A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Coming from India the name Marshall Tito made more sense to me as child rather than say John F Kennedy or Margaret Thatcher. This is in no small part thanks to the role Mr. Tito had in the formation of the Non-Alignment movement in which India was also a very prominent member. In fact one of the most important streets in the Indian capital of New Delhi is named after Marshall Tito and is called as J B Tito Marg!
Recently during the Christmas break I got a chance to visit a very good friend of mine who is working in Belgrade. Going to Belgrade would mean that I would get to visit the mausoleum of Marshall Tito who once from this place called as The House of Flowers ruled over the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.
The House of Flowers is the mausoleum to both Josef Broz Tito and his wife Jovanka Broz. It is located in the premises of the Museum of Yugoslav History in Belgrade. The name House of flowers is attributed to the place owing to the fact that that many flowers surrounded the tomb until it was closed to the public after the breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Nowadays the flowers are longer present and instead there are white rocks in place of the flowers.
The House of Flowers was originally built in 1975 as a winter garden with work and leisure space for Josip Broz, close to his Residence. In accordance with his wishes, Tito’s body was interred in the central flower garden in 1980.
One of the most important exhibits in the Tito museum are the local, republic and federal Relays of Youth from the period after the 1957, since when 25. May was celebrated as Youth Day. Tito used to receive several written messages along with the relays and this along with other related material to the relay are on display at the museum.
True to the global popularity that Tito enjoyed the house is full of artifacts and mementos received from all over the world. I found a lot of artifacts which were gifted from India and which is presently on permanent display the museum. I was able to take note of artifacts such as the Kathakali dolls gifted from my region in India, there were also exquisite mementos such as the Katar Dagger from the Maratha empire and a Tabla which is an Indian musical instrument on display.
I even met several Serbian guys who spoke to me about Jawaharlal Nehru and his political policies in detail, this was a very fascinating discussion as I realized that people from this part of the World are perhaps well aware of the role which India had played in the creation of the Non-aligned movement.
At an entrance cost of a mere 200 Serbian dinars (2 euros) this place is a must visit for anyone who gets to visit Belgrade. It gives an insight into a life of very powerful man and the gifts he received from all over the world.
I dedicate this blogpost to Ms. Vanessa Clabau who is a really good friend of mine, and who hosted me during my one week stay in Serbia. Not to forget taking me around the whole place! 🙂