The Serbian Folklore Youth Festival of the Diaspora and the Region was held in Slovenia in the first days of June, the first festival of its kind that demonstrated the skills, among other things, of young dancers from the Cultural and Artistic Society Branko Radičević from Vienna, the Cultural and Sports Community of Serbs from Salzburg, and Cultural and Artistic Society Nikola Tesla from Linz.

The folklore ensemble Branko Radičević took to the festival 120 members who showed how talented and versed they are by enjoying the dancing and singing. ‘The audience was presented our medium ensemble with two choreographies, dances from Pirot and Šumadija, as well as the children’s ensemble – ducklings, with a mix of dances from Serbia’, says the artistic director of the Society, Borislav Kapetanović.

The festival in Slovenia, dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Serbian dance, culture and tradition, was unusual in that it took place in two cities, in Postojna and in Portorož. ‘The program took place in two locations, one was in Postojna, where the participants danced in its beautiful theater hall, and the other, outdoors, at the sea in Portorož, in Piran, where our ensemble performed in the evening’, said Kapetanović.

It was especially nice to see Serbian costumes in Piran filling the city’s main square dedicated to the world-famous composer and violinist Giuseppe Tartini, and resounding with Serbian traditional music. The young dancers took the opportunity of their staying in Slovenia to learn about the sights and beauties of Postojna and Piran; they visited the port, and there was also time to socialize with their peers from other societies.

The festival was organized by the Union of Serbs from Slovenia, and in addition to Radičević, the participating clubs from Austria included the Cultural and Artistic Society Nikola Tesla from Linz and Serbian Cultural and Sports Community of Serbs Salzburg.

– A wonderful story in three days. Members of the Salzburg Community took part in the Youth Ensembles Folklore Festival and returned with many beautiful impressions. The ceremonial opening and performances of the participants were held in Postojna Cultural Center, where the program ended in socializing. After the performance in Postojna, six companies also held an evening performance on Tartini Square by the seashore in the town of Piran. An extraordinary display for numerous tourists, who did not hold back on the applause to reward the young folk dancers. The first day ended with many impressions. The second day was intended for members to enjoy and relax on the beaches of beautiful Portorož. Bathing, sunbathing, swimming... On the third day on the way back, we walked and looked at the splendor of the city of Trieste. We admired the architecture of the buildings, inhaled the smell of the sea... took the opportunity to shop. With many positive impressions, this trip will also remain a fond memory, said Nenad Šulejić, president of the Salzburg Community, for Zavičaj.

The festival began with the intonation of the anthems of Serbia and Slovenia, and it was officially opened by the president of the Union of Serbs in Slovenia, Vladimir Kokanović. Kapetanović adds that the mayor of Postojna, Igor Marentić, as well as the consul of the Embassy of Serbia, Milinko Špic, attended the folklore event.

The young folk dancers of Radičević returned from Slovenia full of impressions, richer for another unforgettable experience, through which they once again showed that in the diaspora they do not forget their roots, culture, traditions and customs.

Source and photo: ZAVIČAJ narodne novine