Serbian Fair, final celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Serbian Month

The culmination of the 10th Anniversary of Serbian Month was the Serbian Fair and Paprika concert held at the Bishop Nikolaj Community Centre on a 3rd March, a very cold and snowy Saturday. The events were organised by the Serbian Council of Great Britain and sponsored by Alleston Solicitors.

The aim of the Serbian Fair was to provide an opportunity for Serbian organisations and those working with Serbia opportunity to showcase their achievements and to promote their work to the Serbian community and the wider British public. It also aimed to show how Serbian diaspora community organisations work together and how this unity of purpose benefits the Serbian community in Britain.

The day started with a well- attended Round Table meeting. The Round Table encourages cooperation and collaboration between Serbian community organisations and individuals and allows participants an opportunity to identify projects and issues which are of importance to the Serbian community. The focus of the meeting was wide ranging dealing with the election of two UK& Ireland representatives, agreement of their roles and responsibilities, in the absence of a Diaspora Assembly, agreeing how the Round Table could operate more effectively and attract a wider and geographically diverse membership. The meeting went on to review progress on existing Round Table projects, Serbian Month and the promotion and standardisation of the teaching and learning of the Serbian language. It went on to identify a new project to address the difficulties organisations faced in trying to raise funds for their work and priorities. Finally, organisations and individuals had a chance to feed back on their work and future projects – the Jasenovac and Holocaust Memorial day, the memorial Service and lecture for the women in Foreign Medical Missions in Serbia in WW1 and the family Football Day on 21st April being organised by the London Sports Society.

After the end of the Round Table the Serbian Fair proper began. Organisations represented at the fair were given a stall on which to display their materials and were offered an opportunity to present their work to those attending the fair. The organisations and individuals represented at the fair were the London Sport Society, the Jasenovac and Holocaust Memorial Foundation, the Round Table, the Cultural Collective, the Serbian Society, the Circle of Serbian Sisters Kosovo Maiden, the book ‘Gut baj Brodvej, elo Vrans’, visual artist Vlastimir Zeric, Hospice of Hope, Around the Globe Music & Arts,the Serbian City Club,the Serbian GCSE Style Course, Alletson Solicitors, EXER and the Serbian Council of Great Britain. The numbers attending the fair were disappointing, perhaps because of the bad weather, but those attending found the very interesting and were proud to learn of the fantastic work done by Serbian community organisations and individuals, mostly on a voluntary basis.

For those over the age of 60 there was the added benefit from Allestons Solicitors of free will writing services by Goran Vucicevic, a British –Serb solicitor, who has qualified in Britain and Serbia.