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PRESERVING THE ITEMS THAT WITNESSED HISTORY

Jovan Bulj - The Yugoslav Dancing Policeman

Jovan Bulj - The Yugoslav Dancing Policeman

Jovan Bulj was the most famous Yugoslavian traffic policeman. He gained worldwide media attention after he was noticed by Belgrade journalists because of his graceful movements during traffic control.

 

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Yugoslavian police officers regulated traffic in busy Belgrade streets, wearing their white dress uniforms. Among them, one officer stood out because of his elegant and graceful movements, which made him very popular among the residents of Belgrade. His name was Jovan Bulj, he was a veteran police officer who spent years guarding the most important people of Yugoslavia, including Yugoslav dictator Josip Broz Tito, and his right-hand Aleksandar Ranković.

He was transferred to the traffic police on his own insistence and begun regulating traffic in the Belgrade city center, near the Terazije square.  

 

Soon he became a tourist attraction, and crowds of people were gathering to watch the unusual pointsman. He was an art lover and a member of an amateur theatre ensemble, so he connected his two great passions, theatre, and police work.  He regulated traffic with moves that resembled ballet and had invented his choreography, causing rumors that he was a professional ballet dancer. He was a trademark of the Yugoslav capital, and one of the symbols of urban Belgrade, he was a regular guest at receptions in the City Assembly and invited to dinners by Tito himself.


 

in 1970, he was a guest of the London Scotland Yard and spent a day with police officers in the streets.

On July the 7th, 1970 the British press wrote: ‘’-Yugoslavian Dancing Policeman in London. As part of the British European Airways Fly East program, a Yugoslav policeman is on a courtesy visit to London. He is one of the leading male dancers in the Belgrade Ballet Company. Standing 6ft. 6 In in his dress uniform (complete with pin helmet), this afternoon he realized an ambition to direct London's traffic in a ballet style. He is 34 years old Jovan Bulj, from Belgrade, and while on duty at home, he amuses the motorists and pedestrians with his ballet movement''. During his stay in London, he was even introduced to Queen Elizabeth, and after that, his career exploded, and he was a guest policeman in many European cities, including Paris, Rome, and Moscow. He was retired in 1980, and spent the rest of his life living quietly in Belgrade.


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