22 Dec “Mirëdita, dober den, servus” held in Vienna for the first time
The “Mirëdita, dobar dan” festival took place for the first time this year in Austria, Vienna, on November 29, 2023. The festival, which has traditionally been held since 2014 in Serbia and Kosovo, provides a platform to bring together art, culture, advocacy and public debate on key issues for our societies. This year, the festival crossed the borders of its usual destinations for the first time, and the atmosphere was filled with positive energy and the desire to create an inclusive space.
Bistra Kumbaroska, the initiator of the festival, emphasized the importance of the Balkan community in Vienna, at the same time emphasizing that there are still differences in values that come from their history. However, the festival aimed to overcome those differences by creating a place of inclusion and joint activities, reminding us of the richness of diversity.
Especially interesting is the change in the name of the festival, which reflects openness to mutual differences. The new name “Mirëdita, dober den, servus” combines greetings in Balkan languages with the German greeting “servus”, creating a unique and friendly festival identity.
The festival took place in three parts, highlighted by the symbolism of the number 3, and the entire event included three activities dedicated to the theme of inclusivity. Three locations within a radius of 70 meters, including the famous Viennese Breitenseer Lichtspiele cinema, offered visitors a variety of experiences during the festival.
The cinema hosted the Austrian premiere of the documentary film “First time Kosovo/Serbia”, directed by Idro Seferi. The film follows the journey of a group from Kosovo that visits Serbia before a group from Serbia visits Kosovo.
After the film, the festival moved to the Widelake Bakery space. Participants of the “Mirëdita, dober den, servus” festival had the opportunity to feel and experience inclusiveness through a unique approach – sports activities. This phase of the festival was dedicated to education about the contribution of inclusivity through sports events designed by long-time coach Slobodan Pavićević, thus presenting a completely different aspect of togetherness.
The last part of the program was held in the Viennese bistro Anna&Jagetsberger, where guests could enjoy the exhibition of Nataša Katalina, an artist of Serbian origin. A panel discussion on the topic of inclusivity further enriched the program, and the festival ended with a gathering that united Balkan and Austrian culture.
The organizers of this year’s festival were the Civic Initiatives Austria, Integra and the Youth Initiative for Human Rights.