• New Board for 2007/2008 (see below)
  • Folk workshop with Dennis Boxell
  • Thank you note from St. Basil
  • Check out our link sponsor TV4S
  • Check the photos and videos from Serb Fest 2006
  • New exchange banner sponsor
  • Upcoming event: Serb Fest, Labor Day weekend, for more details
    click on
    Sloboda Folk Calendar
  • St. Basil 9th Annual Petrovdan-St. Peter Day Golf Outing photos
    are now uploaded
  • New Goran Bregovic concert
  • Vidovdan performance at Monastery Gracanica, Third Lake, Illinois.
  • New videos are uploaded.    


In March 2009 General Assembly was held.

The following members were elected:

President: Gordana Perovic
Vice President: Steve Narancic
Secretary: Julie Radakovic
Treasurer: Jessica Agin
Auditing Board: Dana Gajević, Ljilja Jovanović, Marija Panović
Costumes: Laca Milić, Christine Krčadinac, Marija Panović


On March 28th 2006 General Assembly was held.

 The following members were elected:

President: Zoran J. Bobic
Vice President: Dragica Vaskovic
Secretary: Christine Krcadinac
Treasurer: Aleksandra "Sasha" Ivkovic
Auditing Board: Dana Gajević, Ljilja Jovanović, Marija Panović
Costumes: Laca Milić, Christine Krčadinac, Marija Panović


Dear Parishioners and Friends:

Taste of Serbia 2006 was a beautiful weekend, where we celebrated and
shared all aspects of our beautiful Serbian Orthodox Christian faith and
culture with the wider Lake Forest-Mettawa,  Lake County and North
Shore community, as well as with our own Serbian Orthodox brothers and

First and foremost, we want to thank our community neighbors and our
friends from our sister parishes who attended the festival; your support
is very much appreciated and made the festival a success.

We also want to thank all of our parishioners who volunteered their time
and talents to reinforce that the Taste of Serbia festival over Labor Day
Weekend will be the centerpiece outreach and fund-raising event in our
annual parish calendar.  The key to the success of Taste of Serbia 2006,
like the first Taste in 2005, was that it brought everyone together for a
common purpose: to help their St. Basil SOC.  The following is what we
hope is the complete list of volunteers (pre, during, post); the list
includes many friends of our parish, as well as our teens and kids, whose
efforts for this event should reinforce in them the concept of volunteering
their time and talents for their church. We pray that we have included
everyone and ask for forgiveness in advance if we left someone off the
list.  We will be posting the list on the church website, so additions are
welcome (just send a reply email to the Church Office).

Special thanks to the "SLOBODA" Folk Dance Group of the Serbian
National Defense Council of America which again this year performed both days of the Taste, at no charge, and added a very special dimension to the Taste, introducing the wider community to our beautiful dances and songs! Furthermore, the choreographer/director of the group, Nikola Krcadinac, and the president of the group, Zoran Bobic, and all the members who danced at the Taste, also volunteered hours of their time doing other work during the Taste:  A Great Big Thanks/Hvala to the SLOBODA FOLK DANCERS!

We would be remiss if we did not thank Fr. Milan Savich for serving
Vespers on Saturday and Liturgy on Sunday, and Fr. Vladimir Vranic, who,
in addition to serving Vespers and Liturgy, spent hours in our church
conducting tours and talking to people who were interested in learning
about our faith. Thanks also to our Church "staff,"  Tomo Jevremovic,
Vesna Radovic and Jelica Kostov, for all their efforts before, during and
after the weekend.

Finally, thanks to Rade Petrovic of Shmeker Excavating whose workers
spent two days once again clearing the gravel portion of our parking lot
and re-building the gravel road connecting the lot to the exit road, which
they also cleared of overgrowth.  Mr. Petrovic donated both the services
of his workers and all of the materials, for which we are truly grateful.  

Most importantly, thanks to God for all things!

Saturday, September 1, 2007 & Sunday, September 2, 2007!

The Taste of Serbia 2006 Committee
and The St. Basil SOC Parish Trusteeship


Dear Mr. Nikola Krcadinac, Choreographer
Dear Mr. Slavko Panovic, SND President
Dear Brothers & Sisters,

More than 200 years ago, when Thomas Jefferson took the office of the
President, he came before the American people and said, "The task is
above my talents."  He approached it saying, "with those anxious and
awful [premonitions] which the greatness of the charge and the
weakness of my powers so justly inspire."

I never thought I would say this, but I finally have something in common
with Thomas Jefferson.  For those who elected me to the position of
President of the Sloboda Folklore Dance Group, I am grateful for the
faith you have shown in me, humbled by the enormous task before us,
and determined not only to serve the members of the group, but to help
move it toward greatness.

Last year, the former President of the Sloboda Folklore Dance Group
resigned mid-term.  She did not exhibit any dedication, inspiration or
loyal service to the group.  The Vice President stepped in and made a
difference.  Please join me in thanking Ms. Dragica Vaskovic.  
As Jefferson suggested, the greatness of the charge is almost
overwhelming.  Despite the progress we have made, Sloboda Folklore
Dance Group faces many challenges.  Our repertoire of dances is now
getting too familiar and we have become bored.  While it is important to
keep up with all that we have learned thus far, we all are ready and
anxious for some new material and choreographies.

Non attendance at practices is out of line and becoming a crushing
burden to the group.  This requires immediate and serious attention.  
Young people come and go, abandoning us and taking their talents
elsewhere.  This leaves Sloboda Folklore Dance Group in a graying state,
sapped of the spirit that youth can provide.  The same could be said for
our grateful sponsor Serbian National Defense.  The group’s fundraising
program must improve drastically and should be an assignment for
everyone.  We also need greater representation, both in the Serbian as
well as the multi-ethnic communities’ throughout the Midwest region.  We
need more dances and more performances, even if done complimentary.
All of this must change!  The primary task ahead of us is to show to all
the people in the Serbian community who we are, that we are with them,
that we can perform and proudly present our Serbian cultural heritage.  
Furthermore, we need to reach out to other multi-ethnic groups, such as
the Greeks, Bulgarians, Romanians, Russians, etc. and make Sloboda
Folklore Dance Group a positive, relevant force in ethnic society.  I
believe that our dance group can touch and improve on the Serbian
culture of our people.

Folklore dance programs which are widely spread among our churches
are not enough and they will never solve our Serbian cultural problem.  It
is true we cannot do everything, but we cannot afford to do nothing.  
Therefore, we are in the progress of establishing the first Serbian
Cultural Center in the greater Chicago area under the direction of the
Serbian and Montenegro Consulate.  It is more than just “Kolo” dancing.  
It is traditional Serbian costumes, music, singing, poetry, theater, etc.  It
is our heritage!  Dancing and preserving “Kolo” dances is an important
goal, but so is lifting the spirits of many Serbian people who see us for
the first time.  Just as it is important to ask ourselves, "can we compete"
within the multi-ethnic community, it is equally important to ask, "Can we

So, this year, let us begin.  Our goal, starting right now, is to design an
official Sloboda Folklore Dance Group Logo, attend our Serbian picnics
where we should perform and have our own booth with flyers displaying
Serbian costumes and cultural items for sale, redesign our official web
page, learn new Serbian folk dances, along with many other
miscellaneous small agenda items which this new board will attack.  That
is my plan.

I am not going to tell you here by saying that it is going to be easy to
accomplish all of this.  The size of the plan defies a simple and painless
solution.  “The board can do it,” is definitely not the answer as we need
all of you.  Your input and participation will certainly speed things up.  
Whenever you can, please give us your ideas.  In this year we have the
enormous opportunity to become something.

Presently, the situation tells us that we have to change.  When it comes
to Sloboda Folklore Dance Group, it can no longer be business as usual.  
Since the Rotary Club performance only a few of come regularly every
Tuesday for practice.  The boom-and-bust cycles of practices have been
a rollercoaster ride and it is now time to get off.  It requires an overall
change from all of us and in how we are organized.  We need to be sure
that the maximum resources are devoted to the actual folklore program
and not multiple layers of excuses all the time.  If Tuesdays are not
convenient then let’s choose another day.

Now, I want to address our young members.  In my vision we are losing
our youth.  Young people between the ages of 20 and 34 are nowhere to
be found and/or they are seen only at Serbian picnics and parties.  Why
is this a concern?  Well in many cases they are not allowed to be elected
into a Serbian organization or church to hold a board position.  The
elderly do not care, nor do they want young people to step in.  In just 20
years, if trends continue, our Serbian community will have more people
over the age of 65 than under the age of 20.  All Serbian organizations
and churches spend more and more attention on our elderly and less
and less for our youth.  This is why they go somewhere else.  So I am
asking myself, why should we as a Folklore Dance Group lose him or her
to another non-Serbian activity and/or community?  I want to create in
our Folklore Dance Group (and Serbian National Defense) activities that
our youth craves.  Too many young people do not participate in our
cultural program.  This has to change.

I am proposing to hold a Youth Cultural Summit together with Serbian
National Defense that will bring together some of our youngest Serbian
students and entrepreneurs to examine why young people do not
participate and what we can do to change this and bring them back.  I
want this group to hear from Serbian young people, business owners,
elderly citizens and recent immigrants to find out how we can strengthen
the economic and social capital of the Serbian National Defense and
Sloboda Folklore Dance Group so we can offer them attractive
opportunities and enjoy the benefits of their ingenuity and talent in the
Serbian community.  I want this summit to lead to a permanent Working
Group on Serbian Youth.

We need to send a clear message to the young which is come and dance
with us.  Dance with us and be a part of us.  We need your energy, your
talents and your skills and help us move Sloboda Folklore Dance Group

As you can see, we have a lot of work ahead of us.  But we can only do it
if we work together.  My idea gives me neither the license nor the liberty
to move forward on any of my proposals without the involvement of all of
you and the Serbian National Defense.   So, I am asking all of you to
join with me to work for the interests of the Sloboda Folklore Dance
Group.  Together, let's make the Sloboda Folklore Dance Group proud.

Last Tuesday night, everyone who has been elected to the Sloboda
Folklore Dance Group Board assumed a tremendous responsibility
because life is special and the Folklore Dance Group Sloboda is special
and our time here is so short.

In the end, I am pledging to all of you to do everything I and my Board
can to make my time in office, as President of Sloboda Folklore Dance
Group special.  The task before us may be above the talents of any one
individual, but it is not above the combined talents of the Sloboda
Folklore Dance Group and its members.  Please join us, in working
together, to help make this folklore dance group better than any other
one and help us to build the kind of folklore dance group that moves our
Serbian heritage toward greatness.

God bless you all.  
God bless the Sloboda Folklore Dance Group.  
God bless Serbian National Defense.

Zoran J. Bobic
Sloboda Folklore Dance Group
Web administrator


 Serbian Days and Dance Nights      
by Dennis Boxell

I have arrived in the village of Dalj. My senses are reeling with
impressions of peasant life here. As I walk along the broad Pannonia
streets, a herd of white-haired swine cross my path while a flock of
sheep and a dozen quacking geese brush against my legs. Horse-drawn
sleighs, carrying peasants dressed in warm woolens and black lambs-
wool hats, slide through the snow, bells jingling, scattering the pigs and
geese in all directions.

I live in a typical village cottage with an earthen floor; the front door is
about five feet high. As I am writing, Baba and Mama Ristic are cleaning
the intestines of one of their pigs, slaughtered early this morning. They
will make excellent sausages. Baba has placed a bowl of dark red
goulash filled with steaming meat and vegetables on the table in front
of me. The delicious red and green stuffed peppers, fresh-baked wheat
bread, and heavy red wine have filled my senses. My host refills my
glass with more delicious red wine and I cannot resist. I am no longer in
this century...

As a young folklorist, visiting Yugoslavia for the first time in 1963, I
wrote the above impressions of Dalj, a Serbian village on the Danube
River, where the river borders the regions of Vojvodina and Slavonia.
These impressions have remained with me through all my folklore
adventures. This enchanting rural way of life has provided the setting for
one of the most impressive dance traditions in Europe.

Dance For All Occasions

In the village no holiday, Saint’s day, wedding, or other celebration
could go without dancing. Almost every Sunday villagers gathered after
church to dance, next to the church, in a field just outside the village, or
in a central square near the community well. Fall and winter had
Saturday evening dances too. Montenegro has stone terraces on the
mountain slopes near the village. In South Serbia, in winter and on rainy
days, dances were in barn-like structures known as cardak (literally, the
enclosed porch on the first floor above the ground in a Turkish-style
house). Traditionally, mastery of the dance was important. A man’s
standing in the community was often shown by his place in the dance
line, and naturally the best dancers led. The best dancers might marry
sooner, even if poor.

Saturday Night Igranka

When I was in the villages south of Belgrade, everyone looked forward
to the Saturday night dances called igranka (from igra, "to play" or "to
dance"). The young people came to meet their friends and to
distinguish themselves with the more difficult dance steps. I first saw
this in the village of Pinosava, south of Belgrade not far from the
landmark and park-area known as Avala. The local kolo (literally
"wheel", the common Serbian word for folk dance) is a form of the
nearly universal Serbian dance known as U Šest (literally "in six") or
Moravac (after the Morava River). The tempo is slow and delicious, and
the dance pattern, instead of going equally to the right and left,
changes after two measures to the left, and travels right again.

It was a brisk dark autumn night. Lights strung over the village square
added to and reflected the harvest moon. By the time I arrived, a few
hundred people had already gathered and were dancing the kolo. I had
come forty minutes from Belgrade by the local bus. Imagine my delight
to find all the young women of marrying age dressed in full regional
costume from head to toe, including necklaces of dukati (large heavy
gold coins that are family heirlooms and part of a girl’s dowry). The
young men were somewhat drab in West European dress, but an
occasional old–timer had on bits and pieces of folk costume.

Then came a moment I’ll never forget. "Crashing the party", a group of
young men in old–fashioned Serbian costume burst onto the scene and
immediately paid the musicians for the next dance. In their opanci
(leather shoes open at the top with curly toes) and šarene carape
(multicolored socks), they dazzled everyone with fancy step work,
double bounces and a surprise dip. Their version of the Pinosava u šest
was a work of art. I later introduced it to American folkdancers under the
name "Pinosavka".

Sabor and Vasar

An even better time for dancing than Sunday or Saturday was a sabor
(church fair), or a vašar (village fair). These events could go on for
days, with dancing from sunup to sundown. At a sabor, groups from
many different villages, complete with their own musicians, would meet
on the dance field in a swirl of sound and color. The best dancers vied
with each other to lead the next kolo, and if there was dust, as there
often was, it rose to cover the dancers, who in their enthusiasm never
seemed to mind.

Community Pride

While the young folks danced, their elders watched and gossiped; now
and then they danced too. The very young were eager for the day when
they too could join in. While tending the sheep they would ask the older
girls to show them the steps, and after much practice, they would build
up their courage and try their first dance. It was a moment of pride for
everyone, especially for the youngster’s family.

At the dance there might be traveling Rom ("gypsies" in English, cigani
in Serbian), or traders, or soldiers coming home. Any new dances they
would be eager to share. Names of dances such as Rumunjsko
(Romanian), Bugarska (Bulgarian), and Cocek (probably from a Turkish
word meaning "a dancing boy or girl") show a lively exchange from all
over. Vranjanka, Cacanka and Uzicko kolo are named for home towns
with strong dance traditions, Vranje, Cacak and Uzice. Banacansko,
Sremsko, and Backo kolo, all versions of the popular Malo kolo (malo
means "little") which has long been in the basic repertoire of American
kolo dancers, are named for the three parts of Vojvodina. The famous
Montenegrin dance Zetsko kolo, which seems like the flight of an eagle,
is named for the 13th and 14th century Montenegrin kingdom Zeta.
These dances are still done today. Some can be seen in the 1948
folklore film Jugoslavenski Narodni Plesovi ("Yugoslav Folk Dances")
which I was able to rescue.

The Timeless Moment

While years pass, timeless things are unchanged. Around 1900, as the
new kingdom of Yugoslavia emerged, many a "ballroom kolo" was
adopted, creating a legacy of town dances, like Kraljevo kolo ("the King’
s dance"), taught to American folkdancers as Srbijanka ("Serbian girl"),
and still done today. Radikalka was named after a political party,
Sarajevka for the Bosnian capital. After World War II, the Communist
government took an interest, and State-sponsored performing troupes
arose. Stage choreography came to have a large influence on the U.S.
folkdance movement. With all these changes, one thing has remained
certain. In country villages, and in emigrant communities from Australia
to America, Serbs still love to dance.