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At Slava in beautiful Šumadija

This very special day, the overwhelmingly generous family D. had invited me as a guest to their Slava.

So me and A. took the tram to Banovo Brdo and from there we travelled by car together with his family members: from the concrete of Tito era Belgrade …

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… to the lovely hills of Šumadija.

– ”the best part of Serbia” according to my hosts.

Šumadija—”the best part of Serbia” according to my hosts.

Now, there was a small problem: I am a teetotal. And a Serbian slava without rakija is simply not a slava. What should be done about it? Well, A. had a very simple solution: he poured me a glass …

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The best rakija is family produced.

… and although I am a man of principles, it was not hard to make an exception; what happens in Serbia stays in Serbia.

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Not bad. Almost quoting Swedish king Karl XII: “Detta skall hädanefter bliva min musik”.

When the freelancing roma musicians came by, I felt like I was in a Kusturica movie. I googled frantically for the lyrics of the songs I heard, but the only one I managed to catch was the one about Danube. A very interesting conversation ensued about the words of the refrain which is ”Dunave, Dunave” – a vocative form of the river’s name Dunav as the narrator of the song speaks to the river. (Please correct me if I have got Serbian grammar all wrong.)

Dunave, Dunave
kraj tebe mi srce moje ostade
Dunave, Dunave
kraj tebe mi srce ostade

Dunave, Dunave
by thee my heart I stayed
Dunave, Dunave
by thee my heart remained

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The guy to the right wore the full monty: a suit in forties style, pointy shoes and a glimmering gold tooth.

A starry sky of daisies.

A starry chlorophyll sky of daisies.