Serbians love us

Cayman is a melting pot of various
nations. The latest country to make a presence was Serbia as two natives stood out at
a recent fishing tournament.

Fishing aficionado Slobodan ‘Bobo’
Ivanovic and Predrag Vasovic were at last week’s 2010 Cayman Islands
International Fishing Tournament. Both men went about recording the action.
Ivanovic was a videographer while Vasovic served as a photographer.

The two caught a lot of the
memories of this year’s competition from Julia Hurlstone nabbing the
tournament’s biggest fish (a 74.4lb Yellowfin Tuna) to seeing a Honduran crew
sail in for the event.

A middle-aged man, Ivanovic was at
his second international fishing tournament. Though his English was not great
he said it was good to be back.

“I’m very excited and happy to have
discovered fishing in Cayman,” Ivanovic said. “I made a documentary movie about
fishing in Cayman last year that was shown in Serbia. I’m an avid fisherman. I’m
involved in Serbian fly fishing under the European Fly Fishing Association.

“I’ve talked to the Minister of
Tourism about developing a relationship between Cayman and Serbia. There
are about 100 Serbians established here who could benefit from that.”

Ivanovic went on to say he is here
on a visa until 23 May. He is working on trying to stay longer to establish a
life in Cayman.

On the whole the international
competition really had a global flair. In addition to Serbia and Honduras Canada, the US and the Republic of Congo
were all represented.

That fact struck an accord with
Vasovic, 34, who said (in very good English) the competition allowed everyone
to be at ease.

“I thought the organization of the
tournament was fantastic,” Vasovic said. “I realized from Franklin (Thompson,
the tournament chairman and local angling club president) that it was more satisfying
this year. I thought it was great seeing the country’s leader (in Premier
McKeeva Bush) support it.

“There was such a nice, friendly
atmosphere. People were very welcoming and down-to-earth. There are a lot of
fans of fishing and I’m amazed by the enthusiasm everyone had. All of the
donations to charity impressed me too, especially in times like this.”

One of the biggest worthy causes to
receive support was the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre. Roughly CI$12,000 was
raised through an auction featuring marine artwork from Guy Harvey and Carey
Chen.

Like with many other foreigners
Cayman’s ideal weather had an impact on the Serbians coming here. But as
Vasovic (who is employed as a sales associate with Island Jewellers) states the
presence of harmony among former Yugoslavians in Cayman creates enduring allure.

“There are many Serbians working
here alongside a lot of people from the old Yugoslavia,” Vasovic said. “Most
are in hotels or working in the banking industry. There are Croatians and
Bosnians here and I work with a few of them.

“What stands out most about Cayman
to me is in spite of all the countries going to war in the 90s their citizens
here live together without any intolerance or incident. That is unlike any
other country or back home. That means the system here in Cayman unites and
develops people.”

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