Serbia’s Željko Joksimović is pulling out all the stops in his latest bid to lift the Eurovision trophy with his song Nije ljubav stvar. After missing out on his previous outings at the Eurovision Song Contest, Željko is not leaving anything to chance this time. As well as the familiar tactic of recording his song in various languages, recent days have seen Željko unveil further surprises.
First came the song recorded in Serbian (Nije ljubav stvar), English (Synonym) and Russian (Любовь не вещь), complete with the story that the Russian lyric had been translated from Serbian by Belarussian-based fan Viktoria Lapeho. This week a further was recorded with a Belgrade symphony orchestra, which would have been plenty for most people to take on. Not so Željko, who instructed his team to come up with something special to promote his appearance.
German car maker Volkswagen is rumoured to be considering a manufacturing plant in Serbia, according to a high-ranking political source within the ruling President’s own party. A reliable and well-placed senior party official has revealed to W!LD RooSTeR that Serbia’s Democratic Party (Demokratska stranka/DS) is poised to announce a major deal with Volkswagen, which is clearly being timed to add much-needed impact to the party’s election campaign.
If Serbia does manage to attract this latest major motor manufacturer it could prove to be a game changing ace for President Boris Tadić to hold up his sleeve. It should also bestow a great advantage on the DS party if such a significant international deal to benefit the national economy and signal a higher profile for Serbia could be sealed and announced in the final run-up to Serbia’s national and presidential elections on May 6.
Olympic fever has taken hold and athletes lucky enough to qualify for a place in London are putting the finishing touches to their lengthy training programmes. With less than one hundred days until the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, we have become used to hearing the medal dreams of household names. The stories of Paralympians and the spirit of inspiration they embody are not heard so widely.
One such tale of coming back from defeat and committing to succeed regardless of what others say comes from Serbia’s Paralympic medal hope in women’s javelin, Tanja Dragić. When Tanja takes to the field in London’s Olympic Stadium, she will be battling memories of a trouncing in Beijing to prove her right to a Paralympic medal. Hers is one story among many of people who can inspire a generation.
Blood is thicker than water. That is how the saying goes. From a young age, we are told that family bonds will hold us together, supporting us through good times and bad. Family will always be there to fall back on and they will protect us against outsiders and the follies of fate. In reality, though, families can be a root cause of those bad times almost as much as they are the saving grace we are led to expect.
Many families are a dysfunctional mish-mash with little in common other than blood and memories. Rather than The Waltons, more often than not our families better reflect The Simpsons. We indulge the peccadilloes and tendencies of family that would be unacceptable in our friends. But somehow, and against the odds, families work. As another saying goes: you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family.