A different look at Southeast Europe

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

The website  www.southeast-europe.eu aims to mirror the cultural richness that Southeast Europe brings to the continent. It highlights the manifold trends in vibrant cultural scenes throughout the region and gives talented writers from Southeast Europe an opportunity to inform visitors about local art, dance and theatre, film, gastronomy, literature, music and sports. In addition to the articles, an events calendar gives visitors the opportunity to find out about cultural and sports events concerning the region.

The project was developed by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Enlargement. As the Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said, “This website is a rich source of information that allows visitors to familiarise themselves with culture and ways of life in the Western Balkans and Turkey. It fights old stereotypes by presenting the dynamism and modernity of the cultural scene of the region.”

Visit  www.southeast-europe.eu and enjoy browsing!

This month’s new features

 “Here I am – a small blond woman who beats the drums and directs movies” is an interview with the young Serbian director Vanja Kovačević by Branka Pavlovic. Kovačević tells the story of how despite all odds, she is fulfilling her childhood-dream to become a drummer. She doesn’t have a band, she has never learned to play any instrument and she earns her living by editing commercials. She grew up in Serbia during the 90’s and she wants to be heard.

 Click here to read the full feature

 “Mostar Old Bridge Divers” is an article by Aleksandra Trifković about people that jump off the Mostar bridge. In Mostar, the tradition of jumps from a 20 metre high bridge reaches back almost five centuries, to the time the bridge was first built. The first record about the Mostar bridge dives was written by the famous Ottoman travel writer Evliya Çelebi in 1664, stating that the “brave children of this town” jumped into the cold water of the Neretva River. One should also mention that, though the official height is 20 metres, the jump is actually 23-24 meters long, depending on the level of the river at the time of the jump…

 Click here to read the full feature

Want to write for Southeast Europe: People and Culture? Contact us at
 [email protected]

Recipe from the region


Serves 4 people

 pickled cabbage leaves
 rice in a cup of coffee
 2-3 onion pieces
 0.5 kg. mixed ground meat
 oil, red pepper, pepper, salt, spices
 250 gr. steamed meat

How to prepare:

Cut the onion into small pieces and fry it on oil. Add the ground meat, red pepper, pepper, salt, spices the rice also.

Then use the mixture to stuff the pickled cabbage leaves.

Line them up in a pot, but first line up pickled cabbage leaves at the bottom of the pot. Put the steamed mead in between the stuffed cabbage leaves.

Then, spill over some hot water and boil it on a silent fire, and them put them in the oven to bake. By the end of the baking, you can add come oil and red pepper (which have been fried before).

Love to cook food from Southeast Europe? Why not share the taste of the region and send us your traditional recipes to
 [email protected]

What’s on - Upcoming events June 2009

If you have already booked your holiday or are considering a trip to Southeast Europe, then our  events calendar is just for you! From music festivals in Serbia to culinary events in Turkey – we work with partners from all over the region and from the EU to allow you to experience the best of culture and sports.

We try to keep our calendar updated as much as we can, but if you hear of any events or want to advertise your own cultural or sports-related event, tell it to us by writing to
 [email protected].

 Libertas Film Festival / Dubrovnik, Croatia: 26 June – 30 June

The annual Libertas Film Festival, held at venues throughout the historic city of Dubrovnik, features world and European premières and brings to the spotlight new international and Croatian film makers.  Go to official site.

 Traditional Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling / Kirikpinar, Turkey: 30 June – 6 July

Historical "Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling" is the oldest wrestling festival in the world with the first contests being held in 1357 in Rumelia. It has been bounded with a tradition of almost 650 years, hosts persevering contests for a week, with the active participation of media, folk-dance groups, millions of spectators, artists and statesmen both from Turkey and all over the world, and with a varying array of activities every year.  Go to the official site.

We have more than 400 events listed in our calendar,  click here to find one that suits your taste!

Become our partner

Writers wanted

Southeast Europe: People and Culture is constantly looking for new writers from the region. We are continuously looking for high quality articles. Writers will work directly together with the Editorial Team and contribute to the website’s content development. If you are interested in joining our writers' pool, just send a cover letter and your CV to:
 [email protected]

Promote your events and institutions

Would you like to promote your culture or sports event related to Southeast Europe in our calendar section? Just send us the details and a link to the website and we may well place it in our events calendar.

Network with us

Cultural institutions, NGOs, think tanks and agencies that share the aims and interests of Southeast Europe: People and Culture are invited to share banners and links. A future networking partnership could lead to organising together events related to culture and sports. However, please note that we do not look for corporate sponsorships.

Other projects

Southeast Europe: People and Culture is one of several projects of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Enlargement. Please find below a short introduction to other projects:

European Young Journalist Award 2009

The European Young Journalist Award 2009 attracted over 600 entries as the deadline passed on 31 May. Young journalists aged 17–35, who are citizens or residents of the 27 member states of the EU or the candidate countries and potential candidates, were invited to submit articles to the competition for the 2009 European Young Journalist Award. The aspiring young journalists were asked to reflect and express their views on Europe and the European Union's enlargement.

The winners of national competitions will be invited to a cultural and historical prize trip to the capital of Germany, Berlin, at the end of August / beginning of September 2009.

Find out more on:  www.eujournalist-award.eu

Danube by Bike 2009

Nearly 400 cyclists from all over Europe will soon cycle on the first European Bike Tour along the Danube, which will take place from 23 to 27 June 2009. The Tour will follow the European Danube Cycling track leading participants through five countries, namely Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania.

The Danube by Bike Tour 2009 is an opportunity to bring together people from all over Europe to encourage integration and dialogue, whilst raising awareness of the rich cultural heritage of Southeast Europe. The River Danube is often referred to as the "Queen of European Rivers" and is a strong symbol for Europe in its diversity of cultures and nations. The Tour reinforces the importance of taking joint action to protect the unique Danube eco-system.

Find out more on:  www.danubebybike.eu

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