Per our discussion on Serbs in Diaspora that sprang out of comments in my last blog post, I just phoned Ivana Cerovic, who is the Conference Organizer at America's Serbian Unity Congress, for details about the upcoming conference. In case you're interested, here's what I discovered:
* the 17th annual conference is being held in downtown San Francisco Oct 26-28 (most activities are on Saturday the 27th.) You can register online.
* Anywhere from 200-500 US-based Serbs will attend. I'll be there part of the time and blog some notes for B92 of course. Yes, qualified bloggers can get a press pass! There are also student discounts.
* Why San Francisco? Ivana told me that contrary to the popular myth that most US-Serbs are in the Chicago area, actually the biggest group are now in California. A surge in Serb programmers in Silicon Valley in recent years made the difference. Yes, there will be an IT outsourcing, partnering and employment panel at the Conference this year.
* Scheduled keynote speakers are Milorad Dodik, Vuk Jeremic and Milica Cubrilo. I'm most looking forward to meeting Milica naturally.
* My college-aged, Serb stepson who will be accompanying me is not interested in any of the big name keynotes, but he is psyched about the live concert by Bajaga & Instruktori to follow. Ivana says several young people have contacted her asking for tickets to the concert only. She's waiting to see how many gala dinner tickets they sell first to make a decision, but if there is room she may allow some concert-only folks in. To get on the wait-list for that, contact her directly at SUC's DC-office (202) 463-8644
* Not on the Agenda (but it really should be): Changing the name of the Serbian Unity Congress so it's acronym is not SUC. Obviously someone not familiar with American English thought that one up. Anything that sounds just like "Suck" is not good for the Serb national brand... Enough said.