The annual Diplomatic Winter Bazaar took place at the ‘Mirza Delibasic’ hall in the center ‘Skenderija’ in Sarajevo on Saturday, December 1.
This traditional charity event was once again organized by members of the international community - this year by approximately 40 embassies and international organizations - together with the local community, with the purpose of raising funds to aid and support children and youth throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Spouses of ambassadors and other senior officials from the international community were particularly involved in organizing the Bazaar, as members of the Organizing Committee for the event. The event was attended by thousands of visitors, who came to support the cause by buying and enjoying different kinds of traditional or exotic dishes from around the world, famous international brands of apparel or different food-related items that the exhibitors brought from their countries of origin, as well as handicrafts.
Visitors also had the opportunity to participate in a fundraising auction and bid with the aim to buy a variety of interesting items, including signed shirts of famous athletes from this region, partake in entertaining activities like the lottery to win valuable prizes provided by sponsors of the event, or experience a moderate adrenaline rush on an indoor climbing wall.
Central event of this year’s Bazaar was preceded by a charity concert of the music band of the UK Embassy to Bosnia and Herzegovina, which took place at the ‘Aquarius Vils’ club in Sarajevo on Wednesday, November 28. The music band was also featuring UK Ambassador to BiH Matthew Field, who played the guitar.
Speaking for Pulse.ba, wife of the UK Ambassador to BiH Martina Field-Klisovic said that the UK Embassy’s music band was made up of both local and UK-based staff, and she expressed content with the fact that the performance and its cause were very well received by the audience.
“They are fantastic musicians and they were kind enough to prepare for the concert, all for the purposes of the Bazaar. They played fantastic, international and Bosnian pop and rock classics, leading to a wonderful reception from the audience. We have raised a lot of money”, Field-Klisovic specified, providing a fun fact that ambassador Field played in a band as a teenager but, since he has not been playing for a while now, he specifically prepared for this concert.
Elaborating on the entire project of the Bazaar, Field-Klisovic underlined that the Organizing Committee had been working since the end of August. “It has been a couple of very hardworking months for us, culminating in the event we have today - this kind of a fabulous joyful chaos of the bazaar. We are very happy to see it is going well. The UK Embassy’s stand included cupcakes, chocolates from the UK, T-shirts, stationery for kids, books, and lemon curd made in the Ambassador’s residence by the lovely staff. We had books, all sorts of donated products from our sponsors some of them being Lush, Orbico and the UK outdoor clothing maker Regatta”.
Italian Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s wife Annarita Lippiello told Pulse.ba that the Bazaar was really an amazing event with a very special cause of providing support for the children and youth in great need. Lippiello described the everyday hardworking atmosphere in the Organizing Committee that she had been a part of as having meetings, finding sponsors for the Bazaar, organizing embassies, talking to private vendors - which only goes on to show that it was a huge event worth all of the hard work put into it.
“The cause deserves all of these efforts. This was a fantastic day, a special celebration. ‘Skenderija’ looks like a fairytale full of balloons, toys, unique food, and unique products”, concluded Lippiello.
Italian Ambassador to BiH Nicola Minasi explained that the Italian Embassy had been a part of the Bazaar since its beginning, and that he was very happy to personally participate in the event in the last two years. “My wife Annarita has been working for this with our colleagues from other embassies since September. I am really very happy to be here. Last year I came for the first time and I had a lot of fun”, Minasi noted.
The Ambassador also presented the original shirt of BiH national football team captain Edin Dzeko, which was one of Dzeko’s two signed shirts sold at the Bazaar - this one being directly sold at the Italian Embassy’s stand for BAM 200 and the other one sold at the Bazaar’s auction. Minasi emphasized that Dzeko was kind enough to send a shirt with his autograph for this purpose, which was possible thanks to a group effort of all participating embassies and organizations.
At the European Union’s stand, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to BiH Khaldoun Sinno told us that he had participated in the Bazaar in the past, and that he came to participate in the event this year as well, along with spending the whole day there with his three kids. Presenting the EU’s stand at the event, Sinno pointed out that it included diverse Advent-themed items and products with the EU flag, candles, mulled wine, and books. “We also have a very nice activity for kids, where they can play and where families and kids can take photos in a Christmassy winter theme. And all of this is for a good cause. I personally look forward to many proceeds for this cause”, said Sinno.
While the specific results are still being summed up, the Diplomatic Winter Bazaar keeps growing and each year it attracts more and more visitors and breaks previous records in the funds raised for worthy causes focusing on a wide range of social and educational issues across the country. Millions of people worldwide give to charity on a regular basis to support causes they believe in and for the sake of positive effect it has on their own lives. The Diplomatic Winter Bazaar in Sarajevo was a day-long event filled with fun that enabled visitors to feel good about contributing to positivity in their life while providing people in need to experience better living conditions and opportunities.