On the road in Bosnia Hezegovina

Now in Banja Luka (I came here representing the short film 'Roads' in the Banja Luka film festival, as one of the producers) it all seems to so clear – the Yugoslavian-Jewish connection that just had to be.

1:00 O'clock at night, walking back to my room at hotel Bosna on the streets opf Banja Luka I hear this balkan band sound reminding me of a thousand Kusturica films. It comes from the same wedding I saw 5 or 6 hours ago when I left the hotel – but now it is full on.

I have always known in my heart that I belong in a Kusturica wedding or any other crazed balkan celebration but now this is the real thing. Real time balkan craziness going on. I am running inside, everybody with buttoned shirts and ties, only me dressed up like I am going out to some cafe in Tel Aviv.

Nevermind, I look like an alien but maybe if I show my happiness about this oh so universal reunion of love… Oh sacred marriages all around the globe, Jewish, Chrisitian, Muslim – let me have your magical love-fury.

They are dancing with the joy that you'd expect from a merry balkan bunch. You have to love those Yugoslavian folks, only one day in Republika Serpska and I already feel forever bonded with these magnificient people. None of that drowsy sluggishness of melancholy and boredom that you can feel in other western european capitals.

You know why? Because they have seen it, they have seen the war, and they knew what they stand to lose – and now that they are regaining it – they appreciate it. Life is getting better and they know it. 

No violence in the streets here, lots of beautiful people, hope, very friendly. modesty, somewhat naive but in the best way possible. Very few people talk English though, no German too.   

The balkan bunch are dancing like chickens. Their spirit is full and sweeping. They are pushing their chests forward, singing hoarsely in Serbian. Ever since I was a kid I always admired Yugoslavia, and this is like the new revelation. The elegance of steps, dancing with beautiful, true, full smiles.

It seems like they start to notice that new infiltrator-guest and they greet me quite happily and amused – they dance with me, and I show them my ways whichI have learned from the Hasids in those beautiful Hassidic weddings I used to go to. Now this really gets them going, it's like they saw something that they know but don't know. Some of them get really agitated now, taking out the cameras and start shooting like crazy (Hey, it should be the other way around).

And then around 1:45 it happens. The Balkan-Jewish bond is founded again, here in Banja-Luka – Klezmer-Slavia. The Jewish and the Blakan traditions mix, they teach me their ways, and I teach them what I have learned which they happilly assimmilate into themselves.

 

Suddenly I know this feeling. It reminds me of On the Road – Jack Kerouac experiencing the felt moment of immediate experience – I am here, now, living, communicating, dancing with the groom and dueting to some Serbian songs I don't even know. Everything is happening NOW.

Thank God!

And then, just after the Tikkun appears to be complete I have to leave. Those stupid hotels giving Breakfast from 6 to 10.

Moving on the Sarajevo in a few days. Hoping to live to see some more. Looking for the NOW.

 

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