A tiny hamlet in southern Serbia has changed its name from Adžinci to Putinovo, the Serbian equivalent of Putinville.
The original name of the village, Adžinci, in the municipality of Medvedja, is Turkish and was never liked by the villagers. Putin, on the other hand, is revered so residents of all twelve houses voted to rename their hamlet.
A sign touting the new name has been placed at the town’s entrance; because the hamlet is small, permits from the municipality were not necessary.
In a burst of Putinophilia to rival that of Donald Trump’s, they also renamed their local brand of rakija, an alcoholic drink made from plums in the Balkans, and Serbia’s national alcoholic drink, Putinovka.
“The village was named after the Turkish Adžije who ruled here. We are not Turkish here, we wanted to change the name of the village to something in a Slavic language.
“Putinov sounds nice and is easy to pronounce. We have always been facing East. Putin is for us the biggest and best world leader, and our city proudly bears his name,” said Milutin Petrusic, one of the residents.
Putin is widely popular in Serbia, even among the youth, and the hamlet’s residents feel their name change makes a special statement about their patch of the earth.
Miutin’s neighbor, Miroslav Petrusic (in small towns in Serbia it is not uncommon for everyone to have the same second name and be vaguely related) tells a story that his ancestors in these parts moved more in 1879, and helped to expel the Turks from this area. He says, “I voted for a new name.”
“They set up monuments to Rocky Balboa or Bruce Lee, then why can’t we call our little hamlet by Putin? Russians are our traditional friends, “said Miroslav.
In some villages and towns in the Balkans people build monuments to international superstars like Bruce Lee and Bob Marley.
The villagers in Puntinovo are now primarily pensioners who left for the city years ago and are slowly returning to build a new life. However, life in the countryside away from the first shops and schools nearly 20 kilometers, at an altitude of 1,000 meters is not easy, especially in winter.
So villagers find pleasure in the tavern where they drink “Putinovka,” the local plum brandy, often with visiting Russian friends.
Below are some scenic shots of Putinov:
The tavern “was dedicated to all guests, neighbors, godfathers, journalists, Russians and others. Although we are usually the only ones there, playing cards and having fun to quickly pass the long cold nights, “says bar owner Mališa Petrusic.
Some Russians travelers, however, according to Mališa , have become regular guests.
“The first time they came was five years ago and since then they have continued coming. They come for the sake of friendship and companionship and nothing more. We recently and we went with them to Russia. They are here two to three times a year and are delighted with the new name of the village, ” he said.
While pouring brandy for the guest from a large barrel, he explained that how he led the name change movement from the tavern.
“I personally inquired about whether the hamlet required approval of the Municipal Assembly to change the name. The license is required only if the changed name of the whole village. So the our board organized a referendum, and unanimously voted the new name, and this is now officially Putonov.
They pronounce the name with pride, in the hope that, perhaps, Putin will hear.