transcending language and culture.

I think many times as a part of Project Bosnia we feel as though we have to be inclusive – if we want to do something we invite our friends and if no one wants to join us then we just give up on the idea.

I spent the weekend in Dubrovnik with 5 of my good friends I’ve made on this trip (as well as a couple of adopted travelers Kat and I met on the bus into Dubrovnik). The last night everyone was heading back at 11pm on the shuttle. I got to the shuttle pick up point and decided I wasn’t done with Dubrovnik. I had been looking forward to visiting this city since 2005 (when Matt Lauer went to visit for his “Where in the World is Matt Lauer” week – it was the last location of the week and it looked magical) and I just wasn’t ready to leave. I asked if anyone else wanted to continue exploring and no one did – so I wandered back into the city by myself.

I started out literally just wandering up and down side streets to places that I hadn’t explored before. I walked into a couple of shops, talked to some random people, and got to know the actual city.

I decided to go back to the cute little jazz club we had visited the night before to look over the pictures of the day and listen to some delightful music while having a drink. To my great surprise (and extreme delight) a concert that we had happened upon during the evening but was too packed to even get in to see anything was still going on and the stage was located right next to the jazz club. Most of the concert was over, which meant that there was a seat right in the front just for me.

Music is one of my true, great delights in the world – it speaks to me more than just about anything else. I love to sing and I can play very rudimentary piano (having taken about 8 years of piano lessons thanks to my lovely mother who forced me to go). This group of gentlemen (who I later found out was a group called Klapa Cambi – a popular Croatian group from the Dalmatian Coast) were some of the best singers live that I had ever heard. I think the most moving moment was when the entire crowd stood on their feet clapping and sang along with the group. It became obvious how popular and loved this group is. Even though I had no idea what they were singing (other than the odd number, weekday, and “volim te”) it was beautiful. I don’t know what it is about music that can transcend language and culture, but it makes my heart happy.

It was the perfect ending to a magical weekend and if I had been with a group of people I never would have had the chance to experience it – lesson learned.

A video of the final song of the evening can be viewed here.

For more tales from Dubrovnik, see my blog.

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