Experiences of an American woman who was married to a Serb.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Do All Serbs Sing Together? (Or is it just my family?)

Here's a photo I took at a family get-together last Saturday evening. It all started normally enough in late afternoon, with everyone eating and talking quietly at a long table set out in the courtyard of a family farmhouse in a village set in the farmland between Sombor and Novi Sad. Then when it got dark around 7-ish, one of the Aunts brought out a guitar, handed it to a cousin, and started singing and clapping her hands. Immediately everyone -- no matter their age -- joined in. Slowly, over more than an hour, the singing grew from a quiet family singalong to something more like a loud party. An accordion appeared almost by magic in the arms of another cousin. And one uncle sang so passionately that the crowd finally hoisted him on on their shoulders ... and everyone continued carrying on singing for what seemed like at least another hour.

Then, as small children began to droop, the singing quieted to a soft murmur, and we all began to depart for home. When we finally left, I'm fairly sure someone was still going at it though.

Now here's my question - is this a Serb thing? I've noticed this singing before in our own home, although in a far smaller scale. The first time it happened, right after I met my husband, we were washing dishes in the kitchen when he just started singing. And instead of making fun of him, as any rightminded American teen would do, the kids lifted their heads and joined right in. I nearly fell on the floor. Was this a real family or a Disney movie?

After awhile I got used to our small family bursting into song every once and a while. So when at my first big gazillions-of-cousins get-together, they started the singing thing, I thought, well ok I guess that must be typical Serbian. But is it? Or is it just this particular family? If you know, please do drop me a comment.

5 comments:

Dušan Orlović said...

Hi sister in law, I think that the singing is better 2nd day, because of lower passion. 1st day is for warming up :) .
Do all Serbs sing on feasts? Probably yes, I don't remember any holiday without singing.
CIAO

elektrokuhinja said...

You sound so cute, being so surprised with this singing thing:)Do't americans sometimes sing, when they gather?
I suppose, especially with families, that it's quite normal here. Anyway, I rarely sing with my friends, only karaoke, or on weddings.

Anonymous said...

Yes, all Serbs love to sing :)

Anonymous said...

hi!
i like serbia because i have wounderful family there and singing is part without i never left that place.they always find occasion to make some party, i can wait to come home!!!!
all the best from stulic

Marie Ottem said...

"my" serbian family always sing on holydays, and I think its nice, if im not going to bed early :p