This is day 8 in my Dance Inspirations Advent Calendar (II)
Ne vredi plakati is an ‘old city song’ (starogradska pjesma) that I learnt as a 22 year old student in Zagreb. Three and a half thousand of us from all over Yugoslavia (as it still was then), Central & South America, Africa & the Middle East lived in a kind of Olympic village of 9 ‘pavilions’ built next to a lake at the end of a tram line called Studentski Dom ‘Stjepan Radi? (see earlier entry & gallery). They were very different times – no mobiles, no PCs, no internet, no credit. You’d hang out in your room, people would visit each other, and there were parties every night somewhere. Within weeks of being there, I’d learned about a dozen of these songs by heart, because after a couple of glasses of wine (the one thing we never went without, even if there was sometimes no hot water), that’s what you did – you started singing. There’s absolutely nothing to compare it with in English culture, we just don’t have a repertoire of songs that people know, we don’t socialize in the same way, and we don’t break into song on social occasions.