Kako smo KUD-ovci sestavili mozaik – 50 letnica KUD Študent
How the members of KUD assembled the mosaic Being a member of KUD Študent is a big thing. Actually, KUD’s mission has never stopped, KUD lives. It’s energy from the 80s lives on. The enthusiasm, energy, positivity and the search of a goal have remained very similar in all generations. It’s an obligation of a creative young person. If there were no KUD, others would have to establish it. It’s a good quality society in the city that combined everything – choir, orchestra, folklore, dance group, literature club… other societies didn’t have that. other societies didn’t have that. An activity in the city which gave many generations an opportunity for spending quality free time in the most formative years when it’s crucial how one spends free time. KUD wasn’t just a society where people met but a society which is a synonym for quality. Everyone knew we were members of KUD – that’s how they knew us. They liked to hang out with us. We were quite well-known in Maribor. It’s one of the oldest societies in and around Maribor. We can proudly say that we’ve been active for a long time. Of course each section worked independently, there was some rivalry. However, we were united by KUD Študent. In the old days you had no other choice if you wanted to travel. A lot of us applied because of friends, recreation, folklore dancing and traveling. We were quite enthusiastic at that time. We had no money, so we practically lived our student years this way. KUD is just like the seasons: each season has its own colors. Changes are always welcome – good or bad. Most importantly, the tradition lives on KUD had many peaks. One of them was definitely during the time when our team and I, and not exclusively because of my presidentship, led KUD; we had a great time and saw a lot of the world. The quality of APZ, folklore, Magra, as well as the theatre was on a high level. A number of people participated who are really important in this field today. I believe most people nowadays don’t realize the importance and what impact KUD had. For instance – Štuk used to be the students’ commune – the basis for it was KUD Študent. KUD needed a place to practice, offices, a place to hang out… Many other things in the city that I even don’t know about were established because of KUD. It all began in Maribor. It was quite an attraction in the city. Later on, it expanded across Slovenia, actually Yugoslavia at that time. Maribor was recognized across the world because of KUD. We started thinking about it while traveling and realized that we can’t travel anymore because we were no longer at school. Consequently we wouldn’t be able go to these festivals anymore, we wouldn’t meet these friends… We had to do something – we decided to bring our friends here. That’s how Folkart began and developed into a festival. Institutions which help us financially should realize that KUD more than successfully and proudly represents our city and our university around the world – even better than some professionals. KUD Študent has definitely given a lot to our city. Throughout all the decades, the quality of KUD has remained high, higher than any other amateur society. We also worked differently. However, the way we think about presenting culture today has changed. We’re still on top, but less preferred. The Academic choir won its first gold – AFS became equal to Marolt – we had great stage groups with great actors: Dario Varga, Bojan Emeršiè… also some directors. Maribor has become some kind of a center of dance – folklore dancing: precisely because students started the whole thing. It is also a degree of culture in the Slovenian nation. Occasionally there were only 5 dance couples at folklore – it’s hard to imagine that today; only 11 singers in the choir, no real tenors… However, they invited us to all bigger festivals because we left a mark there. Friendships were born within KUD. We didn’t have time for anything else – study, trainings, creating, looking for chances to perform, to gain money… We were completely involved in it. The whole KUD breathed together. I don’t believe it was some kind of a privilege. Being a member of KUD meant active participation in student creativity. Anytime I hear KUD Študent, I get a warm feeling. I’m sure we have stories quite similar to the stories of current members. Nevertheless, we knew who to turn to. Being a member of KUD is an important experience. As I’ve already mentioned, it is an interesting way of spending free time. I can say to anyone that these kinds of activities are very important when you’re young. Those who have an ear for music and a good voice are privileged. The same goes for the folklore dancers – they are privileged. One has to realize that. One mustn’t keep it to oneself but share it with others – that’s the point. You experience such great things which you wouldn’t in normal circumstances. Besides, it gives you enthusiasm, you get to see the world… KUD Študent takes care of your well-being. Everything that happens in KUD, cannot be experienced anywhere else. It’s a privilege. You are deprived without becoming a member of KUD and don’t know what you are missing. People want to be a part of it because you meet cheerful people; they have fun when it’s time for fun and work hard when it’s time to work. There are not a lot of young people who live through such beautiful moments as we did. Even today, the founding members of KUD Študent identify with younger generations and give us a chance in business or in private matters. Running into your ex co-singer in the streets is totally different because of the important experience we shared. It is a family, a group of friends, who, be it singers or folklore dancers, spend quite a lot of time together per week. What you give to them and to culture, the organization – KUD – gives back to you, a lot of great things and joys. It’s a great thing that drags you from individualism to being in company, socializing after practice, common activities… This is what the youth of today needs. I wish for KUD to bring as much collectivism to students as possible. Once a member of KUD, always a member of KUD, you leave a part of your soul here, but sometimes you need a moment to yourself. The achievements of KUD Študent even today nevertheless mean a lot of hard work, generations, who are active and are willing to sacrifice their free time for this high culture in Maribor. We are talking about the formation of a young person, and these kinds of groups form you in a better way than locking yourself up behind a computer or being a soloist in learning for exams. We broadened our horizons as members of KUD. A lot of young people coming from KUD Študent formed their choirs or took over a folklore group somewhere in Slovenia, KUD Študent was the stepping stone where they gained their knowledge, learned how to work, and then transferred all the knowledge to other groups where they were active, to other fields of culture. This was of course a very important time for my artistic as well as private life, because these are the years where a lot is happening. We spent our free time or, as they say, extra-curricular time wonderfully, met a lot of friends, whom I still have today, saw a lot of the world, gained life and working experiences … this is the time no long-time member of KUD, will forget. It often happened that I had to use the skills and knowledge gained during KUD and I had an advantage compared to others. It was easy for me. With some effort and engagement, KUD can offer you a wonderful period of life. Especially younger years, student years, but also later… KUD gave me a lot of happiness and gave me the chance to create good dancing couples. A lot of happiness, fun, but also serious work. Those are the memories that money can’t buy – a lot of experiences, friendships, great adventures, travels around the world… really, a lot of things. Many wonderful experiences, friendships and pleasant socialising during our greatest student years. When I think about KUD, it warms my heart – we had a lot of heart-warming moments. It offered me the right instructions for a great life. As you get older, culture always lingers in your memory. Many times in life you encounter the things you learnt subconsciously in KUD and help you through life. KUD Študent eventually defined my profession. I’m a jurist, however, I ended up in a completely different field of cultural-management. KUD Študent is the place where I got married, why I travelled most of the world; I saw a lot of beautiful things… It left a tremendous mark on me and many others in my generation. The growth of one’s personality also happens in culture, singing, dancing… Somebody with such a range of knowledge received from KUD Študent should appreciate oneself and become a professional in a particular area. Thank God for such professionals. KUD Študent has to remain standing in this battle of amateur societies. Only the best quality can win and I want it to remain the best. I wish for these long-period activities that have enriched everybody to continue, so that the modern times don’t completely destroy the things that are the most valuable. My wish for KUD is to keep existing for a long time, for the KUD’s idea and KUD’s streak to remain in Maribor and elsewhere in Slovenia. And of course, regardless of this, also around the world. There should be stronger connection. I believe folklore is on one side and Academic choir is on the other side. We used to have parties together, they were great. Spend time together, dance, sing, cooperate, encourage each other… I wish that KUD Študent becomes a true professional society some day and an even better incubator for young people to take part in any kind of cultural aspect after leaving student life. Lately, we’ve seen numerous talented people and their performances in Maribor – Kino Udarnik, bars in Maribor, the art salon… Maribor has a positive cultural charge. It’s hard to say that many things couldn’t happen without KUD Študent; however, it’s almost the truth. I sit in the city park which is a monument that even the ice rain couldn’t destroy. Maybe this ice rain made it even stronger. The same goes with KUD Študent – as long as there’s a will, young blood and creativity, KUD Študent will remain an integral part of the city. KUD is probably the one that preserves the tradition of a different way of socializing. That’s why it is so important that the current members of KUD preserve this kind of tradition and socializing, the KUD spirit.