Yesterday I spent the evening in Gornje Piskavice, a village hidden away in the hills to the east of Banja Luka.
My friends at Mondo BiH thought I might find a story to tell for my blog and vlog.
For the past 11 years the people of this village have held a “winter” festival designed to both keep, and maybe re-introduce, traditions and culture that they fear might get lost in the ever changing “modern” world.
A noble endeavour indeed.
As a foreigner, it was quite the adventure for me.
Although I didn’t witness the day time activities of traditional sports etc, I did manage to experience some of the unique style of singing that is prevalent in this area.
The “festival” was supported by a good few thousand people who were all in fine humour and once they found I wasn’t from Bosnia and Herzegovina, rolled out the most amazing and exceptional hospitality.
The food and drink (all locally raised, produced and prepared) was on offer for free! I just couldn’t believe it. High quality meats and pies and the decorated breads, simply stunning.
Of course, as is Balkan tradition everyone offered Rakija! ’nuff said about that, if you know what I mean.
Events such as last night in Gornje Piskavice are not well known to “non locals” but would make an exciting and colourful addition to a short winter visit to the Banja Luka region of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
I was invited to the event by the Tourist Organisation of Banja Luka.