Words and people


Today I will take a moment to talk about Serbian words.  I have been learning serbian mostly in a classroom but, also, on the streets. That is why I have linked on my mind many words to certain people (and places). For example, curse words like “boli me k…..” (“I don’t give a shit”) are part of Milan’ s vocabulary. “Opusteno” (take it easy) reminds me of Filip, Aleksander and the rest of the crew of the Belgrade Alternative Guide, as well as “brate” (brother). The omnipresent “polako” (kind of “quietly” or “slowly”) and  the polivalent “moze” brings me to my first dinner in Belgrade with Victor and Merche. We ate that night “karadjordjeva”, so those big meat rolls stuffed with cheese have, somehow, a spanish flavour.

“Bubnjeve” (drums) and “svirati” (to play an instrument) are together with the image of a flat in a Belgradian suburb and sorrounded by serbian musicians during one of my many rehearsals. “Razumes?” (“do you understand?” takes me to the cold winter and Dragan from Riff Club when, in fact, I didn’ t understand him at all.  “Sto”  (both “table” and “hundred”) is Aleksandra but also Sonja (from whom 90% of my Serbian vocabulary come from), in different contexts. “Djubre jedno” (“you are a piece of shit”) and a big smile, on the other hand, is just Aleksandra’ s contribution.

“Izbeglice” (refugees) is Dragan explaining our project to those refugees. “Kajmak” and “pljeskavica” are words that I first heard in Seville back in November 2009. “Katastrofa” belongs exclusively to Jazmin in Mostar, but “hajde” is Katka’ s legacy. “Ljubim te” (“kisses”) is part of  Becej’ s charm and “ciganka” (“gipsy woman”) and “glupi” (“silly”) is a night filled with laughs with mosquitos in Kalemegdan. “Sta kazes?” is one of the only expressions I could hear in Serbian from Petar, since it came naturally from a conversation in a fluent spanish.

“Slusaj i uci” (“listen and learn”) are part of Igor’ s humor and “svadba” (“wedding”) entered my vocabulary during his wedding ceremony with Jasna. “Snimati” (“filming”) is part of MEC and, finally,  “vidimo se uskoro” (“see you soon”), is my way of finishing this post.

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