for the outcome and duration of the war”, reported the French Supreme Command to the Parliament of their country on October 1918. Yes, crucial. President of the French Parliament, at the festal session celebrating victory, said: “After Bulgaria Turkey, after Turkey Austro-Hungary… The Serbs are in Belgrade! All of France is with them. We are proud to have been on the side of these heroes during their three years of exile.” PRIDE OF MARSHAL D’ESPEREY Each September, delegations from the allied countries come here, to this piece of land which the municipality of Policastro granted to the Association of War Veterans in memory. Wreaths, speeches, a few tears. Only the Greeks and the Serbs hold requiems. The same this year, for the 90th time. While we go down the hill towards the highway in order to continue to Zeitinlik, the Serbian military cemetery in Salonika, we are followed by the words of Marshal D’Esperey from a report from the end of October 1918: “Such are the Serbs, tough when in trouble, serious, humble, unbreakable. People who are free, proud of their race and masters of their fields… However, the war came. And there, for the freedom of the land, those peasants turned into the bravest, most persistent warriors, the best of all. Such are those brilliant troops, created of endurance and enthusiasm, and I am proud I led them, shoulder to shoulder with the soldiers from France, into the victorious freedom of their homeland.” 


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MOMO KAPOR (1937-2010), WRITER, PAINTER, FRIEND

Living Is Not a Necessity, Speaking Is He was himself and very much ours, this Momčilo. Our kind. One could live from his stories like Scheherazade. With him, one would become nostalgic, witty, joyful. No one has taught us so strongly and so easily how to love our own. Our city, our country, our virtues and shortcomings. Our women and our wines. He, a city legend, a walking chronicle of the capital, a wandering bullet of the BG spirit. We will neither say goodbye nor depart from Momčilo, the first on the list of our associates. As the poet would say, he meant so much to us that we should not express, but receive condolences. These few fragments are a greeting to Momčilo for our first next meeting

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omčilo has neither ever been in National Review nor moved away from it. We met in literary cafés and workshops, at the battlefronts in the ruins of Yugoslavia and cocktails, at the openings of exhibitions and summer seasons on the river, on saint days and parties, on sudden trips which we always welcomed with our shoes on and a little luggage packed. We spent some July nights on board of a ship meditating in the port under the Fortress, or the one which is still in Ada, or at the Tisa confluence. Once we sat on the pavement, with our backs against a warm stone wall, and spoke long about childhood and books. Often we would meet and part only a few days later. He was himself and very much ours, this Momčilo. Our kind. “One could live from his stories like Scheherazade. With him, one would become nostalgic, witty, joyful. No one has taught us so strongly and so easily how to love our own. Our city, our country, our virtues and shortcomings. Our women and our wines. Our ‘local mythology’. No one has initiated us better to travel and with joy, without provincialism and complaisance, discover others. He used to say about himself that he is an academic painter and naïve writer. Others say that he was a city legend, a moving chronicle of the capital, a wandering bullet of the BG

spirit. Once, a long time ago, on the other side of the ocean, after being invited to criticize the regime, he said his anthological sentence which made him persona non grata of the NGO sector until his death: ‘I never speak badly about my country when I am outside of it.’” When National Review appeared, he sent us an electronic drawer full of his masterly written texts. “Here, boys. Use it when you want, as you want and as much as you want. You don’t owe me anything (on the contrary, you are paying off a part of my debt). I will even buy my copy at the newspaper stand; it is a gesture of support, a matter of principle. Who will buy the magazine if not those who think and feel as we do?!” Of course, we sent him the National Review. And when our colleagues from the accounting chased him several times around the city and book fair to sign papers for paying his fee, he told them: “What money, are you out of your mind?!”

Photos: From Momo Kapor’s personal archive

About Writers of Belgrade Chronicles Of all the people who have written most beautifully about Belgrade, almost none of them were born in this city. Even Dušan Radović, who used to wake us up every morning with his ‘Good Morning, Belgrade’, was born in Niš. Newcomers have grown roots in this capital of the winds and gave birth to ‘born Belgradians’. Books about Belgrade are equally important for them and those who don’t live in Belgrade any more.

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M A S T E R S We will neither say goodbye nor part from Momčilo. As the poet would say, he meant so much to us that we should not express but receive condolences. However, as a greeting to Momčilo for our first next meeting, here are some fragments of his which remained in the notebooks of Miša Vujović, Maja Radonić, Radomir Mićunović, Dragana Marković and Branislav Matić, as well as in Momčilo’s drawers in all three Serbias he wrote for. And just to have another thing clear. The famous sentence he sometimes attributed to Leonardo, sometimes to Claude Simone, sometimes to Stendhal, was actually his own: “I believed that all my life I was learning how to live. I was actually learning how to die.” About Serbia and returning. Returning to Serbia is returning to the essence. One most often reaches it over long, interwoven and complex roads. In order to discover the essence, it is often first necessary to see the whole world and all its miracles, and after all this feel in your eyes and nostrils and in your ears, and taste in your mouth an unsatisfied hunger and thirst, feel an unspoken word on the tip of your tongue. And just when you feel bored and empty, you wake up in an old house in the heart of Serbia, in the middle of some town or village, go to the kitchen to your hosts, and they bring you something so rare in the world: cherry fruit preserve, a dimmed glass of cold water from the well and a small glass with homemade brandy. That is how the day begins in Serbia. And behold! Those cherries, those small golden suns served with love shining in a small glass dish immediately cancel the bitter taste of failure and futility in your mouth. Similar to the “madeleine” dipped in tea in Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, they give back to you the long lost taste of blessed closeness and goodness. After you have eaten the fruit preserve, you drink the glass of plum brandy from the nearby monastery. It slowly runs down your throat and gently burns your stomach with its heat. You feel the taste of tradition and time, gentleness and rage, the latent liveliness of this Serbian elixir which relaxes and excites you at the same time in an up to then unseen way. It is a mysterious mixture of the taste of plums

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About Laughter Do you know how Stojan Aralica died at the age of 96? He was at the Military Medical Academy with two generals in the room. In the morning he said: “I will now cover myself with the sheet and pretend to be dead.” He covered himself and everyone around him was laughing. The doctor came, shook Aralica, and saw that he really died. He died laughing.

and scent of the earth, stubbornness and recalcitrance, light melancholy, optimism and hope. As if in that taste, in that fragile glass, lays the entire Serbia, irresistible, which pervades and burns you... While traveling through Serbia, it becomes clearer why the most powerful empires in the world fought over this small green piece of European land, and continued fighting over it to the very day. About Big Serbia. I have never supported the idea of Big Serbia. Basically, I am not interested in big states. My ideal is Malta, a country with a population as big as the municipality of Voždovac. They don’t have an army and live perfectly. Why would I be so interested in all Serbs living in one country? The Serbs will belong to one faith, one nation, but they don’t have to belong to one state. The Serbs will feel they are Serbs wherever they meet, recognize each other and when their eyes shine, which doesn’t mean they have to put fences around big meadows in order to be happy. About guilt. We are guilty a lot before our guilt is proven. Each visit to a foreign consulate pushes us deeper into this imaginary guilt. The strict vice consuls watch us over their eyeglasses and ask for more and more certificates, confirmations, guarantees and proof that we will not stay in Canada as woodcutters or in New Zealand to fleece sheep. Serbia has always been good at imposing the feeling of guilt to her children, even in rare times of welfare. She is truly unmatchable in this. When we are born, first our parents find us guilty for crying when we shouldn’t and not letting them sleep, our teachers find us guilty for not knowing the multiplication table, professors for not knowing when Cartagena fell or all the places we have fled to during the enemy invasions. Then our wives find us guilty for not being at home enough and our lovers for being at home too much.

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Our children find us guilty for not being as successful as other fathers who provide children anything they want. At a time, the communists found us guilty for not being members of the Communist Party, and then the ex-communists found us guilty for the same reason. We were guilty for having a clean conscience, while they made a turn and cultivated amnesia. The East found us guilty for leaning towards the West, and the West found us guilty for remaining in the East forever. We were guilty for all wars between the East and the West; we were guilty because we managed to survive somehow, and thus, unintentionally, became crucial witnesses reminding them of their misdeeds and betrayals. Today we own the biggest collection of guilts in the history of mankind. Even our brothers in suffering, the Jews, find us guilty because before us they had the privilege to be the guiltiest in the world. About long lost books. I have been wandering in secondhand bookstores for years and I often stumble upon books which used to mean a lot to me. I decide to buy one, but already on my way to the cash desk, who knows why, I decide not to buy it. And so holding in my hands a miraculously preserved copy with which I have spent time long ago, I think what I would start with it. I have read those pages so many times, so I don’t think I could return to them once again, however dear they had been to me. I know their contents, as well as the influence they had on my friends, peers, and me. Still, while holding an accidentally discovered book on my palms, I feel its protection which gives me security, like a valuable lucky charm. I am again in its power for a moment or two, and then follows the inevitable: why? So I put it down on a chaotic bunch of ac-

About Possessing and Leaving Except for what you have in your head and can do with your hands, you don’t possess anything. There is no possessing. We played for a while on earth, tried to make it a fair game, and left. We who don’t have anything die more easily and without regret. Just imagine how hard it is for Rockefeller to die and how easy it is for a vegetable seller in Čubura. That is my philosophy of life.


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About the River and Sports A quarter of a century ago I discovered the river Sava, Ada Ciganlija to be more exact, the magical island on the border of the city. First I was only swimming, then I started rowing shoulder to shoulder with the unbeatable Zuko Džumhur in an old Apatin river boat, and then sailing with my good friend Miša Mihailović, yachtsman, on an Olympic yacht called “Bojana”. Now I have my own boat and I’m on the river every day. But Džumhur is gone. The world is poorer now without this wonderful artist and unique man. If I had engaged in sports more seriously, I would certainly be a lonely long distance runner. This discipline is very similar to literature. You are alone in your track and know that you have to run for a long, long time. At the end you fall from tiredness and that’s it.

cidental books, just like sometimes I leave some especially dear face to the crowd on the boulevard after several common questions about health, growing old and the family. There is a certain futility in this ges-

ture: even if I was very lucky in my search, I would never succeed in collecting all the books which influenced the life of the generation I belong to. About reading in the kitchen. Perhaps there is no other place where the spiritual and physical food meet so closely as on a common kitchen table covered with a cloth with red and white squares, in the moments when, carried away by reading an important book-revelation, we feel hunger and go to the stove to warm up yesterday’s beans with smoked pork ribs. We put away the book for a moment, cut the tomato and green pepper and a piece of bread, take out the salt from the cupboard and set our humble meal so that it is halfway between us and the book (which we leaned upon the loaf of bread); food for our spirit and food for our stomach. I find traces of meals I had long ago on the pages of some especially dear books. I can easily recall those blessed moments when I was eating and reading, feeling guilty because it was so late at night. I had to wake up early. I would dearly pay the wasted night and valuable sleep; however, the book took me deeper and deeper into insomnia, towards the morning which appeared in the form of pale reproach behind the dirty kitchen windows. Still, who is able to resist this intoxicating drug? Deep in the pages of some especially exciting books I find ash of cigarettes smoked long ago: food stains and the ash are more poetic to me than the dried primrose I found in 1952 in an early edition of Voltaire’s Candid in the palace of the Gradi family on the Dubrovnik piazza. About secrets, vanity, oblivion. I don’t have any secrets. My secrets have always been pragmatic, secret loves during my marriage, secret friendships with people with whom a decent man shouldn’t be friends, but essentially I don’t have any secrets. The charnel

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house in Chilandar and the way the passed away monks arrive there is also one of the great lessons, just like the entire Orthodox Christianity is. Orthodox Christianity is a big, forgotten, erased lesson which the Orthodox world is only now returning to, after it had overcome its puberty, small pox and other children diseases of the civilization that caught it unprepared. The authors of icons don’t sign their names under their artworks; we don’t know who they are. All this is a story about preventing arrogance, about renouncing vanity. Same is with the skulls in the charnel house which have only their monastic names written in pencil, because it fades most slowly; their names in their secular lives remain a mystery. The fear of oblivion hits only those who are not aware of the essence of life – that we are here in this planet, that we play for a while by our or others’ rules, only to do what we are destined to, to disappear, and that no one is important. That is exactly what the Buddhist philosophers and priests have put on the pedestal of religion – human life is in perfect accordance with a tree, with the leaves that fall and turn into humus. Why would a human be different from the world around? European philosophy, derived from the antique philosophy, placed the human into the center of the world. Many have understood it literally, and behave in such a way. If there is a secret at all, it is very simple, only people keep looking for it in a complicated way. Our ancestors also knew the secret, women more than men – the secret is in humbleness, in the feeling of transience, in the feeling that one should not commit evil because it will return on him. While I’m saying all this, I feel a bit unpleasant because, when one speaks like this, it is assumed that he did not make any mistakes or bad deeds, so now he can preach. If anyone ever made any mistakes, it was me. I alone am one big mistake. About miracles. I am always hoping for a miracle to happen. Each morning I wake up with a feeling that something incredibly beautiful will happen; and usually it does.

Even when it doesn’t, it is good to wait for it. I am the master of my miracle; the beautiful miracle I am speaking of depends only on me. It happens on the canvases I paint. When you are in the story, miracles are always possible. When you stand before an empty canvas, with the brush and colors beside you, you have the same chances as Titian, Monet, anyone had. It is always a square meter of white canvas and the same brush in your hand. Then I wait for a miracle to happen, for the colors to distribute themselves in a certain way that will reveal the beauty and meaning of my existence in the world, which will testify about a colored moment of my life after I am gone, from the wall of someone’s room, not necessarily a museum wall. If you create a miracle, it will always be a miracle. If you ask me if I have succeeded in this miracle, I will, of course, tell you I haven’t. But it’s nice to expect it. w SRPSK A  No 12-13  2015

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Life Always Finds a Way LOVE AND FASHION IN THE GREAT WAR, A HUNDRED YEARS AGO

The war, of course, is not just the front. It touches all segments of life, pervades all relations, brings its own measures. It comes up on a poster, changes fashion, pokes love. Clearly, most stories have a tragic ending, only a few raise hope, some are small and intimate, some secret and forbidden, some grew to epic proportions, so people still talk about them By: Dragana Barjaktarević

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e are once again repeating what we have learned. Because World War I left one hundred years of all sorts of consequences.

Fabric Shortage Up to 1914, only natural fabric was used for clothing. Only during World War I, due to shortage of textile, the production of synthetic fabrics, ones we use today, began. The shortage of fabric mostly struck ordinary people. Mothers had to find a way, so they made shoes for their children, who would quickly outgrow their small footwear, from rags and carpets. It happened that an entire family shared one pair of shoes, depending on who is going out. Summer was a relief, because they could walk barefoot.

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It struck both the small and the big. It entangled into everything life is about. Into everyday life. Led by that idea, the Museum of Ethnography curators organized an exhibition The Great War and Small Man and showed the war from the common people point of view. All that couldn’t be shown in the exhibition was told in a series of lectures – about fashion, love, propaganda… LONG WAR, SHORT SKIRT How to dress during a war? “When they asked me if I could say something about fashion during World War I, my first


Postcards Postcards are an important testimony of the war, since they preserve the memory both in pictures and words. People picked their best clothes for taking photos, so the addressee would remember them in the best possible way and be proud of them when showing the picture. Be less worried. It often happened that there was a message on the back of the photo, indicating that someone is alive and well. Miloš Jurišić has a rich collection of postcards and photos from World War I. Some of them were used for illustrating this text.

thought was – everyone was naked and barefoot! Then I came to the idea to show how important the war was for changing the way of dressing”, said Bojana Popović, MA, curator of the Museum of Applied Arts, at the beginning of her lecture The Great War, Dressing, Fashion. In the eve of World War I, women were not engaged in physical activities. Clothes served for emphasizing their beauty or indicating their status, so rich ladies used to change their clothes up to ten times a day. The war changed all this. While men were at the battlefields, due to lack of labor force, women from all social classes had to become more active. They started working in factories, shops, in the fields; ladies from rich houses took over and managed the businesses of their husbands. The activities imposed by the war led to changes of the dress code.

Women stopped wearing anything that fettered them in their work: luxurious clothes, long underskirts, corsets… The so-called war crinoline appeared. Skirts became shorter, to the ankles, and wider, because long and tight dresses were not practical for performing different activities. In accordance with the clothes, which became simpler, hairdos were simplified as well. Women most often wore buns or cut their hair short, so it wouldn’t interfere in their work, especially in case of nurses. Although all this was logical, it still wasn’t entirely spontaneous. The war caused shortages of many things, but the press continued being published. Magazines introduced a new column – war and fashion. Even in the most difficult circumstances, they still paid attention to dressing. Thus a famous Viennese magazine of those times showed how chic it was to wear a uniform SRPSK A  No 12-13  2015

 From postcards from the period of the Great War

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Posters Besides the press, propaganda in World War I was based on posters. The sides in conflict tried to persuade masses with propaganda posters. Graphic design and messages were similar everywhere. “Your country needs you!” – General Kitchener calls for mobilization with his finger pointing at the observer. Americans used the same motif later, only with Uncle Sam calling: “I want you for US Army!” This is perhaps the most famous poster from World War I. Besides calling to war, posters had other messages as well: “Don’t drink alcohol, except on Mondays”, “Don’t drive cars”, “Don’t dress extravagantly, it’s not patriotic”…

 British poster from World War One

 From Berlin fashion magazine “Die Dame”, 1914

of a nurse or a woman employed in the army. When the British princess saw Flora Sandes wearing a male uniform, she sighed: “I wish I could wear such clothes!” Clothes resembling uniforms became a matter of prestige in the streets of big cities and at humanitarian parties. The Great War brought big changes in all segments. Fashion changed completely, brought women out of their decorative armors and placed them into comfortable and bold pieces of clothing. “The war is long, but the skirt is short”, was the famous motto of self-confident women in 1916. Fashion changed, but, what’s more important, the consciousness and role of the XX century women slowly changed as well. The most impressive example of female independence and determination was Flora Sandes, the only female officer of the Serbian Army during World War I. A PHOTO OF A LOVE Perhaps that is why Professor Dr. Božica Mla­de­no­vić decided to de­dicate her lecture Love under the Shadow of the Great War to the love born in the Iron Regiment between Flora and Janaćko Jović.

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Janaćko Jović was one of the bravest officers of the famous Second Infantry Regiment “Prince Mihailo”, known as the Iron Regiment. He fought in both Balkan wars and in the Great War. He was never mobilized, he always volunteered, wounded several times and twice awarded with “Karađorđe’s Star” for his courage. Flora Sandes was an unusual character, adventurer, she learned to ride a horse, shoot from a gun, she drove racecars. She behaved like a boy, but never rejected her femininity. “Many years later I realized that, if you were already unlucky enough to be born as a girl, the best is to use available possibilities as wise as possible, but without being a bad imitation of a man.” In the eve of the Great War, she completed a medical course and signed up to go to Serbia with the first British mission. She wanted to be as close as possible to the front, so she accepted the offer to enter the infirmary of the Second Infantry Regiment “Prince Mihailo”. That is where she met Janaćko. When they first met, his comment was: “Why don’t allies send weapons and ammunition instead of women, cans and socks?” However, he was later convinced in Flora’s courage, so he accepted her as an equal member of his squad. In the horrible crossing over Albania, Janaćko fell ill. Flora took care of him and during the treatment they became closer. She wrote in her diary that they continued the retreat under one blanket. They were together until the autumn offensive in 1916, however Janaćko soon died in the battle near Bitola. Flora buried him and raised a tombstone, and took the army chest with his belongings to his parents after the war ended. The few preserved things in the chest after his death included a photo of Flora Sandes. Love doesn’t end when war begins. People die, but people also live and love. “During a war, love, like anything else, is still present in life”, explained Professor Mladenović. It is clear that most stories have a tragic ending, only a few raise hope, some are small, intimate, secret, some forbidden, while some grew to epic proportions, so people still tell about them. 


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VLADIMIR MEDENICA, SERBIAN PHILOSOPHER AND PUBLISHER, EXPLORING THE COSMIC MYSTERY OF A SMALL HUMAN ISLAND

Behind the Silver Mirror He discovered an unknown continent. Introduced us to a hidden century, only a few of us knew something of. If it weren’t for him, who knows whether or when we would understand who Fyodorov, Solovyev, Florensky, Leontiev, Ilyin, Khomyakov really were. Or Cengiz Aytmatov and Andrei Plantonov. He did more than university departments, institutes, academies had done. Much more. Much deeper and more far-reaching. Whenever we wish to give an example of a first-class cultural achievement, we may just state his name

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is origins resemble a woven rug, with threads from many Serbian lands. His father’s roots are from Ajvalija near Priština, Crkvina near Kolašin and Voganj in Srem. His mother’s from Lički Tiškovac and Martin Brod in Krajina. He, born in Ruma in 1953, climbed up from the Great Plain to the Terazije plateau and stayed there. At that time, one could see far from that place. As a publisher, he published several hundred valuable titles in his “Logos”. He embedded the Russian God-seeking “silver era” into Serbian culture and Serbian idea. He wrote the enlightening Reflections in the Silver Mirror (Gorjani, 2013) and dozens of other philosophy and art essays. He is one of the contemporary Serbian authors often quoted in Russia. The person we have been talking to for a quarter of a century: Vladimir Medenica.

Misunderstanding with the plain. My mother’s father Milan Bursać, from Lika, pre-war policeman and chetnik, came to Srem during the Eighth Offensive. His blood lacked the centuries-long ability of peasants to adjust to the plain; he just couldn’t live by its rules and wait for its gifts. Every year, as soon as classes finished, I was placed at his disposal with a hoe in my hand. The memories of thirst and summer tortures in

By: Branislav Matić grandfather’s fields haunted me for a long time. The endless plain was so difficult, that I could only daydream in it, often not even that. But, how would I love my homeland if everything were easy in it, if there weren’t any sufferings and pain? Now I know it – the utopian longing for a better world, even my religiousness, was born in me there, in my hometown, where I completed elementary school and gymnasium, and in the burning fields of grandfather Milan. After grandfather’s fields, even Kant was bearable. Thanks to the will tested in the homeland, I succeeded in doing a few things in my life.

 On Andrićev Venac in Belgrade

Image of paradise. Grandma Bosiljka, mother of my mother Smilja, was born in Medići, Martin Brod upon Una. The

Photo: Željko Sinobad, Guest’s Archive

Mark of the Homeland – Homeland is really it only if it toughens a human, if it bonds him to itself with strong ropes, at the same time letting him into the world when the time comes. Only if it shows the value of the parents’ home, at the same, with strict upbringing, opening a specific view of the beauty of world vastness. It, the hard, cruel, wonderful homeland, will always, repeatedly dive out of the vastness. Homeland seems to force us both to leave and to return. Prince Myshkin in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Idiot” says: “Those who have no ground under them, have no God. (...) Those who deny their own land, those deny God.” SRPSK A  No 12-13  2015

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fairytale-like little village, which I used to  With grandma and sister. With his visit in summers, had a special place in my life and my dream. mother. Vladimir I was six or seven when I first traveled as a young man there with my mother. We got off the train in the middle of the night. A single light bulb at the station was the only light in a moonless night. We went down a stone path towards the village, and with every step a roar was growing stronger. “Mama, what is that?” I asked. “Water”, she said. “Water? ” “Yes. Waterfalls.” I couldn’t even imagine it. Up to then, the only water I had seen was the Sava flowing through the plain, where we sometimes used to go on bikes to take a bath, and the Jarčina, a muddy channel where father sometimes took me fishing. In the morning, when I woke up and went outside, it was a shock of beauty and clearness: several waterfalls rushed down into a bluish little lake above the house, and from it came two strong streams filling two ditches in front of neighboring houses... I remember: when I first approached the ditch, bent down and put my hands into the water, besides freshness, I was also swept by the wonderful scent of moss on tuff. It was paradise, paradise of my grandmother’s and my homeland, I have always longed for. My image of the world without torture, a world of play and joy, freshness and freedom. A world in which any thirst will be quenched. Impertinence. Grandfather Milan died when I started my third year at the gymnasium and that is when my impertinence began. I frequently crossed the line not to be crossed by polite and well-brought-up

Music of Childhood – If I could resurrect the music of childhood, I think my life would immediately end. I would experience Camus’ “happy death”. The sound of childhood is in the background of all my quests. My view towards childhood passes mostly through the prism of Russian literature and film. Bruegel’s painting “Return of the Hunters”, seen on a cinema screen, in Tarkovsky’s movie “Solaris”, constantly returns me to my grandfather’s and grandmother’s yard, to the cosmic mystery of a small human island we all live in, both people and animals, where grandmother tells her stories while weaving patchwork on a huge, loud wooden machine called “tkač”. And outside it’s snowing , snowing, as if snow has also fallen asleep in its descend.

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young people. I graduated the gymnasium with great difficulties. I was into boxing, I hung out with ruffians, petty thieves and cheats, went to all the worst places in the city, and at night, when I returned home, I read philosophy: Plato, Hume, Nietzsche... My philosophy professor Božidar Peko wouldn’t let my classmate Mile Stupar me and pass the final test, because we spent time at the famous “Kutić” tavern. Not even the fact that my knowledge was on very high level several days before the end of the school year helped me. We couldn’t take the final examinations or enroll in the university. Some of my school friends went to Belgrade, some to Novi Sad, and the two of us remained in our city, which showed its horrible face already in the first days of autumn. Beneficial lesson of Fat Rade. There wasn’t a single soul anywhere in the streets, except for a few scoundrels. We started hanging out in taverns with them. My parents found me a job in a shoe factory. I had to wake up at five in the morning and came home after midnight. Realizing that we won’t be able to live until next summer in such boredom, Mile and I thought to get some money somehow, go to the seaside in February and stay there until spring. I spent the little money I earned in the factory, after buying a few pieces of clothes, in taverns or in the movies. However, I invested a big part of it in gambling, dominoes. We somehow started winning, “beginner’s luck syndrome”, and our moneybag grew heavier. Already in November our plan seemed easy to accomplish. Then we became greedy. We started playing at other tables, with serious players and much higher stakes. It was going well until one night we stumbled upon Fat Rade, the most dangerous gambler and cheat in Ruma. That same night, I took with me more than half of the money I saved. In only one November night, almost everything we gained by winning some petty amateur gamblers was gone. We were bankrupt. The next day, Mile Stupar and I agreed to divide the remaining cash. After that debacle, we hardly saw each other. Desperate in the provincial desolation, I reached for books. I read London, Sinclair Lewis, Tolstoy, Gogol, as well as Plato, Nietzsche, Hume, tried to read Hegel. I passed the final examination in January


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and had the chance to enroll in the Faculty of Law in Novi Sad. My father forced me to do it, but I refused, since my wish was to study philosophy. My father couldn’t take it anymore, so he showed me the door: “Out of my house!” I went to my grandmother, who lived alone, to continue reading and preparing for the philosophy department preliminary examination. Fighting to remember. I hope these childhood images will stay with me till my death, that they won’t be washed away by Lethe, the stream of oblivion, or dementia, which my mother was fighting against. Until the last moment of her earthly life, my mother fought against forgetting. In her last autumn, she liked to sit in the garden, under a tree and solve crosswords. I often dropped by to see her. Once I found her sitting under the tree, her head on her chest. She fell asleep. A crossword puzzle was in her lap and a piece of paper under her chair. I lifted it and looked. Tears ran into my eyes immediately. The piece of paper had letters of our Cyrillic alphabet written on it. My mother was forgetting letters and wanted to preserve that memory at any cost. Letters, and what comes to us through them, couldn’t be forgotten. She prayed to God to send her death before such oblivion would overcome her. Belgrade. I came to study and stayed here. As soon as I stepped onto the pavement, I remember, I started vomiting. From exhaust gases, smell of petrol, anxiety. From everything. I didn’t want to impose myself to this city. I immediately stood in awe before the faculty buildings and the Academy of Sciences, before “Prosveta” antique store... Now I know: that awe, that fear of God, made a man out of a punk like me. Thanks to that fear, I didn’t bring everything to a lower level, I didn’t simplify everything and bring it to my own size. I learned. It was a good school, high quality, thorough, not like now. And there was real interest, deep and passionate, not like now. Our lighthouses were bookstores, not shopping malls. All our famous bookstores, the holy places of my generation, were destroyed. Our sacral space now has a different purpose, often the complete opposite, and that is the measure of things. On my map of Belgrade, Studentski Trg used to be the most important point.

There are three faculties in it (Philosophy, Philology and Natural sciences and mathematics) and Kolarac University. That was for me the entire Belgrade University, the center of our world. Today, Skadarlija is most important for me. Not so much for the kafanas and music, but because of the House of Đura Jakšić, still a place of freedom. A house of Belgrade originals, literary evenings, exhibitions, philosophical discussions and real socialization. Still.

 “Prosveta’s” antique shop in KnezMihalova Street, an important generation landmark of his Belgrade

Where popularity doesn’t reach. I li­ ved my Serbian influences in the gymnasium, and at the faculty submitted all my strength and free time to get to know international culture better. I had to read all the world literary classics, all books from the “Metamorphosis” and “Contemporary Serbian Writers” editions. Moreover, I reached for books that didn’t gain so much popularity. The general story about them was reflective for me, provoked doubt. For example, everyone praised Kundera, whereas I didn’t like his work, except for a few short stories. It was similar with some new Serbian writers. Bulatović, Kiš, Šćepanović, Ćosić... None of them had an influence on me. Njegoš, Laza Lazarević, Simo Matavulj, Milovan Glišić, Stevan Sremac, Kočić, Andrić, Crnjanski, these Serbian classics were incomparable to the new ones. Only one writer later became part of this hall of fame: Meša Selimović. I read him later, while working as a Marxism professor in the School of Mixed Vocations in Prijedor and lived near a mosque. The reduced Fortress, not the sumptuous Dervish; that is the world literary peak for me. Pearls from the margin. I have the same relation towards popular Serbian literature today. Only the so-called marginal, yet high quality writers can expect praises from me. (I rejected many contemporary

Those Faces, those Places – I always return to the faces of my ancestors, mother and father, faces of my friends from my childhood and youth, smiling and eternal faces. I also return to my huge poplar trees at the end of the world, the tickling grass I’m lying on as a child, dreaming of a wonderful world of the future, listening to the murmur of the wind in the branches. Those places exist in my imagination, I will never forget them and I’d like to merge with them in eternity.

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 With Nebojša M. Krstić, Vladeta Jerotić and Rajko Lukač, at the promotion of “SelfRealization” by Nikolai Berdyaev

Serbian writers although they undoubtedly had high quality.) I am lit up by old Vitomir Pušonjić and his wonderful book Where is that Vrbovo, written at the very spring of Serbian local language. Another two Serbian books had a special influence on me. One is Racetrack by Ratko Marković Riđanin, wild horse of Serbian poetry, whose raging hoofs spatter the petrified Serbian language and each verse bloats like a volcano. (Riđanin rushes and rollicks with his voice through libraries and Đura’s houses; he walks, sings, without anyone paying attention to him, and we’re lucky it is so. How would we have a chance to listen to him, if someone saved him from his madness in a medical literary institution with general recognitions and awards?) The second is a small book by Branko Pirgić, a novel of memories Serbian literature should be proud of. Weird, interesting marginal people parade through Valjevo in an Amarcord manner, lit by the wittiness of Ban himself, for whom now I know the formula. Longing for depth. As soon as I arrived in Belgrade, I found two books in “Prosveta’s” antique store, different from all those in my father’s library, which lacked new Russian and western writers. These books were King of Time Velimir the First

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by Victor Khlebnikov and St. Petersburg by Andrei Bely. They determined my aesthetics during my university times and my understanding of modernity, whereas, as I became aware only later, they never broke the bonds with heritage. On the contrary, they represented the new-old, the real thing for me. That saved me, I didn’t wander off my path and didn’t end somewhere as a pretentious “man of his time”. At the time I also saw Andrei Tarkovsky’s Rublev. After Bondarchuk’s War and Peace, which I saw in Ruma as a gymnasium student, this was the first Russian movie that somehow held the parity with western films and our “black wave” movies. It had the image of faith and size of the cross, the Russian cross. It draw me into the depths of my own being, my nation and homeland history. I remember the scene of Christ’s crucifixion in Russian snow. Only after seeing that movie, the path of my life started opening slowly to me, the one many have passed before me. The path of God-manhood. It was an earthquake with which light tremors provoked by all other movies could not be compared. Western movies were good, but not deep. Silver century. Russian spiritual and cultural renaissance, the “silver century”, began in the second half of the XIX and


had its full blossom and downfall in the first half of the XX century. We could say that this “Russian cultural miracle” lasted only a century, but will be an inspiration through all the future centuries, until the end of the world. It was conceived in the XIX century by wondrous writers and philosophers: Pushkin, Gogol, Leskov, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov... They were followed by a series of even bigger wonders, those that create the “silver century”: Sologub, Andreyev, Gorky, Zamyatin, Remizov, Bryusov, Bely, Block, Hlebnyikov, Mayakovsky, Pilnyak, Babel, Pasternak, Sholokhov, Leonov, Olyesha, Kharms, Vvedensky, Vsevolod Ivanov, Platonov, Bulgakov... It is, undoubtedly, heritage of deep cultural contemplation, whose size is so brilliantly expressed in Andrei Rublev’s iconography. It was boiling for two or three centuries and needed an external catalyst to break the stone and have the living water burst out. The foundations were set by Khomyakov and Kireevsky, Solovyev and Fyodorov, Danilevsky and Leontiev, and the construction completed and left open to all future seekers of God by Evgeny and Sergei Trubetskoi, Rozanov and Florensky, Shestov and Frank, Bulgakov and Berdyaev, Ilyin and Nikolai Trubetskoi, Florovsky and Zenkovsky and many other writers, philosophers and

theologians. Besides them are also those from other spiritual realms, musicians and scientists, painters and film directors: Skriabin, Stravinsky and Prokofiev, Ciolkovsky and Vernadsky, Malevich, Filonov, Kandinsky, Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, Deyneka and Pimenov, as well as their great predecessors Surikov, Repin, Nesterov, Vrubel, Aivazovsky... These names create the mosaic of Russian spiritual and cultural renaissance (from the aspect of philosophy) or “silver century” (from the aspect of art). It needs to be said that, exactly due to that common internal heritage, individualism, which brought western culture and thought to a dead-end, could not be expressed here. An individual here creates as a part of the spiritual whole, as a person and new subject of “the eighth day of Creation” (as Berdyaev would say). Unfortunately, man today, with his deeds, seems to be consciously pulling a shroud over his eyes. He does not turn to genuine culture, spiritual, he seems to have lost his sight in the manner of blind nature, a horrible chaos which could contribute to the end of the world or transcendental apocalypse.

 In the House of Đura Jakšić: promotion of “The Salt of the Earth” by Pavle Florenski, the fiftieth title in the series “Russian God-Seekers”

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ied. However, there is a bastard of culture  Neafr the monument to Đura and civilization, an illegal marriage beJakšić in Skadarlija tween the esoteric and exoteric, a kind of a compromise between creativity and consumer society. Beauty without goodness and truth, without love as a unifying principle, is demonic and fatal. All those abnormal animals, all those ostensibly alive, yet already stillborn beings, have a common denominator: all these combinations lack salt. There is no God, no spirit. Therefore, genuine culture today is not present in the streets of our cities, in our lives. Original spiritual culture developed as vivid communication of man with God and nature. We felt its ennobling reflections in our lives. There are such places today, but we don’t know enough about them. Sunday liturgies in the monastery of Slanci near Belgrade, for example, are a place with such a cultural source. In sheep’s clothing. I watch politicians enter the temples of God and cross themselves, even take communion. Then they go out and speak about “earthly Serbia”, showing “heavenly Serbia” as a harmful fantasy. They divide the undividable, break the heavenly-earthly in our faith. They attack, even unconsciously, the truth about God-Manhood and God-Man Christ. The cross themselves and take communions, take pictures in churches, while as soon as they go out they start with their monophysitic politics. Such politics can never be anything else but selling eternal life for its earthly part, meaning of life for a small and transient interest, for thirty pieces of silver. However high the sum for which a human is sold and sells his faith, it is always the same: null. Always those damn

Guardians of Letters – It’s our duty to preserve our Letters, the Word. It was dedicated to us even before our birth. The forming, personality principle. The voice of Truth. Even the language has purification through fasting. Abstention from unnecessary use of foreign words will enable us to gain insight into the dormant layer of our language, the wonderful words that guard us and lead us towards the center of meaning with their composure. Foreign words in our language, such as spinning, drilling, tolerance and education, participation and communication, benefits and investments, everything that poisons and disables the vivid depth of communicating, all these should be thrown into the fire of purification. Orthodoxy means using orthodox words, which liberate from dungeons.

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thirty pieces of silver. “What good is it for a man to gain the entire world, yet forfeit his soul?” Measure. During the almost quarter of a century of working, I had many experiences with those who find “security in adjustment”. I printed collected works of Kazimir Malevich with “Plavi Krug” entitled God Is not Dethroned. Both Russia and America admire the greatness of that poet, preacher of anarchism, cubo-futurism, suprematism, absoluteness of a work of art. However, his works in the form of such a book, with over 1.200 pages in large format, and despite all that warm and intimate, have never appeared in any large European culture. That year, at the Book Fair in Belgrade, the authorized commission, certainly honorable and incorruptible, decided to grant the award for publishing endeavor of the year to some booklet written by Al Gore, Clinton’s vice president, one of those who bombarded Serbia. After that, need we say anything else about the state we are in and how dilapidated we are? Is there salvation. The situation is even worse than described by classics. Everything today is happening in the background of such a bared lie, that it is deeply disgusting both to common sense and to the elementary feeling for truth. Furthermore, both common sense and the mentioned feeling are doing nothing about it, they are letting the lie lead them, they withdraw, hide, sometimes even attempt to accept that black and completely bare lie as truth. But what about it? What about world deceptions if we are living our truth and keeping it within us and within the world? If we have our icon, church, school, ancestors and descendants, our Savior? Everything is, finally, our choice and test of our faith. Using the supremacy of external forces as an excuse is unconvincing, even when we think that we are completely abandoned by God, when the terrible and murderous deaf hum of emptiness appears. Fyodorov suggested the ultimate way, a great possibility of returning through a common deed. Berdyaev doubted it, considering that humanity has gone too far down the paths of evil and that judgment is already in progress... 


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RUSSIAN WRITER EVGENY VODOLAZKIN EXCLUSIVELY FOR “NATIONAL REVIEW”

Personality against

Mass Zombification Modern propaganda is so shallow that seeking truth does not request great mental effort. A true European human cannot reduce Europe only to its western part. The Serbian people seem to Russians as their own reflection in the mirror and vice versa. Each culture is logocentric and we must pay attention to our words. A writer himself writes the laws he abides to. He is expected to see beneath the horizon, behind perspective. Those who considered reading entertainment and “killing time” left, but it is not a big loss for true literature

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tudent of great Dmitry Likhachov. Expert in old Russian literature, with more than a hundred scientific essays. Editor in chief of almanac Text and Tradition, published by “Pushkin’s Home” in St. Petersburg. One of the best and most awarded contemporary Russian writers. Author of excellent novels Abduction of Europe (2005), Solovyov and Larionov (2009), Laurus (2013), translated into Serbian. Dear and willing guest in Serbia. Dr. Evgeny Germanovich Vodolazkin (Kiev, 1964) answered the questions of National Review last year in St. Petersburg. In your literary opus, word is a cure. “Every word already belongs to someone. But, belonging to many, it belongs to no one. Words belong to God and we take them as a favor.” Does a word have the magical heaviness and purpose in these times? Of course it does. Every culture is logocentric. Even in music and painting, at the end the most important is the word. A word can be a cure and a poison, depending what and how it is. Even though, as Tyutchev says, “we are not given the ability to predict how our word will echo”, we should attempt to predict. And pay attention to our words. You have a different narrative perspective in all three of your novels. You simultaneously perceive many things that bother contemporary man: question of morality,

By: Vesna Kapor existence of God, national identity, ideological passions... Is the obligation of a writer to be the conscience and consolation of the world? Each writer determines his own obligations. He himself writes the laws he abides to. These laws reflect the personality of the writer and features of the culture he lives in. A writer has a special place in Russian culture. Evgeny Yevtushenko says: “A poet in Russia is more than a poet.” He cannot be a private person, representative of a profession, such as a baker or football coach. People expect at least encouragement and support from him, if not prophecy. A Russian reader believes that a writer must see behind the perspective. This expectation can be strongly felt when meeting readers – by the scope of questions asked. Obvi-

Photo: Guest’s Archive

Exception Called Serbia – Already in the Soviet times, the compound “friendship of nations” was doubtful to me. I felt something demagogical, artificial in it. People can be friends, nations cannot, let alone countries. I have preserved such an attitude to the very day. With one exception: Serbia. The thing is not in the fact that Serbs supported us in the most tragic moments in history and did not change their views according to current benefits. It is love for a nation that seems to the Russians as their own reflection in the mirror. As far as I can see, Serbs have a similar relation towards Russians. How to explain that Serbs saved tens thousands of Russians after the October Revolution in Russia? There was nothing rational in it. It was just an expression of love and philanthropy, which remains deeply rooted in the Russian memory.

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B E L V E D E R E S ously, we writers are far from being able to always fulfill such expectations. Most writers are ordinary people, with limited abilities. But, there come times when these weak people exceed themselves by collecting the energy of the nation. PAINFUL SADISM OVER HISTORY At one point you say: “Every general has his historian.” You are the proponent of the idea that historical “proven truths” must be repeatedly researched, with light shed on them from another aspect? History is a vulnerable lady and requests a very caring relationship. One of such relationships is an objective approach towards the past. History must not be a political instrument or means of ideological fight. The present time is one of the hardest for history. Never has there been such perfidious sadism over history. Just look at the interpretations of World War II created during the past few decades. It seemed that everything we know about that war belonged to “proven truths” you mentioned. Still, in many countries of the Eastern Bloc, those truths have been adapted to the point that their own mother could not recognize them. Difficult questions are desirable and important in historical research, but they should be real questions, not forgeries. Only then could they enhance historical science. “While reading Laurus, I wished to become a saint”, wrote Zakhar Prilepin. Truly, the way you built time and story in this novel surpasses any possible understanding of reality. One easily moves into the book, it is the particle every human seeks within. How did you decide to write a hagiography of Saint Xenia of St. Petersburg and how did you write it? The main character of Laurus has several prototypes. Yes, it is also Xenia of St.

Awakening and the Golden Mean – After the breakdown of the Soviet Union, Russians spread their arms out to Europe. They received a cold response: don’t come too close, we are too different. At the same time, regardless of the present plots, Russia and Europe coming closer seems likely to me. I think that Europe is becoming more aware that the inevitability is not only in Russian gas, but also in the values of the Russian view of the world. Both Western Europe and Russia made many mistakes. Perhaps this is strengthening the mutual aspiration to find a golden mean.

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Petersburg, but not only her. It’s also Varlaam Keretsky, Basil the Blessed, Andrey Yurodivy and many others. The portrait of a saint is a compound of destinies of several people who lived in Russia and abroad. I tried to fill the novel with their energy, to explain the contemporary reader that a saint is not an abstract or literary concept, that it is not a human who never makes mistakes, but one who can truly repent. Readers will judge whether I have succeeded in my attempt. DANGEROUS TRAPS OF FALSE FREEDOM Does a contemporary human need literature? Undoubtedly, yes. On the other hand, the role of literature in the society has changed. Earlier, literature included a strong and attractive entertaining element. Now life has become very rich in entertainment means. Most of those who used to read thrillers realized that it is much easier to turn on the video or simply play a computer shooting game. Those who searched for simplified shortcuts and superficiality found them outside of literature. The fact that they stopped reading is not a big loss for literature. However, those who were interested in human and life in its entire complexity remained faithful to literature. It seems to me that a contemporary reader is much deeper than the one twenty years ago. How much did the human change through the centuries you write about? How did the category of freedom become the category of slavery? The human did change. The essential sign of such changes was their relation to freedom. At a certain point, freedom became an end in itself, although it is actually only a means of reaching a certain objective. It is the “freedom for”, constructive and creative. At the same time, there is the “freedom from”, without creativity, only demolition. This kind of freedom is prevailing today. It is a freedom which turns a human into a destruction machine and finally destroys him. Do you think it is possible to remain outside of the hysteria of modern technology and consumer mentality?


Of course it’s possible. One should simply think about the hierarchy of values. About what is important in life and what is not. My novel Laurus is an invitation to think that way. In my protest against the ideology of consumption, I decided to turn to the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages can be evaluated in different ways, but all, whether they evaluate it positively or negatively, have a common opinion: the ideology of consumption is not one of its features. God and His commandments were in the center of the world. They don’t include commandments: purchase! buy! spend! Is the past always a finished thing? It is never a finished thing. Be it good or bad, the past always continues. We must not pretend as if something did not happen. Already the fact that we remember it extends its existence. SIGNS THAT ILLNESS IS SUBSIDING Abducting Europe is an intriguing title. In this novel, some young people, idealists, try to give birth to a truly new Europe, to abduct it from the system of corrupted and destructive elites, whose only principle is the “desire for power”. However,

such an endeavor could not be realized, at least not in the novel. Is Europe possible as an ideal community of different countries, with truly humanistic principles? I used to have such hopes. In general, I can say about myself that I am a pro-European man. However, I do not consider Europe unilaterally. I don’t reduce it only to its western part. Those who speak about Europe often forget that Russia is Europe as well, not less European than Western Europe. There is a “myth” that Russia merges Europe and Asia within itself. Such a view is unsustainable for those who know Russian history and culture. Even the eastern topics, present in the literature of old Russia, did not come from the East; they came from the West, with Spanish mediation. Western Europe is the heir of Rome, while Russia is the heir of Constantinople. Besides Providence that led it, turning of the Russian people towards Constantinople was, if you wish, also a political choice. In the X century, Byzantium was the only medieval super-state. Only taking into consideration all these circumstances, European harmony can be established today and we can attain Europe considering Russia as its integral part. SRPSK A  No 12-13  2015

 At a literary evening in Irkutsk, 2014

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B E L V E D E R E S You write about the relation between America and Russia. On personal level, both think that “life is made of small things” and that “history exists only for those who pay attention to it”. However, on historical level, conflicts are unavoidable? The period we are now living in the relations between Russia and America is not simple. Several present dramas reflect the battle of the unipolar world with the multipolar one. However, as in the case with Europe, I’m an optimist. My optimism is not romantic; it is very pragmatic. When they accept the strengthening of Russia as a new (actually old) status quo, the Americans, pragmatic as they are, will weaken their efforts, they will ease the pressure. First, they never start a battle without big chances to win. Second, they will realize, I suppose, that Russians are not their enemies. Third, it will become clear to everyone (including Americans) that any phenomenon in the world must have two poles. Otherwise the construction is unstable, finally unsustainable. And this instability is dangerous for all sides. Regardless of the present cooling of relations between Russia and America, I was more worried about them 10 or 15 years ago. Now the cooling reached its climax, but all changes must inevitably go through sharpening. It is like a disease and I believe we are now on a way of recovering from it. CHRISTIAN RESPONSE It seems that it is clear to everyone how the media create images of good and bad. Winners and losers. Victims and villains. Still, it continues happening everywhere. How is that possible? It was always so and unfortunately will remain so. The well-known saying that “history is written by the victors” can be paraphrased as: “Events are interpreted by the strongest ones.” The media is turning into means of mass propaganda everywhere. It is important to realize it and know to separate facts from comments. Propaganda has a sad feature: it rarely cares about proof. Its rule is that the most repeated things become the truth. However, this can also be viewed from a different aspect: you see what is mostly repeated in the media, compare it to available facts

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and ask yourself whether it is true. In other words – one should simply turn on his brain and analyze events. Contemporary propaganda is so shallow and scarce that seeking truth does not request too strong mental efforts. Religion and spirituality appear in all three of your novels as sanctuary and meaning. Are they the strongest and final defense from the aggressiveness of the “new world order”? Yes, they are. The thing is that Christianity is a deeply personal religion, as personal as our response at the Final Judgment. The principle of personality is most efficient in fighting against mass zombification. That is the exact reason why many totalitarian regimes were afraid of Christianity. Pay attention: the object of propaganda is always the mass, never a single person. Russian woman appears in your literature as something extraordinary. What is a woman today in such a world? Russian woman is truly special. Our difference from the West is most noticeable in this aspect. Russian women do not tend to establish themselves as sociological institutions. They achieve all their victories in the family, without destroying the family as an institution. What is the point of the western habit of signing a marriage contract, when its real background is actually the certainty of divorce? By the way, about family. Already in the XVII century, women in Russia were legal subjects, meaning they could dispose with their property personally, not through their husband or father. The situation in the West was much less democratic. Feminism is not popular in Russia, since the freedom western women are fighting for have existed in Russia for a long time. Soviet women, for example, were free to work in “male professions”, but it did not bring them any luck. Our woman wants to be weak and protected by a man. Russian women are led by a simple concept that equality is not the main objective of male or female existence. Yes, if God created men and women to be different, it means there is a difference in the purpose of their existence. If you think about it, you will realize that it is not inequality, just being different. s


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DIVNA LJUBOJEVIĆ AND HER “MELODS” CHORUS, WITH ALL PARTS OF THE HOMELAND MOSAIC

Byzantium

after

Byzantium

This charismatic and beautiful Belgrade woman has been in the quire since she was ten. The ancient skill of original Byzantine singing, brought by the Russian nuns who emigrated after 1917, was handed over to her at the Monastery of Presentation in Senjak. She is the successor of the golden thread and today one of the most authentic (still not sufficiently utilized) Serbian cultural brands. With her singing, she pervades a whole cultural circle bordered by Greece, Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, while the doors of the most prestigious world concert halls open to her. She is one of the good paths of Serbian culture in the new century

“O

ne cannot remain indifferent when hearing this singing.” “This voice, like an angel voice, as the divine echo in a man, opens hearts, regardless of which culture they come from, which faith or ideology they belong to.” “This is not a concert, this is exhaltation, a ceremony, ennobling the world and man on the path of their apotheosis. That is why it can be listened to in an ancient orthodox temple, here, in Delphi, in a concert hall in Moscow, Tokyo or New York. Everywhere it will be the same soul quake and ascension.” “No one before her sang liturgy in such a way.” “It is most beautiful when listened to with closed eyes.” That is what the world media, famous guests, invited unknown people said after the concerts of Divna Ljubojević and her “Melods” chorus. Five of her CDs were extraordinarily successful on the Western European market (published by JADE – Milan Music – Warner Music). A big concert is announced at the Paris National Theater for March, whereas the first video DVD of Divna Ljubojević and the “Melods” chorus named Mirror has just appeared on the Serbian market, including eight concerts, seven video clips, a documentary.

By: Kristina Ševo Divna Ljubojević, charismatic and elegant, beautiful and aristocratically quiet, is the most remarkable representative of old Byzantine-Russian signing in today’s culture, not only Serbian and not only Orthodox Christian, as well as one of the most authentic, most powerful brands of the Serbian culture and tradition on the planet. She was born in Belgrade, in 1970, on the day of Annunciation. She tells National Review that she was brought up in a religious family and was introduced to church singing very early. She was ten years old when she perceived the beauty of the ancient Russian church singing in the Monastery of the Presentation of Holy Mother of God in her hometown, with the caring influence of prioress Agnia and her nuns.

Gift – I have received a gift, and each God’s gift is independent. The love of God spreads onto people through gifts (talents). In all times, the attention of people should have been drawn to this unbreakable thread connecting them with God through faith, tradition and art. It is something much larger than me, I carry it within me, but it does not completely belong to me. That is why I do not feel the need to analyze the gift, to think about it, to rationalize it. I only accept it with gratitude.

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S A C R A – Since, civilization-wise, Russia was the true successor of the Byzantine Empire, its art has always been signified with that wide, divine spirit, which creates with ease and freely develops its rich heritage. In that sense, Russian church signing today is perhaps not similar to Byzantine as Romanian and Bulgarian are, but is equally magnificent and inspiring for me. Nuns from the Lesna Monastery, who emigrated from Russia after the October Revolution in 1917, brought that singing to the Monastery of Presentation, where I was introduced to it. It was freely merged with Serbian singing, as the second variety of Byzantine heritage. Therefore, Russian singing for me represents one of the most important foundations of my musical and performing growth – says Divna Ljubojević. TEMPTATIONS OF THE BIG CITY After finishing elementary and middle music school in Belgrade, she enrolled at the Art Academy in Novi Sad and graduated from the Department of General Music Pedagogy, aware of the importance of handing over the gained knowledge and gifts to younger generations. – Besides my hometown of Belgrade and Novi Sad where I studied, I also carry within other faces of the grand and rich Serbia, equally important parts of the homeland mosaic. Outside of the ‘big city Serbia’, Belgrade and Novi Sad Serbia, there is a different Serbia in my life, smaller and more intimate, hidden, which ennobled me with the beauty of nature and dignity of people. The narrow, clear, fast and cold Rzav river essentially influenced my being more than the big and muddy Danube and Sava. My experience tells me

Mirror After numerous CDs published in Serbia and abroad, Divna Ljubojević and “Melods” have recently published the Mirror, their first video DVD. It includes eight concerts, seven video clips, Aleksanadar S. Kostić’s documentary about their performance in Vienna in 2007. Two completely new videos (Aksion Estin and Angelski Sobor) were recorded in the intact nature of Carska Bara and the almost unreal surroundings of the deserted castle in Beočin (Director of Photography Nikola Popović). Dragoslav Bokan, art director of the project, reveals in the accompanying book In the Mirror the cultural and historical path of what could be called “Byzantium after Byzantium”, all that has happened with the Byzantine idea of beautiful and the Byzantine cultural code during the 555 years since the fall of Constantinople.

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that there are many dangers and numerous temptations in growing up in the urban landscapes of Belgrade and Novi Sad. There is laziness and tediousness, sterile melancholy, a specific non-creativity, terrible insensitiveness for beauty and happiness. That great water, sufficient to itself, which silently rolls, swallows the bank and the landscapes it passes through uninterested, does not give liveliness and life to the soul. It is sad and one cannot peak into it. One cannot drink from it, wash his face in it, or take out a fish with his bare hand. The outlets of sewer pipes which unload the dirt of the city into the water are often placed under the bridges of great rivers. Hence the city feeds the river with its filth, and the river responds with sorrow.


Besides being an exquisite singer, Divna Ljubojević expressed her talent for conducting very early. Already at the age of 16, she led the rehearsals of the Faculty of Theology choir and conducted the united Belgrade choirs at the first Easter liturgy at the Vračar temple, therefore becoming the youngest conductor in the history of the oldest Serbian singing society. With a wish to freely develop her authentic artistic expression, she founded a spiritual music choir and studio “Melods” in 1991 with her friends and associates. Named after St. Roman the Melodist, one of the best church singers of all times, the choir consists of people sharing the same gift and love for traditional spiritual music, living and breathing together in liturgy.

– My associates and friends with whom I sing, work and create are an integral part of my “creative workshop”. With them I sing in concerts and liturgies, it is a living creative workshop with me as a part of it. There are also our listeners who have been faithfully following our work all these years. REGAIN EARTH BENEATH THE FEET Divna Ljubojević’s art is created in an organic and direct process, spontaneously, it originates from her real life. Long before the decision to deal with music professionally, before studying at the Academy of Music, before becoming a conductor, before “Melods”, she attended liturgies and sang every Sunday. SRPSK A  No 12-13  2015

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Concert in the Synagogue of Novi Sad: Divna Ljubojević and “Melods”

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– When I am asked to explain the process of creating my songs, I have the impression that I am attempting to explain the unexplainable. It does not take place in one moment, just like that, according to my personal wish and intention. My songs are created years before I choose and perform them at a concert, and then finally publish them on a CD. It seems as if they choose themselves, as if it cannot be any different. As if there is an invisible magnetic field everywhere around me, regularly collecting and organizing all the melodies and words I sing, all those undersongs, hymns, condacs and psalms… “Melods” and I are living in that wondrous atmosphere of the millennium long Orthodox tradition of church and Byzantine heritage so close to me. It is an inexpressible honor and privilege. She is considered an authentic living expression of the New Byzantine spirituality and beauty, successor of the medieval Byzantine Christian idea. Out of the five published albums of Divna Ljubojević and “Melods”, three have the word Byzantium in their title. – I feel excitement and pride for belonging to Byzantium by birth, for being able to continue it with my life and through my singing gift. Byzantium, naturally, exists today too. Wherever you turn, you will see its traces. In its original form, it lasted 1.123 years. It preserved the Greek-Roman culture in order to hand it over to the Eu-

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Performances During the seventeen years of its existence, “Melods” and Divna Ljubojević held over 400 concerts all around the world. The critics regularly judge their performances as brilliant. At the Paschal Festival of Spiritual Music held recently in Moscow, “Melods” were the only who had an encore. Besides, Divna Ljubojević holds numerous lectures throughout Europe about the Byzantine heritage of spiritual music and her immediate artistic experience. She is also the founder of the “St. Simeon the Myrovlyte” choir in the Church of St. Sava in Paris, where she often performs with the “Melods”

ropean nations after they become mature enough to receive it. Many of them have come to barbarically plunder its treasures without knowing that its real treasure is God. That is why it is not by chance that the western audience, without exception, experiences with closed eyes or tears the music I perform at concerts, seemingly unknown to them. The Mirror projects, says Divna Lju­bo­ je­vić, signified the beginning of their even harder work on revealing the forgotten pearls of the Serbian music and spiritual tradition, on strengthening the Neo-Byzantine line of Serbian cultural heritage. Since, that is the light which can clearly point the true paths of the autonomous Serbian culture in the new age and regain earth beneath its feet. 


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ABOUT LITTLE JELENA, PRINCESS OF COURSE, WHO TAUGHT DARKNESS TO SHINE

On the Wings of the Black Swan Forces of darkness cannot harm those who dream pure and gentle dreams. A single rose can change the world order. The dog-headed chases are finally swallowed by their own barking. The boy who cleans volcanoes with a toothbrush awaits us all on a faraway planet. Curious children can learn all these things while nibbling fried fish “At Tomcat Tom’s” riverboat

By: Nebojša Jevrić

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ka and I drop by “At Tomcat Tom’s” riverboat every day, in the place where the river Sava enters the city. Ika likes to eat little fish. The fish are supplied by Ratko. You know him, Ratko sails the “Arizona Dream” boat and used to live in Jamaica. He has a long beard and even longer hair. He lays on the edge of the riverboat and puts his hair into the water. While whistling some strange melody he learned in Jamaica, little fish are caught on his hair. Then Ratko just shakes his hair and gets a full portion of little fish. However, Ika doesn’t eat without a fairy tale. That is why daddy is there. And here’s a new fairy tale. DREAM OF A ROSE

Little princess Jelena lived in the Land of Snow, where it was always icy and cold. Terrible winds blew the land, mastered by the cruel usurper-king. There, in that land, the sun never rose, birds never sang, trees never grew leaves, not a single flower ever blossomed. Living in the land of the cruel king surrounded with his dog-headed guards was sad and gloomy. The king often wandered the icebound land, in sledges pulled by wolves. The roaring of the wind would then mix with the howling of the wolves. Hearing the horrible music accompanying their king, his subjects closed all windows and locked all doors. One night, however, little Jelena dream­ ed a wonderful dream. She dreamed of something she had never seen before: a rose. And in her dream she strongly wished to touch it, to pick it. In the morning, when she woke up, she found a rose on her pillow. Overjoyed, she ran outside. She wanted everyone to see her unusual gift. Then a miracle happened. The clouds moved apart, the sun appeared, the snow began to melt. Soon afterwards, the first birds arrived, the stream started flowing, leaves began growing on trees. The ice king was outraged. Born in darkness, he couldn’t stand light. He rushed surrounded with his horrible escort everyone feared of and ordered the little princess to be arrested and the rose to be burned on a bonfire.

The little princess was immediately thrown into the underground diamond mines, where day after day, together with other unfortunate people, slaves of the cruel king, she dug out earth and washed diamonds. In the evening, they would be shut into cells without windows, in the basement. ROSE FROM THE DREAM Every night, however, little princess Je­ le­na dreamed of herself turning into light and passing through the cell walls. However, exactly in the moment when she was turning into light and preparing to exit the cell, the dog-headed guards of the ice king came, woke her up and took her to work in the mine with other slaves. Still, one morning, the guards of the ice king overslept and there was no one to interrupt her dream. So, when they finally came to take her to the mine, they found an empty cell. The little princess disappeared in her dream. The little princess ran through the icebound forest, towards the mountain top. The dog-headed guards of the ice king soon found her traces. She was barefoot, her wounded feet left bloody stains on the snow. Although she was running without stopping, the guards of the ice king kept getting closer. Darkness started falling and she was alone in the dusky forest. Many before her have entered the forest, trying to escape from the icebound kingdom, but no one ever returned alive. She was cold, her feet hurt and the howling of wolves and barking of the dogheaded ones were approaching. Desperate, Jelena sat on a stone and started to cry. She cried and cried, tears were running without stopping and made a real small lake. When the Moon appeared in the sky, she saw a black swan. It swam in the lake with a red rose in his beak, the same one that was taken from the little princess. The swan swam to her and put the rose in her lap. Little princess Jelena hugged the swan and together they flew high, towards a little planet. The boy who cleaned three volcanoes with a toothbrush waited for them there. The dog-headed guards of the ice king continued barking, but all in vain.  SRPSK A  No 12-13  2015

Illustration: Mihail Kulačić

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VANJA UDOVIČIĆ, WATER POLO PLAYER AND ETERNAL CHAMPION, CURRENTLY MINISTER OF YOUTH AND SPORTS IN THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT

The Best Never Give Up We live in difficult times, with a dilapidated value system. Banal and stupid nakedness is proclaimed an attraction and the fourth place in the world a failure. Criteria, education, morality, taste, are downgraded. We are a demographically old nation, children are left to themselves, they are growingly overweight, the percentage of deformities among them is more than disturbing. Recovery must begin from the foundation, from the family. The state has its own important tasks. One can learn a lot from sports. It doesn’t forgive repeating weaknesses, but indicates how to overcome them By: Dejan Bulajić Photo: Guest’s Archive, Dragan Bosnić

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fter he had retired from water polo, many claimed that it was too early, most of all because of the national team he was an important part of. Only a few, besides himself, anticipated that the departure will be painless. Today, as a minister, as well as a fan, he has

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enough reasons to admire the work, whose foundation he is also part of. – Talking with my friends, I emphasized that our national team will be better than when I played. They thought I was joking, but, as someone who was living with those boys for years, I was


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deeply convinced of it. When I was leaving, I wished them to be better than they think they are. They achieved it and I stumbled upon a big problem. I cannot stay calm while watching them play. I simply cannot be a minister then, I am a fan, more passionate than anyone else in Serbia. It’s normal while adapting to new living conditions, because you cannot just become indifferent towards something that has been the basis of your life for such a long time. By the way, I am convinced that they are just about to begin a series of good results and that they confirmed to themselves how much they can really do. They matured and became aware of it, and the championship in Kazan is only the beginning of their domination. The phenomenon of Serbian water polo? – We don’t have such a high quality league as other countries do, but it is very important that it is uniform and we don’t know in advance who will win the championship. It’s good for young players and we keep recruiting new supreme aces among them. The basis of everything is the system, which appeared more than twenty years ago, with a crucial contribution of the coaches who, both in the national team and in clubs, introduced certain novelties, thus enhancing it and making it part of contemporary trends. System in sports is of crucial importance. It’s not an imaginary unit, but a way you keep creating champions and great people. At a time full of everyday scandals, water polo players are not part of all this. They are accomplished, highly educated people, most of them leading a normal life. The standard was once established by Sandić, Perišić and those who came after them. When someone challenges you with the fact that he graduated from one or two faculties, was the best player in the world, won medals and set records, you cannot go below it if you want to be among the best in your generation. People keep telling me that it’s impossible to coordinate sports and education, although I graduated from the Belgrade University. That is what makes water polo different and that is why it lasts so long. Coaches of best clubs not only follow the development of boys as players, but also their character and education. If they are not

on the requested level, they go to smaller clubs. Only the best remain. STUBBORNNESS AS A VIRTUE Features of a champion – lots of work, sacrifice, undoubted talent, great will… – Stubbornness is rarely mentioned, but it is a very important factor in creating a champion. When you scan the best sportsmen, you will definitely notice their stubbornness, because it’s impossible to persist in your intention if you’re not tenacious. Of course, it’s foolish to speak about supreme results without hard work. You must have persistence, wish and readiness to sacrifice and work much more than anyone can even imagine. The water polo national team training lasts seven hours, perhaps an hour less in clubs. Such a daily rhythm doesn’t exist in any other sports. That is why persistence is of crucial importance, the wish to overcome all difficult moments. I watched players feeling sick of exertion, who returned again and trained out even more. However bad you feel, you must have an objective. The best never give up on it. Have those objectives preserved the importance they used to have? – We can talk about whether objectives and values were downgraded in the past ten years. We live in such times and know how the media create the image of quality, how much the general value system among people has dilapidated. Not only in our country. All over the world. The biggest task I placed before myself as minister is to regain trust, especially of young people, and make them change their attitude towards realistic evaluation of things in Serbia. Similar steps are necessary in sports as well. It cannot survive isolated for a long time, but it’s still defending itself well.

Gilt Vanja Udovičić (Belgrade, 1982) graduated at the Belgrade University Faculty of Organizational Sciences. He was team captain of the Serbian national water polo team, played 284 games and scored 330 goals. He was multiple winner of highest medals at the World and European Championship, World League and International Games. He played for “Partizan”, “Jadran”, “Posillipo”, “Pro Recco”, “Mladost” and “Radnički”. Officially the best water polo player in the world in 2010. Minister of youth and sports in the Serbian government since 2013.

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W I N N E R Maturing and questioning. – Every child questions his or her wishes. It happened to me as well, especially when I, besides regular school, traveled for an hour to Banjica twice a day from Čukarička Padina, to a training lasting three or four hours. It was a daily routine to leave the house before seven and return home a bit before midnight after all my obligations. Children are cruelly sincere and cannot hide feelings and intentions, so in such situations many find an easier way in something else. During my maturing, I tried other things as well, from music to languages, but then I realized that I’m satisfying someone else. Not myself. It is very hard today to focus a young person on sports, with so many available choices. Also because young people know well what they don’t want, but still don’t know what they do want. SPORTS AS SANCTUARY AND INITIATOR Does that bring parents before a more difficult challenge? – Parents are the pillars of ideals a child places before oneself, and I owe my parents gratitude for my persistence and the results I had achieved. Without correct guidance and principles one brings from the family, it is impossible to reach your ideals. Unfortunately, family has lost its importance today, because, due to the way we live, we hardly have time for ourselves, let alone people around us. That is why we are becoming a demographically old nation, our children are left to themselves, the number of overweight children is growing and the percentage of deformities among them is more than disturbing.

Training for Minister – I think it was easier to train sports, even though it lasted eight hours a day, than to be a minister. This position carries a much bigger responsibility, but I was given a chance to do something and didn’t want to miss it. I am now able to support sports and young people from a higher level. I must admit sports helped me in it a lot. Sports gave me foundations, which I can use today. It didn’t teach me ambiguity, fickleness, because if you are such, you cannot succeed. Besides, in sports you see results of hard work much sooner, while the effects of the invested efforts come much slower now, which puts my patience to test. That is why I dedicated myself to building sports infrastructure, because it is something visible and will remain after us.

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However, not many parents want to speak about this, nor want to change anything. It is an indicator how little we take care of ourselves. Today it is a bigger challenge to be a parent and lead your child to the right path than it used to be. Parents unwillingly let children play alone in front of buildings, there is no clamor of children, playgrounds are desolated. It is easier to give a child a videogame to be quiet, than to think what might happen to him or her if they go out. Sports can help a lot in that aspect. – Parents must motivate their children. Recent successes are a good opportunity to have children become interested in sports and everything positive it brings. It is a sanctuary for all who want to live a healthy life and gives what no one else can give you, if you didn’t gain it in the family – manners and culture. In time, a coach also becomes a teacher and the club a second family. If you don’t gain correct attitudes in sports or in the family, failure is certain and perhaps hopeless. One must get a chance to choose in order to opt for the right things. When you look at the tabloidization of Serbia and everything the media offer, it is clear that today we cannot choose between positive and negative things, because there is only a few of the former. And creating ideals and positive examples is a way to make things easier for children. Sportsmen are very useful in that aspect, because they serve as a positive example and an attainable objective. I will never forget the present national coach Dejan Savić, who used to come to the pool on Wednesdays, when the national team did not have trainings, to train alone. My parents used to tell me about it and emphasized it as something special and worthy. It gives birth to a wish and desire in young boys to become something similar. A child needs to have an idol during growing up and someone he would identify with, in order to start towards that example and then set their own. COME OUT BETTER AND STRONGER It is imposed as a generation problem? – When my friends asked me what I expect from my mandate as minister, I said that I want to support sports, to have


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water polo get its national center and, before all, to make a museum of sports. I am ready to invest myself in this, not only as a minister, because Serbia needs to have it, as a testimony of great achievements and recognition to those who invested themselves in creating a healthy nation. Making a positive ambiance through positive characters is something that is lost and difficult to return overnight. The system has been dilapidating for such a long time and criteria fell very low. We cannot return children to courts overnight and make them respect and preserve common values. Finally, we, grown-ups, are those who give bad examples, from personal hygiene to the general attitude towards ourselves and our environment. Respecting and understanding our identity has become pervert, since we are witnesses of glorification of negative things and doubtful idols. It is a difficult period and it’s easiest to say no, I cannot, I don’t want to. It’s easiest not to give a little of your free time to those who expect it most and means a lot to them. What to do, how to initiate the first changes? – There are often questions raised whether a league or a youth organization has received enough money. However, the obligation of the state is to check whether the means have reached the intended users. Watching youth organizations function, you see that it is an endless series of “educations”. Enough with that! Let’s see what exactly can be done. We have to set a control point: if someone is educated, let’s see what for and what we get from it. What objectives have been set and what has been realized? There are still people who think that working in sports is a privilege, without responsibility. They were holding onto their positions for years, letting time pass. They are ready to do anything except to change. The energy of people who

manage sports is very important, from the coach to the head of the league. Unfortunately, we still don’t have the working culture and real attitude towards work in many segments, and this needs to be changed, from the individual to the entire society. It is important to find a system which would enable directly reaching sportsmen who need support and finding them before they have matured. Scholarships and awards they get show that the society is seriously counting on them and most of them return it with good results. After all, aren’t athletes, kayakers, shooters and many others examples of it? 

Disorder and Solutions – As a nation, we are longing to have a chance to really choose, to get at least one more possibility next to the pond we are all in together. And everything revolves around the same thing: in order to make positive examples, we must start from our own home. The essence we carry within is given in the family. We can expand theories, but the key is in working on those foundations. As a society, we have a problem with a wrong value system, however much we try to disguise it. Thus we came to the point where banal eroticism became an attraction, while fourth place in a world championship is considered a failure. Sports are the right example of how to get out of it stronger and better. It doesn’t forgive repeating weaknesses, but shows ways to overcome them. SRPSK A  No 12-13  2015

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STUDENT RESORTS “BEOGRAD” AND THEIR NUMEROUS POSSIBILITIES FOR EXTERNAL USERS

More than Academic Camps

The capacities on Avala, Zlatibor and, in the future, those on Palić, with their high category villas and pavilions, with restaurants and associated programs, have been growing into real tourist complexes. They host students from Serbia and abroad, sports teams, organizing conferences, scientific meetings, festivals, large and small celebrations. More and more people are spending a part of their annual vacation there. Why?

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ave you ever thought about spending your days off or part of your annual holiday in the Student Resorts „Beograd”? At first glance, the idea will not strike you as particularly attractive, but at the second one that will change. This institution in its basic meaning is a student resort, and according to its essential characteristics it can be classified in the category of prestigious tourist complexes. Therefore, if you happen to be in one of the resorts of the Institute of Student Resorts “Beograd”, do not count on the usual décor of freshman camps, but be prepared to see villas and pavilions of a higher category. The institution comprises of three complexes - „Radojka Lakic” at Avala, „Ratko Mitrovic” in Zlatibor and a complex in Palić, which is in the process of complete reconstruction. The facility on Avala is located at 12 kilometers from Belgrade city center, with which it is connected with public transportation. At the foot of the mountain, which in itself represents a unique attraction – starting from biodiversity and traces of an ancient past, to springs of drinking water, mountain log cabins, the TV tower ... Guests at the resorts are actively using opportunities for recreation on Avala. A special jogging track has been developed for them. It was there that, after World War II, as the story goes, in one of the barracks

of the Voluntary Youth Work Campaign “Šamac-Sarajevo”, the predecessor of this institution was established . The barracks, of course, are long gone. They collapsed in the 1960’s, and only about twenty years later, and especially in the 1990’s, the complete reconstruction began, completed only a few years ago. Today these are two elite facilities, in line with high tourist standards. FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD “Avala” has 90 rooms and apartments, with a total of 167 beds. The “Annex” has 66 beds, in twin rooms and one apartment. All rooms are comfortable, with a bathroom, cable TV, WiFi, a desk mini bar and safe. Naturally, successful students have priority in getting the opportunity to stay here, for vacation or convalescence. However, there are more and more “guests from the outside”, who are using the services of the resort. Food here is served in a modern and well-designed restaurant with 220 seats. They prepare a wide range of traditional and international dishes. Attention is paid to specificities of every guest, religious limitations, fasting, vegetarian food. Guests from other areas are especially present in programs “World in Serbia” and “Serbia for the Serbs from the region”. “Radojka Lakić” Resort, the host of these programs, implements them in cooperaSRPSK A  No 12-13  2015

 Students in “Radojka Lakić” resort in Avala have numerous activities

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 An evening walk in Zlatibor

tion with the government of Serbia, i.e. the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development. The programs are an opportunity for a number of students from all over the world, especially from non-aligned countries and the so-called third world countries, to get a chance to get to know Serbia better. During the first year of their stay, they learn Serbian language, and then they continue their studies at one of the faculties of the University of Belgrade. Management of the Resort organizes for them frequent excursions around Serbia, presenting other cities, cultural-historical sites and natural attractions. The resort on Avala is an excellent organizer of professional, scientific and cultural events. A big conference room and four small ones for seminars, fully technically equipped, classify “Avala” resort among the prestigious organizers of such gatherings. The ceremonial hall in the “Annex” is excellent for organizing congresses, conferences, symposia, but also festivals, receptions, celebrations and

Excursions Friendly hosts in the resort on Zlatibor always try to accommodate their guests who want to see the nearby places. Thus, guests can visit Stopića cave, Sirogojno ethnic village, Gostilje waterfall, a spring in the village of Ljubiš, Mokra Gora, Drvengrad and much more.

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banquets. The student resort on Avala has, therefore, grew into a multi-functional complex, with an offer far better in comparison with facilities with similar characteristics. WITH THE BENEFITS OF ZLATIBOR Special asset of the Institute of Student Resorts “Beograd” is its “Ratko Mitrović” complex on Zlatibor. It is difficult to find a successful student of the University of Belgrade and, in the past twenty years, also all other universities in Serbia, who has not stayed at the popular “Ratko” at least once. Today, it is the favorite place even for non-students, grown into the rich tourist offer of Zlatibor. The complex is located only a half a kilometer from the center of Zlatibor, tucked among the conifer trees, surrounded by beautiful lawns. It is visited by guests who want rest, recreation, physical preparations, rehabilitation and treatment. A number of athletes come here for height preparations. They have available the nearby sport center, outdoor courts, gym and dressing rooms. Once the indoor swimming pool is built, and it has been planned, the offer in the field of sport and recreation will be complete. Tornik, the highest peak of Zlatibor, is only eight kilometers away from the resort, and there is organized transporta-


tion. The cable car works in summers as well, when it is used for sightseeing of the picturesque landscape. A number of guests come to Zlatibor, the air spa, for their health problems, primarily respiratory organs, anemia and general exhaustion of the body. Artists are also frequent guests of the resort, especially painters, as this mountain is inspiring. All year long, experts of various backgrounds are also present in the facilities of “Ratko Mitrović”, participating in various scientific gatherings, congresses, symposiums. Even those in transit, since Zlatibor is half way from Belgrade to the Adriatic coast, are using the services of the resorts for rest. All facilities of this resort have been fully renovated in the past twenty years, and are now high category pavilions and villas. Villa “Lovćen” is designed as an apartment complex with 104 beds. It also has two technically equipped seminar rooms. Villa “Srbija” has 40 beds 15 rooms and four apartments. There is also a modern restaurant with 237 seats. Its offer includes, in addition to traditional dishes, the specialties of Zlatibor – cheese, kajmak, cheese pie, Zlatibor set, prosciutto, sausages. Villa “Srbija” has excellent facilities for organization of various gatherings. Its cocktail hall is excellent for celebrations with smaller number of guests, two salons are perfect for organizing lunch parties,

while the auxiliary hall has great possibilities for lectures, presentations and professional gatherings. Two connected pavilions of Villa “Zlatibor” can accommodate 88 guests. It is the favorite place for students and athletes. The gym in this facility offers optimal conditions for both professionals and amateurs, and there are also outdoor courts for mini football, handball, tennis, basketball and volleyball. All courts have tartan floor, they are fenced and have reflectors. Around the court, there are bleachers on three levels of with seats, so it is possible to organize sports competitions with a large number of spectators. Rooms in all buildings “Ratko Mitrović” Resort are comfortable, equipped with bathrooms, TV and telephone, with the possibility of using the WiFi. Apartments also have mini-bars. When we take everything into account, we repeat the question: don’t you think that the idea of spending some days off at the Student Resorts “Beograd” a very attractive one? s

 Part of the students’ sports complex in Zlatibor

Convention Center Villa “Romanija”, in reconstruction for a long time, is today a prestigious convention center. It has two big congress rooms with 240 seats each, modern and technically fully equipped. One of them has a separate area for round tables. “Romanija” has 47 rooms with 83 beds.

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Fiery Heartbeat of the South IN LESKOVAC, THROUGH WHICH SEVERAL CITIES LIVE, VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE

“Leskovac is not Serbian Manchester, but Manchester is English Leskovac.” In the eold times it was not just a joke, and maybe it isn’t so today. Only now this city in Southern Serbia has different attractions. It is famous for its carnival, barbeque, taverns, delicacies, bell peppers, Justinian’s imperial heritage, jašunjski monasteries, Vučjanka and its hydro power plant, the delicate intertwining of Europe and the Orient. When you say Leskovac, all these associations come by themselves. It means that this city, as they say now, has become a brand

Text and photo: Mirolјub Radivojević

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s far back as in 1159, Manojlo Komnin from Constantine’s city gave to Stefan Nemanja “from his land the area called Dubočica”. The depths of history is hiding data on the oldest preserved mentions of Leskovac from 1308 and 1348, when Emperor Dušan donated it to Hilandar. It was then the caravan stop from Nemanjić era with a big fortress on Hisar. Below it was a town with market and shops made of logs and planks. Numerous flattering epithets were being used together with the name of this city through the past centuries. It was recognizable for its fairs. In the mid-19th century it was a city of artisans (with as many as 62 different crafts) and “little Manchester” (because of its textile production). As much as 40 percent of wool products in the Kingdom was being produced here. A record says that at one moment it had as many as 105 taverns where “close company” was hanging out, bohemians and revelers, with wine and rakia, with “Buretovi ćevapčiki” and jolly dialect. Leskovac used to be known as a trade fair town, and from the 1960’s it has also been a city of cosmetics. A cidy of tradi-

tion and youth, in fertile Morava River valley, home of great Emperor Justinian (his nearby Empress City, Justiniana Prima, was the pride of Byzantine). The city where the Orient and Europe mixed, leaving traces in the spirit of the market and people’s lives. COMPATRIOTS OF JUSTINIAN I 29 kilometers to the west from Leskovac, the Empress City is one of the most significant archaeological sites of Serbia. It is assumed that it was founded by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century, as a sign of gratitude to the place where he was born. Encircled with strong walls, the city was on a 42,000 square meters wide plateau, an important administrative, military, and religious center. It is well-known for infrastructure thatw as perfect for that

 The house of Bora Dimitrijevića Piksla Monastery of St. John in Jašunje, 16th century

Jašunjski Monasteries 13 kilometers away from Leskovac, abive the village of Jašunja, there are the only two monasteries in this area: the Monastery of the Holy Mother of God, built in 1499, and Monastery of St. John the Baptist, built by Andronik Kantakuzin in 1517, with painted front facade. SRPSK A  No 12-13  2015

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 “Roštilјijada” Barbeque Festival in Leskovac, the biggest festival of this kind in Southeast Europe

 Vučjanke Waterfall, near Leskovac

time, paved streets crossing at right angles, circular square with a statue of Justinian, bishop’s palace with floor heating, several churches and basilicas, artisans’ and retail shops... The city lived turbulently, but shortly. Around 615, fleeing before the imminent danger, the people deserted it and life died. In the center of Lesokvac there is old­ Odžaklija Church, built in the era of Karađorđe’s Uprising. It is a single-nave building without a dome, buried into the ground so as not to irritate the local Turks with its size. The interior has excellent acoustics, because clay pots were embedded into the walls. It is unique for having a built chimney, since the building was supposedly built for a local priest. Next to the old church, the Congregational Holy Trinity Church was built in 1931. King Aleksandar I Karađorđević was present at its consecration ceremony. Next to the Congregational Church is the house of Bora Dimitrijević Piksla, built in the first half of the 19th century. It used to be the seat of Turkish pasha, today it is a reconstruction of a town house from the late 19th century. A part of the collection of the National Museum in Leskovac is located in it. A little has been left of the buildings from the formerly rich artisans’ and merchants’ Leskovac – with numerous buildings in Balkan style, recognizable for pic-

Vučjanka Near the village of Vučje, 8 kilometers from Leskovac, through cuts and cliffs of Kukavica mountain, runs a small mountain river of Vučjanka, creating beautiful channels and waterfalls. In the very center of the canyon there is one of the oldest hydro power plants in the Balkans. Built in 1903, it is still operating today.

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turesque chimneys. The disastrous “Allied bombing” in 1944, then the surge of modernity and different ideologies, have taken their toll. Only Šop-Đokić’s House in the city center, from the mid-19th century and a residence in the village of Rudar, near the Church of St. Paraskeva, probably the most beautiful example of profane city architecture of the Balkan style in Serbia, have been preserved. About fifteen kilometers south of Leskovac, the ravine turns into a picturesque Grdelička Gorge, cut by the South Morava River. Along the river, in the gorge, 25 kilometers away is Predejane, a beautiful mountain excursion grounds surrounded by forest and hills. In this place, right next to the major road that connects the Central and Western Europe with Greece and the Middle East, “Predejane” Motel is situated. IN STEP, BITE, SIP The period between two world wars is called the golden age of Leskovac. The crown of this turbulent social life was organizing of several carnivals, in the 1930’s. Following this tradition, the Carnival of Leskovac was organized again ten years ago. Meanwhile, it was officially included in the map of European carnivals. It has become an important destination in the carnival family of Europe. The tenth Carnival of Leskovac just ended recently (from July 6 to 11). This carnival confirmed this entire beautiful tradition in its full glory. Among forty two carnival groups from around the world, the best overall group this year was the group from Sardinia, and the local “Group with Dragonflly Orchestra” had the best appearance and choreography. “Roštilјijada” Barbeque Festival is another important tourist brand of Leskovac. In early September, the main vity ctreet turns into the biggest barbeque composition. It is officially the biggest barbeque festival in Southeast Europe. In one week, it is visited by more than half a million gourmands, fans of barbeque, good entertainment, relaxed atmosphere... Barbeque masters and students (the future barbeque chefs) compete, and the attempt to make the biggest burger in the world attracts most attention. In recent years, there has been increasing number of foreign guests. s


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П О Г О Д А К

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П О П А Д А Н И Е

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H I T

Health, Beauty, Enjoyment

“MERKUR’S” SPA CENTER “ROMAN SPRING”, THE BIGGEST IN THIS PART OF THE BALKANS

Five former centers have been merged into one: medical aesthetics, wellness, peloid, massages, balneo. This one, the biggest, is available now to all guests of Vrnjačka Banja, regardless of where they are staying. World’s most advanced equipment has been coupled with excellent medicine and centuries of tradition in treatments with mineral water. Good effects are undeniable in the long and the short term

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pecial hospital “Merkur” from Vrnjačka Banja is a modern, internationally recognized health resort, where the battle for the health is being waged, with joined forces and successfully, by doctors and natural medicinal

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element. That is why this institution has such significant results in the prevention and treatment of diabetes, musculoskeletal system, and digestive organs. “Merkur” is, at the same time, a great place for all those looking for relaxation, total relax-


ation and revitalization, or for physical activities for preventive purposes. It is the place where – “Health Awakens” – in many amazing ways. The last summer “Merkur” pleasantly surprised all the guests and residents of Vrnjačka Banja with a new attractive facility – exclusive Spa center “Roman Spring”, the largest of its kind in this part of the Balkans. “Roman Spring” has united all “Merkur’s” centers the building of Thermal-Mineral Bath, and enabled all the guests of Vrnjačka Banja to experience a real spa service. In its rich offer, “Roman Spring” includes five centers: Centre of Medical Aesthetics, Wellness, Peloid Center, Massage Center and Balneo Center. Swimming pool with thermal-mineral water, water attractions and a sauna park. “Fons Romanus”, the first wellness center in the Serbian spa resorts, in its new guise, offers the opportunity to enjoy the sauna park, swimming in the pool with thermal water, relaxing on the beach of Vrnjačka Banja, benefits of salt rooms, meditation

and many more exciting spa programs (such as Goč Whirlpool, Kneip’s Creek, a replica of the old spa resort beach...). Center for massage, cosmetics and detoxification. Massage is a daily human need, it has positive effects on people’s health and mood, enhances circulation, provides more oxygen, cleanses the body of toxins and strengthens the immune system. Massage Center “Lili” offers over fifty different body and facial treatments that provide maximum relaxation. Treatments with thermal-mineral wa­ter that have been healing guests of Vrnjačka Banja for centuries. Balneology has been a traditional service of Vrnjačka Banja and

Availability Last summer, all “Merkur’s centers were united into a single Spa Center, the largest complex of its kind in this part of the Balkans. Regardless of where they are staying, all guests of Vrnjačka Banja can now enjoy traditional spa services (baths, enemas, inhalation), as well as the most advanced aesthetic technologies (“zerona” laser, anti-aging treatments, lymphatic drainage...).

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The best “Merkur’s” Spa Center “Roman Spring” was recently crowned with the Best Medical Spa award, during the event “Balkan Spa Awards” in Skopje.

“Merkur”, since 1937, unique in this part of Europe. Formerly reserved for the royal family and representatives of the elite, today, through the services in Balneo center “Old Spa Resort” it is available to every guest in Vrnjačka Banja. Includes the services of: drinking water (dosed in accordance with medical advice), bathing in tubs, inhalation, vaginal dewing and enemas. Mineral mud – the heat that cures. Peloid Center “Limus Romanus” is the environment in which guests can enjoy an intimate swimming pool with thermal-mineral water, a number of therapies and treatments with the medicinal mineral mud, supplemented with mineral baths and a number of peloid masks on a standard or “velvet” bed. Peloid – the medicinal mineral mud, natural organic-mineral compound at a temperature of 42 degrees Celsius - has exceptional therapeutic and beneficial effects. It is used in the form of mask, for medicinal and cosmetic purposes.

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Weight loss, body reshaping and body rejuvenation programs. The Center for Medical Aesthetics “Marijana” includes weight loss programs, which represent a combination of medicine, natural factors, physical activity and modern mechanical procedures. The exclusivity of this Center are “Zerona” programs. “Zerona” cold green laser is the most effective aesthetic and medical treatment against cellulite and fat cells in the world. It is the perfect tool for breaking the fat cells and reducing the body mass, which allows you to, after only 6 treatments, within2-3 weeks, start wearing one size down (10 cm of circumference at the average). Zerona is fast, safe and effective treatment, certified by the FDA. State of the art non-invasive anti-aging treatments that provide excellent results in the fight against aging, wrinkles and other aesthetic goals, constitute yet another uniqueness of this Center. Correction of mimic wrinkles in all regions of the face with Botox, dermal fillers, hyaluronic acid, lip augmentation, skin regeneration with facial mesotherapy are just part of the services which give all customers complete satisfaction with their appearance. 


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„G

uinot Institut Paris” has been the leading company worldwide in the area of professional cosmetics for 35 years. Through joint work and cooperation of the best scientists and cosmetologists from around the world, and continuous monitoring of needs and desires of clients, it has developed a reliable way for successful work in the field of face and body care. The key to this success lies in superb treatments, use of products that are the result of the most advanced technology, as well as in exclusive dedication to care in beauty salons, high standards in education and training of the therapists, and the image acquired through advertisement campaigns and sponsorship of the most important sports events. In very strong competition, “Guinot” has managed to retain the leadership position through continuous innovations, most notably inserting the “cell medium” in preparations with as many as 56 active ingredients for cell regeneration: 21 amino acids, 17 vitamins and 16 minerals. “Guinot” has quickly won clients’ trust all over the world based on visible and long-lasting results of the performed treatments. That is why among the users of these cosmetics there are those “forever young” world stars such as Halle Berry, Kylie Minogue, Charlize Theron, Sharon Stone, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Adjani, and men – Mel Gibson, George Clooney and Richard Gere. Still, what keeps these cosmetics products on top is, before all, the loyalty of its customers, such as British Queen Elizabeth. Today, every well known centre that operates in beauty industry must have its “Guinot” cabinet as the quality assurance for the most demanding clients. More than 11,000 authorized “Guinot beauty” salons, clinics and spa-centers worldwide, with professional beauty therapists, are the guarantee of quality and stability of the brand. Welcome!

The Most Popular Treatments • HYDRADERMIE • HYDRADERMIE LIFT • TECHNI SPA

• AROMATIC • BEAUTE NEUVE • LIFTSOME

FACE AND BODY CARE CENTRE Nikola Pašić 1, 78000 Banjaluka Tel.: 051 347 940; Fax: 051 347 942; Mob.: 065 593 569 glocon@teol.net, www.guinot.rs

Wholesale and retail of cosmetics products and make-up. Importer for B&H: “Glocon”, Banjaluka


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