International Slow Food Festival in Bijelo Polje – the uniqe language of tradition

November 2, 2023 || views

In 13 and 14 of October, was held in Bijelo Polje the international Slow Food Festival, organized under the careful initiative of Slow food Montenegro, where several local producers and artisans from Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia, Kosova and Albania were invited to take part.

The diversity of the food is nothing but the diversity of culture and heritage of a country. And the Balkans keep a great scale of diversity not just throughout the countries but through the regions themselves, showing up in thousands of colors, shapes and flavors the rich and colorful spirit.

The large number of activities and festivals of food and local products in the Balkans is the best way to preserve not only the diversity but also the continuity of life in rural areas, which is increasingly threatened by globalization.

Many local producers of various drinks, honey, wine, stock of eatables, handicrafts, wineries, pottery, handicraft jewelry, embroidery and other works, filled the stands in the central square of Bijelo Polje for two days in a row.

Tourism, just as it is endangering the continuity in rural areas on the one hand, due to the displacement of the young population to congested urban areas, it is also helping it, because in the last decade what tourists are looking for the most is precisely local offer. Enjoing real experiences, meeting the locals up close, getting to know new cultures and not just the historical centers or the glamorous museums of big cities, tasting local food and recipes and especially getting to know the everyday life of small rural areas, is becoming more and more and more the trend of tourists everywhere in the world.

Sabina Ramovic, the head of Slow Food Montenegro, says that in the beginning they encountered many difficulties to form this community of local producers who were part of the second edition of this festival. It took a lot of effort for farmers or small producers to be convinced of the usefulness of this organization, but with the increasing interest of tourists in the fairs and parties that are organized, or in the gastronomic tours that introduce tourists to these products, their conviction also increased.

For Sabina Ramovic, the second edition of the International Slow Food Festival is the assurance of continuity, even though due to bad developments in the political situation in the Balkans, the festival missed Kosovo. This shows how much politics affects the daily life of local communities, but especially how important it is in the connection between the peoples of the Balkans.

Often, these communities are strongly connected to each other precisely because of common causes, such as improving the quality of life through daily activities, preserving the authenticity of the product, traditions and customs, which have value precisely in their diversity.

More pictures: here