Potato i Jedinstvo

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A bit of Bosnian culture for Idaho

From the Boise Idaho Statesman:

Celebrate Bosnian culture through dance

You would never see Ramajla Duratovic at Starbuck's and peg her as someone who doesn't fit...

But culture is a subtle thing, she says. Born in Bosnia, she now lives in Boise. She goes by Maya here. "It's easier to pronounce and to spell," she said.

This is her home, she emphasizes as she moves easily through her day, poised, confident, speaking in English, then Bosnian, and then back to English within moments.

And she dances...

It's not something she did in Bosnia, but here it's how she keeps her culture alive. Maya dances with Mladi Behar, a company of the Bosnian-Herzegovina Cultural Center of Idaho... The group shares Bosnian culture and heritage with Idahoans through dance.

Mladi Behar will celebrate its sixth anniversary this weekend with its first official Bosnian Dance Festival, where you can see performances by Mladi Behar and four visiting Bosnian dance companies, as well as other Idaho cultural dance groups.

Boise's Bosnian community

Maya came to Boise with her parents and younger brother nine years ago... They were one of about 450 families that settled here between 1993 and 2004...

Boise's Bosnian community is very close. A few families settled here, and then friends and relatives.

"We all know each other here," Maya said. "It's like a big family."

And for that family, the dance group is an important cultural touchstone in Boise, said Irvaz Husic...

Maya was Husic's first student. Now she is a teacher in the group.

Husic helped start the group to "preserve, promote and perpetuate" Bosnian culture in Boise, he said. "Dance is a great tool to use if you're going to transcend culture barriers."

The group has helped bring the Bosnians living here closer together as it has helped them become a part of the greater community, he said.

They have performed at many city events, including Boise Music Week, have interacted with other arts and cultural groups and built strong ties with Boise's Basque community, a group they look to as a cultural success story.

"We see what they have been able to do and know we can do it, too," Husic said.

For their first six months, Mladi Behar used the Basque Museum and Cultural Center as its headquarters.

From the beginning, Patty Miller, executive director of the Basque Museum, saw Mladi Behar as a cultural partner.

"I use the Bosnian story all the time as a modern day example of the way the Basques came here 100 years ago," Miller said. "Only they're working much faster. They've been here only 10 years and they're already working on language classes and dance groups. They see how important it is, and I think the community is the better for it..."
This is marvelous! thanks for putting those pictures, I've seen the Glamocko Kolo performed before on film, it was performed when Danis Tabovic was welcomed back to Sarajevo after winning the Academy Award for best Foreign Film, and it was perfomed again at the re:opening of the Stari Most, the same troupe some dancers who are deaf.
The Glamocko Kolo is what is called a 'silent kolo' and is very striking to watch, because the dancers in this type of dance don't have instruments. I found myself very moved to see this dance.
I'm so glad that Bosnian people are doing what they can to preserve their heritage, because it would be sad if it were lost.
That would be letting some very bad people have the final say.
Hi with Blogger down how come I can get in here, but not into my own blog or East Ethnia? Can you like file a lawsuit or something? :)
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