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SIBA – A Visual Approach to Explore Everyday Life in Turkish and Yugoslav Cities, 1920s and 1930s

'Slava' ceremony for the 'Gvozdeni Puk' Second Infantry Division, 1930

'Slava' ceremony for the 'Gvozdeni Puk' Second Infantry Division, 1930, © Photoarchive Borbaenlarge


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Object:'Slava' ceremony for the 'Gvozdeni Puk' Second Infantry Division, 1930
Description:View of a military ceremony in a large courtyard surrounded by barracks. Soldiers are lined up in the right half of the yard in approximately ten rows, headed by officers, all standing to attention. Three religious leaders are positioned in front of them, each standing behind a table covered with a white cloth, and two with other utensils. The one nearest to the camera is an Islamic imam. He is holding a book in both hands and seems to be reading aloud. To his left, a Roman Catholic priest is waiting solemnly, his hands folded in front of him. The table before him features, among a few smaller items, two candles on tall candlesticks. At some distance on the opposite side of the yard, two bearded Orthodox priests stand very close to their table, which bears a richly decorated slava candle, a large item (probably the 'slava' cake) and a head covering. A second head covering is deposited on the ground under the table. The scene is being watched by various spectators, mostly officers, while a small group of women and children can also be discerned in the background. The yard is richly decorated for the occasion with garlands and colourful kelim rugs.
Comment:The 'Knez Mihailo' Second Infantry Division of the Royal Serbian Army lost half of its fighters during the wars of 1912 to 1918. After its reformation as part of the Royal Yugoslav Army, it was given the honorary name 'Gvozdeni puk' (steel division) for its bravery and sacrifice during the Great War. The division’s commemoration day slava continued to be held on 19 April, the anniversary of the withdrawal of Ottoman forces in 1868, celebrated as 'Predaja gradova' (surrender of the fortresses). On this day, the Ottoman garrisons left the then Princedom of Serbia for good, symbolically handing over the keys of all fortresses on its territory to Serbian Prince Mihailo Obrenović, after whom the division was named. Serbia remained under formal Ottoman suzerainty until 1878 and was elevated to a kingdom in 1882. — The photograph was published in the newspaper Vreme on 26 April 1930, a day after the ceremony took place that year. It had been postponed for a few days due to Easter, with Holy Saturday falling on 19 April 1930. – The original glass plate is partially damaged.
Location:Belgrade, Banjica
Country:Serbia (contemporary)
Yugoslavia (historical)
Type:Photographic plate
Creator:Grdijan, Svetozar (probably)
Dimensions:Negative: 90mm x 130mm
Keywords:700 Armed Forces > 701 Military Organization
220 Food Quest > 221 Annual Cycle
620 Community > 624 Local Officials
620 Community > 629 Inter-ethnic Relations
180 Total Culture > 186 Cultural Identity and Pride
790 Ecclesiatical Organization > 796 Organized Ceremonial
Bibliography:Slava drugog pešadijskog puka. Vreme 2991, 26 April 1930, 5.
Copyright:Photoarchive Borba
Archive:Borba fotodokumentacija, Belgrade (Collection Vreme), Inv. No.: Borba0055
Editors:Milanka Matić, Nataša Mišković