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Traveling means to develop. We had this kind of satisfaction this summer when we as representatives of the Local Democracy Agency Montenegro had a unique opportunity to visit Peć/Peja, a city located in the western part of Kosovo. We are told that the goal of our visit is to get acquainted with cultural heritage, diversity, local cultural scene through intercultural exchange. We did not expect this three-day experience to help us look at our neighbourhood with different eyes and to begin once more to appreciate the heritage that delights our whole region. Also, this opportunity has helped us not only to recognize all the sights of this city but to get to know with ourselves, to return to the original human values and to establish and nurture new friendships.

History told us that the Illyrians, the Romans, and the Dubrovnikans were passing through the town of Peja and that it have been governed by both Serbian and Turkish rulers. All these facts are witnessing to by many cultural and historical monuments and localities that the local population is proud of and attracts everyone that respects the true wealth of this region. Above all troubling events that have shook Peja, impressive objects of Orthodox Christian and Islamic religion rises. At the very entrance to the Rugova gorge, there is the Peja Patriarchy, which is also rich in architectural wealth and the surrounding untouched nature. In this place, for centuries, were settled Serbian archbishops and patriarchs.

We believe it is important to point out the way the people of this city relate to their cultural legacy. Young people actively participate in the preservation of their cultural identity and work on their status in the society. On the one hand, they do not allow cultural objects to be catch by the fatal time tooth, but on the other hand they are trying to incorporate their city with modern streams that are imposed in the 21st century. Peja is also known for the Anibar festival, which is already traditional. Anibar International Animation Festival is the only event of its kind in Kosovo and one of the biggest events in the country. This festival features animated films from all parts of the world in the cinema and in the open space. This program is complemented by various interesting workshops, lectures, debates and other activities where the participants are happy to take part. This is an opportunity for young people to engage, participate in the preparations, and finally to enjoy the fruits of their dedicated work.

For three days it is not such a long period that could be enough to meet this city and all its features, but we managed to ajar door and grasp the core values that Peja caries, such as important monuments, customs, rituals, norms and, of course, a warm mentality and honest people.

By Bojana Radovic – Youth correspondent from Niksic


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