Dance

In a city in North America, a family of exiles from Sarajevo had invited a group of friends to a dinner party before they moved to another city. The family, of mixed religious background—primarily Serbian Orthodox, with relatives in the Muslim and Croat Catholic communities—had struggled to survive for three years of separation and persecution. Guests included Serbs, Croats, and Muslims from Bosnia as well as Americans of many religions and ethnic backgrounds.

At such events there is a moment when the evening comes together in a special way. That moment occurred as someone put popular music from Sarajevo on the cassette player. The song

was an old sevdalinka in popular music form. Jasminka, who had spent three years in exile struggling to reunite her family, stood up and began to dance. Soon her daughter joined her. At such times, as separation is mourned and reunion celebrated, joy and sorrow have a way of blending into one.

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