Balkanika Music Television is using pop-folk music — a uniquely
post-Communist Balkan blend of Western pop, Euro- dance, traditional folk and
eastern or Turkish styles — to create a sort of cultural unity as well as a
common music market.
So far, the toughest nut for Balkanika to crack has been Croatia. That is not
because of any lack of enthusiasm for pop-folk — or just "folk" as it is called
in the former Yugoslavia — but because of national feelings, said Alen Borbas,
Balkanika's representative in Croatia and Bosnia. Croatian channels, Borbas
said, won't show pop-folk videos because the genre is too closely associated
with Serbia, whose pop-folk industry is the most developed in the
"People say that if you listen to pop- folk, you are not a Croatian
patriot"Still, he said, he can see attitudes changing: "Many people here listen
to pop-folk, even the former soldiers."