Welcome to the December newsletter edition of Southeast Europe: People and Culture!

As 2010 turns into 2011 it is time to reflect on the many highlights of the past year.

For example, the image to the right was one of the many exceptional pictures that were sent in this year to our  photo competition.  The Cultural Journey, from which we have recently added new video clips and photos on our website, left many good memories.

We would like to thank all the contributors and users of the site. We are delighted that you share our interest in this fascinating region and we will continue to provide you with many new entertaining and informative features next year.

Until 2011, the whole Southeast Europe: People and Culture team wishes you and your loved ones a happy holiday period and a happy new year!


If summer was a time for music festivals and open air dance and theatre, then winter is the time for domestic pursuits, such as reading or cooking or alternatively vigorous outdoor activity such as snowboarding or skiing. This month’s highlighted articles present you the Interliber book fair in Croatia. We also take a look at skiing in Southeast Europe, which is enjoying a revival.

 Our video of the month is an interview with the Albanian chef Gjon Dukgilaj, who gives us his thoughts on gastronomy, culture and hospitality in Albania.

  Novelties and bestsellers at Interliber book fair
Croatia: 30 November 2010

This was the 33rd anniversary of the Interliber book fair in Croatia. The larger publishers present were especially happy with the sales, as some of them even doubled their figures compared to last year.

The prize for the best unpublished novel in 2010 was awarded to Aleksandar Novaković, born in Belgrade in 1975. His book The Leader tells the story of a Serbian army captain who committed crimes during the Balkan wars 1912-1913 – a prelude to the First World War.

 Click here to read more

  Skiing in the Western Balkans
Western Balkans: 13 December 2010

Winter tourism is growing in all parts of the Western Balkans. Almost all ski centres now have FIS certified ski trails, artificial snow facilities, mountain rescue services, and Nordic and night ski trails. The night life and good food go without saying – that is guaranteed in the Balkans.

 Click here to read more


Video of the month – Chef Gjon Dukgilaj speaks about food, hospitality and tradition in Albania

"Albanians have two important elements on the table: bread and white cheese. If one of these is missing, it means that the food is not delicious" says Gjon Dukgilaj, who has returned to his native Albania after many years in Belgium to open a restaurant that specialises in local and organic food, rooted in Albanian traditions. Meet him and find out more about Albania’s traditions of gastronomy and hospitality!

Watch the video now!


Meet the winner of the Album of the Month!

Congratulation to Tom Maughan-Jones from London, the UK, who is the winner of November's ‘Album of the Month’. He receives a copy of Petrit Çeku’s superb classical guitar album.

He told Southeast Europe: People and Culture "I’m really excited to have won this album – I’ve never won a competition before! I’ve only been to Southeast Europe once, on a holiday to Turkey when I was nine, but I’d love to go back. Everything seems to be changing all the time there and it seems quite exciting."

If you want to be the next winner of the Album of the Month – the Boban Marković Orkestar’s ‘Boban i Marko’ then go to our website and win!


"Balkan Odyssey" Concert

Serbia’s National Ensemble "KOLO" has as its mission to preserve the country’s cultural traditions. On 24 December, they will be performing in Belgrade’s Sava Centre.

 Click here to read more

Istanbul Art Biennial of Children and Youth

Istanbul’s time as a European Capital of Culture 2010 is coming to an end, but there are still a number of events left to catch. One of these is the Biennial of Children and Youth, which is running at the Haydarpaşa Train Station and Idris Güllüce Cultural Center in Tuzla, Istanbul, which features a number of artistic workshops and events for children and young people.

 Click here to read more


Looking for delicious warm winter food? Try this month’s recipe from the region  Firin Sutlaç (Baked Turkish Rice Pudding)!

All the recipes on Southeast Europe: People and Culture are now also available to  download as pdfs on the site. Collect your favourites to your very own cook book!

Love to cook food from Southeast Europe? Why not share the taste of the region and send your traditional recipes to:

 [email protected]

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