Saturday, October 3, 2009

Days of Grape Harvest in Vrsac

By Valentina Radulovic

Vrsac, Sept. 16, 2009 (Serbia Today) - Vrsac is a city of grape and wine, and grape is its strategic product. ‘Vrsac Harvest Days’, a cultural, artistic and sporting event, honoring grape and wine, takes place in Vrsac, every year, from 19th to 21st September, during the grape harvest.
Taking into consideration the fact that Vrsac is famous for wine, every year, during the third weekend of September, there is a traditional manifestation, called ‘Grozdjebal’, for all the lovers of grapes and great wine.
During these days tourists can visit a great number of cultural, commercial-sports events, as well as various displays of grapes and wine. They can also come to the famous ‘Road of Wine’.
Accompanied by local tourist guide, ‘The Days of Grape Harvest will be remembered as pleasant and unforgettable moments, rich in tradition, culture and the link between the old and the modern times.
From time immemorial, the vast wine-growing region has been an inspiration to poets, novelists, painters and other artistic souls, but also to ordinary people who upon visiting once, keep returning.
Today, the Vrsac Grape Harvest is the oldest such event in Serbia. It has a very long tradition, because grapevines were grown here from the time of the Romans and Decanis to the present day.
In the meantime, Vrsac grape picking adjusted to the time and new social trends, and many new things have been introduced, such as preserving the noble tradition in many segments of the event’s elaborate program. Thus, the color poster for the event is reprinted each year: It shows the central section of a 100-year-old triptych called ‘The Harvest’ by Serbia’s most famous realist painter Paja Jovanovic.
There is also the event’s mascot: Vinko Lozic (an appropriate wine-inspired word play for name and surname) created by one of Serbia’s great playwrights Jovan Sterija Popovic, who, so they say, is a direct descendant of the God Bacchus. And so, Vinko Lozic is the primary figure and in charge of the three-day parade and festivities because the Mayor hands him over the city keys for the occasion.
The event’s standing program includes a game of chance called Grapes from the Airplane, a wine and fruit exhibition, a cycling caravan called Visiting the Vineyards, a review of fiacre, a masked ball for children and a very diverse cultural, artistic and entertainment program as well as a series of accompanying sports events. For the occasion, street traffic, deliveries and other accompanying activities are fully synchronized with guests’ needs and wishes. Vrsac has long since undergone gasification so that each year large gas-run barbecues are used to grill meat, especially sausages, and on Sunday, an ox on the spit as well.
Invariably, famous entertainers take part in the opening ceremony and a beauty pageant is held on a regular basis. The main attraction includes beautiful girls crushing grapes with their own feet and children with slobbery mouths from eating the sweet fruit. The atmosphere is joyous, relaxed, interesting and entertaining; there is something for everyone.

The Teacher’s Point of View

By: Li Novak

Belgrade, Sept. 10, 2009 (Serbia Today) - We asked teachers in primary schools about school’s reality, from their personal angle. Wide range of opinions could be heard.
Teachers mostly agree with the opinion that today’s generations are very much different from the old ones. They say that the children nowadays are surrounded by medias and high technology. For that reason, it’s much harder to interest them for the school lectures and some kind of visualization is necessary in the classroom. Milica Vojvodic, the teacher of Serbian language told Serbia Today: “Parents are occupied by making money, and they aren’t checking enough the quality of their children’s time. I don’t believe in opinion that today’s children are more progressive. Some things and information are accessible for them, but they often have knowledge about mostly irrelevant things. They are not progressive in social development. There are some kids who don’t know almost anything about their classmates. Also, they read books less then pupils in the earlier periods.” Teacher Milena Ilic agrees with that and she notices that today’s children are not curious enough and do not explore new interesting things as much as they should.
Marija Radisic, English teacher, has a different opinion: “I think that today’s children aren’t different from the earlier generations. They now had new communication devices, mobile phones and internet. But, their feelings, personalities, flaws and virtues are the same as they have ever been; and also the level of intelligence.”
Today’s school pupils are very interested in how to be more economic with their time. They want to learn how to finish as soon as possible the obligations they don’t like and to commit themselves in doing what’s pleasant (going out, reading interesting books, playing sports etc).
The teachers say that the favorite part of their job is direct work with children. Aleksandra Aleksic, the teacher of Social Sciences and English language, told Serbia Today: “I like working with kids, because they are so joyful and positive, it’s never boring. The best thing is when children are always around you!”
Serbian school system has some flaws. The teachers emphasize the following: many teaching programs hadn’t been changed for a long time, for ten or twenty years. Even if there have been some changes, they were minimal. The children are overwhelmed by the lectures and they have too many classes. For example, pupils in 7th and 8th grade have at least six classes daily. Also, there are some teachers who don’t have a will to advance and they stick to old teaching methods even if it doesn’t suit today’s generations.
We also asked teachers what should be changed, for making better conditions in schools. The teachers have lots of ideas. Marija Radisic told us: “It is much better working in small classes, food in school kitchens must be better quality, and evaluation should be more rigorous… For a teacher, it is important to increase salaries, to have seminars paid by the school, access to the internet, acclimatized classrooms, more intensive communication with parents, etc.”
Milica Vojvodic has similar ideas: “I would reduce the number of children in one class or make smaller groups for some school subjects. Also, I would cut down the number of obligated subjects (it is possible to join together certain subjects, for example, those that belong in science).
Milica reminds us of a citation about essence of primary school: “I’ve learned that pupils will forget what you said, pupils will forget what you did, but pupils will never forget how you made them feel."

Joy of Europe

By Valentina Radulovic

Belgrade, Sept. 21, 2009 (Serbia Today) - ‘Joy of Europe’ is the oldest and largest children’s international festival, which is established in 1969 on the occasion of 5th October – World Day of the Child. This annual event takes place in Belgrade with about 30 European nations showcasing their culture through dance and music. Every year Belgrade’s children invite into their families several hundred of their peers from all over Europe, who, during the five days of the festival, present themselves through many different terms of scenic expression. This year the festival will be held from 1st to 5th October in Belgrade Arena.
The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Through space and centuries’ which is the title of a book by the world renowned scientist Milutin Milankovic.
Songs, dances, friendships, understanding for others and diverse, children’s creations – these are all synonyms of the International Festival of children of Europe.
Downtown Carnival, Friendship Gatherings, International Arts Competition followed by the closing exhibition, half-day program at Ada Ciganlija, Gala Concert at the Center ‘Sava’, Grand Party – these are all program segments of the manifestation that every year enrich the range of culture activities in Belgrade and offer various possibilities to children for having fun and making friends.
Every year, the ‘Joy of Europe’ Festival has something new to offer to the children. Since 1997, the children of the world have been invited to take part in the ‘Joy of Europe’ Arts Competition with the constant ‘Dictionary of Friendship’ theme. The jury selects the best and awards them with trophies, and during the manifestation, an exhibition of the best 300 works is organized. Every year the jury receives between 12 and 14 thousand works from all over the world.
The main topic of the contest is ‘The Dictionary of Friendship’. The Dictionary comprises of 15 words: bird, book, bread, child, dada, Europe, freedom, friend, game , joy, love, mom, peace, song, sun. The participants may take part in the contest either individually or through pre-schools, schools, children’s art centers, or similar institutions. The contest editor is Ivana Teodorovic, editor of the Children’s gallery. All children of the world from 6 to 18 years of age may take part in this contest. The organizer will with a help from a jury, select the works for the exhibition and it will award one gold, two silver and three bronze medals in three groups (6 to 10, 10 to 14, 14 to 18 years) and a lot of special awards. The winner of the gold medal will be the guest of Belgrade and the International Meeting of Children of Europe, at the expenses of the organizers, whereas the rewards will be presented to him/her at the opening of the exhibition.
The role of families and schools of the host children is invaluable to the organization of the festival, as well as to the creating of the threads of continuous bounding. There is no single country in Europe whose children have not participated in the ‘Joy of Europe’.
“Joy of Europe’ is a chance to accept an offered hand of friendship.
Founder and Patron of the manifestation is the Belgrade City Council , and the Children’s Culture Center Belgrade is the organizer of the event.

“The Festival Without Translation” 

By Bojana Jankovic

Uzice, Sept.21,2009 (Serbia Today) -The Council of the “Yugoslav Theater Festival” held its meeting in the he National Theater of Uzice on Thursday, September 10th, and adopted a list of chosen performances that will be presented by the theaters from the Republics of former Yugoslavia. The selector is Bojan Munjin.
The 14th Theater Festival, known as “Festival without translation”, an allusion to all the plays that will be performed in a language the audience understands will be held from November 9-17, 2009 . As Bojan Munjin, a renowned Croatian theater critic decided, in the competitive part of the program will be entered three theaters from Serbia, two from Croatia and one from each, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.
“Yugoslav Drama Theater” from Belgrade will perform “Candid” by Voltaire , directed by Aca Popovski; “Atelje 212” from Belgrade will perform “Woods Shine” directed by Tomi Janezic and text by Milena Markovic; “Serbian National Theater” from Novi Sad will perform “Ship for Dummies”, directed by Ana Tomovic and text by Milena Markovic.
“Exit Theater” from Zagreb will perform the play “Cowboys”, directed by Sasa Anocic; “Croatian National Theater” from Rijeka will perform “Turbo folk”, by a play writer Oliver Frljic.
The “National Theater” from Sarajevo will perform the “Mortal harvester”, by a play writer Pavel Sale; the “Montenegrian National Theater” will perform “Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf” by Edward Albee. Both plays are directed by Dino Mustavic.
In honor of the winners, at the last festival night, the Belgrade Drama Theater will perform ”Counterfeiters” , text written and directed by Goran Markovic.
“This year's selection is the reason why the audience goes to the theater - the scene is alive, exciting and creative, and which tells us, how the late actor Ljuba Tadic spoke,” about the sum of our lives” - Bojan Munjin explained about his selection.
“Ardalion” award will be granted for the Best: Play, Director, Set design, Costumes, Male and Female roles, Supporting roles, Young actor. In addition, there will be granted one Special “Ardalion” award.

Home assistance for elderly people in Serbia

By Ljiljana Samardzic

Sombor, Sept. 21, 2009 (Serbia Today) - During last one and a half year, older citizens of Serbia, who were unable to look after themselves or have difficulties completing their house chores, were offered the possibility of getting a home help free of charge.
Reason for this lies in the new program supported by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy regarding social care for older people, which the Municipality of Sombor joined in its early stage.
When this program started, there were only 3 or 4 Counties involved, but today this program is spread all over Serbia. The need for helping older and unable people was especially recognized in Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. Serbia Today reporter spoke with Mr. Nedeljko Stojsavljevic, Secretary of “Crvenka” Local Community in Sombor.
ST: When and how was recognized the initial idea for this kind of project?
Mr. Stojsavljevic: “I personally recognized this problem in time of NATO bombarding when we were obligated to made program of civil protection. We had to make a list of all objects and people who lived here in case something happens. Then I had realized that there are lots of people living alone and that they are mostly old people. After a while, we paid visits to some of them, talked with them and concluded that they don’t have any children or they are very far away from them or other relatives.
Unfortunately, we are witnesses of very unpleasant way of living when people do not care for each other any more. Even in smaller communities such as villages, there is a lack of solidarity, social contacts and, most of all, will to help. We have tried few times to actualize this project under favor of some NVO’s, but without any success. Then, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy opened a competition and our project passed. “
ST: Are people who work on this project volunteers or are they paid for their work?
Mr. Stojsavljevic: “We cooperate with National Service of Employment and they recommend us people from Labor Market. This, third time, the project is financed by Autonomous Province of Vojvodina unlike before, when it was financed by Republic Government. People are volunteering only from time to time, but we didn’t had any serious problems on that matter.”
Mr. Stojsavljevic also said that there are female and male housekeepers since there are not only chores concerning cleaning, washing and other domestic jobs. There are also jobs where men are needed such as chopping the wood and alike.
ST: Who can apply for this service? Are there any special conditions?
Mr. Stojsavljevic: “Incomes of each household has being checked out. Households with income up to 35000 RSD and without foreign pensions fulfill conditions. We also pay attention if someone has any kind of chronic disease or has constant medical expenses. We sum up all incomes and subtract all expenses and if they have enough money left, we recommend them some of the services, which pay up for their work. For others, we do it free of charge.”
ST: How person can apply for your service?
Mr. Stojsavljevic: “We have a database of all old people in our County and Center for Social Work has database of unable old people. Basically, we come only after person calls us. That is why we leave in their mailboxes a kind of application and notify them that there is someone willing and authorized to help them. We also have numerous situations when someone else applies for another person because older people are usually ashamed of being in a need for help. We have currently around 300 people, but the list is constantly changing due to often death case.”
ST: How does this service functions?
Mr. Stojsavljevic: “After a call, we visit a person and have a talk. Our intent is to meet those older people with our workers, so that others, who are not part of this project, cannot abuse their vulnerability. Our workers get daily instructions and official paper from service, which consumer must sign. In our daily 15 minutes meetings we get feedback from workers.
I also have to mention that there are those with more or less serious psychical problems among consumers. We keep records about them and inform local Center for Social Work or psychiatry. We exchange information because some of their patients are our clients, so we warn our workers to be more patient and cautious with them.
Any worker has to pass a special test to see if they are capable to help older people.”
The intention of those projects is that older and unable people have non institutional care as well. But, maybe it would be fairer if Ministry could balance pensions for all citizens. Then, old people would not be embarrassed because their incomes are insufficient for normal living standards.

Belgrade City Guides and Lifestyle Magazines

By Li Novak

Belgrade, Sept. 16, 2009 (Serbia Today) - It is not easy to organize one’s cultural and social life in a big city. For that purpose, in Belgrade we have city guides and lifestyle magazines. There are enough various magazines for everybody’s taste. In all of them one could find a lot of information about music, culture, literature, entertainment, lifestyle, exhibitions, theater, cinema, gastronomy, art, fashion, sport, nightlife, festivals and official or avant-garde city events. Some of the most read city guides and lifestyle magazines are the following:
Trip Magazine, besides the standard information, contains city map, calendar, shopping tips, columns “hot spots” about interesting new destinations and “green life” about ecology. It is characteristic by its small “pocket” format. One of the editors is the legend of Belgrade’s radio journalism Darko Kocjan. Trip magazine could be found on many spots in town, in theaters, cinemas, museums, galleries, boutiques etc, and it’s free. Besides the content on Serbian language, there are also English content pages for the foreigners. The distribution net of this guide is very wide: 20000 copies have been published every month. The latest issue is from September 1st. In addition, there is an online version of Trip magazine, with a same number of pages and format.
Another free city guide is Singidunum Weekly. 25000 copies are available on 550 locations all over the city, every week. The advantage of this magazine is its actuality, considering the frequent editions. The latest issue is from September 11th.
Time Out is a monthly magazine that informs about city events; it belongs in the group of lifestyle magazines. This licensed magazine has a long publishing tradition in many metropolises. From November 2008, we have a possibility to read it in Serbian language. After the summer pause, the magazine will continue with publishing in October, with regular columns – Scene, Film, Art, Body and soul, Books, Children, BG stories, Night life, Time in, Chat and others.
Thanks to the team of young journalists with fresh writing styles, this magazine offers different look on Belgrade. Lara Djuricanin, Editor in Chief of Time Out, told Serbia Today: “Time Out is a well-known opinion making magazine, promoting and celebrating the cultural life of the city and urban lifestyle. What makes Time Out different from the others: author's articles, very clear editorial direction, specific language and of course layout.” The good news for the foreigners in Belgrade is that Time Out will soon publish guides in English: Time Out Belgrade and Time Out Serbia. The first idea of authors of Yellow cab magazine was: the citizens of Belgrade deserve magazine that raises the quality of everyday life. Nowadays, Yellow cab is a brand. It has its own TV show under the same name and the internet portal. In addition, the English version of the portal is planned for the near future.
Visual image and concept of Urban bug magazine is a little bit different. The dominant colors in printed and online edition are black and green. The accent is on urban events – techno music, interviews with DJ-s, clubbing, alternative music etc. The readers of this magazine are mostly adolescents.
City magazine is another free city informer, in large format. Its journalists write about chosen top cultural events, and the reading audience is various. There is a possibility of downloading the PDF version, on the internet pages.
The variety and quantity of city guides and similar magazines are good for the citizens of Belgrade. Because of the competition, the editors and journalists have to fight for the readers, by raising the quality of their magazines.

Animanima 2009 – International Festival of Animation in Cacak

By: Valentina Radulovic

Cacak, Sept. 09 2009 ( Serbia Today) - The third Annual International animation festival – ANIMANIMA – is going to be held in Cacak, between 9th and 12th of September. Competition program includes 67 films from 22 countries. Members of the International Jury are Rastko Ciric (Serbia), Mohamed Ghazala (Egypt) and Krysztof Kamrowski (Poland).
Main festival awards are traditional ‘Golden Pen Bar’ for the best film. ‘C & M Special Award’” for the best animated commercial or music video. There are also Special Distinctions for the best direction, animation, script, sound design and overall artistic achievement.
Festival will open with a new Disney-Pixar film ‘Up’. This will be its Serbian premiere as well. The other two titles in Feature films program are ‘Animal Crisis’ by Diego Akel (Spain) and ‘Technotise, Edith and I’ by young Serbian author Aleksa Gajic.
ANIMANIMA 2009’s guest of honor will be Geza M. Toth, animated film director, lecturer at Mahony Nagy University in Budapest – base of studio KEDD Animation. Toth’s artistry will be presented within a program called Portrait of an Animator.
ANIMANIMA presented programs are dedicated to the films made in multi-awarded postproduction studio Platige Image from Warsaw, Poland.
Milos Tomic is one of the most distinctive authors at Serbian contemporary film scene and his activities span from documentaries, TV jingles, commercials and music videos, up to the experimental films. Milos Tomic has created ANIMANIMA 2009 promo video as well. In Cacak, Milos will present Special program called My favorite films. It will be a revue of his own films and some of his favorite films from the world underground production.
Must-see program for all animation classics admirers is definitely Maestro from the Prague, through which one can find ways right to the nightmare-like but immensely fun world of the one of the most celebrated authors nowadays – Jan Svankmajer.
Additional program includes ‘Graphisms’, an exhibition by graphic designer, illustrator and author of comics, Nebojsa Cvetkovic; presentation of new books published by Film Center of Serbia; and program for children Animated Matinee, offering to the youngest animated film lovers several films, among them ‘Spike’ by French authors.
Abundance of films, a wide range of themes, diversity in visual and poetical expressions, in other words: a real pleasure for all visitors of the Cultural Center’s Grand Hall who will attend seven screening in main program and four additional as well, containing ‘the best of the rest’.
ANIMANIMA 2009 organizer is Cultural Center Cacak, under the auspices by The City of Cacak.

Public Observatory and Planetarium in Belgrade

By Jelica Tapuskovic

Belgrade, Sept. 21, 2009 ( Serbia Today) - In this International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) Public Observatory and planetarium celebrate 45 years from establishment. Those two institutions were established by Astronomical Society „Rudjer Boskovic“ ( , which is one of the oldest societies for popularizing science on Balkan peninsula.
Astronomical society was established in 1934, and from the very first beginning it has an aim to make astronomy a popular science. During the Second World War Germans prohibited Society to work. It started to work again in 1950, when it began its own magazine “Cosmos”, as well as their public work.
Now, Society organizes different courses, like Course for beginners in 23 lessons, and many lectures about celestial orbs, cosmos, stars, etc.
„Main intent of Society is to inform public about current cosmic happenings, celestial orbs and phenomena, and to make Universe closer to people. Also, we are trying to explain ways and results of research of cosmos, to emphasize its importance and beauty, to make realistic and scientific view of the world, which is very important“, said for Serbia Today Natasa Stanic, Science educator at Public Observatory and Planetarium and Vice President of IYA2009 National Node Serbia.
In 1964 Society established Observatory, located in adapted Despot’s tower, on Kalemegdan. That tower has historical connotation, City hall didn’t allow the installation of a dome above the terrace, where the telescope is. That terrace is on the fifth floor, and is one of the most beautiful observation decks in Belgrade. It has a telescope – refractor Zeiss 110/2000, and telescope – reflector TAL 200k (200/2000).
In the Observatory it is possible to have practical education about Universe on Friday and Saturday, and any other day when something is happening on the sky. Everyone who wants can see phases and craters of the Moon, planets Saturn, Mars and Jupiter, dual stars, clusters of stars, eclipses, etc. during the day it is possible to watch a panorama of Belgrade.
Planetarium is in an ex-Turkish bath – Amam, in the lower part of Kalemegdan Fortress, below Saint Petka church. It is established in 1969, and it officially started its working one year later. As Natasa Stanic said, building was specially adapted for projector Carl Zeiss ZKP 1, which has projection display with a semi spherical shape, unique in the world. Planetarium has 80 chairs, and usually is visited by school groups.
„Planetarium is a place where it is possible to simulate a picture of sky full with stars, its movement, changes. It is also possible to, contingent upon of geographical coordinates during the year, to define position of celestial orbs, constellations, and to orientate in space”, said Natasa Stanic.
From May 1st till November there are organize planetarium and video projections for all citizens. One of most popular documentary movies is film, made by NASA and with the best instrument – space telescope Hubble. The movie “Path through Cosmos with space telescope Hubble” shows a history of the Universe, since Big bang till today. It shows birth of the first galaxy, first star and most mysterious events made by star explosions.
Besides, the visitors can see in the Planetarium a projection of simulations of a sky full with stars, or sky above the Arctic and Equator, Earth rotation, and how to find the most important stars in the sky – Sirius, Alfa Centauri and Pole star.
Planetarium also organizes lectures, and till the end of the year it is possible to hear lectures about sky sphere and constellations, earth rotation, moon and planets movements. Natasa Stanic underlined that Planetarium, which is also member of International astronomy Union, got from that organization 100 telescopes which will be distributed to many towns in Serbia – to schools with best program of astronomy, to amateur astronomy societies and to winners of art and literal competition organized within international project “Awareness of Universe”.
„We are planning to buy new video system – star cinema with 3D program, which will be visited by all citizens of Serbia. New video system, known to all big cities in Europe, would have a share in regeneration of cultural-scientific interest in the region, and in popularization of astrology, with its attractive pictures and animations”, said Natasa Stanic.
Public Observatory and Planetarium, have about 30 000 visitors a year. They also cooperate with many similar organizations in Serbia and abroad.

The Roots of Wine Making in Serbia

By: Valentina Radulovic

Belgrade, Sept 04 2009 ( Serbia Today) - The history of wine making in Serbia stretches back over two millennia. It was first introduced sometime in the 9th century, around the same time that Belgrade (the capital of Serbia) got its name. With the coming of the monarchy, the Nemanjic dynasty in particular, from the 11th to the late 14th century, the grape growing culture expanded at stupendous rates along with other agricultural industries.
The Prokupac sort, used mostly to produce dark rose, is considered to be the oldest of the local varieties and is noted for its high sugar levels and the high levels of alcohol it can produce.
The second oldest local sort would be Tamjanika, a Muscat sort that originated in Southern France in the Middle Ages but has been grown in Serbia for over half a century. The dark purple fruit is known for both its heavy, sweet smell, which can be smelled from hundreds of meters away, and the rich, fruity white wines that it yields.
There is also the very elusive red wine made from the Tamjanika grape sort. The ‘Black Tamjanika’ is rare, smooth wine of particularly harmonized and strong taste. This happened to be the favorite wine of the later leader of the former Yugoslavia, Tito himself, and it is recommended to be consumed in small doses.
Other sorts raised in Serbia today include the Belgrade Seedless, Sauvignon, Italian Reisling (Rhine), Cabernet Chardonnay, White and Red Burgundy, Hamburg Muscat Afus Ali, Vranac, Krstac, Smederevka and Dinka. Serbia is also home to a rare Muscat Crocant. The winery ‘Sololac’ from Novi Becej makes it, and it is used to make a fine dessert wine by the same name and can only be found on Pearl Island (Biserno Ostrvo) on the Tisa River in the Vojvodina region.
Some of the wine producing sub-regions in Serbia are the South Morava, Srem, Pocerina-Podgora, Subotica-Pescara, Timok, West Morava and Sumadija-Great Morava Regions. Serbia is not currently well known for producing too many excellent wines but with a few large and established producers and new up-and-coming small, family owned vineyards, the industry is once again growing in both quantity and quality. Today there are some 70.000 hectares of vineyards in Serbia, producing about 390.000 metric tons of grapes per annum. Serbia’s wine country makes slow return to prominence.
Some of the most popular wines are Tera Lazarica by Rubin (Krusevac). It is regarded, as one of the finest brands of wine that Serbia has to offer at this moment. ‘Zdrepceva Krv’ (Foal’s Blood) is also very popular. It is a high quality dark, thick, semi sweet red wine from Potisko region. In fact, this very wine was among those served at Prince Charles’ wedding reception.There are many other wine areas, so if you are eager to learn more about Serbian wines you can follow some of wine routes and visit the places where you can try them and perhaps buy some from the manufacturers themselves.
The winegrowers in Serbia celebrate St. Tryphon as their patron saint (14th February). In the same way as St. Tryphon remained persistent and steadfast under persecution, so they believe their patron will grant that long months of labor will pay off with a rich grape harvest and quality vintages.
During the grape harvest, all of the wine regions organize festivities to honor the event. These are wonderful occasions for savoring wine, music, singing and dancing, and most important of all, for enjoying the assorted specialties of Serbian cuisine that accord perfectly with their local w

Only Dorchol - Creative Route

By Jelena Jovanovic
Belgrade, Sept. 07 2009 (Serbia Today) - The idea of making Only Dorćol was born in 2008 , in fashion boutique Kokliko, when designers from fashion stores situated in the old town district of Dorćol- Kokliko, BGD Workshop, Da Lena, Identity, Dressing and Tamara Radivojević FS –gathered and decided to make a small Association.
Their first joint action was Dorćol Shopping Night, when Designers’ items were sold with discounts. At this occasion customers had an opportunity to see how many of them were located in Dorćol District and what they had to offer. The action also pointed to the sensibility of each of the Designers and showed what they had in common.
Conclusions were- Dorćol Designers create modern, urban fashion dedicated to young women (and, occasionally, men) who wanted to look modern and unique. And, Dorćol is small but significant fashion quarter and its fashion stores owned by young Designers offer fresh and authentic fashion. Dresses, trousers, jackets, bags, shoes... are carefully made in small , limited series, and done with quality materials.
Only Dorćol is the Association and the Action at the same time - several young Designers who formed it, have certain experience in the world of fashion and their main idea was self promotion but also the promotion of Serbian fashion and its potentials.
Two Dorćol Shopping Nights were organized last year and number of people who started to pay attention to Dorćol fashion increased. Slowly, designers started to prove that Belgrade fashion could be equal (or tend to be- in quality and ideas) with more known foreign brands that can be found in many stores in city center.
Only Dorćol also organized Belgrade Fashion Marathon and, at the end of the year they joined the humanitarian action „Fashion For The Cure- Serbia “. The purpose of this action , organized by Katarina Rebrača’s Charity Organization, is fight against breast cancer. Five Dorćol designers designed 5 different T shirts and all proceeds from the sale went to the fond for buying mammography machines. Designers from Only Dorćol have also established cooperation with Belgrade Fashion Week and presented their collections in its spring issue, this year. They also presented their web site where people can be introduced with the part of contemporary Serbian fashion scene, and also with its new talents, get latest news and see latest collections. ( . This August (21st), in the last promotional action, designers elongated working hours of their stores and offered discounts from 10%- 50%.
Only Dorćol is not just a commercial action. It presents new Belgrade spirit and young Designers who formed it , wanted to present their work and remind people of their creativity and fashion which is modern and urban, glamorous and casual, practical and chic at the same time. Finally, Designers wanted to offer people a chance to compare and, thus, to discover where fashion from the old Belgrade quarter was on the global fashion scene. (and where is its future position).
And they are-
Kokliko- Pop Lukina 1- clothes, accessories
Da Lena- Tadeuša Koščučka 18 - Bags
BGD Workshop- Gospodar Jovanova 8 – small series- clothes and accessories
Tamara Radivojević- Strahinjića bana 59 – clothes
Dressing- Dobračina 37- clothes
Booteek- Gospodar Jovanova 69 – man clothes and accessories
Identity – Kneginje Ljubice 8 – clothes by Jelena and Svetlana Proković, shoes by Danijela Biškup (Lily)

The Fourth International Flute Fest 2009, Belgrade

By Valentina Radulovic
Belgrade, Sept. 16, 2009 (Serbia Today) - Fourth International Flute Festival will be held in Belgrade, from 18th to 20th September. The organizer of the festival is ‘The Flute Association of Serbia – Miodrag Azanjac’.
This Association was founded in 2002 as a non profit professional organization which assembles all the generations of flautists in Serbia. It has been playing a significant role as an important professional organization which has been trying to promote and develop the flute performance and flute pedagogy in Serbia. The seat of the Association is at the Music School ‘Kosta Manojlovic’ in Zemun.
Due to the great number of its members and its diffusion in all music schools all over Serbia it takes a prominent position as a professional organization in the domain of culture and education.
One of the main roles of The Association is cooperation with similar organizations and foreign artists and pedagogues. In that way, they organize The Flute Fest, in order to promote collegiality among young artists and to give them a chance to perform publicly more often.
This 4th Flute Fest 2009 Program will include master classes, lectures and concerts with great international soloists like Andrea Oliva, Matthias Ziegler, Matej Zupan, Nikola Mazzanti, Matjaz Debeljak, Dejan Gavric, Ittzes Gergely and many others. The festival program will be followed, as always, by an exhibition of instruments. The audience will have a chance to see the flute exhibition on 19th and 20th in the Hall of The Music School ‘Kosta Manojlovic’. Daily program will be held in The Music School ‘Kosta Manojlovic’ in Zemun, and three evening concerts, 18th, 19th and 20th September, will be held in the Assembly of The City Council and in the Atrium of National Museum in Belgrade.
The entrance to the concerts is free.
This 4th Flute Festival will be organized with the help of Italian Cultural Center in Belgrade, Ministry for Culture of the Republic of Serbia, Brannen Fond (USA), Daminelli (Italy) and many others.
The organizers welcome international students, teachers and all flute ‘lovers’ to join ‘Flute Fest’ and spend few days in warm and friendly atmosphere in Belgrade.

Hostels in Belgrade

By Jelica Tapuskovic

Belgrade, Aug.17,2009, (Serbia Today) - There are about 60 hostels in Belgrade of which 12 are members of International hosting network.
It means that they work under International Youth Hostel Federation rules. Hostels are clean and cheap places to stay, located in houses, apartments and other objects with one, two, three, four or even 20 beds, where tourists can sleep and stay. Some rooms have a bathroom, but mostly, few rooms are sharing it.
Personal things are usually locked in little closets, or in safes. Overnight stay is much cheaper than in hotels, but service is also different. In hostels is not so comfortable, like in hotels, but the atmosphere and communication between guests is better.
It is a normal thing that two or more complete strangers are sharing the room, and after staying in a hostel they continue their friendship, during their stay in Belgrade, and even after that. Each hostel, besides an overnight stay, gives to their user a kitchen and dining room, internet, and laundry self-service.
It is not a rare situation that some guests prolong their stay in a hostel, just because of good atmosphere, even for one or more months.
Usually, hostels are on good locations, but because of a possibility to meet many people, guests of hostels are predominantly young people, who are traveling all around the world with backpacks on their shoulders. Besides them, visitors of hostels are also families and tourist groups.
Prices are lower than in hotels, and they are from 10 – 25 Euros ($14.2 - $35.7), depending on the number of beds in the room.
First hostels in the world were established 100 years ago, and first hostels in Serbia are established eight years later, in Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians. Today, international hostelling includes hostels organizations from 70 countries all over the world, and it brings big profits.
International hostelling network consider some standards, and all hostels in Belgrade obey the criteria of International Youth Hostel Federation, the main hostel organization in the world. Those standards mean hospitality, safety, cleanliness, privacy, comfort and a joint room in which all guests are having leisure time.
In last few years hostelling developed in Belgrade, and one of innovations are hostels on water. That are float boats made like hostels, and they are very popular among young travelers who underline sleeping and staying in houses on one of Belgrade’s rivers.
Besides Belgrade, there are hostels in all big towns in Serbia.
In the future, there is a plan for making categorization of hostels. That means that they will be valued from one to three stars. Also, there is a plan for making legal act, which will regulate working of hostels.

Silvana Vukas:   “My dream – The Olympic Games in London”  

By: Katarina Jonev
Belgrade, Sept. 07 2009 ( Serbia Today) - Weightlifting is in many ways, a type of extreme sport. The first thought regarding this sport is not only that it is difficult and demanding, but also a sport for men. Nevertheless, in Serbia and in Europe, the women are taking part in the training and winning medals.
Silvana Vukas is one of the most talented and most awarded young weightlifters of Partizan and Serbia. “I have been active in athletics for seven years. As part of the training I often visited a gym. One of the coaches from the weightlifting club Partizan saw me and offered me to try in this sport. I wanted to try something new, I accepted the offer and soon realized that I have the potential for this sport”, Mrs Vukas told Serbia Today.
She took the first steps in this sport at 18 years of age. In six years, Silvana won more than 15 titles of State Champions and over 50 medals at various Championships, defending both the colors of Partizan, Serbia and the State Representation. In the last year she broke even 56 state records in various competitions at home and abroad in the categories of 63kg and 69 kg. “ I won silver twice in international competitions in Copenhagen, on the Balkan games I've won 3 gold and two silver medals in Sarajevo in November. I set national record and became the first woman who has raised more than 80 kg in Serbia . In 2004. I was eighth at the European Junior Championship and in the 2007 I was 13th as a senior. Last year I was at European Championship in Italy”, Mrs Vukas contines.
In November I was at the World University Championship held in Greece where I won the silver medal . In Belgrade on “Memorial International Tournament-Vladan Mihajlovic” I set the state record in the remove - and became the first women in the country that has launched more than 100 kg”.
Depending on the period, whether preparatory or competitive, Silvana has 6 or 12 training sessions per week. Gratitude for the support and understanding of women's weightlifting, this talented athlete owes to the Ministry of Youth and Sport, the media and her coach. Like any athlete, her dream is the Olympic Games.
“The Olympics 2012th London are my goal. I think I have chances to enter the final European rope and the world. Currently I am ongoing preparations for the European Championships in Slovakia. I hope to be able to be placed among the top ten and I'll re-fix the national record”, Silvana Vukas says.

Finished Restoration of the Church in Jablanica

By Bojana Jankovic
Jablanica, Sept.02,2009, (Serbia Today) - In mid July this year, works began on the reconstruction of the wooden roof of the church in the Zlatibor’s village, Jablanica. Completion of works on the restoration of the authentic roof of the church and the adjacent rooms, was marked on Sunday, August 30th , with a festive lunch at 3 PM.
The Project Renewal of roofs of wooden churches in Kuchani and Jablanica, was performed by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments from Belgrade .The main Architect on the project was Ms. Tomasevic Bosiljka, and the project was funded by the Swedish organization Cultural Heritage without Borders (CHF), while Municipalities Cajetina and Touristic organization Zlatibor organized the technical support to the project.
In the municipality Cajetina they said that the church in Jablanica is a new tourist attraction, of cultural and religious character.
The church was built in 1838 in Jablanica, was made of wood in a rectangular base, with a semicircular altar’s apse. In addition to port and church, adjacent rooms are successively built and were used as a meeting place for residents of the village of Jablanica during major holidays.
The church is dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary, and is protected by law since 1949 , as a cultural heritage of great importance for the Republic of Serbia.
At the initiative of employers of the open-air museum “Old Village Sirogojno”, in 1998 they reconstructed a video of a popular custom of people gathering in front of the church.

Fortresses and Remnants of fortified towns in Serbia

By Lola Tapuskovic

Belgrade, Aug. 30 2009 m(serbia Today) - Spectacular exhibition “Fortresses and remnants of fortified towns in Serbia“ was opened on August 19th on esplanade of Sava on Kalemegdan, and will be opened till October 8th. It contains photographs of 27 fortresses and remnants of fortified Serbian towns, shown on 45 boards, made by “Publica” agency and art photographer Dragoljub Zamurovic. Exhibition is part of a big project which was initiated by The public enterprise „Belgrade fortress“ and sponsored by City Secretariat of culture.
The aim of exhibition is to make fortresses and remnants of fortified towns not being forgotten, and to be shown to public as part of cultural heritage and possible tourist potency of Serbia.
„With this exhibition we wanted to point out on cultural-historic, national, and international importance of these monuments of culture, and trial to inform public in what condition those fortresses and remnants of fortified towns are today”, said for Serbia Today Predrag Djidic, from PE “Belgrade fortress”.
He underlined that it was the main reason to establish Section of fortress and remnants of Serbian fortified towns.
“Section was activated to let know the public that those monuments exist in Serbia, and to start an initiative for conservation and restoring. Also, it is activated to suggest its revitalization, and to make them one of Serbian tourist offers, by adapting it to the needs of contemporary man. If we want to do all of that, it is necessary to engage the whole community, Institutes for protection of cultural monuments, other Institutes, etc”, said Djidic.
On exposed photographs, made from air and from the ground, it is possible to see 27 fortresses : Belgrade, Sabac, Petrovaradin, Smederevo, Uzice, Novi Pazar, Nis, castle of Vrsac, Ram, Golubac, Kladovo, Manasija, Maglic, Ras, Zvecan, etc.
Together with exhibition was promoted a publication about fortresses, video spot, and web site about fortresses and remnants of towns.
Long time ago fortresses lost its military and other functions. Although they dominated in areas where they are, fortresses are mostly negligibly and weedy. However, they still testify about time when they originated and existed.
Fortresses and Remnants of fortified towns exist in many former Serbian cities, but there are not much evidence about what they looked like. Fortresses that kept their function during many centuries, and under the Ottoman Empire are in better condition.
During the time, many fortresses were destroyed and adapted to different situations, so they lost their original look. But, it is important to say that most of them are precursors of modern towns.
Fortresses were very important in the middle ages like abutment of defense. If the enemy was lucky enough to conquer it, he grew into sovereign territory.
There was a rule to build fortresses on strategic places or on places which were not so available, usually on the top of the hill. Fortresses were surrounded by walls and pathways, and fortresses in lowland had, in front wall , a canal filled with water. Some fortresses had, on the top of the wall, high tower. By a side of fortresses, there were built fortified towns with castle of monarch and colony of common people. Best examples are fortified towns in Belgrade and Smederevo.
Belgrade fortress was built in II century by Romans. Main middle ages fort is from XV century, when Belgrade, for the first time, became Serbian capital. Fortress survives Ottoman conquest in 1521, Austro – Turkish war in 1688, wars in XVIII century. The Belgrade fortress got to the end of XVIII century. During the First and the Second World War Belgrade fortress was very ruined. One thing is sure – it is not scrutinized enough, and proof for that are remnants of old Antique castrum, which were found in May, while workers of “Belgrade road” found during correction of tram rails.
Smederevo fortress was built at the beginning of XV century, on delta of river Jazava, and its first purpose was to be a castle of Djuradj Brankovic, the monarch of that time. But, after many battles, Ottomans occupied it. They left it four centuries later, when they give it up to duke Mihajlo Obrenovic, together with other six towns.
Nis fortress was built on the right bank of river Nisava, on the place where were Antique and Byzantine fortress meet. The great count Stefan Nemanja conquered it in the XII century, but six years after that, he gave it to the Roman imperator Fridrich I Barbarosa. In one period, in XIII century, it was under Bulgarian authority, until Serbian imperator Dusan took it back. After him, from XV till XIX century it was under Ottoman empire.
Castle Bac was the most important middle ages fort in Vojvodina, built in XIV century on the island between river Mostonga and its armlet. It got its final shape in the XV century, but in XVIII century it was almost ruined.
Petrovaradin fortress is in Novi Sad, on right bank of river Danube. It is built on rock of Petrovaradin. At the beginning of the XIII century, on the same place, catholic monks of the Order of cistercita from France found their home there. In XVIII century they built there the monastery Belakut, which was, after Tatar’s attack, fortified. In XVI century, Petrovaradin was under Ottoman’s empire, and it was relieved after Austrian army conquered Turks in the Vienna battle.
Austrians built there, in XVII century , a fortress, because of nearness of Ottoman empire, and started to make new buildings, at the same place where were once middle ages fortresses.
Every fortress and fortified town has its own history, and that is the main reason why it is important to see this exhibition.

Unions in Serbia

By Miodrag Stosic

Belgrade, Sept. 21, 2009 (Serbia Today) - Unions, the form of workers’ organizing aimed to acquire better working conditions, have a long history in Serbia. The first league of independent unions appeared in the 19th century. In May 1903, existing trade unions formed Workers’ league of Serbia. Contemporary „League of independent unions“ is a successor of this organization, and it celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2003.
In May 2009, a statute of „League of independent unions“ was adopted, defining this institution as organization of interest which realizes and protects working, economic, social and professional interests and rights of the union members. League’s activities are determined by a combination of territorial and branch principles. Also, work of this institution is set on principles of democracy in work, labor division and respect for competence. This statute strives to regulate one of the most important matters in every union – its independence and integrity. By statute, this organization is independent from employers, authorities, and political parties. It is necessary to isolate a League from all abuses and instrumentalization attempts.
“League of independent unions“, with Ljubisav Orbović as its leader, last several years has intensified activities, which include permanent communication with workers, employers and authorities. Also, League works on law propositions which would respect workers’ rights. In August this year, League laid down the proposition for minimum wage in the last period of 2009. At the League’s session in Kruševac, capital buyers are called to respect their duties. At the beginning of September, there was another session, at which Government’s Plan for social security was analyzed, as well as foundation of League’s office which would cover municipalities in Vojvodina.
In November 2006, another union organization, „United branch unions – Independence“ (established in 1991), adopted its statute. It drew the directions for activities in changed socio-political circumstances. „Independence“ includes 18 branch unions all over Serbia. This organization also stresses that one of its main characteristics is independence and defence of democracy principle in work and workers’ rights. To provide greater level of independence, this organization stresses the principle of self-financing – all funds it handles are gathered from membership fees.
Organization „Independence“ has a constant connection to authorities, taking part in making law propositions and expressing attitude towards all the matters important for workers’ problems. In July 2009, „Independence“ negotiated with Ministry of culture to sign a collective agreement for all employees in culture. President of this organization, Branislav Čanak, expressed his attitude concerning the Government’s plan to increase VAT, underlining that this move would have a disastrous impact on workers and cause social unrest. Also, during past few days, „Independence“ has been a part of Government’s working group, engaged in working on a new law on disability pension inssurance.
Activities of unions in Serbia are determined, besides their internal organization, by political circumstances which surround the country. World economic crisis revealed all the problems that unions face. To solve common workers’ problems in an appropriate way, it is necessary to appear in front of the Government with unity, and to take part in making laws. That is the only way Serbia could answer to challenges of crisis.

Belgrade of Light

By: Lola Tapuskovic

Belgrade, Sept. 07 2009, (Serbia Today) - Festival „Belgrade of Light 2009“ will be opened in Belgrade from September 10 till 17th. It is the Second year that this festival is organized.
It is dedicated to culture of light, and the public will have a chance to see potentials of Belgrade and to discover hidden resources of the city. Also, special attention will be given to importance of light, energy and environment. Belgrade of light 2009 continues a discussion about light identity of the City, of keeping cultural, urban and social values of Belgrade. It supports sensitive access of light, and development and promotion of domestic design.
With artistic intervention in public space, educative work rooms, lectures and with programs for children, this festival gives new solutions for city progress”, Milos Mirosavic, from Cultural Front of Belgrade, one of the Festival organizers, told Serbia Today
This year, the Festival will be divided in five sections – Shimmering, Glow from the dark, Lightening design, Recycling lights and Facing the bright future.
SHIMMERING consists of children workshops, which were organized in May in Belgrade schools and kinder gardens. During those workshops, children were educated about the importance of natural light, saving energy and environment. Also, children made lanterns , and they will be promoted on a Parade that will go from the French Cultural Center till Ethnography museum (both institutions are in downtown). At the same time, there will participate in a play called “The sun goddess”, made on a traditional Japanese novel.
GLOW FROM THE DARK is a program which represents installations of light in public space – on front of buildings, forbidden yards, abandoned localities. Installations will be placed in the City, on Geozavod building, and in street Karadjordjeva (it is along Kalemegdan and Sava River). Authors of this program are a group of Artists from Slovenia, Italy, Sweden and Austria.
LIGHTENING DESIGN is a program consisting of lectures called “Poetry in light” and exhibition of Vesa Honkonen from Helsinki, respectable Architect and Light Designer.
„Beside Honkonen, there will be held more lectures. For example, Corrado Terzi from Italy, will give a lecture; famous by making a master plan for lightening of Roma, old town Pompea in Italy, Blue mosque in Istanbul, etc. I must mention lecture and exhibition of Pernilla Jansson from Sweden, and presentation of Alessandra Colombani, president of LUCI (Lighting Urban Community International)“, said Mirosavić.
RECYCLING LIGHTS is Fluorescent tube performance of Mats Lindström and Anna Koch. They will show to public how light impulses can be transformed into tones. In this part of festival, public will have a chance to see a unique collection of works “Say: light” inspired by recycling of light. There will be exhibited works of artists and designers from Sweden, China, Japan, Iran, Slovenia and Serbia.
FACING THE BRIGHT FUTURE is part of a festival which considers new achievements in design of light, especially new technologies and ideas of qualitative progress. It consists of lectures and debates of eminent domestic and foreign Professional Light Designers.
During the Festival, workshops of Architecture students from Serbia and abroad, will be organized. The name of this workshop is “Light up guerilla”. Students will have a chance to make fast interventions of light, in urban spaces. Mentors of this workshop will be a famous world Designer of light Mitje Prelovshec from Australia and Federic Faver from Sweden.
Mirosavic said that this festival will be officially closed on September 17th, with a performance of Parov Stelar, music band from Austria, famous by playing mix of jazz, swing and electronic music.
Festival will be held on few places – Cultural Center Town, Geozavod building, Ethnography museum, University of Architecture, in Cultural Center of France, etc.
This Festival is supported by the Embassy of Sweden in Belgrade, Swedish Institute, and the Secretariat for Culture of City Hall.

Schools without violence

By Ljiljana Samardzic

Sombor, Sept.12, 2009 - Since school year 2005/2006, UNICEF begun with program named “School without violence”. Its main aim is to create safe and stimulating surrounding for studying, working and progress. In domain of this program, violence refers to every form of behavior that has intention of deliberately hurting another person, in physical or psychical sense.
There are 165 schools in Serbia which are part of “School without violence” and lot more are on a waiting list, which, in a way, confirms the effectiveness of a program and readiness of society to take an effort in solving violence problem in schools.
The program is organized by UNICEF in cooperation with Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Government’s Council for child’s rights, Department for education development and, since 2008/09, with Ministry of Interior.
There are seven crucial steps that every school has to underlie when preparing to become a part of “School without violence” program: raising awareness about a problem - accepting the fact that violence exists in school, forming the inner protective network and enabling its efficiency, forming external protective network, establishing trust between victims of violence and both protective networks; enabling the intervention system and school’s self estimate.
During this autumn, it is planned to include 20 to 25 other schools from Serbia and realization of this plan already begun with Belgrade primary school “Mladost” which was visited by Ministry of Interior, Ivica Dacic and Ministry of Education, Zarko Obradovic.
From Mr. Dacic’s cabinet, Bureau for cooperation with media, the reporter of “Serbia Today” found out that Ministry of Interior this year, in July, only formalized its participation in this program. Since the very beginning, in year 2005, Ministry of Interior organized many activities on local and national plan, such as “School”, “School policeman” and others.
Ministry of Interior said that they will contribute to actualization of “School without violence” goals by taking necessary measures and activities in order to increase individual and material safety of pupils and school staff as well as school property. They will also develop and actualize precautious and other programs collaborating with schools, governmental and nongovernmental organizations - all in best interest for children and minors. There will be professional trainings and specializations for school policemen and other police staff, who work with children and minors. The Ministry of Interior plans to work on citizens’ awareness, especially about violence problem among children, to promote project and its goals, but also to inform public about activities made.
In Sombor District, there are only two primary schools included in program “School without violence”. School “Ivo Lola Ribar” participates since last year, and school “Bratstvo jedinstvo” since year 2006.
About the involving process, the reporter for “Serbia Today” spoke with Ms. Tatjana Janicic, school’s psychologist and coordinator for “School without violence”.
“We had to undergo few preparations. Firstly, to apply to open communication, after what we had to inquire all students and teachers about their opinion regarding this project. Then we had to send results to Ministry, after what we got positive feedback that we are able to become part of this project. In the beginning, all school staff had to be trained for actualization of this program. We had different workshops, where we learned about kinds of violence, how to respond in certain situations, about preparation and prevention. Workshops were divided in two groups - for students from 1st to 4th grade and for older students from 5th to 8th grade”, said Ms. Janicic.
According to Ms. Janicic, their school wasn’t faced with violence inside the school as much as outside since “Bratstvo jedinstvo” is surrounded with two high schools. In that case, the possibility of getting into trouble is increasing.
Their school is the only multinational school in Sombor, which shows tolerance in a way, but being part of this project, they wanted to emphasize that fact. Besides that, they were motivated for involving in “School without violence” because they believe that “prevention is key solution for any problem. We are witnesses of the era when violence is part of our lives and we wanted to be precautious, to avoid future problems.”
The external protective network is functioning on local basis. The name and phone number of school policeman is available 24h a day, although they never had the need to contact him, since there were no bigger incidents.
Children accepted this project easily and there are results. “There is a Book where every single incident inside the school is written down. That is the indicator. Less notes written down - better for our school”, said Ms. Janicic.
A team of students who are generally considered as roll models, someone who should be looked up to, is formed every year. They are creative, they organize many activities for other students, and they try to animate other children and to teach them how to go beyond problems and differences.
Aleksandar, Visnja and Milana are 14 year olds and are part of that team, and they said that “there are many new interesting activities; we hung a lot more together than before. Violence is still present, since it cannot be totally excluded from society, but it’s not so common as it used to be.”
Mrs. Edita Sakali, school’s pedagogue and mentor on the project in school “Ivo Lola Ribar” from Sombor, explained that “UNICEF firstly did inquiry in Serbia with children from 3rd till 8th grade and with all employees in schools. After analysis, it was certain that there is a problem of violence in Serbian schools - mostly verbal violence, but also physical and in other forms. Lately, we encountered electronic violence, especially popular among students aged 12-14. The main objective of schools and society in general is to prevent further development of any kind of violence.”
Under term of “electronic violence”, Mrs. Sakali considered different kinds of tortures between students that are recorded by one of the abusers, usually on their mobile phones, and the video clip is afterwards uploaded on the Internet and it serves as proof of power. In high schools violence is even worse, and sometimes it’s related with prostitutions, drugs and alike

Agreement between Ministry of Health and Permanent Conference of Cities and Municipalities

By Miodrag Stosic
Belgrade, Sept. 18, 2009 (Serbia Today) - Health of a nation and citizens’ health care are very significant matters that Serbia faces today. For last several years, Ministry of Health has been working on reforms, aiming to make a concordance in work between state and private clinics, as well as to establish single national account for performing medical services. One of the newest activities of Serbian authorities is an aspiration to make a matter of health a part of a comprehensive process of government decentralization. That aspiration came out of desire that local governments should become active partners of the state in solving health problems, and in creating conditions for safer life of the citizens.
With that goal, on September 8th, in Belgrade, an agreement was signed between Ministry of health and Permanent conference of cities and municipalities. The agreement was signed by Minister of health, Tomica Milosavljević, and a president of PCCM, at the same time a president of New Belgrade municipality, Nenad Milenković. By signatories’ words, local governments will have much more active role in regulation of health policy in the future. Tomica Milosavljević said that signing this agreement is an important moment, because without a consistent decentralization, there is no modern state. „Cities and municipalities will be responsible for primary health care; there won’t be strenghtening local capacities without cooperation with PCCM“, said Milosavljević.
Nenad Milenković underlined that this agreement is a new step forward in cooperation between local self-government and Ministry of health. By his words, this step was inevitable, and it will contribute to establishment of a much more solid level of communication and coordination between activities of Belgrade and periphery in order to provide healthier life for all citizens.
From an analitic point of view, this agreement surely represents a step forward in liberalization of health care and in decentralization. Until now, all decisiones abot regulation of health policy have been made in Belgrade, while role of municipalities was limited to implementing laws on their territories. Contrary to that, this agreement sees municipality as an equal partner of the state.
Besides empowering local authorities with a bigger level of rights, this agreement also envisages a list of responsibilities and duties that municipalities should fullfil. Minister Milosavljević reminds that thid agreement is a part of a longer process that will require active and responsible engagement of municipalities. He further says that he understands all the critics that stress the inability of municipalities to overtake the burden of responsibility for creating and implementing health policies, due to their underdevelopment, but also adds that they’ll have a task to build all necessary capacities.
He also suggested foundation of Council for health improvement at local level, with a phocus on matters of a local community interest, as well as the possibility of appointing local ombudsman, specialized in health inssurance, in order to inform citizens about their rights that stem from laws on health care.
An agreement between Ministry of health and PCCM is surely a good platform, on which a new quality of health policy in Serbia can be build. Nevertheless, there is to be seen whether uneven development of Serbian municipalities shall be an easy-overcoming obstacle to a more even health policy.

International Festival of Street Musicians in Novi Sad

By: Valentina Radulovic
Novi Sad, Sept 07 2009 ( Serbia Today) - International Festival of Street Musicians in Novi Sad is a non-competitive manifestation which gathers the best street art performers from around the world. From the very beginning, Festival had international character. It is a traditional annual event, held early in September, and the only manifestation of this kind in Serbia. This year it will be held from 8th to 12th September.
Center for Culture animation, Novi Sad is the founder of this festival. Every year the media describes the opening of the Festival as the “return of carnival atmosphere on the city streets”. The most important and diverse artists from all over the world participate in the festival. Of course, an important role in the festival is given to local musicians as well, famous local groups, but also bands that are just launching their careers.
During the five days of the festival, people have the opportunity to see various cultures, to enjoy different music genres, to see unusual instruments and to attend a series of street shows, dances and acrobatic performances. Over the years, the festival has been gradually attracting the attention of local, but also of the international, broader audience. It is well covered by media and thanks to foreign guests; it is famous even beyond the borders of our country. That is why in 2007, the Tourist organization of Serbia awarded the Festival with the Tourist Flower award, in the ‘Cultural tourist manifestation contributing to tourism’ category.
This year’s festival will be held for the ninth time. On the various sites it will host more than 300 performers from Serbia, Italy, England, Senegal, Vietnam, Argentina, Chile, and Japan. The audience will have the opportunity to enjoy in Pappazzum orchestra from Italy, acrobats from Chile, virtuosos on drums from Senegal, marionettes from Japan, comic clowns from England, authentic tango groups from Argentina and many others.
They will also see local performers such as ‘Amaro Del’ from Belgrade, ‘Lost Pepelleros’ from Novi Sad, ‘Gyass band’ from Subotica, Milan Mumin and ‘Undercover Maniacs’ from Novi Sad. There will be special program for the young, and they will enjoy in Creative Studio ‘Carolija’ and children choir ‘Zvoncici’. This year we can also see the story-tellers from Senegal, Vietnam and Serbia.
The Festival is determined to keep the spirit of former festivals; however, a few novelties will be introduced. The participants will appear on frontal walls, in tracks, and will be lifted by cranes. Also, the audience will be able to enjoy large-scale, open-space spectacles. There will be magicians, painters, puppeteers, theatre and film actors, clowns, jugglers and dancers, folklore groups, choirs, ballet dancers that participates each year. There were about 20.000 visitors last year, but the organizers of the event expect even more this year.
Novi Sad will be transformed into a genuine stage of picturesque entertainment those days. Streets and squares will become stages with Parisian Charm and carnival atmosphere.
The Festival of Street Musicians is sponsored by the City of Novi Sad.

European Heritage Days

By Jelena Jovanovic

Belgrade, Sept. 12 2009 ( Serbia Today) - European Heritage Days will be held in Belgrade from September 11th to September 21st. This year’s topic is - Heritage as an impulse for intercultural dialog. Annual manifestation, organized every September in many European countries has been organized in Belgrade since 2002.
The main goal of European Heritage Days is to present cultural heritage of the Old continent and diversity of cultures, traditions and customs. Manifestation consists of various, free programs- presentations of many European cultural institutions, museums, buildings, city quarters, areas under the state protection etc. In Belgrade, various programs are organized in various locations- in the whole city and in its suburbs.
“This year we have 70 programs and there is a great interest for all of them. The most interesting might be all guiding tours, literary tours through Belgrade (following the traces of famous Serbian writers who lived and worked in Belgrade), visiting Royal Courts in Dedinje… There are some new programs every year. The concept is the same – every September we present our cultural heritage as all other European cities. All programs are free and for most of them people should apply one or two weeks in advance”, Dejan Veselinov, Head of Public Relations Department in Belgrade Tourist Organization told Serbia Today.
The European Heritage Days originated in Granada (Spain) on October 3rd, in 1985, during the 2nd Council of Europe Conference of European Ministers responsible for Architectural Heritage. On this occasion, the French Minister of Culture suggested extending to a European level the “Monuments’ Open Doors” initiative launched in France in 1984. Several European countries, such as The Netherlands, Luxemburg, Malta, Belgium, the United Kingdom (Scotland) and Sweden soon set up similar events.
In 1991, the Council of Europe officially launched the European Heritage Days with the support of the European Commission. In 1999, this initiative became a joint action of the Council of Europe and the European Commission. Throughout Europe, during the weekends of September, the European Heritage Days open the doors of numerous monuments and sites, many of them usually closed to the public, allowing Europe’s citizens to enjoy and learn about their shared cultural heritage and encouraging them to become actively involved in the safeguard and enhancement of this heritage for present and future generations.
As it is written , the aims of the European Heritage Days are : to raise the awareness of European citizens to the richness and cultural diversity of Europe; create a climate in which the appreciation of the rich mosaic of European cultures is stimulated; counter racism and xenophobia and encourage greater tolerance in Europe and beyond the national borders; inform the public and the political authorities about the need to protect cultural heritage against new threats and to invite Europe to respond to the social, political and economic challenges it faces.
This September, residents of Belgrade will be able to see interiors of some important city buildings, private houses that are under the state protection( important in the history for some reasons) , legates, museums, various cultural institutions, churches, coffee houses where prominent citizens and its guests used to come ... Some interesting programs this year are – guided tours: “Dositej in Belgrade” ( tour that presents Belgrade spots marked in life path of Dositej Obradovic, writer and prominent Serbian educator from 18. century), “Skadarlija tour” (guiding tour through the oldest and most popular bohemian quarter in Belgrade, “Russian Architects in Belgrade” tour (presentation of important buildings in the city center, built in the first half of XX century), “Botanical Garden tour” guidance through beautiful green oasis in the center of Belgrade, with many rare, old and protected trees and plants .... All tours are guided by experts and applying in advance is necessary. (More info and whole program can be found in )
Dejan Veselinov from TOS emphasized in the conversation about approaching European Heritage Days , that this manifestation was very significant for Belgrade and promotion of its cultural and tourist offer.
European Heritage days in Belgrade and other towns in Serbia are organized this year under the patronage of Secretariat for Economy of Belgrade City Administration. The main media sponsor is Studio B.

Belgrade Book Fair Has a New Concept

By Li Novak
Belgrade, Sept. 18, 2009 (Serbia Today) - International Belgrade Book Fair is founded in 1956. This annual manifestation is now taking place for the 54th time, in halls of Belgrade Fair at Bulevar Vojvode Misica 14. This event is a great opportunity for the booklovers to visit the publishing houses’ stands and to be informed about the latest editions of new books. This year’s guest of honor will be Greece. Organizers of the event have announced same changes in basic concept. The date of beginning is October 26th and the closer is on November 1st. 54. International Belgrade Book Fair will be held on bigger exhibition space than the earlier years and there will be provided better conditions for publishing presentations.
Domestic and foreign publishers whose exclusive and basic activity is publishing books will be settled in the main exhibition hall – Hall 1. In that space, only their own editions will be presented. The other exhibitioners will be settled in Hall 4, Hall 1a and Hall 2a.
There will be presented other bookselling and publishing houses, domestic and foreign state publishers, the publishers of educational literature, publishing houses specialized for comics etc.
In an announcement organizers also told that 800 exhibitioners have already confirmed their participation in this year’s manifestation. The books are assorted in following groups: belletristic, books for children, theological literature, practical books, antique books, literature and periodic about computers and literary-scientific periodic.
The reading audience will have possibility to attend promotions of new books, to buy latest editions by low prices, to hear the popular authors alive and to visit many other interesting programs.

Reporting on Environmental Issues

By: Una Zabunov
Belgrade, Sept. 24, 2009 (Serbia Today) - Reporting on Environmental Issues is a topic of a seminar, which will be organized by Transitions Online and Mediacentar Sarajevo in partnership with Medija Centar, Belgrade, and the Association of Professional Journalists of Kosovo, Pristina.
This seminar will be held in Sarajevo from 25-26 September for journalists from Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo. The project is supported by the Transition Promotion Program of the Human Rights &Transition Policy Department of the Czech Foreign Ministry and the East: Partnership Beyond Borders Program of the Open Society Fund.
Speakers in this two-days programs are reputable people such as Kevin Burden and Tihomir Loza . Kevin Burden is a Director of Media Training at Simply Speaking, a leading UK communications consultancy. Between 2001 and 2008, Kevin was the overseas Training Manager at the BBC and the head of training at the BBC World Service Trust. Between 1994 and 1999, Kevin was the BBC West’s environmental correspondent.
Tihomir Loza is Transitions Online’s deputy Director, and he oversees all aspects of the Reporting about the Environmental project. Kevin will explain why journalists reporting on the environment and other specialist beats need to have a solid grasp of scientific discourse and process. He will also analyze why science and news don’t always see eye to eye. Kevin will outline the main thematic areas that journalists covering the environment are likely to report on, highlighting their specifics.
Participants will have the opportunity to learn the basics of journalistic investigation. In this seminar will be outlined the principles of investigative research and explained why topics related to the environment often require investigative approach. Speakers will underline the difference between environmental activism and journalism. Journalists will find how trained communication representatives of public institutions and business operate, focusing on environment-related situations and the critical importance of always asking the right question.
Serbia has 5 representatives. Three journalists are from Belgrade, one from Kragujevac and one from Subotica. All presentations will be held in English. This is a great opportunity for journalists from Serbia to become more informed about current issues in environmental protection. The best participants of the seminar will visit Prague.

Hiking Trails

By: Bojana Jankovic

Uzice, Sept.14,2009 (Serbia Today) – A 200 km long hiking trail has been built in the Zlatibor’s region from Mokra Gora to Kadinjaca, from Jelova Gora to the canyon of river Derventa, from Zlatibor to Zlakusa, to accommodate tourists who like to have long walks.
This hiking trail will attract tourists, but also help the economic development of the surrounding villages. The Walking trails that will soon take hikers through the untouched parts of nature, were traced by the Tourist organization Uzice and Mountaineering Club “Rujno” . They say that the idea is to improve the tourist offer and demonstrate the secret and unspoiled beauty of nature. This project is sustained by the Republic of Serbia’s funding in 1.6 million for public works and logistics project is sustained by Mountaineering Club “Rujno” activists.
Radomir Smiljanic, Director of the Tourist organization of Uzice told for “Serbia Today”, “We'll get a 200 km hiking route that will improve the tourist offer of Uzice. In addition to our aim to present this Trail as something one should undertake because of its beauty, we also wish to encourage the development of rural tourism and related activities. Each of the branches of the Trail is seriously planned, so that travelers can have lunch in one village, buy ‘kajmak” and brandy in the other, have fun in the third watching the natural heritage, and in the fourth they could sleep.”
“We are making a real network of interconnected walkways, so that tourists can easily reach on foot from Mokra Gora to Zlakusa, therefore, from one end to the other of territory of the town of Uzice. One can see many beautiful things on that Trail, pleasant for the eye as well as for the soul. From the observation point Jelova Gora, various world of flora and fauna can be seen, oaks 500 years old, a variety of sources of drinking water, the Roman bridge and the waterfall on the river Derventa. This trail opens an opportunity for the development of equestrian sports, paragliding, Nordic sports ...” said Ivan Obucina, Secretary of Mountaineers club “Rujno”.

DIS PATCH 2009 – the festival of innovative music and related art

By Valentina Radulovic
Belgrade, Sept. 14, 2009 (Serbia Today) - Dis Patch festival was founded in 2002 as continuation of the activities of the Belgrade-yard Sound System Collective, an independent organization founded for the promotion of new music tendencies, related art practices and the advancement of the local music and art scene through creating links between Serbian artists and audiences and established artists from around the world.
Emphases is put on music, education, art and design projects (workshops, seminars, installations, lectures, panels, screenings…) walking the thin line between sound and image.
The eighth edition of Dis Patch 2009 will be organized by the team of enthusiasts from October 23rd until November 8th. The organizers of the festival are working hard to bring the audience closer to their own OFF ROAD EPIPHANIES in Belgrade.
There will be numerous special programs, which are going to be held on eight different locations around Belgrade, including Kolarac, Balkan cinema, KC Rex, KC Grad, CZKD (Center for Cultural Decontamination) and Progres Gallery.
Apart from 25 authors and performers from Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Swiss, Norway, Argentina, USA, Ireland and Serbia, the organizers expect the great number of audience from the region and the whole Europe, thanks to the important media partnership with the radio station and Resident Advisor, as well as the magazine ‘The Wire’.
The crucial part of the festival is the exclusive and special performance of some guests of Dis Patch. Artist in Focus program will be the special show of the well-known producer from Finland, Vladislav Delay (also known as Luomo), who will perform even five concerts of his projects, in cooperation with other musicians. He will present the premiere of his first sound installation ‘The Only Copy’ to the Serbian audience, which deals with the subjects of perception and consummation of music in the context of today’s availability. Above that, before the final concert of Vladislav Delay Quartet on Kolarac, this group of musicians will be recording their first album in the studios of Radio Belgrade.
On the Residential Program the audience will be able to see the show of video-artist Lillevan Pobjoy from Ireland in cooperation with his Belgrade colleague Incredible Bob, in Progres Gallery. It will be the presentation of brand new project, dedicated to Victor Vasarely, the founder of kinetic and optical art.
During the festival the audience will have a chance to enjoy in Lillevan (IE) as Artist in Residence, Panfonic (FI), Kode 9 & the Space Ape (UK), Byetone (DE), Secondo (CH), Kim Hiorthoy (NO), AM/PM (CH), Kinovida (FI/IE), Incredible Bob (RS), AGF/DLAY (DE/FI), K.O.F.Y. (NG), Felony Flats (RS), SLOXXX (RS), Uusitalo (FI), Mika Vainio (FI), Pictoplasma (DE) and many more artists.
Apart from the electro-music and different kinds of workshops for adults, Dis Patch will also present a special program for the youngest – Kids Patch. This approach is maybe unusual for the festivals of electro and experimental music, but the youngest audience of Dis Patch will see the premiere of the special kind of program with the support of moderators and creators of workshops from Berlin and Belgrade. They will show the children how to make their own, unique instruments, how to use their game-pods for music, and after the workshop they will have the collective presentation. Of course, the workshop will be free of charge and open for the kids between the age of 5 and 12.
This 8th edition of Dis Patch is in the selection of the top ten world festivals for the month October, according to Resident Advisor, magazine specialized for electro music and clubbing culture. The festival is on a high third place, after Unsound from Krakow and Amsterdam Dance Event.

Vlasina Lake – A Possible Touristic Jewel?

By: Miodrag Stosic

Vlasotince, Sept. 14, 2009 (Serbia Today) - One of the main problems of Serbian economy and society is an uneven development of different regions. However, what underdeveloped regions can and do offer is a great potential of natural resources, which is an ideal ground for tourism. Such is southeastern Serbia, an area with numerous natural beauties – mountains, rivers, forests and unpoluted water. Among them, there is a precious jewel – Vlasina Lake.
Vlasina Lake is an artificial lake, situated in Surdulica municipality, close to Serbian-Bulgarian border, at 1213 meters above sea level, covering an area of 16 square kilometers. It was built on Vlasina river from 1947 to 1951, and its creation was followed by construction of 4 Vlasina hydroelectric plants. The lake is widely known for its floating islands, made of peat from its shores. An area around the lake consists of several mountains with attractive peaks for climbing. Given it has a high level of biodiversity, with rich flora and fauna, it is protected by Serbian Government, that in 2006 created the national preserve „Vlasina“, covering wide area around the lake, and the lake itself.
There are many possibilities for touristic development in Vlasina region, that are only partialy exploited. Current capacities include hotels „Vlasina“ and „Narcis“, that are rarely full. The biggest number of tourists, although not big enough, is during summer and winter seasons, as well as in periods when sport (especially football) teams perform their preparations beside the lake. The main reason for modest exploitation of touristic potential is a lack of infrastructure. To build shopping centers, winter sports facilities, ski lifts, marinas for boats, better roads, etc. would help. That’s why Serbian Ministry of Tourism recently started to plan an ambitious project for development of tourism on the lake. However, it is obvious that the project is to be realized in many years to come, because Stara planina, another site with a great touristic capacity, is currently a top priority.
Given that touristic potentials are not used enough, economicaly the most successful enterprise in Vlasina area is „Vlasinka“ in Topli Do village, the factory which produces oligomineral drinking water, the famous „Vlasinska Rosa“ („Vlasina Dew“). It is currently owned by „Coca Cola“ company. This kind of production is possible because of numerous mountain springs in the area. Like the whole southeastern Serbia, Vlasina is also rich in drinking water of a high quality. That is one reason more to plan how to develop economic potential of this region and to invest in it – water is a strategic resource of the future.
People in Vlasina villages have modest lives, but they are mostly content. They are engaged in agriculture, especially cattle raising, and it seems that world economic crisis is non-existent to them. But they could surely do much better, if helped by Government and powerful investors. That is why there is still hope for this precious jewel of southeastern Serbia. Its potential will surely be recognized in difficult times to come, but the one who recognizes it now will have a greater right to exploit it.

Extreme Sports in Serbia

By Li Novak

Belgrade, Sept. 28, 2009 (Serbia Today) - Those kinds of sports activities have lots of fans in Serbia. Popular extreme sports are: rafting, rock climbing, snowboarding, parachuting, snowboarding, kite surfing, etc.
Rafting is navigating through the fast mountain rivers in rubber boats, which are built in a special manner, for the fast waters. Rafters have special modern equipment – safety belt, special suit and boots from neoprene. The leaders in the boats are skippers, rafters with a lot of experience, who, in most of the cases, have grown up in the river area. The most popular river for rafting activities is Tara. The main sailing road is from the Brstanovica till Bastas, for 21 km. The fast and the slow parts are coming one after another. Tara is a wild river and it is very attractive for the sportsmen. Rafting is always different, depends on level of the river. On the river banks, there are lots of sand beaches, for sunbath and rest.
Snowboarding and skiing, the popular winter sports also have many participants. The best mountains for these sports are: Goc, Old Mountain (Stara Planina), Divcibare, Zlatibor, Golija and Kopaonik. Large number of ski paths and untouched Serbian wild nature offer lots of satisfaction to sportsmen. Snowboard is one of the new generation white sports. For the more extreme snowboarders, best opportunities offer Old Mountain and Kopaonik. Other mountains are more convenient for the beginners.
Rock-Climbing is a very exciting sport, which becomes more and more popular in Serbia. Free climbing could be performed in closed spaces, in special polygons. But the more interesting is climbing in nature, on the real rocks. There are lots of suitable locations for this kind of activity: Kopaonik, Stol, Golija, Tara, Fruska Gora etc.
Parachuting has a long tradition in this area. Period for the jumps with parachute lasts from the early spring till the late autumn. Recently, one may parachute without much effort because there is a possibility of tandem jump. In that manner, one jumps with the instructor, who is an experienced jumper. Even the first jump may be from the height of 3000m which gives the feeling and experience of a free fall.

PoPs Project – Ministry of Enviroment Implements Stockholm Convention

By Miodrag Stosic

Belgrade, Sept. 28, 2009 (Serbia Today) - During the last several years, numerous project have been realized in Serbia, aiming to provide life in a healthy envornment to the citizens. Besides many NGOs’ projects, there are also those being implemented by Ministry of environment and space planning. Currently, this ministry works on implementing a plan to realize „PoPs project“, that is to be finished by the end of 2009.
The term „PoPs“ is used for long-lasting, organic, poluting substances, toxic for people and all living species. These substances can easily get into human organism, and they are resistent to every form of organic decomposition. Foetuses and babies are main victims of POPs, due to their weak immunity. All these details point to a global danger that threatens from spreading of these toxic substances, as well as to an urgent need to combat them. With a view to that, in 2004 in Stockholm, a convention was adopted to fight against PoPs chemicals.
Serbia is one of the states which received a donation in order to adopt Stockholm convention and to implement its measures. The project is called „Drawing up a plan for implementing Stockholm convention on long-lasting, organic and poluting substances – PoPs“. Realization of the project has been assigned to Ministry of environment. However, this ministry is only one of the partners in this project, in which several very important organizations participate.
Financial help for this project’s realization has been provided by Global environmental fund (GEF), as well as UN environmental program (UNEP). For supervision of this project’s realization, a body called Coordination committee has been established. It consists of state organs’ apointees, in whose authority is management of the chemicals. The fact that many different actors are included into realization of PoPs project speaks not only of its seriousness, but also of the importance of the problem that should be dealed with.
The first stage of the project’s realization is drawing up National profile for management of chemicals. This profile has been made of preliminary inventories which lays down where the wasted pesticides, as well as their equipment is. Specific problem is identifying toxic waste that has been disposed of without a plan. That is why analysing the presence of dangerous substances can not be completely finished.
After that, the Ministry started the second stage of the project – drawing up National implementation plan. This plan sets the task to make an adequate analysis of a current condition, the perspective, and the term for implementing Stockholm convention. This plan at its beginning contains a list of locations at which the presence of PoPs chemicals is recorded, as well as their inventory and classification. Besides this, National plan contains much more general elements, like geographic and demographic elements of Serbia, political profile, environmental conditions review, as well as an institutional and legislative framework. A particular chapter of the plan is dedicated to the description of history of regulating dangerous substances in Serbia, as well as to the appearance of new PoPs chemicals. The wideness of this plan speaks of seriousness with which solving this problem has been approached to. This plan envisages the strategies of implementation, as well as the means of their realization.
Activities of the state in this field up to date can be assessed as very serious and responsible. By implementing this plan, Serbia stands along with neighboring countries, who are also the signatories of Stockholm convention, and becomes a part of a global front for a healthier life.

"Kafici" in Belgrade

By: Una Zabunov

Belgrade, Aug.11, 2009 (Serbia Today) - At any time of day or night, some of the Belgrade coffee shops and espresso bars are open . It is fascinating that coffee bars are full even when people are supposed to be at their work places. This is because it is a tradition in Serbia that contracts and business or private deals are best resolved in the café bar. Each bar in the Serbian capital has unique ambience and its own story. For example, if you want peacefully to drink coffee in the city center, one of the interesting cafes is “The Library”. While you can have a book to read, you can drink your favorite coffee. “The Library” is open from 7.30 am-midnight, as are many cafes in Belgrade.
If you want to know how the room of the famous painter Dali was designed, you have to walk to Hilandarska street. In this street is situated a bar "Salvador Dali". DJ Bojan Gajic a.k.a. Ladno Lule, DJ Mekon and DJ Dushan Jankovic play the music. On Friday evenings, national fruit brandies are served here.
If you want to try the taste of fruit brandy and listen to the sounds of tambourines, Skadarlija is the right place for you. Skadarska street was a gathering place for actors and artists who lived here at the end of 19th century and walked by the old cobble street. Because of their lifestyle, Skadarlija was also called a Bohemian quarter. After the end of performances from the nearby National Theater, the actors would have come here, and with food and drinks they sat until late into the night. This steep, winding street in the middle of Belgrade reflects the spirit of our people, who like to relax with music, quality strong food and drink.
For nostalgic people „Korčagin“ is the right coffee shop. Everything in this place is reminiscent of the time of socialist regime, old Yugoslavia and Tito. Guests of this coffee shop bring memories from that period, but guests who drink sometimes too much, take home what they like as souvenirs.
Pub in which men can not enter without at least one woman and which only girls are allowed to do everything, such as to climb on the table or to break glass, is called “Ona, a ne neka druga “("She, and not another one."). This pub is located in Zemun.
The rafts on the Sava and Danube river offer live music, cocktails and fun until the morning hours. A large number of clubs in the city work the entire night. It does not matter what is the day of the week. Entertainment must go on.

Petrovaradin Fortress

By: Rina Mihajlovic

Novi Sad, Sept. 14, 2009 (Serbia Today) - Petrovaradin is a fortress in the city Novi Sad( province of Vojvodina), on the bank of Danube river. The corner of the present southern part of the fortress was laid in October, 1692 by Prince Croy.
At the present location of the fortress there used to be a medieval fortress built between 1247 and 1252. According to the latest evidence of the archaeological research, the traces of human life on the fortress date back to Paleolithic period dating from 19,000 to 15,000 BC. It states that there has been a continuous settlement at this site from the Paleolithic age to the present.
At the beginning of the 1st century BC the area of Petrovaradin was inhabited by Celts, only to be replaced 2 centuries later by the Romans who raised their fortress under the name of Cusum somewhere between present Petrovaradin and Sremski Karlovci.
They built the fortress that was a part of the fortified borders along the Danube.
The turning point in the history was in 1235 when King Bela IV of Hungary brought a group of the Order of Cistercians from France. This order of Monks built the monastery Belakut on the remains of the Roman Fortress of Cusum. The walls of the monastery were built between 1247 and 1252 and represent the fortifications at this site during the Middle Ages.
The new fortress was mentioned in written documents in 1347 for the first time as the residence of various commanders. In 1526 the Turks occupied it under the leadership of Suleiman II the Magnificent. While in the war with Austria, the Turks left the fortress several times returned later on when it had a Lower and Upper town. There was also one Suleiman-han mosque as well as Muslim suburbs besides one Christian suburb.
The Turks ruled the medieval Petrovaradin Fortress for 161 years continually from 1526 until 1689.
First phase of building the most modern border fortress in Hapsburg Monarchy, took several decades, from 1692 to 1726. It was built on 112 hectares with an arsenal of 400 artillery pieces various caliber and many underground tunnels (16km of underground countermine system). In the time of Revolution 1848-49 Hungarian Army bombed counter revolution Army in Novi Sad. The counter Army pulled back and the city was almost totally destroyed.
During the 20th century Petrovaradin Fortress run through several critical moments. After Second World War, the fortress was protected as historical monument and to this very day most objects from 18th century are preserved. During mid 19th century there were plans to drill the Petrovaradin rock in order to make tunnel for Subotica-Zemun railway. At the same time the first permanent bridge between Novi Sad and Petrovaradin was built.
Today, Petrovaradin Fortress is historical, cultural and artistic center with numerous studios of local artists. There is Novi Sad city Museum, Historical Archives of Novi Sad, Academy of Arts, Astronomical observatory, several galleries, equestrian club, archery club, hotel, restaurants, pubs and clubs also located on the fortress.
EXIT, the biggest music event in Southern Europe, takes place on Petrovaradin Fortress every year from 2001. During the festival 50.000 people visit the fortress every day and not only during the EXIT, the fortress is being visited by tourists and locals on daily basis.