INTRODUCTION: Thousands of young Yugoslavs on Friday (24 April) started the traditional relay across the country carrying the baton which in previous years conveyed birthday wishes to President Tito.
SV Young dancers in traditional costume dancing before picture of late President Tito.
SV Children marching with flags.
GV PAN Dancers on and below platform.
GV Children with flags.
GV People watching from balconies.
GVs Crowds lining streets, waving flags. (2 SHOTS)
GV Relay runners carry flowers, Tito's staff and symbols following escort to city square. (2 SHOTS)
CU Photograph of Tito in square.
SV & CU Member of relay team holding staff. (2 SHOTS)
GV Relay team carrying large flags arriving at crowded square.
CU & SV PAN People linking hands with flags lining route. (3 SHOTS)
LV People lining route outside city.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Thousands of young Yugoslavs on Friday (24 April) started the traditional relay across the country carrying the baton which in previous years conveyed birthday wishes to President Tito. The tradition, which began over 35 years ago, has become a part of a Day of Yugoslav Youth celebrations on 25 May, the late President's birthday.
SYNOPSIS: The occasion has always been an emotional one to symbolise national unity, and the young generation's commitment to President Tito and his ideas. Youth throughout the country take part in dancing and marching parades. This year was the first relay since the death of the President and there was an added atmosphere of dedication to the late leader's ideals.
Crowds were out to watch the relay, in which teams of young people carry the traditional Tito's staff across the country, visiting all Yugoslav regions and provinces on their way to Belgrade, where the staff if due to arrive on 25 May.
It was greeted by more than 50,000 inhabitants of Ljubljana, the city which designated "The City - Hero" by Tito for its heroic resistance during World War Two. Young people formed a circle in a living symbol of the barbed wire which surrounded the city in the war. A number of other events are planned to mark the traditional youth day.