(alternative foreign transcriptions Gucha
or even Gootzscha
) festival is finished and we give you the recap here.
Officials say that the festival was visited by almost half of million visitors
this year, more than ever. Tons of grilled meat, (pechenje, pljeskavice, cevapcici
) hectolitres of alcoholic drinks (pivo, vino, rakija
) and thousands of cubic metres of festivals speciality - sauerkraut (kiseli kupus
) were devoured and hundreds of people still fell their ears buzzing because of loud trumpet music. Hundreds of thousands of EURos remain in pockets of entrepreneurs such as room and hotel owners, restaurant workers, musicians of all kinds. Dark numbers - one registered death case and several hundred drunk driving fines, probably dozen drunken fights and several dozens broken hearts.
This years Guča also brought an aftermath discussion started by criticism from Teofil Pancic
about whether it's good to advertise the festival as Serbian brand, being that it doesn't actually always represent Serbians in a positive way.
I have to agree with one thing - that it is certainly not good to advertise it as the ONLY Serbian brand, and certainly not good to talk about it in a way that our prime minister did:
"Gucha represents in a best way what Serbia is today, what does its openness, belief in oneself, hospitality, party and music. Trumpet festival is a confirmation on our courage and joy both in good and bad times. It represents people's return to the roots, joy and meaning of life.
It speaks about who we are, what we are, our urges. We express our joy and sadness with trumpet, we are born with sounds of trumpet, and also buried with sounds of trumpet. Guca is Serbian brand, it's a value that can represent Serbia in the world.
Those that cant understand and love Guca, cant understand Serbia. If we are going to go in EU without our melodies and colors, than we wouldn't know who we are."
Now what is wrong with this speech, besides the fact that it's politically motivated (elections are coming) and completely unnecessary on one such festival? Well, it simply is a bit far from the truth.
You don't have to love trumpet and Guca to understand Serbia. You dont even have to know what Guca is to love Serbia. Because Guca is far from only thing that can represent Serbia, and that is exactly what the prime ministar is clumsily trying to make out of it.
Speeches like this one are dangerous because they give ultra natinalists
more rights to claim this festival as their own and in a way 'kidnap' it from other people. That's why it is possible to see young men proudly wearing t-shirts with war criminals
in the festival crowds, thank god only a handfull of them, but still one handfull too many.
Personaly i think that Guca is a good brand because it does represent "the life as it once was" but that's why i'm afraid that it doesn't fall into trap of being the ONLY thing Serbia can give. And hopefully the plans of making an international festival and letting the foreign bands compete together with Serbian ones stop the nationalistic aproach to the whole thing.
But also it seems as forbidding all kinds of political speeches is a must in the future.
Yet another festival is underway, Leskovacka rostiljada
, or "Leskovac Grilliade", roughly and poorly translated to English by yours truly. If Guca is celebration of brass music, this must be celebration of food (not if you're vegetaerian and only if "food" translates as "meat" in your system of values). Held in a small town of Leskovac in Southern Serbia, it is an annual festival with more and more foreigners attending each year. Why? Well simply because they discovered that they can eat better, bigger and tastier Pljeskavica for one EUR than they could with Doner Kebab, Giros, Falafel or hamburger, for two or three times the amount of money in any other city in Europe. Clever, don't you think? Plus the party goes on deep into the night, but that is something that you should be getting used to in Serbian festivals
Speaking of weird festivals I have to mention this one as well, but it seems i can't get to describe it no matter how hard i tried, so i'll just leave the address: http://www.ballscup.com/
Now think if we advertised that as the best or only Serbian brand? I can only imagine my conversation abroad: "Yes i am from Serbia. No, we don't all eat that."