Vasic Family Rural Household Zebince village Novo Brdo

Vasic Family Rural Household Zebince village Novo Brdo

Novo Brdo Municipality is located in the central-southeastern part of Kosovo, in Pomoravlje region, on the surface of 204 sq m. The Novo Brdo Municipality borders on the south with the Kamenica Municipality, on the west with the Gnjilane Municipality, on the southwest with the Lipljan Municipality and to the north with the Pristina Municipality. Novo Brdo features well traffic connections with Priština and Gnjilane, that both are 35 km away. Suitable geographic location enables Novo Brdo well connections with other parts of Kosovo and the region. The Novo Brdo Municipality is spread on the vast hilly-mountainous terrain and features well conditions for development of the organic agriculture and cattle breeding. There are 33 villages – settlements – within the Novo Brdo Municipality that enjoy suitable position and conditions for production of high quality finest food and especially development of eco tourism.  The elevation ranges from 680 meters in the lowest points, up to the highest peak of “Mali i Madh” /Large Mountain/, with the altitude of 1260 meters above sea level. The largest part of the Novo Brdo relief  is formed by a number of hills that look gently elevated. Of the whole surface of the Novo Brdo Municipality, 56 % belongs to the elevation of 800-900 meters, over 1000 meters enjoys 5% of the territory, and 38% of its territory counts for the altitude below 700 meters. The Novo Brdo Municipality is rich in deciduous forests of beech, maple, ash and oak, as well as edible mushrooms, pine, medicinal herbs and forest fruits. The terrain, greenery and forest streams provide habitat for various wild game, of which the most significant are the wild boar, roe deer, fox, badger and squirrel, and of birds are partridges, wild pigeon, falcon, black raven and hawk.

History of the Novo Brdo /Artana?/ and the whole area is connected with underground mineral and ore deposits, and with the geological-mineral research for exploiting those raw materials. The geology and works for exploitation of gold and silver, and later of zinc and rare mineral in the region of Novo Brdo has long history. It needs a lot of work regarding the history of Novo Brdo fort as the ancient old and historical settlement, as no serious research have been carried out, while the earlier are not used.  Non of the significant facts about Novo Brdo is to deny or confirm without prior thorough research. Works and beginnings of geology and mining of the Balkan peninsula actually begins here in Novo Brdo, which used to the “source and signpost“ of spreading the European civilizations and development. At present also, Novo Brdo provides opulent natural source of the various resources. The territory of Novo Brdo became a significant center of mining and trade in the Middle Ages. By some data, in the 15th century there were 40000 inhabitants of the Novo Brdo. The peak of economic and political development was reached by exploit of the Novo Brdo Mine, which is very rich in raw materials of gold, silver, lead and zinc. Along some archives of that time, in 1450 the Novo Brdo mine produced yearly 6000 kg of silver. The richness of the mine, which was very famous throughout the Europe in the Middle Ages was exploited by various empires and conquerors, from the Roman, Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires. During its peak, the Novo Brdo minted its own coins and was engaged in jewelry production of gold and silver. Those historical periods left a number of traces and archaeological finds at the Novo Brdo fortification. Because of this, the Institute for preservation of historical monuments of Kosovo carried out topographic spatial planning of the Medieval town and the surrounding archaeological locality, that included other settlements, cult places, religious objects, graves, melting house and other structures on the surface of 130 hectares, along with the Medieval fortification. By the Law on protection of special zone, on the surface of 130 hectares surrounding the Novo Brdo stronghold, all construction and excavation works are forbidden.

The Novo Brdo Municipality features rivers with low capacity of waters, so the water supply of settlements is organized from a number of streams. The fertile soil of the Novo Brdo Municipality is mostly located besides the rivers and streams, and is used for agriculture, with increasing tendency of turning this soil – and even non-cultivated estates, into the building space. The road divides the Serb village of Manišince into two small hamlets /mahale/ and on the left from one of them, is the tiny village of Zebince located, with one source of the Kriva Reka River, with a fountain, that used to bear a name of Jacimova fountain. Novo Brdo is Municipality in Kosovo Pomoravlje with the seat in the Bostane village. Until 1999 conflict there was majority of the Serb and Montenegrin population /about 70 %/ living in Novo Brdo Municipality, with a smaller number of Albanian population, that counted about 54 % of the Serb inhabitants, while in 2004 the majority is constituted of the Albanian population, which counts 59% of the whole population. One of the villages of the Novo Brdo Municipality is the Zebince village. In this settlement for some time lives predominantly elder population, as young and youth left the village in chasing the new opportunities. At present, this village, entirely surrounded with gorgeous nature, is settled mostly with old inhabitants, who are mainly engaged in agriculture and production of milk and dairy products. Life conditions in the Zebince village are pretty hard, but in spite of them, the current Serb population refuse to leave. If they had a job, young would never leave the village, testify the locals of Zebince village, who go for several km to reach the doctor.

Lack of decent social and life conditions /basic educational, cultural, health, sport and economic standards/ greatly influenced young, who do not return back, once they leave the Novo Brdo, while the other, also face hard economic situation and are forced to migrate to the urban centers and towns. This part of Kosovo and Metohija features beautiful nature, and the air is like on the mountain. There at the Zebince village today live only some 300 people, mostly in elder households, who survive thanks to agriculture, shock breeding, and production of milk and dairy products. Serbs from this part of the province say this is the most beautiful village, but also the poorest one. According to the World Bank data, the poorest parts of Kosovo and Metohija are in rural areas of Gnjilane and Prizren. Report from 2009 considers the lowest expenditure per households in Lipljan, where the average family spends 153 EUR, and in Dragas, where a household has 163 EUR per month. During the winter visit to Zebince village of the KFOR commander, general Salvatore Farina, the Humanitarian Organization of “Majka devet Jugovića“ complained about the very bad road conditions, that made it almost inaccessible, the urgent support for of road construction funding was undertaken. The once goat trail also leads to the goat farm which is part of this humanitarian organization support, so the road improvement and movement of workers and locals greatly made their life easier. Along with the road reconstruction, the five brand new houses were constructed to assure safe return and socially vulnerable Serb families.

The local population of the Novo Brdo Municipality is very diligent. Like in the other parts of the Kosovo Pomoravlje region, locals are engaged in agriculture, and grow cabbage, peppers and other vegetables, corn, wheat, rye, oats, water melons. The spacious yard on elevation above the central part of the tiny Zebince village is full of merry children songs, and tided agricultural machines, organized between the several houses and a number of stables, full of cows, goats, chicken…  Dragan Vasić is one of the hosts of the indigenous Vasic family, which cultivates over 30 hectares of the agriculture land. Dragan and his wife and five children – daughters Andjela, Marija, Tijana and Jovana and a son Mihajlo, live in the new spacious house with nicely appointed porch, that features modern style and tidiness, although all family members are constantly involved in various daily tasks and care about the numerous children.  In the other part of the vast yard of the Vasic Family, there is the parents’ house, with also nicely arranged garden surroundings and a number of agricultural machines and domestic animals. Dragan Vasić cultivates 20 hectares of land, as his father also does, cultivating around 10 hectares. Two brothers of Dragan also help, of who one brother returned to live here in Kosovo and Metohija. They mostly grow bread crops, corn, vegetables and successfully run animal husbandry. They humbly say they run a very good business.  Vasić family is a real example of the respectable Serb family in Kosovo, as they rightfully testify on the fact that who works – gains results. The oldest house of this interesting household date from the beginning of the 20th century and features the authentic old architecture. Vasic family plans to reconstruct this old house and adjust it to the needs of visitors, whom they will provide tourist services. They produce extraordinary tasty organic food and want to present their visitors the original lifestyle, well preserved customs and numerous /almost forgotten/ ethnographic tools. Here visitors can get finest and delicious food, that make those coming from big urban cities truly surprised. We especially recommend  the young and a slightly matured cheese, which is the main product of the feminine part of the family and the estate.“With my diligent work I wanted to show young people how they also can live well from the agriculture. You can live and make income, as we all work – from the youngest to the oldest member of the family”, says Dragan Vasić.