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In Serbia trumpets play when children are born. They are also played for their baptism, when boys leave for the military service, when they come back, when they get married and when they move to their new house. They are played in the popular feasts where people dance and sing, but they also play also in funerals: trumpet music accompanies the deceased also in his last trip. Not surprisingly, the trumpet became an emotional part of the life of Serbian people.
The trumpet festival
Guca, a village of 5.000 inhabitants in central Serbia at some 150 km from Belgrade, enjoys an extreme popularity in the Balkans. In a weekend of August since 1961 a festival has been held: the Sabor Trubaca, a competition for Brass Orchestras.
In the last 150 years Serbia has faced various wars confronting different invaders. It is one of the reasons why here brass orchestras have a military origin. The Serbian army was mainly formed by peasants and hence becoming popular in nature. When, at the end of XIX century, soldiers were demobilized, they took their trumpets in the bands of their villages were they would continue playing.
Present day Serbia
Trumpets’ Republic describes also the times Serbia is going through. The country was trying to get out of the spiral of violence from the 1990s, the long international embargo and NATO’s bombing and the economic depression, in March, 2003 a new, tragic happening took place: the assassination of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic. With the help of Radio B92, historical radio that opposed Milosevic, we follow step by step this last dramatic event and its influence on the people: two months after the murder of the Prime Minister a silent procession of citizens still flows to his grave.
Also because the long international ostracism only ended with Milosevic’s fall in October 2000, it is only now that Western Europe is rediscovering Serbia.
Guca and the trumpet symbolize at some extent a reaction to all adversities this country has always faced.