BABosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Blog Posts

Bosnia and HerzegovinaBosnia and Herzegovina

I don't want to be nice.

A Friday Night in a City Somewhere  A slightly intoxicated local student (he) upon hearing that my American friend (she) is staying in an apartment in the city center: "ARE YOU RICH? ARE YOU RICH? YOU’RE RICH AREN’T YOU?" He spoke loudly, pointing accusingly at her.  She was staring back ... read more

danielle hayes

Bosnia and HerzegovinaBosnia and Herzegovina

Treading Lightly { Land Mines & Backseat Lovin }

I am staying in the old center, in the valley and vulnerable heart of the city of Sarajevo.  When I start walking, it seems only natural that I should head up. It is a cold October evening and I just finished watching a film that made me cry only when ... read more

danielle hayes

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Books

Short stories as an introduction

danielle hayes

04 Dec 2009

Bosnia and Herzegovina

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danielle hayes

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Sarajevo Marlboro by Miljenko Jergovic is a fantastic/al collection of short stories about life under siege in Bosnia's capital city. Jergovic's characters--Muslims, Serbs and Croats alike--are eccentric, memorable souls inhabiting a worn out world with a stubborn dark humor and a sometimes brutal honesty. You won't get all the details of the conflict, but the stories reveal small profound truths among the details of daily living during conflict. Part fact, part fiction, part magical realism, Sarajevo Marlboro is recommended reading for anyone looking to learn more about Bosnia and Herzegovina and life in general.

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Food

Cevapi is cevaplicious

danielle hayes

06 Nov 2009

Bosnia and Herzegovina

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danielle hayes

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Cevapi is delicious. Let's just make that clear. It may give you a stomach ache in that greasy McDonald's breakfast meat sort of way, but it is so good that it's worth it, and you can take comfort in the fact that it's not full of fast food hormones. The standard order is desetka--10 of these little sausages in a warm pita, onions on the side. Enjoy.

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Film

A film worth watching

danielle hayes

04 Dec 2009

Bosnia and Herzegovina

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danielle hayes

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"Grbavica: Land of My Dreams" is a beautiful, difficult film. Written and directed by Jasmila Zbanic with a slow and steady hand, Grbavica shows the myriad ways that war affects people's lives, including long after it is over. At first, the phrase "land of my dreams" seems an obvious irony--the main characters, a mother and her 12 year old daughter, are struggling to survive both financially and as a family. However, as the the film continues, the phrase resonates. We see that there are ways to sleepwalk through our sometimes surreal world, there are jarring ways to wake up, and there are dreams that linger even in the bright light of day.

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Politics

Learn three languages at once

danielle hayes

06 Nov 2009

Bosnia and Herzegovina

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danielle hayes

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Language, like many things in the former Yugoslavia, is a matter of politics. What was once Serbo-Croatian is now arguably three new languages--Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian. But the division is mostly political, and a matter of pronunciation and vocabulary. Grammatically and structurally, the languages are still vastly the same and can be understood by speakers from any of the former republics. When trying to guess what a Serb living in the Croatian and Muslim dominated part of Bosnia speaks, it's often best to refer to "naš jezik" meaning "your language," as locals do. A PRACTICAL TIP: To order a coffee in Croatia ask for kava, in Serbia for kafa, and in Bosnia for kahva. But in all three places be sure to say Molim vas, meaning "please".

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