Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Jugoslav Rock and Thoughts of America

video (If video will not play, please click on title to this post)
One of the major rock groups from the former Jugoslavia was Bjelo Dugme. (White Button)
Based in Sarajevo between 1974 and 1989. Based in Sarajevo, they incorporated western style rock with some songs that showcased a distinct regional style. My favourite song from this group is Lipe Cvatu. It could be classified as "fusion" music. It definately belongs to the genre of rock music. Despite this, it has distinctly Slavic forms and influences as well as indigenous instruments. The song looks somewhat nostalgically at Jugoslavia before it split up.Unfortunately, the band did not survive the breakup of the country, although it was seen as emblematic of national unity.
Anyone of Croatian (or any other Jugoslavian) ancestry who grows up in America has reason to feel a special sense of gratitude for the extent our country has turned its diversity into something positive. One of the most wonderful things to note is how those who would have been at war in their country of birth find a common cause here. I once heard a Croat say "Who cares if he's Serbian, his name has a "vich" on the end of it. I've seen Hindus and Muslims from India and Pakistan arrange their break schedules so each could pray in the proper time.
America has a potential to beam a message of peace back to the world from which it accepts immigrants. When I listen to Bjelo Dugme, I am reminded not only of what is special in the former Jugoslavia, but what is special in America as well

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