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Montenegro > Diaspora> Montenegro.com in Argentina: With the Montenegrins in General Madariaga, Part Two

Montenegro.com in Argentina: With the Montenegrins in General Madariaga, Part Two

Visiting General Madariaga Continuation It really took me a long while to get back to normal after the gathering in the Njegos Hall. So many emotions, recollections, such warmth, integrity, and sincere hospitality I had only once before felt in my whole life, and that was in Buenos Aires a few days before.Vaso Jankovic, our guide and host, went in front of us in his white car. He led us through the pampas by a short cut to the famous hacienda of the Markovic's _Los Pinos_. On all sides stretched the vast plain with a truly impressive number of cattle and animals for which Argentina is renowned all over the world. Los Pinos Image

After ten minutes hair-raising drive through the pampas outside General Madariaga we arrived at our destination. There we were welcomed by that well-known Gaucho and our host Pedro Markovic. In fact Pedro (Petar) Markovic is the last Montenegrin from the first generation of émigrés in General Madariaga who was born in Montenegro. Pedro is a very sprightly and active man, full of wit and jokes, always ready for good company. Pedro married a Montenegrin woman from the Mrvaljevic family and he found his wife in the Korientes province, which is several thousand kilometres to the south. The younger generations who speak Spanish much better than our language sat on one side of the table while I and our host Pedro like two old Montenegrins sat and chatted about families, clans, King Nikola and the old days. ImageAs the others didn't understand much of what we were talking about they left us on our own to carry on our talk with a bottle of good Argentinean wine from Mendoza. There are many reminders of Montenegro in the Markovic's house, from the wooden benches at the table to Njegos's picture and the Montenegrin flag which is kept on the central wall. ImageBut besides all these things there is also something that a visitor from distant Montenegro wouldn't expect to see in the south of Buenos Aires province, on a ranch, in the middle of the pampas. Pedro said:-Come on Gordan, let me show you something-. ImageWe went behind the house and there we saw - a ham-smoking shed. Both inside and outside identical to the ones in Montenegro.. ImageThis is Njeguski ham- Daniel Markovic and Basilio Jankovic told me. ImageRight from the time the first Montenegrins came to these parts the tradition of smoking ham, "kastradina" (lamb), neck and other sausages and many other specialities has been preserved. As well as this gusle (one stringed fiddle) and many other items in General Madariaga without which it is impossible to imagine the life of Montenegrins wherever they may be. Image-Hang on a minute Gordan, we've got something else from Montenegro _ said Pedro as he pointed to the fig tree in the garden.And it was brought here from Montenegro. ImageAs I listened to anecdotes from old Montenegro which Pedro related, and as I sampled his Njegusi ham from the pampas, and leaned against a fig tree from Montenegro, I tried to get my bearings and to get some idea of where I was and how far it was from my home. Is this real or even possible, or am I dreaming it? Unfortunately time was passing unbelievably quickly and the moment of departure was near. More tears and farewells with dear good people. Firm handshakes, the embrace of the old Montenegrin Gaucho Pedro Markovic, and I promised I would do all in my power so that we who live in Montenegro never forget their courage in setting out to build a new world, not to forget their hard work in preserving their customs, language and traditions and all that they had achieved! Our guide and chief host Basilio Vaso Jankovic and Daniel Markovic set off to the Madariaga cemetery where a large number of our emigrants lie, and we set off slowly after them. Gordan Stojovic www.montenegro.com

 

 

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