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We shook Kreševo in Bosnia
Monday, 29 December 2014 Written by Augustus Byaruhanga

We shook Kreševo in Bosnia

The sound of African drum on the night of 4th July 2014 will remain so significant in the ears of Bosnian people especially those in Kresevo town .The family, relatives and friends of fra Ivica Peric had gathered to celebrate the 80th anniversary of their mother. The venue was in the town of Kresevo where the celebration took place in a restaurant. People began to arrive from 7: 00 pm in the evening. Fra Ivica, fra Mathias and I were the first ones to arrive at the venue. We found the elder son of the family Tom, whom we nicknamed “organizer” already directing people where to sit.

Few minutes later, the guest of honor “Mother of fra Ivica” arrived driven by the young son Mato. She had put on Bosnia attire, smart, joyful, charming and smiling. Within a few minutes she was surrounded by daughters, relatives and friends. What next? We began the Bosnian culture of drinking, eating, and sharing with the person closer to you. The place of venue was occupied by family members, grandchildren, uncles and aunts from all sides, nieces and nephews, grand sons and daughters. Whereas the majority came with gifts like cakes, chocolates, flowers and sealed boxes, I and Mathias entered with two African drums from Uganda. Already that was a sign that soon there would be singing and dancing.

We shook Kreševo in Bosnia

Unlike in Africa where we have Masters Of Ceremonies who consume many hours with necessary and unnecessary information and announcements, in Bosnia as you enter the venue you begin to eat and drink. Those working in restaurants keep bringing all types of wine, beers, cheese, meat, chocolates, soup, chips, and all kinds food and drinks depending on appetites of people around. For me it was the first time to learn from other cultures that eating can begin from 7:00 Pm to 12:00 Midnight.

In Bosnia there is no rushing in eating and drinking. People have a great discipline in eating and drinking. I never saw anyone drunk or vomiting because of overdrinking and overeating.

We shook Kreševo in Bosnia

In the midst of many people, myself and Mathias became a center of attraction. As black as we are, the children came closer to us to watch while the old had a chance to exchange some words with us. For sure the majority of them never saw an African. We became video for them to watch. Indeed we were limited with the language but the smiling could deliver the message that we were happy.

By that time we had mastered two words “Dobro and Kakuruza”. The party went on as we watched people sharing, smiling, greeting each other, eating and drinking. Meanwhile the guest of honor was smiling and one could read from the face of an 80 year old Bosnian lady that she was extremely happy.

We shook Kreševo in Bosnia

The climax of the celebration began when one of uncles of fra Ivica together with his son went outside and picked the accordions from their car and began the entertainment. Everybody was excited and the party turned into another page of dancing and singing. The man looked old by age but serious, keen and stable in music, He had trained his son so well that both of them could sing and entertain people without a meeting of what they should do.

We shook Kreševo in Bosnia

What about me and Mathias together with our drums? That was the best time to join the team of two and we became four. Taken up by the rhythm of Bosnian songs we joined them our African drums. One could think that we had the rehearsal together. Our drumming attracted all guests. People danced, took photographs, and recorded the melodies, clapped hands. Seeing African drumming for them it was free video. The sound of drums captured the attention of people in that town.

People entered the restaurant to hear the sound of drums and also to see who were drumming. It had never happened in that town. At a certain time, I played two drums and Mathias played the shaker. Everybody was taken up, the Bosnian people danced in pairs, and the guest of honor kept smiling and dancing.

We shook Kreševo in Bosnia

On that night I realized that the sound of drums is not only limited to Africa but can cross the border. Again all human beings express their joy by singing and dancing during the feasts. That was the day I will never forget in my life and one of the wonderful nights while in Bosnia. I learnt a lot that night especially how parties are arranged and what it means to rejoice with a parent.

Thanks to the family of Fra Ivica that organized such a gathering to celebrate with their Mother. It was a night of joy, unity, happiness, rejoicing, dancing, singing, laughing, recreation and knowing each other.

Long live our grandmother!

Father Vjeko Center

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