VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
Once a year, in Slovenia’s quiet northeastern corner, a rambunctious figure is invited to roam the streets and disrupt the peace. The Kurent, an unruly God from Slavic folklore, is the centerpiece of Slovenia’s carnival celebration before Ash Wednesday. This strange character has been reimagined through time, but continues to delight locals and tourists across the country each February.
For centuries, Slovaks in Vojvodina have proudly preserved their language and culture, handing them down across the generations. But things are shifting among the region’s young people. Could 81-year-old Marka Kukučka belong to the last identifiably-Slovak generation in Serbia?
Of the 6,400 migrants currently in Serbia, over 1,000 are homeless. As winter arrives to the country’s capital, refugee aid is quietly removed from public spaces and these vulnerable migrants must find new ways to survive…
Most tourists visiting Serbia, if they manage to make it out of Belgrade at all, will likely only see a handful of the country’s other popular cities. Most tourists are missing out. For travelers seeking an experience away from the city lights, Vojvodina’s many salaš destinations offer a quiet escape, and hearty meals, amidst rich…
There I was: thousands of miles from home, with a total of zero English-speaking relatives, trying to connect with the place where my family originated from… only to find out that I wasn’t even in the right country!
Of course, to anyone familiar with the Balkans, and especially former-Yugoslavia, this story is a common one. Identifying as Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, or Montenegrin may actually have nothing to do with where you grew up. Or where your parents grew up. Or where your grandparents came from originally.