Former Republic of Serbia and Montenegro Off The Beaten Path Tips by atrosanguinea Top 5 Page for this destination
Former Republic of Serbia and Montenegro Off The Beaten Path: 28 reviews and 28 photos
Colouring Easter eggs is the main feature of the holiday because it symbolises the renewal of life. The eggs are coloured and decorated during Holy Week, the week preceding Easter, and usually on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. It appears that the tradition of colouring is older than that of decoration. In Mokrin, near Kikinda (in the north of Banat) on Good Friday, which the people of the area call Crucified Friday, each household paints or decorates several hundred eggs.
The love felt by the people of Banat, Backa and Srem for the four-legged beauties is virtually indestructible. The most persistent pride themselves on their horses to this day. The owners of parade horses and festive teams appear at numerous festivals such as the Hackney Carriage Festival in Crepaja, the Review of Carts in Golubinci, the Hackney Carriage Festivals in Melenci and Gaj, the Review of Parade Horses in Novi Becej and the Parade Teams Championship in Surduk. As many as 120 teams and more than three hundred horses from the best breeders in Banat, Backa and Srem take part in the largest events of this type. Here can be found strutting mares, passionate and fiery stallions and beautiful old hackney carriages and coaches. However, true horse lovers live not only in Vojvodina but right across Serbia, from Pannonia in the north to Pester in the south, from Negotin and the Stiska valley in the east to Macva in the west. Horses are raised in the wilderness, on Krecedin Island in the Danube and in fenced farms in Pester as well as in modern private stud farms in Surcin, Surduk, New Becej, Sabac and Sombor. There are also state-owned stud farms in Karadjordjevo, Zobnatica, Ljubicevo and next to the Fantast hotel.
The young long ago abandoned the region near the river Visocia on the Old Mountain in favour of nearby Pirot, Nis and other towns. In villages like Rsovci, only the older people remained. In almost all the mountainous areas in Serbia, households have the same problem. The villages are now mostly populated by elderly people, still working the land and tending the cattle. The young are ever scarcer, especially girls, of whom there seem to be none. There is a significant number of bachelors, but they are unable to establish a family because the girls don’t want to go to the village. Many villages in Serbia have no childcare centres and the schools have been closed long ago.
Not far from Kovacica is the Romanian-inhabited village of Uzdin. During the 1950s, on the advice of teacher Adam Doklean, the women of Uzdin began to paint traditional designs from sashes and embroidery on canvas, and then to paint the life and customs of the village. Uzdin soon became a centre of primitive painting, made famous by Anujka Maran and Marija Balan. Even now, it is mostly women who paint these compositions from village life. One of Uzdin’s primitive painters, Sofija Bosika, works in the yard of her house. Her ancestors, seeking better pastures and arable land, came to south-eastern Banat in the second half of the eighteenth century and, as Orthodox Christians, after having moved, built a church, now protected because of its valuable iconostasis, its 72 icons painted by Konstantin Danilo between 1833 and 1836.
The broad area along the Tisa, the largest Pannonian river, which crosses 168 kilometres through Vojvodina, offers interesting landscapes in the last marshy terrain of the Pannonian depression. Along the section of road through Banat, Novi Becej and Basaid, there are local salt waters, known as Slano Kopovo, one of the few preserved marshes in this formerly flood-prone terrain of Potsije, the lowest part of the Pannonian basin. The flooding and lively Tisa frequently changed its course in the past, flooding the marshes which were the source of life, particularly for fish and birds. By the drying out of these marshes during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the raising of the embankments and the construction of canals and a dam on the Tisa, man has destroyed this precious creation of nature for ever. The one marsh which avoided that fate, Slano Kopovo, the lowest part of the Banat Potisije, is an oasis of untouched nature, one of the most extraordinary bird habitats in Serbia and Europe.
fields of pepper
The paprika (pepper, capsicum) which arrived in Europe from South America soon found its home in the spacious Pannonian depression and on the Balkans. Horgos and Kanjiza, in the north of Vojvodina, in the north-eastern region of Backa and Potisje, are famous outside the country for their high quality red peppers. This massive industry, with more than 230 years of tradition, is centred in Horgos and neighbouring Mrtonos, with a population of 9,000, where every household grows this red vegetable with the golden touch. The paprika is picked at the end of August and left throughout September to ripen within the factory compound. It is then washed and ground and packed in bags, in both mild and hot variants, as a spice. The annual production of the Backa product, which is in high demand throughout the world, is about 2,000 tons just from Horgos.
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