In the shadow of the political unfolding over another, fourth vote in the parliamentary elections, life in Veliki Trnovac, the largest Albanian village in southern Serbia, takes place in eager anticipation that their compatriots from Switzerland, Germany and Belgium will arrive on vacation. Then the otherwise deserted streets in this village, which has about 6,000 inhabitants, will be revived.
This is the case on the eve of every summer, when life here is gaining momentum, primarily due to the greater inflow of money that will bring those who work in EU countries. Most of the elderly population survives on that money and modest pensions, as well as those who complete their education in primary and secondary school, as well as young people who study at universities in Pristina, Tirana or Skopje.
– Not a single year passes without the text appearing in some Belgrade newspapers because Veliki Trnovac is the main place in Europe where drugs are resold, gambling is flourishing, prostitution and immoral nightlife. These are insulting stories, especially since they are placed mostly by those who have never come to our village, to see how these citizens of Serbia live, Fejza from Trnovac tells us angrily.
Our interlocutor takes us to the center of the village. There is a transformer station where a colorful mural in bright colors with the image of the “hero of this village” is drawn. Question: “Do you know who this is?” I shrugged, startled.
– That is the pride of the people of Trnovo. He is Shefat Isufi. He is 32 years old and is the World Boxing Champion in the WBA category. He was here to celebrate the title with us, and then he went back. He left Trnovac as an ordinary worker in Germany, and he was always interested in martial arts, primarily boxing. People in Germany did not miss that, so now he is a real sports ace. We expect him in the middle of July, when he will probably manage to defend the title of champion – says the interlocutor of Danas.
The local football club Trnovac competes in the District League in the Pčinja District. The club has existed for more than 30 years, and young footballers have sprung up in its ranks, who now play in clubs across Europe, Kosovo, Northern Macedonia and Albania.
The latest news is coming: Samir Ramizi, who wears the Swiss Winterthur jersey, became the hero of this club, after he and his colleagues won a place in the Swiss Super League. Ramizi from Trnovo is a professional football player in this club. The celebratory photo of Ramizi from Zurich is also arriving.
While talking to these people about ordinary topics, one gets the impression that they have no intention of dealing with “denials” of stereotypical stories that link the name of their home village to drugs, weapons and crime.
– We live next to each other, with the same problems and different faiths. Politics is the least problem when you are poor and then you have problems with each other in terms of bare existence – explains Abdullah Salihi, who stands in front of a tailor’s shop where no customer enters for days.
When you pass the local hill in Veliki Trnovac, and go towards Bujanovac, you will find a picture of several beautiful buildings in which wedding festivities are organized. More than 90 weddings are scheduled for the fall and they are also held on weekdays with rich service and mandatory fireworks.
Little things here make people happy.
Titus is a carpenter
Today, in his old age, Dali Karakafa is a prominent shipowner in Turkey. He was born in Veliki Trnovac. He started his business in the time of SFRY. Energetic, hardworking and ambitious, he crossed the then communist “business borders”, so he got stuck in a prison in Belgrade. Today, the people of Trnovo recount how Josip Broz Tito himself visited Karakaf in custody.
– We do not know what they talked about, but it was clear that Karakafa did not return to his native village after that, but went to develop his business in Turkey – the people of Trnovo recall.
Read more news from this city in a special link.
Source: Dnevni list Danas by www.danas.rs.
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