02 Jun 2020, 12:16 PM
June 2, 2020 - The organizers of the Herceg Novi Comic Festival (HSF), who worked tirelessly during the pandemic period, are also announcing a new special guest of the fourteenth edition of the event, which will take place from September 4 to 9 at the most attractive locations in Herceg Novi. It is about the phenomenal Italian artist Mario Milan, the star of the Italian and French comics.
This super-talented cartoonist graduated in scenography from the University of Foggia, and in the first years of his career, he worked in scenography and comics at the same time. However, since 1994 and his professional engagement in the publishing house Sergio Bonelli Editore, he has focused exclusively on comics. He is working on some of the most prestigious titles, such as Zone X, Nick Ryder, and Magic Wind, which soon recommends him to enter the elite society. And to get the most, an Italian cartoonist can get- to become a member of Tex Wheeler's drawing team. Milan does not stop there but tries on the most significant European market - France. He excels in the production of "Tuna-Mara" for the legendary publishing house Imanoid, while for the giant Glenat, he draws "Shadow Society." He is a full professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Foggia. It is no secret that Milan enjoys respect from regional comics artists and that his visit to Herceg Novi is awaited for years.

Luca Zelioli, Ambassador of the Republic of Italy in Podgorica, returned to his old love - comics

The time spent in isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic has been used by many for their creative expression. Thus, for example, the ambassadors of the member states of the European Union (EU) in Montenegro and the head of the EU Delegation Aivo Orav wrote the book "Diplomats united in isolation" published by the EU Info Center. The book presents a review of fourteen ambassadors on their work as diplomats during the pandemic, including many details and thoughts from private life.
A particular curiosity is a chapter written by a great friend of Herceg Novi and HSF, His Excellency, Mr. Luca Zelioli, Ambassador of the Republic of Italy in Podgorica. Among other things, he states that he returned to his old love - comics and re-read his collection of Tex Wheeler that accompanies him on all his diplomatic missions. Zelioli adds that it is no secret that he is a great comic book lover, and describes an anecdote about how he admitted this to the Montenegrin public at the opening of the XII Herceg Novi Comic Book Festival when he realized how popular comics are in our area. An illustration accompanies the text by the Italian star Valter Venturi, whom he met in Herceg Novi, and who shows him telling the heroes of his favorite comic, Tex Wheeler, about Montenegro.
The organizers of HSF remind that the Embassy of the Republic of Italy in Podgorica is one of the sponsors of HSF for the seventh year in a row and that on this important day for that country - Republic Day, 2017, it presented the organizers with the prestigious "Caravaggio" award.
19 May 2020, 22:15 PM

May 18, 2020 - From September 1, every first-grade student in Montenegro, all seven and a half thousand, in 500 classes and their 500 teachers, in addition to the classic ones, will have digital textbooks and other contents, the Ministry of Education announced.

In this way, a comprehensive digital transformation of the education system will begin through the pilot project Digital Classroom.

"I can freely say that this is a turning point which means the modernization of the educational process and at the same time giving up the anachronistic traditional, outdated way of presenting teaching content," said Minister of Education Damir Sehovic.

He explained that digital content would be presented in the form of 2D and 3D animations, video materials, simulations, virtual models that will be related to the curriculum and the content of the textbook itself.

"From the next school year, children will have the opportunity to absorb knowledge in a modern, European way and to make that knowledge more permanent," said Sehovic.

The Ministry of Education plans to equip all classrooms with a quality wi-fi signal and IT equipment in all primary and secondary schools by September. Smartboards and smart TVs will be purchased by the sixth grade of primary school, for which the Ministry of Education cooperation with the European Investment Bank, allocated 4-5 million euros.

Thanks to the Learning at Home project, the school year will be completed in a regular way, which will end following the projection defined by the school calendar. It means that the school year will end on June 12, ie, on May 20 for students in the final grades of primary and secondary schools.

"With the Learn at Home project , we saved the children, what is most important, their health, but we also enabled the continuity of learning, which was the essence of the whole story," Sehovic emphasized.

The project Learn at Home project (Uči Doma) has involved 240 teachers from 34 schools. They have recorded 1,700 lectures.

19 May 2020, 21:33 PM

May 18, 2020 - Italian art genius, Marco Mastrazzo, is the new confirmed guest of the fourteenth edition of the Herceg Novi Strip Festival (HSF), which takes place from September 4 to 9. Mastrazzo, one of the biggest names in Italian comics at the moment, has been in the creative drive of the ninth art since 2006.

Practically from the beginning, his professional engagement was related to drawing covers for Dylan Dog's annual specials and American editions of the same hero, which are published under the label Epicenter Comics. He also works for the publisher Editoriale Cosmo as a cover artist for the comic book Caput Mundi. His complete opus also recommends him to American publishers, so today, his covers are adorned by Zenescope Entertainment. At the same time, in Italy, he joins the prestigious publisher Edizioni Inchiostro as the exclusive cover designer for the series "Brothers in Blood." However, Mastrazzo is also engaged in another dream job. In the last three years, he has been a member of an elite team of artists who make unique art posters for Ferrari for Formula 1 races. Due to his incredible talent and relaxed lifestyle, Mastrazzo was a logical choice for a special guest HSF, and if you ask him and HSF was the logical choice of the festival, he wanted to come.

The Herceg Novi Strip Festival has been in the focus of the European comic scene for several years due to the reputation and image of the cool festival. Still, this year it attracts special attention to the ninth art public. Given the fact that the most significant spring festivals in Europe as well as in the region are canceled, it is logical that the attention of comic book lovers turned to Montenegro as a potential corona-free destination, and Herceg Novi as its capital of the ninth art.

"The traditional start date of HSF, the first Friday in September, is once again confirmed by chance as the perfect choice of the festival's founder Nikola Ćurčin. It gives us enough time to thoroughly monitor the development of the situation regarding easing measures and opening European countries. In addition to the increasingly resounding names of artists who confirm their arrival in Herceg Novi as special guests of the festival, this year, our event will be attended by many organizers of the most famous European comics festivals and their fans. The arrival in Herceg Novi has been announced by the directors of the cult festivals, British NICE, and Russian Boom Fest. It is a unique opportunity to promote Herceg Novi as a cultural and tourist destination to a broad audience that visits these major European festivals, "said HSF organizers.

They are aware that the only Montenegrin event dedicated to the ninth art is considered a small cultural miracle in the world of comics. That is an additional motive, but also an obligation to present Herceg Novi and Montenegro in the best possible light this year and justify that epithet. The HSF reminds that so far, in addition to Mastrazzo, the guests are the British PJ Holden, the Slovenian Izar Lunaček, Sedat Oezgen from Germany, and Artyom Trakhanov from Russia.

15 May 2020, 15:48 PM

May 15, 2020 - Every year in Perast, May 15 is solemnly celebrated in memory of the incredible victory over the Turks in 1654. That victory was attributed to the help of the Mother of God, because the forces of Perast were so small that they could only win with the help of heaven. That is why they made a vow to commemorate the victory every year and to thank God and the Mother of God for the grace bestowed.

After the Turkish conquest of Herceg Novi and Risan in 1482, the Turkish conquest of Montenegro in 1496 and the voluntary transfer of Grbalj to the sultan's rule, the rest of Boka, which was part of the Venetian Republic, was surrounded on all sides by the Ottoman Empire. When the Turks in 1571. occupied Bar and Ulcinj, the Venetian territory became narrower and more endangered. The Boka Navy, in addition to other functions, also had been defending the bay and the coast and participating in naval battles and wars of the Venetian against the Turkish fleet. And in times of peace between the Venetian Republic and the Ottoman Empire there were constant conflicts here on land and at sea. 
When the Turks turned Ulcinj into the main pirate base on the Adriatic, and pirate ships existed in Herceg Novi and Risan, for the Boka sailors, fierce conflicts with them became part of everyday life. Perast had a strategic position on the border with the Turkish Risan, and controlled the passage through the Strait of Verige. For their merits, the Boka people, especially the people of Perast, received great economic privileges, noble titles and decorations from the Venetian Republic.
The Turks in 1654. decided to attack little Perast with great force. The people of Perast had a good intelligence service on Turkish territory, and the Orthodox priest Radul from Risan told them that an attack was being prepared, so they had a short time to prepare. 
The problem was that the vast majority of adult men were sailing, so both children and the elderly were engaged. The Venetian authorities from Kotor sent only 30 soldiers to help them in the fortress of the Holy Cross above the city, so that Perast was defended by about 100 armed men. About 5,000 Turkish soldiers under the command of Mehmed-aga Rizvanagic took part in the attack on May 15, with the help of ships from Herceg Novi. 
Despite the huge numerical inferiority, the people of Perast, led by the captain of the city Krsto Viskovic, organized an extraordinary defense. The Turks broke into the city and set fire to about 30 houses, but then the Perastans counterattacked and surprised the enemy, killing over 70 Turks and Commander Mehmed-Aga, and wounding about 300, and forcing the others to flee. In the meantime, eight ships from Herceg Novi looted two islands in front of the city, but they also withdrew. As a sign of gratitude to the Mother of God, the people of Perast presented the church of Our Lady of Rocks with a silver relief depicting the battle.
This date is marked by a series of religious and other manifestations. According to the old protocol, the Main Detachment of the Boka Navy parades accompanied by the City Music from Kotor, line up on the square in front of the church of St. Nicholas and dance the traditional Kolo. A procession follows through the streets of Perast with Our Lady's icon, the work of the best Gothic painter from Kotor, Lovro Dobričević, which was previously transferred from the island of Our Lady of Rocks. After that, a solemn mass is held in the church of St. Nicholas. After its completion, the centuries-old "shooting of cook" followed, which in recent years provoked protests from some non-governmental organizations, so the Veterinary Inspection banned it.
Extraordinary measures due to the pandemic made the usual program of celebration impossible this year, except for the religious rite in accordance with the regulations.
14 May 2020, 17:17 PM

May 14, 2020 - Five weeks, ten kilometers of ropes, about 60 artists, 99 works which, through auction sales within the viber group "Jelena #BudiOptimist" generated a humanitarian income of 10,113 euros, are just some of the results of the great initiative Meštar O' Konopa 2020 (Master of Ropes 2020), realized by Tivat UNA Montenegro in partnership with Radio Tivat and several local businessmen.

At the moment when life stopped, and the need to be socially responsible made us find ourselves locked in our houses, Miško Lučić, founder and owner of the rope factory UNA Montenegro, which last year marked 25 years of work, came up with the idea to invite Bokelians to a game of ropes. Radio Tivat wholeheartedly supported this initiative, and in just two days a team was formed, which will coordinate the next five weeks with a prize competition. Time will tell - and the praiseworthy humanitarian action "Jelena #BudiOptimist," when the masterpieces of our artists found buyers in a joint action under the motto "Tivat watch over its people."

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The game began with the promotion of ambassadors, carefully selected Bokelian creatives who are already recognized as masters of the style in various professions. The ambassadorial team, as we called them, delighted us with their creativity, even though there were those among them who reached for the rope for the first time. As Ivan Lučić from the company UNA has repeatedly emphasized - the ambassadors are the soul of this project, and with their energy and creativity they gave the organizers the credibility to confidently approach the search for this year's Meštar.

Three competition weeks full of excitement followed, and about 40 competitors joined the game through its phases. Challenges changed from week to week, and the ambassadorial team had no easy task to select the three best works at the end of each cycle, which sent their authors to the finals of the Meštar O' Konopa 2020 challenge, which included nine contestants.

The first place and the title of Meštar O' Konopa 2020 was won by Boris Radović from Kotor for the work "Sailboat." The second prize went to Sanja and Vasilije Vuković for the wall clock, while the third place went to Dijana Pavićević with a rope mandala.

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Most of the participants at the beginning of the game had no experience working with the rope. After five weeks, we can say that Tivat has a serious pool of masters, so from this beautiful story, maybe some entrepreneurial initiative will emerge.

Seeing the great interest of the citizens to participate and the fantastic works that were presented from week to week, the initiators of the action came up with the idea that this whole endeavor could be used for humanitarian purposes, because a large number of Bokelians expressed their interest in buying works. When it turned out that our fellow citizen Jelena Prekajski needed help, Meštar started the viber group "Jelena #BudiOptimist." Through this group, in nine calls, 99 works of the master and about 20 works of art were auctioned - gifts from friends for the auction. The total income generated by their sale - 10,113 euros, was sent directly to support the treatment of Jelena Prekajski.

"Thank you wonderful, creative people, for this whole action and the love you send me," said Jelena through her sister, who followed the last gathering and auction of works organized by the Meštar O' Konopa 2020. In addition to the works of masters created in the final cycle, an amphora- a gift from the florist Nina from Donja Lastva, woven into a rope by Milan Lučić and Mima Mehović Šabović, was also sold at the last auction.

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The creative challenge Meštar o ’konopa 2020 brought us back to tradition, but also showed us a possible new way of developing the local community in circumstances that have changed drastically in the last few months. The economy must adapt to the new situation and try to create sustainable flows of functioning at the local level. The Meštar O' Konopa can serve as a kind of model of how to network the local community into initiatives through which all participants in the process benefit.

The sponsors of the weekly awards for the winners of the Meštar O’ Konopa 2020 challenge cycle were provided by the Tivat companies Konoba Bacchus, Mala Barka and Montenegro Fishing.

When it comes to the auction "Jelena #BudiOptimist", in addition hardworking masters, we owe a special thanks to the PR manager of Porto Montenegro, Danilo Kalezic, who donated four paintings, as well as auction participants who provided the largest individual donations - Ivan Pekovic, who bought the winning work of the Meštar O' Konopa 2020, Asja Usanović who fought for the amphora, and especially Petar Žurić, who decided to donate the last sum with which he tried to gain the amphora.

The organizers are delighted with the effects of the action and promise that the Meštar O' Konopa will become another Tivat tradition.

12 May 2020, 15:18 PM
May 12, 2020 - In Montenegro, believers today celebrate two holidays - Orthodox celebrate St. Vasilije of Ostrog, and Catholics, who mostly live in the Bay of Kotor, celebrate St. Leopold Mandic, a saint who was born in Herceg Novi in ​​1866.
As they informed from the Parish Office of Herceg Novi, three holy masses are celebrated in that city in the church of St. Jerome. This morning they were at 8, 10 a.m. and the third was announced at 6 p.m.
Following the new measures on the suppression of the Covid-19 spread, the maximum number of believers who can participate in every Mass in the church of St. Jerome is 45. In front of the church, there may be a total of 20 believers.
Sv. Leopold Bogdan Mandić was born on May 12, 1866, in Herceg Novi, as the 15th child of father Petar and mother Dragica Carević. He died in Padua on July 30, 1942. He was beatified 34 years after his death, on May 2, 1976.
After completing his studies in Udine, he was ordained a priest in 1890. As a young priest, he served in Trieste and Padua, Italy, where he was a confessor in a Capuchin monastery in that city for over forty years. He was canonized in 1983 by Pope John Paul II.
In the history of the Roman Catholic Church, it is also recorded that he was proclaimed a saint in the shortest period. He dedicated his entire life to the unification of the Christian West and East and is considered a forerunner of modern ecumenical thought.
He remained nostalgically attached to his homeland. During the First World War, when the Italian government ordered all Austro-Hungarian citizens to live in the border area of ​​Italy to accept Italian citizenship, St. Leopold refused with the explanation, "Like my ancestors Bokelji, I will remain a citizen of the world."
His undecomposed body was exposed to the gift of the faithful for two days in Herceg Novi in ​​mid-September 2017.
The big holiday is May 12 for Orthodox believers who celebrate the Day of Saint Vasilije of Ostrog.
The life of Saint Vasilije of Ostrog in the Upper Monastery in Ostrog is still a place of pilgrimage for many believers, Christians, and Muslims, as well as members of other religions.
They came as a gift to the relics of Saint Vasilije, and the Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral, Amfilohije, served the liturgy with the priests in the Ostrog Monastery. Various media report that the believers did not respect the measures of the National Coordination Body on the prescribed distance.
Saint Vasilije Ostroški - The miracle worker was born in the village of Mrkonjić in Popovo polje in 1610 to parents Petra and Anastasia Jovanović. At birth, he was named Stojan. He became a monk in the Tvrdoš monastery. According to tradition, he came to Montenegro as a hieromonk, and after a short stay, he returned to Herzegovina and then traveled to Russia. From Russia, he brought precious gifts in books, church supplies, and money, which he distributed to the poor. Before the Turkish violence, he left Herzegovina again and spent a year in Hilandar. He came to Onogost in 1651, but he also had to leave that city and seek refuge in the Ostrog cave - hermitage, where he remained for the rest of his life.
Ostrog Monastery is considered the largest Orthodox sanctuary in Montenegro, and due to its unique architecture, it is one of the most visited attractions in our country.
09 May 2020, 16:18 PM
May 9, 2020 - Sedat Oezgen from Germany and Artyom Trakhanov from Russia are the new special guests of this year's 14th edition of the Herceg Novi Comic Festival (HSF), which will take place from September 4 to 9 at several locations in Herceg Novi.
Sedat Oezgen was born in the Turkish city of Batman, which is an exceptional curiosity for someone who has become a great comic book artist. Already in his first year of life, with his parents of Kurdish origin, he moved to Germany, where Sedat grew up and fell in love with the world of comics. After studying design and illustration in Münster, he began his professional career by publishing the titles "Lai Van," "Phantom," and "Airboy and Heavenly Fighters" for the American publishing house Moonstone. Since 2014, his dizzying rise in the American market has begun, where he is simultaneously working on a large number of titles from publishing houses such as IDW, Valiant, and Zenescope. He is currently working on the second part of the "Fix" saga for the publisher PKMM Entertainment.
Artyom Trakhanov, born in Siberia, currently lives and works in St. Petersburg. She is one of the leading stars of the prestigious American publishing house Image, which gathers only the world's most exceptional talent and allows authors to have complete creative and financial control over their comics. He gained fame with the titles "Seven Deadly Sins" for the publisher TKO, then "Traitor" for BOOM !, and "Underwater Current" for the already mentioned Image. He is currently working on a new extraordinarily successful and critically accepted series by the publishing house Image - "Protector" with the writer Simon Roy.
The two new special guests of this year's HSF are from countries that have their representatives at the premiere at the most attractive regional festival dedicated to the ninth art. However, unfortunately, due to various circumstances, the list of confirmed guests so far remains at number four, because along with Sedat and Artiom, their arrival was additionally confirmed by PJ Holden from Northern Ireland and Izar Lunacek from Slovenia.
The first announced guest of this year's Herceg Novi Strip Festival, Lola Airagi, who lives and works in Monza, has decided not to travel to any event in 2020 due to coming from one of the most severely affected regions by the coronavirus.
"She asked us to convey to the Herceg Novi audience that we will see each other in 2021. That would be a kind of announcement of the first confirmed guest of the fifteenth edition of HSF," said the organizers of the comic event most influential in this part of Europe. 
Also, the sad news arrived last month that the great maestro of Italian comics, Sergio Tiseli, who had previously confirmed his arrival in Herceg Novi as a special guest of the HSF, passed away suddenly at the age of 64. 
Uncertainty related to the pandemic caused by the COVID 19 virus greatly complicated the work of the organizers because, in addition to usual preparations, it was necessary to prepare alternative program scenarios depending on the severity of restrictions in international travel and border policy.
"The HSF Comics Fans Association has worked hard in the past two months to prepare for the fourteenth edition of the festival. It is necessary to maintain constant contact with confirmed special guests, music performers, sponsors, and patrons. They all form significant links in the organizational scheme we have established in the last six years. At this moment, it can be said that we are delighted with the attitude of all partners towards HSF and that we will closely monitor the development of the situation in the next 120 days, i.e., until the opening night, September 4. We are optimistic that by then things will be much more precise and that we will have the festival we want and what Herceg Novi deserves ", they say from HSF.
05 May 2020, 19:13 PM
May 5, 2020 - Montenegro International Guitar Competition (Tivat 2020) will be held from May 30 to June 1 in an online format, under the slogan Safe Port of Music. This year's 14th edition will be realized by the Music Center of Montenegro and NGO Anagastum, with the support of the Tivat Center for Culture and the sponsorship of Euro Strings - European Guitar Festival Collaborative Platform.
Competitors can apply for participation until May 25 in two categories - with and without age restrictions. Registration is done by filling in the application form, which, with all the information and rules of this year's edition, is available at Numerous and valuable prizes were provided for the first-place winners, including a handmade Andreas Marvi guitar worth € 8,000 and a Slavko Mrdalj guitar worth € 5,000. Also, the best will have the opportunity to perform at the Guitar Forum in Vienna, hold a series of concerts in Europe, in the EuroStrings platform countries, play with the Montenegrin Symphony Orchestra.
Due to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a globally conducted campaign aimed at all of us staying in our homes, the organizers decided to implement the competition part of the event by broadcasting performances by all participants via the EuroStrings platform and the official MIGC Facebook page. In this way, all fans of the acoustic guitar will be able to perform a series of concerts as part of the most prominent guitar event in Montenegro.
At the end of 2017, the International Guitar Competition (MIGC) became part of the Euro Strings - European Guitar Festival Collaborative platform, which is partly funded by the EU Creative Europe budget. This project is a partnership of seventeen guitar festivals from Europe focused on supporting the flow of young talent at festivals and providing opportunities for new classical guitarists to reach wider international audiences, enabling them to transnational work and gain access to new markets. 
Euro Strings includes similar festivals from Austria, Belgium, Portugal, the Netherlands, Finland, Estonia, Sweden, Germany, Croatia, Hungary, BiH, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Romania, and the United Kingdom. The principal objective of the project is to contribute to the development of a dynamic and diverse European classical guitar scene, reflecting the shared values, preoccupations, and challenges of the 21st century.
04 May 2020, 18:24 PM
May 4, 2020 - After three competitive weeks, the finale of the Creative Challenge of the Meštar o' konopa 2020 began today in Boka. With over ten kilometers of rope so far, more than 100 different decorative and usable objects have been created in the workshops of ambassadors and competitors of the game. The winners of the three cycles continue competition in the finals, so in the week ahead, ten of them will do their best to show skill and creativeness. Following a given macramé technique, the second week was about knitting the rope around glass bottles- "demižana,"  and the last to make a bag from the rope. The finalists now have a different task- to make something unique with delivered material. 
prvi ciklus najava proglašenja
UNA Montenegro company from Tivat, which has been operating a rope factory for 25 years, has been implementing "Meštar o' konopa 2020" in cooperation with Radio Tivat and several local companies over the past month. During the corona distance, UNA has designed an opportunity for socializing, creativity, and competition. The craftsman has also received a humanitarian dimension in recent days, as the organizing committee of the game has launched an auction of works made of rope in the campaign Jelena # Be Optimistic for helping Tivat sailor Jelena Prekajski, who is facing a severe illness.
The artists responded to the call of the Organizing Committee and donated their works for the auction Jelena #BudiOptimist, in which the artworks of our valuable masters have already provided a sea of ​​love and almost 4,000 euros to help Jelena Prekajski. The Meštar o' konopa has decided that auctions in their organization will continue until the end of the competition. From tonight until Friday, another 50 works by the craftsmen and friends will be auctioned. After that, the action continues within the same vibe group: Jelena#BudiOptimist, where tonight's auction will be held, starting at 8 pm.
In the final week of the competition for the title and prize of the Meštar o' konopa 2020, the best of the previous three cycles will compete- Aleksandar Milivojević, Gordana Mehović, Stefani Račić, Dragana Dojkić, Ivka Čelanović, Sanja Vuković, Staša Ćeranić, Boris Radović, Anja Andrić, and Dijana Pavićević.
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Participants will be provided with packs of the material of the same content, which will include, in addition to the rope, additional accessories from the UNA Montenegro product range that sponsors the game. This time, the topic is free, and the task for the participants is to use the submitted material to the maximum by presenting their skills and creativity.
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The Meštar o' konopa 2020 will be elected on Sunday, May 10, at 8 pm. All the work done during the final week will be on the last Viber Auction of Meštar o' konopa, which will be held on Monday, May 11, from 8 pm.
Jelena#BudiOptimist action will continue. lot of partners have shown an interest in supporting the action. Instead of the traditional Fun Run charity race, which they organize each year in May, the Knightsbridge School International called on the parents of their students and corporate partners to donate funds to help Jelena.
UNA Montenegro announces that this is only the first issue of The Rope Master. They plan to turn the event into a tradition, continuing their CSR practices, and are recognized in the local community and throughout Montenegro.
21 Apr 2020, 00:05 AM

April 21, 2020 - Do foreigners in Montenegro feel more or less safe sitting out COVID-19 here than in their home country, and what are their experiences? A new series on Total Montenegro News, with Julie Barbidonskaja from Moscow in Budva as the first contributor.

Montenegro was the last country in Europe that COVID-19 penetrated. Since then, confirmed cases and deaths have remained low compared to the rest of Europe. But how do expats in Montenegro feel about being self-isolated in Montenegro rather than in their home country? In a new TMN series, we start by asking Julie Barbidonskaja from Moscow, who is currently locked down in Budva. 

Firstly, how are you? Are you alone/with someone? Tell us a little about your situation and sanity levels.

Everything is fine with me, despite all the hype with the virus and quarantine. I am in Budva with my husband. I was lucky enough to return from Moscow, where I was visiting relatives, a couple of weeks before the borders of Montenegro were closed. For now there are just over 300 people with the virus identified. Tests, as I understand it, are done selectively, mainly among the circle of people affected. Honestly, I am not so much concerned about the virus as about the situation with quarantine, closed borders and the economy. My work has partially stopped, because government agencies do not work with visitors right now, and clients cannot come. But now I have time to actively engage in developing my website, services promotion, and self-education.

Of course, all these restrictions are extremely unpleasant, especially those related to freedom of movement. It seems to me that in Budva, people tried to observe such measures as masks and gloves only for the first couple of weeks. Then everyone relaxed to some extent. Over the last week, you can see a lot of people on the streets who, despite the prohibitions on walking to the beach and walking in parks and other public places, actively walk there. In general, the restrictions do not affect me much because I work from home. Now I’m just a little bit more at home than usual. Relations with my husband are warm, we are used to spending a lot of time together))) So it is unlikely that we will fall into the 50% of couples who will divorce after quarantine)))

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When did you realise that corona was going to be a big issue?

Perhaps when the panic began in Italy, and the EU states began to close the borders one after another. And a bit later, when the stock market collapsed on Black Tuesday. I started to read a lot of information in different languages both about the virus itself and about the situation in countries and the consequences for the economy.

What is your impression of the way Montenegro is dealing with the crisis? How safe do you feel?

Montenegro was very fast with preventive measures. But, unfortunately, a bit late in general. I think that if they started with the control of visitors earlier, when the first infected people in Italy were discovered, Montenegro would have been able to maintain its status of a corona-free country. In any case, it seems to me that Montenegro is doing its best. It is no secret that the country's healthcare system is not strong enough. So the introduction of preventive isolation measures probably gave some time for preparation.

In Budva, only 4 people have been infected in the last three weeks. Therefore, I have no concern about the epidemiological situation in the city.

Now compare that to your home country and how they are handling it. What is Montenegro doing better/worse?

It is difficult to compare Montenegro and Russia. Two different states: territory, economies and the development of the health system are completely different. But in general, for me, the most important thing is that here in Budva, unlike in Moscow, we are not locked at home. We can safely move around the city from 5 AM and until 7 PM during the week. This is not a problem for me. And in Moscow, you can not venture more than 100m from your home. And for larger movements (for example, to work, to the doctor, etc.) electronic passes are needed.

I came across this issue recently when I had to make an appointment with a doctor and make a pass for my old relatives. Since they themselves cannot do this at the age of 90, I did it for them, 3,500 km away. Oh, the power of the Internet! Yes, the Moscow authorities did their best to describe in detail how to obtain this electronic pass. But it takes time to manage it.

In addition to the fact that here, in Montenegro, we can freely leave the apartment, without any special restrictions, the weather is an absolute plus. Although I must admit, I have often envied those who have their own house with a small plot of land. Well, in Moscow at this time of the year the weather is not so pleasant. And there I would have to constantly stay in an apartment in a gassed city (my flat is in the city center). I am a sun addict, and I would go crazy in Moscow locked in my apartment.

So thank you to the Montenegrin authorities that they allowed free movement within cities.

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What about official communications from the authorities, compared to your home country?

I must say that both the Montenegrin and the Russian government were very efficient in terms of information. We listened to the first news about restrictive measures live on the Internet (we do not have a TV at home, use exclusively the Internet). I follow the Montenegrin government posts on their official Twitter page. Posts published right during online press conferences. There is also an English version. In Russia, the president was constantly speaking on TV, and I watched them on YouTube. Well, in both countries the media reacted very quickly - all new information became available very quickly.

The only problem, of course, was the rapid closure of borders - in 3 days, without warning. In Montenegro, that is how it was. The government in the evening, about 20:00, announced that the borders would be closed. And after 30 minutes the borders were locked. People were not ready for this. Many of them just had no concept of lockdown. There was a story of people coming back from Russia by car who got stuck between two borders: Serbia and Montenegro. The Serbs closed the border immediately after they passed. And the Montenegrins closed the border when they approached it. People were locked at the border for 2 days, while the Russian embassy and the Montenegrin authorities tried to solve the situation. Well, of course, there were problems with the cancellation of flights. Today people can fly, and tomorrow all flights are suddenly cancelled. This was perhaps the most resonant and difficult moment in both countries.

What’s the one thing you wish you had taken with you into self-isolation?

My life has not changed much in isolation. So I have everything that I need.

One thing you have learned about yourself, and one thing you have learned about others during this crisis.

The crisis confirmed the importanсe of some basic rules related to the organization of personal finances, business, understanding of global processes and psychological feelings. The lives and business of many people around the world are crumbling. People are panicking because of their fear of the future, of the virus. Many of them can not resist the pressure. And, as I see from many thousands of discussions in social networks, many were not ready for the crisis - neither economically, nor morally. Although in the Balkans, and especially in Russia, people know well enough what economic crisis is. Analysts constantly talk about the cyclical nature of the crisis over the span of 10 years. Each new crisis in Russia entails the collapse of the rouble. I am glad that in general the current situation has not affected me either financially or morally. In terms of the virus itself, I am not an alarmist so no fear. As for the financial situation we have savings, enough for a family of two for a reasonable period. There are no renting obligations because we bought our own apartment. Work is organized in such a way that there are no financial losses. We continue to work actively and prepare for a quick restart as soon as the borders are reopened. 

Thanks, Julie. Stay safe and see you on the other side.  You can connect with Julie via her MNE Consult website.

TMN is starting a new feature series on foreign experiences of sitting out COVID-19 here in Montenegro compared to their home country. If you would like to contribute, the questions are below. Please also include a para about yourself and where you are from, and a link to your website if you would like. Please also send 3-4 photos minimum to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Subject Corona Foreigner

If you would be interested to record a video version for our partners please let us know in the email. Thanks and stay safe. 

Foreigners Self-Isolating in Croatia: Do You Feel Safer Than in Your Home Country?

Firstly, how are you? Are you alone/with someone? Tell us a little about your situation and sanity levels.

What do you think about the economic measures the government is taking, are they helping your business? (PLEASE IGNORE IF THIS DOES NOT AFFECT YOU)

When did you realise that corona was going to be a big issue? 

What is your impression of the way Montenegro is dealing with the crisis? How safe do you feel?

Now compare that to your home country and how they are handling it. What is Montenegro doing better/worse?

What about official communications from the authorities, compared to your home country?

What's the one thing you wish you had taken with you into self-isolation.

One thing you have learned about yourself, and one thing you have learned about others during this crisis. 

TMN has recently become a partner in Robert Tomic Zuber's new R+ video channel, initially telling stories about corona experiences. You can see the first TMN contribution, my video from my home on Hvar, Croatia, talking about the realities of running a news portal in the corona era below. If you would like to also submit a video interview, please find Robert's guidelines below 


The video footage should be recorded so that the cell phone is turned horizontally (landscape mode).

There are several rules for television and video news:- length is not a virtue- a picture speaks more than a thousand words

In short, this would mean that your story should not last more than 90 seconds and that everything you say in the report should be shown by video (for example, if you talk about empty streets, we should see those empty streets, etc.).

How to do it with your cell phone? First, use a selfie camera to record yourself telling your story for about a minute and a half. Ideally, it would be taken in the exterior, except in situations where you are reporting on things in the interior (quarantine, hospital, self-isolation, etc.). Also, when shooting, move freely, make sure everything is not static.

After you have recorded your report, you should capture footage that will tell your story with a picture, such as an earlier example with empty streets.

One of the basic rules of TV journalism is that the story is told in the same way as a journalist with his text. Therefore, we ask you for additional effort. Because we work in a very specific situation, sometimes you may not be able to capture footage for each sentence of the report. In this case, record the details on the streets: people walking, the main features of the city where you live, inscriptions on the windows related to the virus, etc.

The same rules apply if you are shooting a story from your apartment, self-isolation, quarantine. We also need you to capture footage that describes your story.

When shooting frames to cover your reports, it is important that you change the angle of the shot (in other words, shoot that empty street from several angles). Also, when shooting a detail, count at least five seconds before removing the camera to another detail.

The material should be about 5 minutes long (90 seconds of your report + frames to cover your story).

After recording everything, send us to Zagreb, preferably via WeTransfer to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wash your hands.

10 Jan 2020, 12:44 PM

US Bloomberg ranked Montenegro among the top 20 destinations that will be particularly popular this year.

State Secretary at the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Damir Davidovic, said that at the same time, China Travel Agent magazine awarded Montenegro as China's most popular niche destination last year.

This, he said at a press conference organized by the National Tourism Organization (NTO), shows that the results and potential that the state has achieved have been recognized.

The director of the NTO, Zeljka Radak Kukavicic, said that last year was a record year and that they can boast a good start this year.

"On New Year's Eve, we had 60,000 guests and good attendance on other days," said Radak Kukavicic at a conference organized by the NTO in cooperation with the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism.

US Bloomberg recommends 20 inspiring destinations that will be especially enticing this year. Thus, Montenegro found itself ahead of Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Hungary, Bolivia, Mozambique, Jamaica and Cairo.

Bloomberg writes that the tiny Balkan country has slowly positioned itself as the new jewel of the Adriatic, with a mix of centuries-old villages, aristocratic mansions and numerous challenging locations beyond gravel beaches.


NP Durmitor - Black Lake - photo Boka News

"On your Montenegro adventure, you may encounter a brown bear, a gray wolf, a Eurasian lynx and other endangered species in Durmitor and Biogradska Gora National Parks," Bloomberg states.

After the wild beauty, they recommend going to the "sunlit" shores of the sea.

“Be sure to visit the luxury marina Portonovi in the Bay of Boka Kotorska, where the first European resort, One & Only, will open in June. Cruise the sea or fly Lufthansa to Tivat, a seaside town with an airport. Whatever you choose, you are sure to bypass the crowded Dubrovnik in neighboring Croatia," the author said.

Bloomberg also recommends when it is best to visit Montenegro and when not, with a handy overview of annual accommodation rates.

According to them, the weather in Montenegro is warm enough for bathing until October, when the prices are the most affordable.

"You will have a good time in the late spring as well, when the nights are warm but pleasant," recommends this eminent media.

Text by Boka News, on January 9th, 2020, read more at Boka News

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