Fun Is Good for the Economy

August 16, 2012

Loup J. Brefort

My wife and I spent two days in Guca last week and had great fun. When you set your mind to it, you Serbs certainly know how to throw a wonderful party! As foreigners, we came back to Belgrade still amazed by your hospitality and attachment to your roots and by the fact that we managed to survive the tons of deliciously appetizing food, the hectoliters of beer, the crowd and the all night music not only intact but actually very much invigorated. Can hardly wait for next August and a new visit.

Guca was celebrating its 52nd anniversary and I am told it all started with a group of young innovative people that, in the sixties, found the village rather too quiet for their liking. They decided to enliven things a bit by starting this brass band music event. In 52 years, it has certainly grown and became an internationally known event that, I am sure, must have a very significant positive economic impact. A good illustration that not all innovations have to be manufactured products or that one has to export to bring foreign exchange revenue to the country. Just capitalize on the rich tradition of Serbia to make more foreigners cross your borders to enjoy such events and bring in their Euros, Rubles, Pounds, Crowns, Forint, Zlotys or whatever in the local economy. Only the piglets would likely complain at the prospect of more visitors!

And I hope people in the future will have in mind the only “downside” that we registered: all those beer cans, plastic bottles, paper wrapping and other "articles" strewn by the visitors everywhere. Not enough garbage cans on site or need to further develop an “environmentally friendly” attitude on the part of many, or both? Anyway, Serbia’s beautiful sites deserve better.

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