Tag Archives: Bosnia

Photo: Sarajevo 1938

15 Jan

Hhmmm… Dunno, does it look as much older to anybody elseas it does to me? My only source is Bosnian History @BosnianHistory and WorldPress site: Bosnian History. So maybe she can help us out.

The largest single collection of her photos are here: “…beautiful old photos of Bosnia

Sarajevo 1938

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Photo: Musa-paša Mosque in Nova Kasaba, Bosnia

30 Dec

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Minarets and belltowers and erections on Twitter

29 Dec

But before we start feeling all outraged and superior, the fate of Ottoman mosques in the Balkans has not been much better. How the few — like Jiannena’s — that survived did so is a miracle. And even in Jiannena we have two perfectly preserved mosques, thankfully, and one in a bad state, and a fourth that is not even recognizable unless you know it’s there; this out of a total of 18 mosques before the 1920s.

Plus while we’re on phalluses and hard-ons, it’s become the thing for both Serbian Orthodox and Croatian Catholic churches in Bosnia to build ridiculously high bell-towers, under the unspoken order that they be conspicuously higher than any neighboring minarets.

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Croatian facho tourist prop on Balkan Insight

28 Dec

If Germans had never accepted their guilt for their massive, inconceivable, unspeakable crimes during WWII, who would visit Germany or Austria? who wouldn’t be in favor of sanctions and boycotts against German states?

But WWII fascist Croatia, the NDH, was so brutal and vicious in its treatment of the peoples who came under their rule, that even Berlin — the Nazis themselves — had to tell them to chill out!!! And yet not only has near no one pressured Croats to come to terms with or face their past “even as they except Serbs to recite their assigned mea culpa till the end of time [N.B.]”, they were granted immediate independence in the 90s based on their supposed “Westerness”, and were accepted into the European “family of nations” with almost none of the reforms or changes expected of other now European Union member-states or that are still being used to keep Serbia and Bosnia and Macedonia out.

How much longer?

Oh, and the Catholic Church needs to make some statement of repentance for their shameless support of the Ustaše during the war and their equally shameless facilitating of Ustaše leaders’ escape to Spain and Latin America after the war to avoid being prosecuted for war crimes. We all gloat over the Bosnian Serb leaders taken to the Hague to be (rightfully) judged for their murders, but no one cared or cares that Ante Pavelić died quietly in his bed in Madrid thanks to the Vatican and Franco.

Oh, and there’re no clues in the Odyssey that would lead us to assume that Odysseus made it as far up the Adriatic as Mljet in southern Dalmatia.

OH….! And this month Croatia revealed a memorial to war (Yugoslav wars) leader Franjo Tudman — without even the slightest ashamed editorializing from Croatian media — or Western media for that fact. But when some municipalities in Serbia and even a movement in Belgrade tried to erect a Milošević memorial in recent years, the attempt was (rightfully) condemned all around. Balkan Insight write Anja Vladisavljevic only sheepishly ended her piece on the new memorial with this lame observation:

“Admired by nationalists for achieving Croatian independence, he [Tudjman] has also been criticised for Croatia’s role in the war in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as for his attitudes to the Croatian opposition, human rights and press freedoms.”

It’s all infuriating.

The unveiling ceremony for the monument in Zagreb. Photo: Croatian Government/Twitter.

See all of Vladisavljević‘ piece here: Croatia Unveils ‘Homeland’ Monument On Tudjman Death Anniversary

Bosnian History @BosnianHistory posts beautiful old photos of Bosnia

6 Dec

Here I’m posting just a few photos I’ve collected that illustrate the staggering beauty and variety of Balkan female dress, but there are lots more fascinating photos at Bosnian History@BosnianHistory. Check them out.

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The one about the Bosnian woman and pita…

2 Dec

Marko Attila Hoare @markoah: “There’s that joke about the Bosnian woman whose sweetheart is coming round, but she doesn’t know how to make pita for him to eat, so she gets her mother to make it for her. After he has eaten, the young man says, ‘This is very good pita, but your mother is already married’.”

Maybe a several-intervening-references reference, but you might want to look at my: Sarajevo gastra and börek…or Börek I and Börek II — or Burek and the end of Yugoslavia.

At one point in the above posts I comment on how Montenegro is the only place where the Greek word pita is used for burek. But it turns out that pita is used in Bosnia too and that in Belgrade shops serve both something called burek and something called pita and I honestly couldn’t tell the difference.

Can anyone solve this burning taxonomic issue for us?

P.S. I’m assuming Croatians call it all strudel.

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Photo: Herzegovina drought, 1917

30 Nov

From Bosnian History @BosnianHistory:

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Wait…you mean, Kosovars can be racists too? And to their fellow Muslims?

22 Nov

From Balkan Insight:

Kosovo’s Bosniaks, Struggling to Survive Between Albanians and Serbs

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Yugoslavia: Yeah, you found a very cool stamp. Do you have any clue what it means?

12 Nov

Screen Shot 2019-11-13 at 12.10.03 AM

It shows the extreme lengths that the Yugoslav government went to throughout the 1920s and 1930s to hold the country together, under Crown Prince and then King Aleksandar — also known as Aleksandar the Unifier.  At some point during his reign, I think after it became clear that Croatian separatism was determined to obstruct the functioning of the Skupština and the Yugoslav government in any way possible, Aleksandar redrew the constituent regions of Yugoslavia which corresponded to various ethnic groups, and introduced new administrative banovine which were given the ethnically neutral names of the main rivers that ran through each region.

And yet even despite those reforms Serbs still tried to placate Croatian separatists by allowing them — and only them — to retain an ethnic name for its historical region: what’s shown as the “Hrvatska Banovina” on your stamp.

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There is, I think, in much of Serbian pride, or even in Serbian arrogance, a certain sense of what in Greek we call φιλότιμο, “love of honor” crudely put; perhaps a better term would be “noblesse oblige”.  Since Serbs and Serbian blood pretty much created Yugoslavia singlehandedly, by fighting off the Austrians and defeating the Ottomans (along with guaranteeing us possession of Salonica ’cause they kept the Bulgarians busy while Greek Crown Prince Constantine strolled into the city like the conquering hero), you might have expected that they would work to keep a Serbian kingdom ,under the Карађорђевић (Karađorđević) dynasty, where all other ethnic groups — who did nothing to fight for south Slav independence, except tangentially the Macedonians — would simply be subject peoples to the Serbian crown.  Instead, they made a sincere and honest attempt to make the noble experiment of south Slav unity actually work, democratically and harmoniously.  There was even an ideological current running through Serbian intellectual circles of a plan for unification with Bulgaria and even Greece into one greater Balkan state, which would have made it harder for the West to push us around and fuck us up like they did and do; maybe even made us more valuable to the West than Turkey, the tail which wags the Western/US/NATO dog.

And I think King Aleksandar, for all his theoretical faults, was a genuine personification of that sense of Serbian noblesse oblige and ἀρχοντι.

And for his efforts he was assassinated in Marseille in 1934 by a Macedonian separatist in cahoots with the nasty-piece-of-work, Vatican-supported, Croatian Über-Nazi Ustaše.

And that’s what your cool stamp is all about, Charlie Brown.

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King Aleksandar I

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My buddy M. from Novi Sad writes: “You clueless Frangoi with your Pierre-Loti infatuation with Istanbul…”

12 Nov

“I would love to see these people try and live somewhere like Pendik or Küçükçekmece, and commute to work for 4 hours total/per day in crowded public transport for 3,000 TL/month… like most of Istanbul… and then see what they have to say.

“At least these people aren’t as terrible as the (appallingly numerous) Westerners who think Dubai is a lovely holiday destination.”

Dubai?  Who needs Dubai when Erdoğan builds hideous and hubristically six-minaretted mosque monstrosities like this:

Çamlica mosqueScreen Shot 2019-11-12 at 1.18.37 AM

For 2,676 years, the Megaran Greeks who founded the city, the Romans, meaning the  the Italian ones and us, and the Ottomans only built things that added to the beauty of Istanbul.  Only Erdoğan had the arrogance to build something so hideous on a site so conspicuous that it mars the entire sea-landscape, horizon and view of the City.

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

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