The Mokranjčevi dani Festival continues in Negotin, and in the village of Mokranje, the place where the closest ancestors of the Serbian musical great Stevan Stojanović Mokranjec come from, as an integral part of the 56th “Mokranjčev Days”, the thread of tradition event was organized, one of the most colorful and most visited since its introduction into the calendar see cultures in the municipality of Negotin. Threads of Tradition rounded off 17 successful years of promoting the cultural heritage that is preserved and passed on to descendants in the Negotin Region with a rich program. The idea to include Mokranje in the festival program has been around for almost two decades, and this year, Niti traditions fully met the expectations of numerous visitors and residents of Mokranje, who hosted them in the best way, with traditional specialties of this region, Vlach kačamak with cheese, boiled sugar, soft drinks and cold lemonade.
The organizers of this manifestation are the Cultural Center “Stevan Mokranjac” from Negotin, KUD “Mokranjac” and the Municipal Community of Mokranje, and the cultural and artistic societies “Dimitrije Koturović” from Belgrade and “Čučuk Stan” from Sikola performed in the program.
The event was held in the church gate, and on that day the area around the church, which was built way back in 1872 and dedicated to the Holy Trinity, came to life. In the afternoon, tributes were paid and flowers were laid next to the bust of Stevan Mokranjec in the center of the village in the presence of a delegation from Negotin led by Vladimir Veličković, the mayor of the municipality.
The program was opened by guests from Sikola, KUD “Čučuk Stan” with a mix of original Serbian games from around that place in Negotin municipality.
– My wife Jana and I have been playing for quite a long time in our cultural and artistic society. We both love folklore, and recently our daughter Natalija followed in our footsteps – says Nikola Vojinović, a member of the KUD “Čučuk Stan”
After the performance of the folklorists from Sikola, there was a mini-concert of the Ensemble of folk dances and songs of the KUD “Dimitrije Koturović” from Belgrade. Folklorists from the Serbian capital performed for more than half an hour and received thunderous applause from a large audience. They played a mix of Vlach dances, dances from Šumadija, the area around Pirot, and Serbian wedding dances from Kosovar Pomeranian Voivodeship with the performance of the interpreter of Serbian original songs, Isidore Ranković, and flutists, brother and sister, Svetislav and Jelisaveta Šutić.
Aleksandar Petrović, assistant to the artistic director of the KUD “Dimitrije Koturović”, states that they are in Negotin and Mokranje for the first time.
– We were welcomed in Mokranje with open arms, we are very satisfied and we have great praise for the organization.
Petrović adds that the company was founded in 1967.
– So far we have had concerts all over the world. The most memorable event for us is winning the gold medal in Dijon, at one of the most prestigious folklore events. Today we have about 400 members in four sections that have several subgroups. Sections are ensemble of folk dances and songs, folk orchestra, amateur theater and traditional singing. We also have recreational people, these are the parents of our children and people from the side who like to practice folklore recreationally, then veterans. We cooperate with numerous organizations throughout Serbia – represents Petrović KUD “Dimitrije Koturović”.
One of the organizers of Threads of Tradition, Stanoje Petrović, president of the KUD “Mokranjac” from Mokranje, estimates that everything is at an enviable level this year as well.
– Guests from Belgrade, Negotin and the surrounding area and residents of our village are very satisfied. This is the only event in our village dedicated to Mokranjec, and people are eager for folklore dances and folk songs and melodies. We express our great gratitude to the associations from Belgrade and Sikola, which magnified today’s event – says Petrović.
He also thanked everyone who participated in the organization of Threads of Tradition.
– I would tell my Mokranj residents to get involved in this event as much as possible, especially young people.
Svetislav Šutić and his sister are members of the orchestra from Belgrade. Both play multiple instruments.
– I have been playing the flute for nine years, and I have been a member of the association for six years. I play flutes of all keys, doubles, ocarina and kaval. I also tried to play the duduk, but it’s a bit big and awkward for my fingers – says the talented flutist.
Musicologist prof. Dr. Sanja Marinković, selector of “Mokranje days”, says that coming to Mokranje is a sacred act.
– We are here at a traditional event related to the folklore of this region, so we are again in what is the essence of Mokranjč’s work. He came from here and there is a song in his genes, he grew out of it and that is why this pilgrimage to Mokranje is a sacred act for all of us. The opportunity to see how that tradition is nurtured today, how different folk customs are nurtured, always refreshes the program of Mokranjč days, and guest ensembles give a special spice because the idea of exchange is the essence of the program of Mokranjč days. Guests and hosts exchange knowledge and tradition, and that is what celebrates Mokranjč’s name – said Sanja Marinković inspiredly.
We must mention that our Diaspora people were also present at this event, among them Srđan Niculović and Čedomir Mihajlović, who have been living and working in Frankfurt for years. They did not miss the opportunity, they attend the Threads of Tradition when they are already in their homeland. There were also several returnees from abroad in the audience, and one of them, Mile Jovanović, who worked in Frankfurt for decades, laid flowers for fallen fighters in the Balkans, the First and Second World Wars.
The two last names, who are not relatives, Dragan and Alimpije Grujić, earned their pensions in Germany and Switzerland.
– Every year we come to this wonderful event, which is held in Mokranje. By the way, today’s program was very rich and beautiful, we sweetened ourselves a bit with soft drinks and lemonade and enjoyed the nice atmosphere – Alimpije Grujić, a returnee from Switzerland, who lives in nearby Kobišnica, told “Vesti”.
Jovanka Vanja Stanojević, director of the Cultural Center in Negotin, says that successful cooperation with the local community of Mokranje has been going on for 17 years.
– We are always very happy and try to make good programs and I think we succeed thanks to the residents of this place, KUD “Mokranjac” and people of good will who are really at the service of all of us, to present a rich offer and host all participants in a traditional way who come to this event – points out Stanojević.
Source: Vesti online by www.vesti-online.com.
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