Nušićijada – a holiday of humor and joy

“You’ve been seen for Ivanjica” – do you remember this replica from Nušić’s Mrs. Minister?

Maybe the same sentence in the past days attracted your attention on social media. Mrs. Minister threatened her son-in-law with this, and Nušić surely did not even dream that that same Ivanjica would pay him a festival celebrating his name.

Where is Ivanjica and why did it became so important all of a sudden?!

Nušićijada is a festival which this year marked 50 years since its beginning, celebrating culture, humor and fun. Ivanjica hosted close to 50,000 people, which is a third more than this town in Moravica counts.

General mayhem, as the slogan of this year’s edition, marked the contents that were present from Thursday to Sunday – bedlam of good mood on the streets and in the taverns, a laugh that inspires and employs thinking at Okruglo stage, on the corners and on the stages – street one and the big one in the Culture Center, music at numerous concerts that embarks us on a ship for the second half of the century, movies, performances, children’s programs … We are in the process of searching for the best #OpštiDžumbus photo, published on Instagram, because the festival is ours and yours, we all create it together.

Now, when the curtains are lowered on Nušićijada, we are pleased to think that this small town shone as the center of culture. And while the funniest weekend brought Ivanjica together, it also brought visitors from Kraljevo, Čačak, Užice, Belgrade, Novi Sad, visitors from Serbia and abroad, which is not surprising – as Jovica Dimitrijević says people from Ivanjica will always be from Ivanjica, no matter where they lived and worked, everyone brought some of their guests to the festival.

And the most important accompanying program of Nušićijada is happening in the tavern! This is an alternative scene, and it’s no wonder because taverns have always been important for the Serbs. In the Spring tavern, the first light bulb shone, the first telephone rang in the tavern Three leafs of tobacco, the first book fair was held in the Kolarac tavern, and in 1892 an association was founded there, i.e. literary and artistic community.

Just like Suspicious face, which was in the drawer for 35 years, so did Nušićijada, after nearly 4 decades of pause it was reestablished again. It was first held in 1968, the last one was in 1972, and it was the festival of film comedy which lasted for 6 days, held in the first week of September and attracted the cultural world of the former Yugoslavia. It is remembered for its cultural contents, good atmosphere, taverns and jokes, because it was a holiday of humor and joy.

The desire to rebuild this festival in Ivanjica existed since it was extinguished, but the first concrete steps towards its revival were undertaken in 2008, when a large civic initiative was launched, and with almost 4,000 signatures of citizens of Ivanjica, a petition was submitted to the Municipal Assembly of Ivanjica. Shortly before the decision on the renewal of the festival was made unanimously, the initiators formed a association of citizens’ “Initiative for Cultural Decentralization of Serbia” – KudeS, which in partnership with the Municipality of Ivanjica, the Cultural Center of Ivanjica and the Tourist Organization of the Ivanjica Municipality has organized Nusićijada for years, but it shares its model of work with any other interested community.

All visitors of the festival agree that staying in the specific ambience of this town is a special experience. In the gentleman’s way, at least for three days, lack of money, stress and nervousness are set aside.

So, do you have any plans for August 2018?!

HERE you can download a useful manual on organizing quality events prepared by our friends after a lot of experience and work at the Nušićijada festival.


This story is a part of the aspirations of the TACSO Serbia and TACSO by Civic Initiatives to promote good practices of civil society organizations in Serbia and motivate other organizations that invest on daily basis their energy and efforts in creating a better society for all citizens of Serbia.