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Dive from the old bridge. Part II – The Challenge.

 

Diving traditions in Mostar is internationally well-known for their 2 distinctive styles. One is diving feet first, called “Let” meaning ” To fly”. The other is head dive, called “Lasta”, meaning “Swallow” dive, just like the swallow when it dives.

There was a dive known as “Labud”, meaning ” Swan” but it had became obsolete due to occurrences of injuries. This dive requires extreme precision technique.

This year competition includes 60 divers,18 head dives and the rest diving feet first. The youngest one being 17.5 years old.

 

Kindly note that under age of 18 needs parental written consent. All dives from the old bridge needs permission from Diving Association of Mostar.

Dive from the old bridge. Part I – A leap of faith

 Diving from the old bridge, Stari Most, started almost 5 centuries earlier, 448 years to be exact. It was considered to be a rite of passage into manhood, achieving feats of bravery, winning a certain lady’s favour,….kind of like knight jousting ceremony, except that it is a diving ceremony.

For me, with my aversion towards height, it is with awe that I watched the diver standing on the edge of the bridge ledge 24 metres high from the river. The diver took several slow breaths and then he executed an elegant dive towards the fast flowing cold river.

Every summer, there is an international diving competition from this bridge. This year, 2014, it will be held on the 28th of July.

Ps: Even professional divers have to be careful.

Legend of Copper Smithing Part 1 ……..

Noticed the designs are based on monumental medieval tombstones called stećci, found to be from medieval kingdom of Bosnia. Stećci are listed as UNESCO World Heritage List.

Noticed the designs are based on monumental medieval tombstones called stećci, found to be from medieval kingdom of Bosnia. Stećci are listed as UNESCO World Heritage List.

In Mostar, the old cobbled street town on the old bridge “Stari Most” is called “Kujundziluk ” which means Smith.

Since medieval times, this area was known as the area to go to when you need metalworking done, for it was full of gold smiths, blacksmiths and red smiths,……

Yep, full of all kinds of smiths, therein the name of the town ….

Just imagine, a weary traveller would ride into that town to get his horse shoe fixed , maidens traipsing into the same said area to have special gold or silver trinkets made………, ladies bargaining over copper crafted pots made by red smiths or you can also refer to them as copper smiths ………

Fortune favors us. 🙂 Today, there is still a shop following precisely the traditional way of copper smithing. Hence, it is a skill recognized by UNESCO World Heritage List as one  to be preserved.

Not all copper souvenirs sold on the bridge are made in the traditional style. Many are actually machine pressed and not handcrafted. If you just want a momento to bring home, it is great.

But if you want to take back a piece of history of this country, the one-of-a-kind thing, with all the beauty of a specially handcrafted item. Then, I’ll let you in on this secret! 🙂 ……..

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