28. 12. 2018
Vesna Radović

Many a Bell Once Echoed over Prizren

It is all gone, the youth, you and I,
Whom I still recognize,
Hunched beneath an open umbrella,
Holding hands and kissing, albeit everything
Melted away like frost in spring,
Like a snowman trodden by children.
To everything that is, and everything that was, I will testify that
Many bells once echoed over Prizren!

I still play with one string torn
That scratches my sleepy eyes
Like windblown desert dust
And my skin is like a December, hoarse and cold,
So different from the velvety silk.
Elegantly cloaked in the songs of love,
You are going strong, tall and broad,
While I silently testify that
Many bells once echoed over Prizren!

Like a wounded Holy Virgin of Ljeviš
Above the roaring river Bistrica,
Alone among the desecrated relics
I beckon you to a morning liturgy
Even though everything is empty, except us,
The shivering travellers from afar,
Because a long time ago I swore before God
That I will love you forever.
And there, among the burning candles,
I would quench your thirst by testifying that
Many bells once echoed over Prizren!

You, a fool with angelic eyes,
You, who won’t let me cry,
Come here and don’t be shy,
We shall go down into a deep mine
Searching for the lost dove,
Brought a long time ago by the merchants of Kotor
As an offering to Milutin.
Have mercy on me, my fragile soul,
With the blood still caked under my nails
And the warmth in the eye of the lake, let me testify that
Many bells once echoed over Prizren!

Under the Hills and Plum Trees

I know that you’ve always dreamed of holding your own sons,
Even while you were just a boy in short pants
Going with the men to fish carp
In the spring, with your pockets full of golden corn.
For those unborn sons you were prepared to do anything
Even to die in line for the water at the Čukur fountain
So that gusle players could sing about you in decasyllable!

I know that you could recite the songs about
Karađorđe and the old man Fočo, in one breath;
I know that to you your grandfather’s word was a holy book
On which you swore;
I know that a mountain lodge was your birth house…
Until the thread broke somewhere,
The well dried up, and the old water mill
Forever stopped!

I know that you waged countless wars,
Shot yourself in the heart, echoing wide and clear.
In my dreams, I can always hear
The sound of hooves of a frightened horse,
Of a foal running behind a mare,
Accompanied by horsemen, women and children
And the army that paves the Constantinople road!

I know that you still keep the icon
Of the Holy Seven Young Men of Ephesus,
And the wooden cross that I brought you
As a gift from the monks who live far, far away.
May they protect your sons and grandchildren,
Under the hills and plum trees
That haven’t forgotten the foreign armies and slavery!

Jefimija Is My Name

You gave me everything, Lord,
And you took everything from me.
From me, a daughter of a Serbian nobleman
Who followed the Emperor on the last
Trip to the Holy Mountain.
From me, the wife of despot Uglješa Mrnjavčević,
Before whom the entire Byzantine court bowed its head.
From me, the wisest and the softest
Among the earthly servants.
To me, to despotess Jelena,
Only pain and misery you have left,
With silk yarn, distaff and silver thread
As my shield,
To water this wretched land,
Lost on St. Vitus Day,
With a tear from my grieving heart,
Instead of your blessed rain.

I have nothing, Lord,
I have lost everything –
My father, my husband and my son –
A barbarian foot stomps across my empire,
My church bells are forever voiceless,
Everywhere I go, I carry a heavy doom with me.
In my dreams,
Under the trembling candle light,
Ravens tear apart Lazar’s corpse.
My Maričkokolo is mute,
As peonies in bloom and spilled blood
Paint Kosovo Field red.
While from the East
A young and powerful Sultan marches
With his cavalry to sow death,
In the imperial lure, beyond my reach,
Instead of in my arms,
My little son sleeps eternally,
In Hilandar’s mossy embrace.

Jefimija is my name, Lord,
Barren Serbia is my home,
Deep in a cell of Ljubostinja.
Now, I am a sorrowful nun,
Who owns but a cross and a cassock,
Who embroiders in gold
Cyrillic letters on red silk,
Who, kneeling before the Sultan,
Begs him for mercy to save our children
And young emperors, Vukan and Stefan,
From death.

Confession to the Holy Virgin of Savina

I’ve come from far away, guided by God’s hand
On my road of cross bearing, on the road of the God-Man.
To confess to you,
The Holy Virgin of Savina,
To leave a votive pearl necklace
In the monastery, near the Old Town,
Where Stefan Kosača wintered,
Seeking refuge from frostbite, the Ottomans, and the Venetians,
Surrendering his life to the hands of God
And to the justice of his sword!

All night long the beasts were howling
After me, in search for prey.
I still dream of gaping jaws,
With greed and hunger
Dripping from them.
Although I’m not an innocent child anymore,
I need a table, an icon and Cyrillics
To summon the emperor in Prizren,
To kiss our Patriarch’s hand in Peć.
My grandfather taught me
That wolves are the hounds of Saint Sava
And that you can tell a Serb by his slava and fresco!

Uninvited, I’ve come from far away,
Like a hunted nun from a burning monastery,
Who heard the bells of a sacred temple.
That evening, the rain poured on the coast
As if it had not rained for centuries,
And the scent of cypress was all-embracing.
While in the dusk the monks
Performed the Supplicatory Canon
For health and salvation,
A black tear from a black eye
Fell off and stained the imperial gates!

Translated from Serbian by Irina Vujičić and Ivana Tomić

28. 12. 2018
Jelena Adamović Šaula


Please break the water
fish for me, Ocean.
Break the sky clean.

Again I might emerge
in opal’s eye,
in skin of an orange.

Prease be still one night.
Ride with the moon,
be still and dissolve distance.

Again I might emerge:
drop of an atmosphere’s dew,
may eco me on trip of life.

At Sunset Hour

Wrapped around evening
day in its last desire
colors burning
in sun’s garden
over whole Earth,
place to place…

Silence overpowering dusk
breeze bravely escaping distance
to meet with stars
bed of diamonds
in which cosmos sleeps,
forever calm.

Moonlight Fantasy

Night falls,
doorstep turns
into moonlight rug.

Open the door.
Step into silver
of midnight hour,
on wings of silence
with aura of weightlessness
between dream and wake.
Bat ton’t avake.

Glide ever so serene
toward stars and Moon.
Soul leading ahead
through cosmic wasteland spread
(travelinng 1 st class).

You and Angel,
or some star,
gliding ahead.

28. 12. 2018
Gordon Samer

Lazarus Heart

He looked beneath his shirt today
There was a wound in his flesh so deep and wide
From the wound a lovely flower grew
From somewhere deep inside
He turned around to face his mother
To show her the wound in his breast that burned like a brand
But the sword that cut him open
Was the sword in his mother’s hand

Every day another miracle
Only death will tear us apart
To sacrifice a life for yours
I’d be the blood of the Lazarus heart
The blood of the Lazarus heart

Though the sword was his protection
The wound itself would give him power
The power to remake himself
at the time of his darkest hour
She said the wound would give him courage and pain
The kind of pain that you can’t hide
From the wound a lovely flower grew
From somewhere deep inside

Every day another miracle
Only death will keep us apart
To sacrifice a life for yours
I’d be the blood of the Lazarus heart
The blood of the Lazarus heart

Birds on the roof of my mother’s house
I’ve no stones that chase them away
Birds on the roof of my mother’s house
Will sit on my roof some day
They fly at the window, they fly at the door
Where does she get the strength to fight them anymore
She counts all her children as a shield against the pain
Lifts her eyes to the sky like a flower in the rain

Every day another miracle
Only death will keep us apart
To sacrifice a life for yours
I’d be the blood of the Lazarus heart
The blood of the Lazarus heart

The Wild Sea

I saw it again this evening
Black sail in a pale yellow sky
And just as before, in a moment
It was gone where the grey gulls fly.

If it happens again I shall worry
That only a strange ship could fly
And my sanity scanned the horizon
In the light of a darkening sky.

That night as I walked in my slumber
I waded into the sea strand
And I swam with the moon and her lover
Until I lost sight of the land.

I swam ’til the night became morning
Black sail in a reddening sky
Found myself on the deck of a rolling ship
So far where no grey gulls fly.

All around me was silence
As if mocking my frail human hopes
And a question mark hung in the canvas
For the wind that had died in the ropes.

I may have slept for an hour
I may have slept for a day
For I woke in a bed of white linen
And the sky was the colour of clay.

At first just the rustle of canvas
And the gentlest breath on my face
Then a galloping line of white horses
Said that soon we were in for a race.

The gentle sigh turned to a howling
And the grey sky she angered to black
As my anxious eyes searched the horizon
And the gathering sea at my back.
Did I see the shade of a sailor
On the bridge through the wheelhouse pane
Holding fast to the wheel of the rocking ship
As I squinted my eyes in the rain
For the ship had turned into the wind
Against the storm to brace
And underneath the sailor’s hat
I saw my father’s face.

If a prayer today is spoken
Please offer it for me
When the bridge to heaven is broken
And you’re lost on the wild wild sea.
Lifts her eyes to the sky like a flower in the rain.
*In the last issue of the magazine „People Say“ (32/33) these two poems by
Gordon Samer were mistakenly signed by the name of the translator into
the Serbian language, poet Damir Malešević. We apologize to the author
and the interpreter.

28. 12. 2018
Nebojša Radić

The Symposium

The first piece of cardboard read Jacques Lefevre, or similar. The
second was Helmut something, then Abdullah, Madelaine, Gonzalo
Barrios… No, my name wasn’t there. I walked straight to the opposite
end of the arrivals hall, dropped my computer bag on top of the suit-
case and began to monitor the area. I had faith in Garikoitz Baltasar
Goikoetxea. After all, he invited me to this symposium on cross-cul-
tural communication. He organized the event thanks to some gener-
ous funding from the Basque government and he wanted it to be a suc-
cess. I am a multi-pluri-trans-lingual author and Garikoitz’s interest in
me and my literary and Camford-based scholarly work was obviously
the reason for the invite. He might have perceived me also as somewhat
exotic for I come from the Balkans and write in Serbian. In combin-
ation with my literary practice in English and Italian my vast experi-
ence and skills made me… unconventional, shall I say? You don’t find
many people around nowadays who can write good stories in three
languages. I was sure that Garikoitz Baltasar Goikoetxea understood
all of this. Yes, he did.
So, where was Garikoitz? I was in the arrivals hall of the Bilbao air-
port and he was nowhere to be seen. Where was Garikoitz? I had found
his photograph on the University web site and now started to nervous-
ly look around. A man got up from a white, plastic table staring at me.
He then looked around and came across the hall.
‘Señor Zhbirkowalski?’
‘Yes, it’s me. Garikoitz?’
We shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. Günter, a Swiss col-
league had gone to the loo and we would leave as soon as he was back,
Garikoitz informed me. Shortly after, Günter arrived and extended his
hand: ‘Günter Grutner’.
‘Zhbirkowalski,’ I replied and shook the hand. I am a tall man and
couldn’t help noticing that Günter was a couple of inches taller.
We walked out of the arrival hall and entered the multi-storey
garage where Garikoitz managed, in slightly over half an hour, to suc-
cessfully locate his vehicle on the third floor despite him being sure he
had left it on the fifth. When we finally reached the red Seat, Günter
offered me to sit in the front. ‘No, thanks, you are taller and you flew in
first!’ I said and squeezed myself in the back seat.
Garikoitz said that the drive would take less than an hour. We
drove through Bilbao city centre and out onto the motorway. It was
nine o’clock of a miserable, rainy and foggy February evening and
Garikoitz drove 90 miles an hour holding the wheel with his left hand
while he used the right to illustrate some subtle technical points about
the practice of self-translation to and from Euskera, the Basque lan-
guage. I then asked him whether they received any financial support
from the local government. To articulate his views precisely, he turned
around completely while my eyes were glued to the speedometer that
was showing 100 m/h. The fog around us looked as solid as an ancient
Roman wall while the rain kept on pouring down. This is the end, I
thought. This is the comical end of a glorious, although not so long,
life. My life. Here, in the dark mountains of the País Basco, in the north
of Spain.
Eventually, we made it to Vitoria-Gastheiz and the car stopped in
front of the HP hotel. Günter and I took the luggage out of the boot
and stood on the pavement. Garikoitz recommended we should eat
dinner at a nearby traditional Basque restaurant. He would come first
thing in the morning to take us to the Faculty of Literature where our
symposium would take place. ‘Buenas noches,’ we shouted and entered
through the revolving door.
We checked in and got adjacent rooms, 417 me and 416 the Swiss.
We then took the elevator and reached the rooms except that while
Günter entered his by inserting the card into the lock slot, mine kept
on showing a red dot. ‘That’s fine,’ I said when Günter offered to help.
‘You go unpack and I’ll see you downstairs in fifteen minutes.’
‘Are you sure?’ said Günter.
Of course I was sure. I picked up my suitcase and computer bag
and went down to the reception for a new key. At the reception there
was a group of noisy Chinese tourists so it took me fifteen minutes to
obtain a new card. Patience, I thought, such is life. I rushed into the
room, dropped my luggage and exited again for it was time for dinner.
No shower after a six hour long journey from London, no change of
clothes… Well, such is life.
The Swiss was dutifully waiting for me in the lobby and we decided
to go for a walk and explore the city centre. The rain kept on pouring. I
had my hat with a wide brim and Günter had an umbrella.
‘Do you want to come under the umbrella?’ he asked. No, of course
not. ‘I never use umbrellas,’ I explained with indignation. It was con-
trary to my lifestyle and generally heroic attitude towards life. After all,
I lived in England, the land of umbrellas and grey skies. I’m in Spain
now and I shall ignore the bad weather.
Günter said he lived in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland
where he taught German literature at the University of Lugano. He
spoke, of course all the Swiss official languages (French, German and
Swiss German, Italian and one or two dialects of Romansch) as well
as Spanish and some Portuguese. He was a researcher in the field of
literary translations with special reference to intercultural communi-
cation and the realities of his multi-lingual country. I am from the Bal-
kans, from Serbia, I explained and waited a moment to see his reaction.
There was none. I continued by saying that I come from what used
to be Yugoslavia and my language was Serbo-Croatian. I wrote short
stories novels and articles in English, Serbian and Italian. So, unlike
Günter who was a researcher in the field I was more of a practitioner.
‘In Italian,’ said Günter and we continued our conversation in the
language of Dante and Francesco Totti.
‘The Balkans is a mystery to me,’ said Günter.
‘Yes,’ I agreed looking him straight in the eyes. ‘The Balkans is a
To you of course, I thought, not for me, not for us, the Balkan Über-
menschen who prevailed over the Ottoman and Nazi hordes, survived
countless wars, packs of howling wolves and hungry, brown bears. Not
for us, born under the wings of the almighty white-headed eagle and
raised in harsh winters and arid summers. I thought all of that with a
sense of pride and superiority. And also, yes, why not spell it out, with
a sense of visceral, well earned superiority.
We found a Museo del Jamón eatery and went through the boc-
cadillos, anchovas, ensaladas, queso, a mountain of jamón and two
bottles of vino rojo like a hot knife through butter. It was time to go to
bed and get ready for a very busy day. ‘Señora, la cuenta, por favor,’ I
waived to the waitress. ‘Sixty-six Euros,’ she said and presented the bill.
Günter was quick. He took out of his pocket a banknote and extended
his hand. I did the same with one of my three banknotes that I brought
from England: a ten, a twenty and a fifty Euro piece. The Waitress took
the money and said we gave her sixty Euros only. Embarrassed in all of
my superior Balkan glory, I opened my wallet and extracted the twenty
Euros bill and exchanged it for the ten Euros piece. Done.
‘Está bien,’ I said, ‘You can keep the change.’ The camarera thanked
us and left. I was in the middle of an intricate mental composition, a
complex linguistic explanation that needed lucidity and precise articu-
lation. I was petrified though. Günter was looking at me through the
glasses. I looked at him and smiled. You Swiss people have no honour
or dignity and the concept of sharing is totally alien to you, I thought.
All Swiss are the same, all the same. I remember when I shared an
apartment in Florence thirty-four years ago with a Swiss who left with-
out paying his portion of the utility bill. I then had to vanish myself,
and left the poor Japanese chap, Yoshito Kobayashi to settle to bill.
Well, same here. I paid fifty, then twenty Euros and received ten Euros
rest. That can only mean one thing and one thing only. Günter gave
the waitress a ten Euros banknote! They are all the same. Switzerland
is one of the richest countries in the world. All banks full of gold stolen
from the Jews, Nazi deposits, shady arm deals, white slavery and drug
trafficking… What a nation of hypocrites! A Balkan person would
never do anything of the sort if it were the last handful of money on
Earth. Incredible, utterly in-cre-di-ble! In the Balkans we take pride in
being open, in communicating, opening our souls and hearts and let-
ting them pour out in the streets need be, unlike the Swiss, obviously
– A treacherous sort, worse than the English. Treacherous.
This affair is taking infamy to new heights, I thought.
The conversation slowly died down. It was nearly one o’clock past
midnight and we decided to have some rest. Günter left a full glass
behind him on the table. Well, he didn’t pay for it, did he? I thought
sharpening my sardonic edge. I should drink it, it’s mine, it crossed my

28. 12. 2018
Zoran Siriški

The Christmas Race

When the frozen flatland soil puts on the snow garment, that bridal
gown of the new year and new hopes, a serene quiet makes its pres-
ence in the purged air and in the life of the village or in the hearts of
the peasants. The endless canvas of neatly packed crystals renders the
already unbounded stretches of farms still more limitless and in an
odd fit of the forces of change brings it closer to the rest of the world.
The vast immaculate snowy coat shared by so many people and places
takes the human tribe back to the point of self-purification, repentance
and meditation. Summer solstice craves for the fuel of oblivion, sweat-
ing and hard work in the villages of Vojvodina or any other farming
region that complies to the whims of the continental weather. Sun and
dry winds combine with domesticated plants to soak in the best of
energy from laboring hands. When winter comes bodies are invited to
heal and engage only within the limits of the chores that would keep
them from getting stiff and lazy.
There is more time for socializing, merry making, story telling,
evening get-togethers or numerous other activities that lend the peas-
ants joyful opportunities to strengthen the friendship and other col-
lective bonds and make the whole village community feel the pulsa-
tions of benevolent forces emanating from land, dark muddy waters of
the canal below the thin hood of ice or air bathed in the feeble Sun that
strews its purple glow across the haze of chilly mornings. Fields are left
to doze under the long traipsing shadows of the nights while light and
cheering warmth is sought within family circles and neighborhoods.
If the elderly persons set the pace of busy summer living children lend
the main tone in winter life of the village. It is the magic of winter that
transforms the dusty roads and common place toil of summer into the
kingdom of fairy tales clad in draperies of frost and snow.
The street where Nikola’s grandparents lived was often the scene
of numerous events, inventions and activities throughout the year.
In the late 60’s the village streets were at the mercy of weather and
often changed from a trail of finest ash like powder dust to a road of
sticky mash of black mud that stuck to the farm wagon wooden wheels.
Wintertime used to close the season of summer changes by placing the
road into the chains of ice and snow. Nikola and his elder brother used
to spend winter holidays in the village and children from the neigh-
borhood and the cousins across the street used to play from dawn till
dusk. Rainwater that had gathered in puddles by the road furnished
the perfect temptation of sliding surfaces. Bands of pink steaming
faces queued up in a cloud of cheers and joyful screams and soon their
tireless bodies turned into darting arrows. Slides were soon polished to
the sheen of mirrors which was embarrassing to the elderly people who
watched their every step even on snow-covered pavements.
To make up for the complete lack of slants and slopes in a flat
countryside, children often joined hands, spades, old buckets or even
caps to fashion a snow hill. The army of biped ants toiled and panted
under loads of snow as the white pyramid was emerging amid the
frozen desert. The heaviest individuals were assigned the sweat-driv-
ing task of ramming the snow by stomping atop the growing hill and
often falling into its belly to their waists. One side of the snow hill was
extended streetwise for thirty or so yards to form a toboggan while
opposite of it a stairway was carved into the pyramid for easy access
to the top.
Many laborers were wet all through after hours of such play-work
which neither caused their concern nor incited them to go home.
Young blood and restless excitement soon performed their work of
drying or at least warming up their clothes and boots.
When completed, the snow toboggan was a masterpiece of local
architecture and modeling and it boosted the pride of the Medurich
Brothers Street. Even the elderly enjoyed the sight of it and at least it
was visible and easy to shun which was not the case with the slides
on the pavements. The kids from neighboring streets would join the
endless sliding and laughing game which made the toboggan look like
a gigantic revolving and vapor-spurting caterpillar. The joyful hubbub
resounded in the chilly air and seemed to bounce back from the frozen
firmament, rendering the scene of the game powerfully local and cozy.
About lunchtime the shrill voices of chronically overworked moth-
ers or grandmothers sounded their nervous calls and the scenery of
general excitement and endless commotion changed to one of lonely
fumigating glossy toboggan and temporary peace. Sunshine was at its
best at lunchtime and the sides of the snowy playground facing south
and west would soften their armors in the short untimely thawing
spill. When children resumed their playful activities sliding down the
toboggan went a bit slower due to their full bellies and retarding forces
of the melted snow. This however did not subtract from their enthusi-
asm and fervor to surrender to the inner calls of playfulness and so-
ciability that no vagaries of weather or calamities of fate could hinder.
The highlight of winter delights, however, was the Christmas
horse-race. Most households had horses in the before-the-tractor era
and it was customary and conducive to the health of horses to give
them an opportunity to have exercises during winter season. Niko-
la’s cousins had a beautiful chestnut-skinned stallion by the name of
Fitzco. He was tall and quite far from the category of sturdy fat working
horses, but of a rather quirky and whimsical character. An ideal horse
for sports but untrained and lacking the power of upbringing which
brings control of energy. Now Nikola was eager to take place in the
Christmas race, but his aging grandfather could not help him much on
that point since he had an equally aging and quite lazy barrel-shaped

28. 12. 2018
Rajko Radojević

Canadian Medical Missions in Serbia and the Balkan Front During WWI 1)

Before I start talking about the Canadian Medical Missions in Serbia
and the Balkan Front during WWI must say a few words about the war
itself to place everything in a historical context.
When Austria-Hungary declared war on the Kingdom of Serbia
on July 28 th 1914, Serbia found herself inadequately prepared to fight
her third war in two consecutive years. The two Balkan Wars (1912
and 1913) had sorely taxed her human and material resources. For
the war with Austria-Hungary the Serbian army lacked much of the
modern weaponry and equipment necessary to engage in combat.
Furthermore, the medical supplies, spent during the two preceding
wars, could not to be replenished quickly enough due to the lack of
time and funds. When the mobilization was completed on August 9 th
1914, Serbia’s army numbered approximately 250,000 equipped with
various pieces of weaponry. Austria-Hungary, on the other hand, had
the standing peacetime army of some 36,000 officers and non-com-
missioned officers and 414,000 soldiers. During the mobilization that
number was raised to a total of 3,350,000.
The Austro-Hungarian armies, invade Serbia on August 12 th .
However, after a fierce four-day battle, the Serbian army beat the Aus-
tro-Hungarians back across the border, recording the Battle of Cer as
the first Allied victory of the war. Contemplating the events of those
first days of the war Winston Churchill will write years later: „The War
was decided in the first twenty days of fighting, and all that happened
afterwards consisted in battles which, however formidable and devas-
tating, were but desperate and vain appeals against the decision of Fate“.
Austria-Hungary will invade Serbia twice more that first year of
the war and will be repelled on both occasions, the last time at the
Battle of Kolubara − a remarkable example of a force much smaller
in size and with inferior technical equipment, defeating an aggressor
much more potent than itself. The Serbian Army recaptured Belgrade
on December 15 th , ending the first phase of the war with no changes in
the border. For the Allies, this astounding victory earned Serbia the
sobriquet of a „valiant“ and „gallant“ ally for the remainder of the war.
However, Serbia was not allowed to rejoice in its successes. The
60,000 plus prisoners of war her army had captured were infected with
typhus. As they had to be transported all over the country for billet-
ing, they spread the disease. Consequently, a very serious epidemic of
typhus broke out in the fall of 1914, unknown in Europe since the Black
Plague, wasting half of Serbia’s medical staff and taking with it sever-
al hundred thousand of the population. Serbia’s government sent out
to the world an urgent appeal seeking the services of medical practi-
tioners and supplies to fight the scourge. Medical missions and volun-
teers from Great Britain, the United States, France, Canada, Australia,
Russia, Greece and Italy responded in large numbers. By late spring
1915 typhus was defeated and by August, the International Sanitary
Commission, formed in early spring 1915 for the suppression of typhus
epidemic, was in a position to announce that no single case of typhus
was being reported anymore.
Then, in October 1915, Austro-Hungarians, ably aided by the power-
ful German army struck from the north, while Bulgaria, their newly-
found ally, invaded from the east. The Serbs put up a valiant defense
but the sheer exhaustion, with supplies spent, and with the long-prom-
ised help from the Allies nowhere in sight, the Serbian Government
made a fateful decision in December 1915, seldom if ever attempted in
history: rather than capitulate, retreat to the Adriatic coast, the only
route left open to them, counting on the Allies to help evacuate them
to safety. Consequently, the Royal Court, the Government, the Army,
diplomatic corps, members of foreign medical units, and thousands of
civilians, including women and children who chose to flee rather than
face the conqueror, trekked across the ice covered and snow-clad crags
and crevices of the Albanian and Montenegrin mountains, whipped
by bone-chilling winds, rain, blizzard and snow, constantly exposed
to the viciousness of the Albanian marauders, with almost no food
or the basic necessities of life. Thousands, perhaps more than half of
those who started the exodus, perished along the way. Serbian histor-
ians refer to this super human endurance as „the Albanian Golgotha”.
Those who survived were evacuated to the Island of Corfu, where, after
recovery, recuperation and rearming were transported to the Salonika
Front in 1916 to resume their fight for liberation of the fatherland.
When Great Britain declared war on Germany on August 4 th 1914
– Canada, being one of the British overseas dominions was at war her-
self. Canada’s main contributions to the Allied victory were record-
ed at the Western Front where over 65,000 Canadians lost their lives,
fighting valiantly in such battles as the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, the
Second Battle of Ypres, the Battle of the Somme and Vimy Ridge. Can-
ada’s contribution to the Salonika Front, however, was almost exclu-
sively in the form of financial aid, medical missions and individual
medical volunteers.
In 1915 Lieutenant General Sir Alfred Keogh, British Director-Gen-
eral, Army Medical Service, approached Major General Guy Carleton
Jones, his Canadian counterpart, with a request to send Canadian
General Hospitals to northern Greece and Macedonia to tend to the
needs of the Eastern Army, which had found a safe haven in that area
after the ill-fated Gallipoli Campaign. Jones consented to Keogh’s re-
quest, even though Canada had no troops of its own attached to the
Eastern Army. No.4 Canadian General Hospital and No.5 Canadian
General Hospital were dispatched in November and December 1915 re-
spectively; No.1 Canadian Stationary Hospital joined them in March
1916. These hospitals were fully equipped and self-sufficient, with 1040
beds each, and staffed by a full complement of doctors, nurses, techni-
cians, orderlies and cooks.
No. 1 Canadian Stationary Hospital was formed at Valcourt,
Québec with Lieut. Colonel S.H. McKee as the Commanding Officer
and E.M. Charleson as Matron. It was composed of 104 nurses, gradu-
ates of McGill, Laval and Queen’s universities. In fact, most of its staff
came primarily from Québec and Eastern Canada. „Stationary“, how-
ever, is a misnomer. The primary function of these battlefront hospi-
tals was to offer first aid to the wounded, which meant their staff was
constantly on the run, attending to the casualties at the battle line and
puling them out to safety, thereby constantly jeopardizing their own
safety and wellbeing. The unit served at Salonika from March 3 rd 1916
to September 4 th 1917.
No. 4 Canadian General Hospital was University of Toronto’s con-
tribution to the Allied cause. It was organized, staffed and equipped
entirely by the U. of T. students and alumni. With Colonel J. A. Rob-
erts in command and Nursing Sister A. J. Hartley as Matron it arrived
at Salonika on November 9 th 1915. A hospital with a capacity of 1,040
beds was erected under tents on the road to Bitolj, four miles outside of
the city. On May 19 th 1916, the hospital was transferred to the east side
of the city to the Kalamaria site. At this location huts were provided.
With an initial bed capacity of 1,040, it was increased to 1,540 in July
1916, and to 2,000 in June 1917. It was one of the best equipped hospitals
at the Salonika Front. It even had its own dental unit, a rare luxury
when it came to military hospitals. In 1917, Dr. George Gow of that
unit performed some emergency dental intervention on King Peter I
of Serbia, for which the grateful King presented him and his assistants
with State decorations. The unit operated until August 17 th 1917 when it
returned to Basingstoke, England.
No. 5 Canadian General Hospital was formed in Victoria, British
Columbia, as that province’s contribution to the war effort. The unit
was comprised of 30 doctors and 72 nurses, plus the stretcher-bearers,
orderlies, cooks and other support staff. E. C. Hart was the Command-
ing Officer and Nursing Sister F. Wilson, the Matron. They served at
Salonika from December 14 th 1915 to August 16 th 1917.
Since there were no Canadian troops stationed at the Salonika
Front, these three hospitals cared for thousands of British, French,
Russian, Italian and Serbian troops. Then, in 1917, the issue why the
Canadian hospitals were not servicing Canadian troops was raised in
the House of Commons and by September of that year all three hospi-
tals were dismantled and relocated closer to the Western Front where
the Canadian soldiers needed their care and nurturing.
Many other Canadian medical volunteers travelled to Serbia on
their own to respond to Serbia’s time of distress. In the fall of 1914 and

28. 12. 2018
Irina Pavlović

Preservation of the Jazz Culture,
Its Roots and Traditions

“Jazz is not just music, it’s a way of life,
it’s a way of being, a way of thinking.”
Nina Simone

Jazz music, as the cultural phenomenon, arises from the African-
American underclass, slaves for which musical expression was the
only field of freedom.
The Afro-American music that we call jazz today, music that
originally arose from the songs of African slaves, Negro spirituals,
gospel, and blues, was an aural, improvisational music tradition and
phenomenon. It has developed from folk and dance music of Afro-
Americans, under influences of diverse cultures and multicultural so-
ciety, and evolved into intellectual and modern music art form of the
twentieth century.
Music is an essential part of every culture, tradition and national
identity that directly reflects the history and social status, consequent-
ly, influencing the spirit of a culture. Therefore, jazz history is also
part of the history and social studies in American primary schoolѕ
for example (since the “Jazz National Curriculum” was integrated in
2000: “…most importantly, explore the social, economic, and political
contexts within which jazz evolved.”) In a very unique and astounding
way, music reflects and contributes to the preservation of all cultural
and social aspects of one nation as cultural identity, lifestyle, religion,
social psychology, social relations, mentalities, etc. Especially jazz cul-
ture is an example of how music should be approached through the
convergence of history, culture and its cultural heritage. Musicians
have to be historians, researchers, and critics as well, in order to be
qualified in forming their own criteria and building their own taste.
In the same way that music drives emotions and it cannot be de-
scribed just as a group of single notes, knowledge of history is not
only the exact dates of historical events. Throughout the history, we
learn directly about the culture of one nation. In other words, we
explore history in order to perceive the culture and for the purpose
of better understanding the music as an important part of it, with
all its cultural and social aspects. The historian Walter Rodney has
important observations on this topic. He was also a political activist,
and scholar, who was assassinated in Guyana in 1980. Mr. Rodney
was a highly educated man who sacrificed his life for the sake of
the struggle for the rights of Afro American people. As a University
Professor of History, he shares the following description in his book
“How Europe Underdeveloped Africa”: “A culture is a total way of life.
It embraces what people ate and what they wore; the way they walked
and the way they talked; the manner in which they treated death and
greeted the new-born. Obviously, unique features came into existence
in virtually every locality with regard to all social details… For ex-
ample, music and dance had key roles in ‘uncontaminated’ African so-
ciety. Africa is the continent of drums and percussion. African peoples
reached the pinnacle of achievement in that sphere.” 1)
In order to perceive one culture and tradition, roots should be
well studied.
American jazz pianist and composer, Randy Weston, points out:
„It’s so important to teach the history of our music and the origins of
our music, which comes directly from the African continent… Musi-
cians have to be historians, too.“ The most creative and unique cul-
tural aspects of rhythm, creativity, improvisation, dance, tradition
of ritual, lifestyle, social aspects, etc. originate from African cultur-
al heritage. In spite of racism and discrimination, their creativity
did not crumble, but survived and evolved. Yet, if Afro-American
jazz musicians are very much dedicated to researching their roots,
to what extent should the jazz students of other cultural affiliations
devote themselves to studying it? Unfortunately, we are confronted
with the paradox that these most important aspects are neglected
even during jazz studies, especially in Western European schools,
among those students who are coming from completely different
cultures and environments. African impacts, roots and the tradition
of jazz music are ignored or forgotten by those students who should
be most concerned about that topic and should most seriously ap-
proach its study. One of the greatest leading figures and authorities of
jazz music, Dizzy Gillespie, shares an essential message: “A student
of our music, if he goes back far enough, will find out that the main
source of our music is Africa.” − Dizzy Gillespie. We are familiar with
the fact that jazz is created under the influence of diverse cultures,
for instance jazz harmony evolved under the influence of European
classical music, but jazz music is essentially and spiritually apparent-
ly different from Wagner’s opera and Western European tradition.
European impacts in jazz are far less than the importance of their
African origins. Gillespie also suggests what the main source of jazz
is. Obviously, the social differences and the rhythm have the most
important role. We cannot separate jazz music from Afro-American
culture or its society, especially because it is the social aspect the one
that characterizes it. Jazz music is social music, music that brings
people together. The jazz legend Benny Golson, a composer, arranger,
lyricist, producer and tenor saxophonist, shares the following: “All we
had was each other and 78 records.That was our school.”
Rhythm, and syncopation that was associated with јаzz music
“belonging to an inferior race” 2) according to German “Drittes Reich”,
a dance that was considered to be banal, provocative and animalistic
by Western Europeans, group improvisations and playing exclusive-
ly by ear and by feeling, tradition of ritual, audience participation,
creativity, lifestyle and social relations, music philosophy, etc. All
that adorns the Afro American culture and all aspects of the Afri-
can cultural heritage have been unprecedented and degraded by the
Western Europeans. Therefore, especially in Western European jazz
studies today, it is very important to pay attention to African roots,
origins in jazz, as well to perceive all their cultural and social aspects.
In general, those students coming from other areas should invest
much more time in learning and approaching African American
culture than students who are naturally part of it, as we are logically
white Europeans who are not stomping our foot with gospel music
every Sunday.
Under the social context we must consider the following topic as
a very important aspect of jazz: Students, jazz fans and audiences
need to get acquainted with racism, discrimination and exploitation
with which the Afro-American musicians have faced, dating back to
ancient times. “Men have died for this music. You can’t get more ser-
ious than that.” − Dizzy Gillespie. How should we understand their
message or protest in music if we do not truly understand their his-
tory and status? It doesn’t matter if we talk about jazz, blues, gospel
or Latin music, this cultural field is created by Afro American slaves.
Therefore, we should consider their music as a triumphant struggle
for the freedom and rights of Afro American people. „Jazz speaks for
life. This is triumphant music.“ − Dr. Martin Luther King.
The fact that, for example, at three jazz universities in Vienna,
Austria, jazz history is not even included in the curriculum, repre-
sents a major problem and paradox as the lack of knowledge of the
history of jazz music culture hampers learning and true understand-
ing of its essence. At the same time, many students who graduate
from these schools do not possess the expected knowledge and true
understanding of the culture from which this kind of music and
spirit stems. Therefore, they are unfortunately not sufficiently quali-
fied to present jazz as an artistic creation.
In addition to music and history, social, ethnological, psycho-
logical and all other important aspects should be thoroughly inves-
tigated in order to the preservation of jazz tradition, its spirit and
music philosophy. Young generations of musicians, and teachers as
their authorities, should fight for education that affects the forma-
tion of a more complete personality of musicians, the artists who
possesses a comprehensive view, understanding of essence but also
awareness of how the forgetting of aspects that contribute to the cul-
ture’s authenticity, spirit and beauty, sink the whole culture and its
tradition into oblivion.
1)Rodney, Walter, “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa”, 1973, p.53

28. 12. 2018
Vedrana Subotić


Over the course of her vibrant and multi-faceted musical career,
pianist Vedrana Subotic has distinguished herself as an internation-
ally acclaimed concert artist, pedagogue, chamber musician, concert
producer, and administrator. Her 2018 schedule numbers 60 profes-
sional engagements in North and South Americas, Europe, and Asia.
Subotic’s concert repertoire features more than 500 works in the solo,
chamber, and concerto genres, including the 32 piano sonatas, com-
plete violin, cello, and French horn sonatas, and the complete piano
trios (60 works all together) by Beethoven.
Subotic, a Steinway Artist since 2003, is an award-winning As-
sociate Professor-Lecturer of Music at the University of Utah, and
a Visiting Professor of Piano at the University of Chile. She serves
as the newly appointed President of the World Piano Teachers As-
sociation USA, Executive Director of the USA Chapter Conference,
and as the Music Director (2002-present) of INTERMEZZO, a highly
esteemed concert series based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Subotic is also
the founding member of the Intermezzo Piano Trio.
An active soloist and chamber musician, Subotic has been lauded
by critics and audiences for her “fierce playing,” and “impressive
chops” (Salt Lake Tribune), and her “nuanced and expressive playing,
beautifully phrased lines, and a wonderfully light touch.” (Deseret
News). The recent review in Artists of Utah described her perform-
ance of Schubert piano trio (E-flat) as “one of the most intuitive-
ly verdant and emotionally draining performance of any of Franz
Schubert’s compositions that I have ever heard, live or on a record-
ing… truly astonishing.”
Subotic’s musical career began precociously at age nine, when
her performance of Debussy’s “Childrens’ Corner” aired on national
television in her native country, the former Yugoslavia, as part of the
series on emerging musical prodigies. Her training at the National
Music Conservatory “Josip Slavenski” was consequently intensified
and accelerated. At age fifteen, she was admitted to the University
of Belgrade Music Academy (FMU) as the youngest candidate ever
accepted. After winning the first prize in Yugoslavia’s National Piano
Competition at age nineteen, she moved to the United States, to
study with Ralph Votapek, the Gold Medalist of the first Van Cliburn
International Piano Competition, and later with MenahemPressler,
the founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio.
Subotic performs in at least thirty concerts a year in the Amer-
icas, Asia, and Europe, combining concerto appearances, solo re-
citals, chamber music collaborations, and orchestral performances.
Recent concerts include performances of concertos by Brahms
(No.2), Beethoven (No.4 and No.5), Chopin (No.1 and No.2), Prokof-
iev (No.3), and Berg (Chamber Concerto); concert tours in Russia,
China, Chile, Israel, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, and Puerto
Rico. Subotic has performed in such distinguished venues as Bolshoi
Theater’s Beethoven Hall in Moscow (Russia), Elena Obrazova Hall
in St. Petersburg (Russia), Martinu Hall in Prague (Czech Repub-
lic), Kolarac Hall in Belgrade (Serbia), Woolsey Hall and Morse Re-
cital Hall in New Haven, CT (USA), Chicago Symphony Hall (USA),
Steinway Hall and Paul Recital Hall in NYC (USA), Chautauqua
Amphitheater in NY (USA), Abravanel Hall and the Tabernacle in
Salt Lake City (USA), Targ Hall in Tel Aviv (Israel), Doge’s Palace in
Dubrovnik (Croatia), and the Purcell Room in London’s Southbank
Center for the Performing Arts (UK).
Subotic has played chamber music with distinguished musicians
such as Joseph Silverstein, and members of the Muir Quartet. As a
soloist and orchestra member, Subotic has worked with conductors
Pavel Kogan, Joseph Silverstein, Matthias Bamert, Hugh Wolff, Jan
Merkel, Thierry Fischer, Keith Lockhart, and Jean-Claude Casadesus,
among others.
At the University of Utah, Dr. Subotic teaches piano students in
the Bachelor, Masters, and Doctoral programs and oversees degree
recitals, Masters Thesis, and Doctoral Dissertations. She has taught
courses in undergraduate and graduate piano literature, piano peda-
gogy, accompanying, and chamber music. At the University of Chile,
Dr. Subotic teaches students in the Conservatory, undergraduate and
graduate piano program, and oversees degree recitals and Masters
Since 2009, Dr. Subotic has been teaching a highly successful
course in professional Career Development, for which she received
the Faculty Recognition Award from the University of Utah. She has
received fourteen grants from the University Teaching Committee,
the Dee Council, and the Fine Arts and Fees committee since her fac-
ulty appointment in 2008. Dr. Subotic created the Guest Artist Piano
Masterclasses Series for piano performance majors, in collaboration
with the Utah Symphony and the Gina Bachauer Foundation. She is
the Director of the Teacher Development Seminars (2015-present), a
collaboration with the Preparatory Piano program, and chief produ-
cer of the live-streaming faculty concert series Live@Libby.
Dr. Subotic has distinguished herself as a teacher who mentors
award-winning performers and scholars. Her University of Utah
college students have won numerous competitions, performed as
soloists and chamber musicians in Carnegie Hall, and have been ac-
cepted and awarded scholarships to prestigious international piano
programs at the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg, the Royal Col-
lege of Music in London, the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana Uni-
versity, Yale University, Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music,
the University of Michigan, Piano Texas International Academy and
Festival (in collaboration with the Van Cliburn Competition), and
the Interharmony International Music Festival. Her DMA students
have produced dissertations on subjects ranging from cataloguing
piano works by Manuel Ponce and works dedicated to exploration
of extended piano techniques for pedagogical purposes, to the influ-
ence of religious and folk music of former Yugoslavia on the emer-
gence of its pianistic style.
In 2014, Subotic began the unparalleled project of performing
the complete solo sonatas, duo sonatas, and piano trios by Beethoven
− 60 works total. She has since presented the Beethoven programs,
lectures, and master classes in national and international venues, at
the Sichuan Conservatory (China), Tel Aviv University (Israel), the
Jerusalem Academy of Music (Israel), Unbound Chamber Music
Festival (CA, USA), the InterHarmony International Music Festival
(Italy), World Piano Conference (Serbia), the Mistral Concert Series
in Santiago (Chile), University of Santiago (Chile), the Prague Acad-
emy of Music (Czech Republic), the Midsummer Piano Festival in
Prague, (Czech Republic), the Turgenev Memorial Library in Moscow
(Russia), and at Ohio State University (USA). Upcoming engage-
ments in 2018 include concerts and masterclasses in the US, Canada,
Russia, China, Italy, Brazil, Chile, and France.
Dr. Subotic received a Bachelor of Music degree from Belgrade Uni-
versity at age nineteen. As a full-scholarship student, she has earned a
Master of Music from Michigan State University, and an Artist Dip-
loma and Doctor of Music from Indiana University. Her Doctoral
dissertation explores the cultural and compositional connections be-
tween Claude Debussy’s and Toru Takemitsu’s piano works.
Her teachers were pianists Menahem Pressler, Ralph Votapek,
Evelyne Brancart, Arbo Valdma, Leonard Hokanson, Peter Frankl,
Gyorgy Sebok, and Byron Janis, and distinguished professors, cellist
Janos Starker and violinist Josef Gingold.

Selected by Marija Anđić
Edited by Nikol Marković

Fine arts
28. 12. 2018
Zoran Vasiljković

For the Crativity of Our Artists

Editorial staff of the Journal “People Say” follows the work of fine art
artists that we wrote about and whose works we have in the collec-
tion of the journal.
We are thrilled with the success of our sculptor Ljiljana Otašević
whose art projects have been selected to decorate the squares, streets
and public institutions of several cities in Canada and China. With
her success, the artist Otašević motivates our editorial policy as well.
We congratulate her from the bottom of our heart.
We hope you, dear readers, will enjoy the information that fol-
lows, written and pictured, about the public works of our artist Lili Otašević:

Unity is a sculpture commissioned as part of China – Canada cultural
exchange. The main inspiration for the sculpture “Unity” comes from
one of five Chinese classics – the book named Yijing better known in
the western society as the I Ching. This book describes the ancient
divination method with 64 hexagrams (6 lines within each hexagram
hence the name). Particular hexagram that this sculpture represents is
the hexagram number eight – Pi – uniting, holding together.
Another point of inspiration is the Canadian Inuit pebble or rock
sculpture − Inuksuk.
In my sculpture I used these two inspirational elements to con-
nect two cultures – Chinese and Canadian. I shaped the hexagram 8
by stacking pebble-like forms to create the hexagram lines.

Crescendo in music represents a gradual increase in loudness in a
musical piece. This can also represent a general build up to reach a
point of great intensity, force or volume. My objective was to create
a sculptural piece that would connect historical and contemporary
context of Plains Road – specifically the connection of the area to
the (shipping) activities on the lake that resulted in prosperity and
urban intensification. I have put an emphasis on growth and water
(as an initial vehicle of community’s progress) as a central motif in
the piece. In the close proximity to the sculpture a new condomin-
ium is being built by the name of “Jazz Condos” so I used a reference
to music in the title to correspond to the immediate urban context of
the sculpture.
This is a multi-seating sculptural structure. Round and slightly con-
ical, this shape incorporates top that is wavy. The wavy design repre-
sents organic properties of the liquids – in this case an association to
a nice, smooth and discreetly wavy coffee. The title refers to taking a
break from a daily routine.
Besides aesthetical and symbolic aspects, this wavy top surface
features practical, varied, seating experience. One area is concave
while the opposite is convex. This creates different seat heights that
would accommodate people of different physical height and body
anatomy (taller people might find it more comfortable to take a seat
at higher seat area).

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Претплатите се и дарујте независни часописи Људи говоре, да бисмо трајали заједно


Људи говоре је српски загранични часопис за књижевност и културу који излази у Торонту од 2008.године. Поред књижевности и уметности, бави се свим областима које чине културу српског народа.

У часопису је петнаестак рубрика и свака почиње са по једном репродукцијом слика уметника о коме се пише у том броју. Излази 4 пута годишње на 150 страна, а некада и као двоброј на 300 страна.

Циљ му је да повеже српске писце и читаоце ма где они живели. Његова основна уређивачка начела су: естетско, етичко и духовно јединство.


Мило Ломпар
главни и одговорни уредник
(Београд, Србија)

Радомир Батуран
уредник српске секције и дијаспоре
(Торонто, Канада)

Владимир Димитријевић
оперативни уредник за матичне земље
(Чачак, Србија)

Никол Марковић
уредник енглеске секције и секретар Уредништва
(Торонто, Канада)

Уредници рубрика

Александар Петровић
Београд, Србија

Небојша Радић
Кембриџ, Енглеска

Жељко Продановић
Окланд, Нови Зеланд

Џонатан Лок Харт
Торонто, Канада

Жељко Родић
Оквил, Канада

Милорад Преловић
Торонто, Канада

Никола Глигоревић
Торонто, Канада


Душица Ивановић

Сања Крстоношић

Александра Крстовић

Графички дизајн

Антоније Батуран

Технички уредник

Радмило Вишњевац


Часопис "Људи говоре"
The Journal "People Say"

477 Milverton Blvd.
Toronto ON,
M4C 1X4 Canada


Маја Прелић
Торонто, Канада maya.prelic@hotmail.com


Никол Марковић, секретар
т: 416 823 8121

Радомир Батуран, oперативни уредник
т: 416 558 0587

477 Milverton Blvd. Toronto,
On. M4C 1X4, Canada

rabbaturan@gmail.com nikol_markovic@hotmail.com casopisljudigovore@gmail.com ljudigovore.com

ISSN 1925-5667

© људи говоре 2023