From Pirot and Stapar carpets to artistic embroidery and folk costumes, old and artistic crafts are nurtured and preserved throughout Serbia, and are especially present in rural areas in the interior of the country.

It is necessary to work on their connection with the economy in order to help women who most often practice these techniques to earn income from what they do.

The Ethno Network, a national association that brings together about 400 women handicraft producers from all over Serbia, has been dedicated to this task for 15 years, striving to preserve this knowledge for future generations.

The president of the Ethno Network, Violeta Jovanović, stated that thanks to the work of that organization, several elements of the cultural heritage of Serbia have been inscribed on the national list of intangible cultural heritage.

“Several years ago, with the help of the diplomatic community in Serbia, we launched an initiative to include Pirot, Stapar and Sjenica-Pester carpets on the UNESCO list of intangible heritage, and Pirot is the first candidate for which a nomination will be submitted,” she said.

The Ethno Network makes replicas of products that were once used in the household, such as rugs, fabrics, various elements for interior design, but also stylized products that are adapted to the needs of today’s market.

“The products our women make are used as diolomatic gifts. Several of these elements that we created were intended for high-ranking Chinese officials, including President Xi Jinping. We hope that this cooperation will become widespread, especially with our cultural center in Shanghai, where we could present to the Chinese interested public the techniques of our heritage and the motives by which other nations recognize us, “Jovanovic pointed out.

Dragana Rusalić from the souvenir shop Belgrade Showcase, said that the most interesting textile program for foreigners from old handicrafts is magnets, books, as well as ceramics with local motifs.

“We produce souvenirs with modern techniques, whose motives are related to old crafts, these are mostly motifs that are widely recognized by domestic and international clientele, such as stapar and Pirot motifs,” Rusalić explained.

Affirmation of foreign crafts is necessary by official institutions, so you can often find proposals for the establishment of specialized training of old techniques to get qualified producers, but also the adoption of a law on crafts that would define the segment of artistic crafts and artistic crafts.

Chinese Media Group (CMG) article

By Editor

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