Earlier this month we were surprised when a friend pointed out that my son Oliver appeared in the Serbian children’s magazine, Mali Zabavnik. The parent magazine, Zabavnik (translation – Party / Amusing) is very famous in Yugoslavia. It was one of the only western style magazines dating back to 1950s published in the former Yugoslavia. It featured Disney and domestic comics and articles with a broad appeal. Its tagline was “For Everyone from 7 to 77”. All of my Serbian friends grew up with the magazine and it is still published today. I also read that when former Yugoslavian leader Tito was asked permission to publish the magazine, he said, “Why not, I like Donald Duck.”
The Serbian government is publishing a version called “Little Zabavnik” for schools and that is where Oliver’s photo appeared. They must have got the photo from my Flickr.com account. I took the photo years ago and it shows Ollie holding the “žito” standing in front of a badnjak , two Serbian Christmas traditions. The photo is used on page 26, in an article about the upcoming Serbian Christmas. I don’t mind the photo was used without my permission, but people usually ask me to use the photos on my Flickr account. Through the years, my photos have been used for the Egyptian Airlines in flight magazine, a solar eclipse photo, or in a web site banner for a conference on the Great Lakes.
It is another nice souvenir of our time in Serbia and I am honored that my son got to be a part of Yugoslavian tradition. The cover of the January 1, 2014 issue where Oliver is on page 26 of the magazine is pictured below.