Thursday, 5 July 2018, Ohrid
ADDRESS OF THE VICE PRESIDENT VESEL MEMEDI AT THE OPENING OF THE 57TH BALKAN FESTIVAL OF FOLK SONGS AND DANCE
Ladies and gentlemen,
Distinguished Mayor of Ohrid,
Cherishers of Folk Songs and Dance,
Allow me at the very beginning, as a representative of the President of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, Mr. Talat Xhaferi to greet the attendees, especially our guests, the dancers from the region who are participating in this year’s 57th Balkan Festival of Folk Songs and Dance.
This Festival has welcomed over 50 000 dancers, singers and players in Ohrid, not from the region alone, but from around the world. Hence this festival is globally recognized and is member of several international folklore association including the International Organization of Folklore Arts, IOFA.
The song and folklore do not recognize borders or ideology; they are universal category and significant part of the cultural heritage of each nation and of the civilization as a whole. We, people from this region, express our joy through folklore, but also our sorrow. In a word, we open our souls though the song to all around us and accept the other, different through song. The famous Teshkoto dance, leaves no one indifferent, regardless if it is danced here or on the other side of the globe. Isn’t it beautiful when one enjoys the seductive dance of the young boy and girl dancing Shota dance. It is hard to restrain the feelings when we hear Montenegrin Gusle, Greek Bouzouki or Bosnian Sevdalinka; watch Serbian Kolo or Slovakian Polka. All this confirms the universality of the national music, songs and dance, which we have all managed to preserve through time and hand over to the generations to come.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I believe that in the days to come, we shall all enjoy the program of the festival. I am also convinced that, as it was the case so far, the city of Ohrid and its citizens shall once again be hospitable hosts and that our guests will enjoy the beauties of Ohrid Lake, the rich cultural program and will bring home beautiful memories and part of the cultural of Ohrid and Macedonian heritage.
All this being said, distinguished friends, participants, guest, I proclaim the 57th Balkan Festival of Folk Songs and Dance as open.
Let us all together enjoy the program. Thank you!