Ask a Herzegovinian anything!

Discussion in 'Funny Stuff: Jokes, Quizzes, Games & Pics' started by cock23, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. cock23

    cock23 New Member

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    There seem to be quite a lot of these around.....so I thought I'd make my own too.

    I live in England now, but I was born in Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina (it's NOT all just "Bosnia" and the two are actually quite distinct, even though politically they're administered as the same country). I spent time in Bosnia, Croatia and Herzegovina before coming to the UK so I also know stuff about the wider Balkans as a whole.....but yeah, go ahead and ask me anything. :biggrin1:
     
  2. D_CountdeGrandePinja

    D_CountdeGrandePinja Account Disabled

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    Interesting - what's the state of organized church worship?
     
  3. cock23

    cock23 New Member

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    Organised church worship? Hmmm well most people don't really pay that much attention to the Church, particularly the younger generation. The only times people do go are generally for occasions e.g. weddings, funerals, baptisms. (Having a secular funeral isn't something that's really caught on in that part of the world yet). But that's where it starts and stops.

    Also in Bosnia & Herzegovina 48% percent of the population is Muslim, but most of them pay as much attention to Islam as the Christians there do to Christianity i.e. next to none, unless it's Eid. And a lot of Muslims there also drink, smoke and eat pork-it's what you could call a "light Islamic" society.
     
  4. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Do you think you will ever return to live in B&H?

    Do the people seem to believe the war is really over and that all three ethnic groups can live peacefully together?

    What are your memories of the war (if any and if you feel you can discuss them)?
     
  5. Calboner

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    What do you call your native language? And which alphabet did you learn first?
     
  6. Principessa

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    Uhmm, how come I've never heard of Mostar or Herzegovina? :confused:
     
  7. Calboner

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    Maybe you never read a newspaper during the 1990s? Mostar was at the center of some pretty awful fighting. The city is named after a beautiful old bridge ("stari most" = "old bridge") that dates from the 16th century. As I recall, it ran between the predominantly Croatian and the predominantly Muslim parts of the city. The Bosnian Croats blew it to pieces. A highly emblematic action, I think -- destroying a bridge that for centuries had connected two peoples. I'll let the OP tell the rest, and correct me if I've gotten anything wrong.
     
  8. Principessa

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    Snarky does, not become you, Calboner. :irked: I am not an ignoramus and yes, I read newspapers, not just the comics during the 1990's and before. I'm sure I'm not the only member who never heard of the OP's birthland. I'm just the first one to post the question.
     
  9. Calboner

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    Sorry, NJ, but the form of your question ("How come I've never heard of . . . ?") made such an answer difficult to resist. I know you're not ignernt, but the destruction of Mostar, even if it was not as big a story as the seige of Sarajevo, was fairly prominent in the news while it was going on. Maybe I just remember it because I was so appalled and angered by the gratuitous destruction of that bridge.
     
  10. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

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    Sarajevska or Lav? :09:
     
  11. dongalong

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    Are the girls from your country hotter than English girls in general?
     
  12. cock23

    cock23 New Member

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    Nah. That's a pretty much closed book. The main (well only really) problem I have is that there are no jobs: in most areas the unemployment rate is 40% or above, and rising! One day I would like to purchase a house in the mountains there though and maybe divide my time between there and the UK, but definetely not a full return.

    They do believe the war is over (and most people are sick of reffering to it) but living together is still a big problem, and racism is, unfortunately, fairly widespread. This is a particular problem in Mostar, which is still cleanly divided between a Muslim and Catholic side. Though bear in mind the people in B&H are basically the same race-the only thing that's really different is religion. The Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats don't actually have a lot in common with their respective neighbours except for their religion, and they all talk in the local dialect rather then in the Serbian/Croatian one.

    I don't really remember the war as I was very small when it all kicked off (I was only 10 months old when the Serb army came to Mostar and put the city under siege). At the time I was living on the East (Muslim) side of Mostar and the soldiers turned up with a gun to the door and turned me and my (Catholic) mum onto the street. So we had to make our way accross to the Western (Catholic) side to my mum's parent's flat, and we all escaped to Croatia a week or two after that, where we stayed for 2 years. As a result all my earliest childhood memories are of being a refugee, and because we were in a safe area I didn't personally witness any fighting. But my mum and grandparents witnessed a lot of it, and when we let Mostar the city was already heavily destroyed, there were dead bodies in the streets and most of the mosques on the West (Catholic) side had been blown up and all traces of their existence removed.

    I personally refer to it as Serbocroatian. This term is now largely dead in the former Yugoslavia, and instead the languages are called either "Serbian", "Croatian" or "Bosnian" depending on where you are and who you talk to (and since Montenegro became independent there has been the creation of a "Montenegrin" language).

    But really, it is all the same damn language, and the differences are absolutely minimal and most of the time aren't notieceable at all. It's like saying that British English and American English are two completely different languages. (Though I could briefly explain the differences between the various versions of Serbocroatian to you if you're interested).

    In Mostar the dominant alphabet used is the Roman one, so that was what I learned first, and when I write in Serbocroatian I always write in the Roman version. I did learn Cyrillic as well but my skills in it are rather rusty and I can read more then I can write.
     
  13. cock23

    cock23 New Member

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    Mostar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    This wikipedia article is more or less correct in the stuff it says. Also do you remember the 1984 winter Olympics when Britain won a gold medal in ice skating? That was held in Sarajevo, the capital city. :wink:

    Neither-I don't drink (not for any particular reason, I just can't stand the taste of alcohol and can't seem to be able to force it down). My (English) stepfather likes Sarajevska though. :biggrin1:

    Hmmm well it depends on your preferences I guess-the people there are taller then people in the West (the average height is 6 foot 1 for a man and 5 foot 8 for a woman, compared with 5 foot 10 and 5 foot 4 in the UK). The women (and the men) tend to have more strongly defined features, unlike the Northern and Western Europeans who tend to have more "soft" facial features. Personally though I prefer the girls over there!
     
  14. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Thank you very much. If people talk about the war a lot it's because we're concerned. All the different players made it hard to follow so when the movies came out they really helped to show what it was like. I know there is much more to the Balkans than war and hope that peace will allow each country to become prosperous.

    How's London?
     
  15. Joll

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    Great thread - I find the Balkans fascinating.

    Haven't actually got any questions, but glad you got out of Mostar safely, dude. :)
     
  16. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Mostar looks like a beautiful city. Is it B&H's Dubrovnik?
     
  17. Rubenesque

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    Where does the name "Herzegovina" come from?
     
  18. cock23

    cock23 New Member

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    Oh I don't actually have any problems with talking about the war, so feel free to ask as many questions as you want.

    I don't live in London, I live in Bristol (about 2 hours west of London). But it's still your typical stereotype of England: cold and wet. :biggrin1:

    Glad you enjoy the thread. If anything comes to mind (about B & H or the Balkans as a whole) feel free to ask. :smile:
     
  19. Joll

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    Well - i think the whole region is beautiful. I'm familiar with Croatia and Serbia/Montenegro (from pictures lol) but not really Bosnia so far (although Mostar was in the news a lot in the 90s - I remember the bridge, lol). My Dad visited the region in the 60s when it was still Yugoslavia and loved it. :) Lots of thunderstroms apparently, lol.

    Do you think the situation there is more stable now that there are separate countries - or was it more peaceful in a united Yugoslavia? (but maybe that could never continue, judging from what happened...).
     
  20. cock23

    cock23 New Member

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    Hmmm....kind of. Unfortunately, in modern Mostar the only part that's really maintained and kept clean is the old town (which the Old Bridge is a part of) while the rest of the city is basically a tip. But even so, the old town is still the biggest tourist attraction in B & H and whenever I'm there in the summer I always see fascinated tourists gawping at the beauty of the place, so you could say the city is to B & H what Dubrovnik is to Croatia (at least from a tourist's point of view).

    Here are a couple of pictures I took while there this summer:

    http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/3111/img2490rp.th.jpg

    http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/6075/img2478z.th.jpg

    In medieval times, the area which is today's Herzegovina was known as "Zahumlje" or "Hum", and was first a part of Serbia until the Bosnians conquered the territory in the mid 14th century. But in 1446 the people of Hum decided that they wanted full independence from the Kingdom of Bosnia, and the Duke of Hum, Duke Stjepan Kosaca, dropped the title "Vojvoda of Bosnia" and took up the title "Herzeg" instead.

    "Herzeg" is a word of German origin which also means "Duke", but used in this context it effectively declared full independence from Bosnia as Duke Stjepan effectively relinquished all ties to Bosnia. From then on until the present day, "Hum" has been known as "Herzeg's Land" or "Herzegovina", and this word effectively means "Dukeland".

    Herze Stjepan's old fortress from where he ruled his land, which is located above a small town called Blagaj near Mostar, is still fully intact today. Much of it dates from the 14th century. Here is a pic I took of it when I visited this summer:

    http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/9778/012io.th.jpg
     
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