Parties in the Golden Era

Parties in the Golden Era

Leskovac loved songs and music, humour and fun. They were famous for their parties and get-togethers before the Great War. That whole geographical area is known for the dances, music and joy of social classes, during all seasons and on many different occasions. 

Matinees (from 4pm until 8pm) were organized by various organizations and schools and the most luxurious ones were organized at Hotels, “Kostic” and, “Pariz.” Dancing on Sunday afternoon was, “mandatory.” Private parties were also popular, where they danced to the sounds of a, “portable,” (manual) gramophone. Dancing parties and, “voluntary contributions,” were organized by various organizations; humanitarian, craftsman, merchant, sporting and political ones.
In Leskovac, during the inter-war period, there was a highly developed social life. Entertainment parties – ranging from tea parties, matinees, soirees, dancing evenings, to large annual balls – were characteristic of Leskovac.

Dance mania… a world-wide disease of today's society. If we were to write statistics about it, then it would turn out that, within the last year, 500 parties and matinees were organized in Leskovac and the extortionate amount of between 200–300.000 dinars was spent on them in total; that money could be used to build a school or cultural centre, gymnasium, or anything else in Leskovac. This way it was all spent in vain, for pure pleasure and fun. No one was able to stop this and turn people to a more spiritual and productive life, not wasted on dancing all day.”

“Leskovacki glasnik”, March 1929.

BEAUTY PAGEANTS

In addition to various parties, beauty pageants such as the selection of a Miss of Leskovac were also organized. The dancing school, Lj. Nikolic, organized the first, “beauty party,” in 1924. The pageant for the beauty queen, representing, “Elida,” cosmetics was, in 1930, organized by the firm of Stojan Nikolic and sons, with the help of “Branko,” Choir. The nine-member jury chose Miss Dusanka Stojanovic for the beauty queen and Smilja Ivanovic and Mila Bozovic for as the runner-ups.

RULES OF CAVALIERS

From the beginning of the 30’s, the newspaper Leskovacki glasnik, alerted men to pay attention to the “rules of chivalry” at parties:
“It is an ugly thing, that almost always happens and catches the eye at all parties. This is when one recklessly takes a lady out of the company of another man, either out of spite or rudeness. Chivalry rules that are applied and respected in the cultural society dictate that ladies are not to be taken out of the company of another man, especially if there are ladies that are sitting down. It is an ugly and a rude action. In extreme case, ladies can be taken only if they are all dancing, and the cavaliers represent a solid majority... The same lady can engage several cavaliers. Maximum two. However it is best to avoid any taking over of the ladies.”

Excerpt from the monograph
“The Golden Era Of Leskovac 1918-1941”
Zvonimir Šimunec
Mira Ninošević
Veroljub Trajković