February 25, 2012

To my new Serbian readers and friends....

I wanted to say ''thank you'' to all the Serbians who wrote such enthusiastic  comments to me.  I am also grateful to you for sharing links to videos about your country, and of the dance and musical videos.  Thank you for your advice and information about your language, as well. I think I will be able to learn it quickly.
I am SO happy that so many enjoyed what I wrote about Serbia. You made my week very exciting, since I got to hear from so many people! I hope everyone continues to have fun looking at my blog, and my pictures on facebook. (By the way, thank you for following them!)  Again, you are so friendly and you make me and my family want to visit Serbia even more than we did before! 
Also thank you for telling me about the newspapers and websites that I was published in!

In your comments, some of you had questions which I did not get a chance to answer earlier; I will try to answer them here:

Yes- I would enjoy it if anyone could share their favorite recipes with me! The Serbian recipes which we have tried so far have been delicious. I would love to try more!

Another question was:  ''How did you hear about Serbia?''

Here is my answer: Our family has always loved other cultures and countries; and I grew up enjoying our studies of different countries, making foods from those countries and watching the folk dances. But I don’t think we would have EVER heard of, or fallen in love with less commonly known countries like Serbia if it hadn’t been for a group here in the states called ‘’The Duquesne University Tamburitzans’’. They authentically represent the countries of eastern and southern Europe through folk dance, music and song!

The Duquesne University Tamburitzans in Serbian costumes in 2009
Duquesne University Tamburitzans performed this dance in 2009

The Duquesne University Tamburitzans have a wonderful goal of preserving the timeless folk traditions of Eastern and Southern Europe (and surrounding regions) for generations to come. They have certainly met that goal. Most of the performers have Eastern European backgrounds, while others are from Bulgaria, Macedonia or Serbia.

Serbian ''Tamburitzan'' Srdjan Males

Filip Petkovski from Macedonia, and Nick Jovonovich who is Serbian-American

Mitko Nikolov, Macedonian
We saw our first Duquesne University Tamburitzan show in 2003 or 2004, and our love for the countries they portray grew steadily from there. My personal research of Serbia’s culture, history and geography began with my enthusiasm for the Serbian folk dances (particularly from Vlajna, Nis, and Sumadija), as well as my love for the lively folk music and songs. Listening to the beautiful old folk songs has also inspired us with a love for the language, and I am currently eagerly learning the Cyrillic alphabet.

Picture of the first Serbian dance we ever saw: Stara Vlajna performed by
 the Duquesne University Tamburitzans in 2004

About our costumes....
My older sister’s passion is sewing folkloric costumes; she and our Mum sew our costumes. My sister has even started her own business of little girls’ clothing based on ethnic costumes: Nonpareils Designs. (visit her site by clicking on the name!)
We are constantly inspired by the traditional clothing of southern and eastern europe.When making our costumes, my sister studies as best she can the details of the original folk costume. She usually only has dance videos to go from. We especially love making renditions of the beautiful folk clothing from your country and surrounding regions.
When my sister made my Nis costume, all she had for reference was one of our favorite dances on a video! For the embellishments on the coat, she did get some advice from the seamstress/wardrobe manager (who is also the wife of the director) of the Duquesne University Tamburitzans.

Povedi Oro Todoro- a dance by the Duquesne University Tamburitzans. Pictures are from the video of the dance. And this is what inspired us to make my Nis costume!

And the Nis costume we made from above dance video!

My costume inspiration!

(Me in my Nis costume which was based on above pictures)

The back of my costume

Picture of original Nis costume

Our  version of the costume!

Besides attending the annual show of the Tamburitzans which originally instilled in us a love for Serbia, we also like to go to other cultural events nearby.
Two years ago in September my family and I were able to go to a ''Tamburitza Extravaganza'' (link will lead you to my post about it!) which lasted 3 days. That special event featured music by dozens of tamburitza groups, wonderful Serbian folk dance workshops taught by Nikola Krcadinac, and more. Also included was a display of antique folk clothing from eastern and southern Europe, which gave us a chance to finally investigate in person several favorite folk costumes, some of which we had already copied as costumes for ourselves.

We even like to do our own festivals together as a family! For my birthday two years ago, my Mum surprised me with a table decorated Serbian-style, with jars and packages of foods from the country, pictures of the scenery, dolls in folk costumes, textiles, small drums to represent the tarambukan or tupan drums, and more. Completing the Serbian atmosphere, we made delicious foods including pljeskavica, palachinke, and cevapčići. (I will share more pictures sometime soon!)

Someone asked: Have you been to Europe before?
No, but it is one of my dreams to visit Serbia someday! I would love to see your country in person; I’ve read that Serbia is incredibly rich in natural beauty as well as culture! And thanks for the videos you shared; they showed us even more of the treasures of Serbia. Thank you!

Lastly....here are two videos of dances I really liked! I'm sure there are dozens more online. I could spend all day just looking them up and watching them. But since I don't have the time to do that, I appreciated all the links my Serbian readers shared!

Well...I must go now, but I hope to write more next week! Have a good weekend, all my readers and friends. :)

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