BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Capital | Sarajevo
Population | 4,621,598 (July 2010 est.)
Area | 51,129 SQ KM
Official Language | Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
Holidays | Independence Day 1 March
Currency | Konvertibilna markas (BAM) *note the convertible mark is pegged to the euro.
Time Zone | UTC+1
Best Time to Visit | Year-round – the weather is agreeable except for summer and winter extremes
Connecting with the Culture | Taking a tram ride and drinking Turkish coffee in the streets of Sarajevo; Clambering among the cobblestones in the ancient walled city of Jajce; Visiting the medieval castle, Many Coloured Mosque and natural springs at Travnik; Discovering Islamic culture and Turkish souvenir shops in Mostar, nestled in the valley of the aqua-green Neretva river; Making a pilgrimage to Medugoje to search for an apparition of the Virgin Mary; Skiing on quaint Mt. Jahorina, site of the 1984 Winter Olympics.
Read | Misha Glenny’s The Fall of Yugoslavia: The Third Balkan War, a British journalist’s first-hand account of the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia.
Listen | to Bosnian Breakdown: the Unpronounceable Beat of Sarajevo (Yugoslavia) by Kalesijki Svuci – a mix of pop and folk tunes featuring drums and sargija (lute)
Watch | No Man’s Land by Sarajevo born Danis Tonovi, depicting the relationship between a Serb and Muslim soldier during the time of siege in Sarajevo.
Eat | simica (cheese pie) or tafahije (apple cake topped with walnuts and cream)
Drink | slivovica (plum brandy) or laza (grape brandy)
In a Word | Zivjeli (cheers! when toasting)
Characteristics | Old cobbled streets; medieval forts and castles; mountain villages; excellent Turkish food; war memorials; sniper-pocked facades; hilly countryside and forests; bronze artisans; beautiful natural springs.
Surprises | Rafting the excellent and varied rapids of the Una River at Bihac; the Dervish monastery (tekija) at Blagaj; home-made wines for sale at Cevrici.
NEWS ABOUT BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA
Sorrow in Srebrenica
(HN, 7/11/12) - Seventeen years after the Srebrenica massacre, trucks are still carrying remains through Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina on the way to the Potocari memorial cemetery, for mass burial. This year 520 bodies have been identified, naming the dead. Among them are 6 children & 4 women, the eldest aged 94. With them, the total laid to rest in Srebrenica comes to 5,657. Survivor Mujo Music said: “I will bury my son. He was 26. We escaped through the forest when Srebrenica fell. When we reached Snagovo, they started firing at us from Kula. 8 people were killed, including my son. His body remained in the field. I found 2 bones. I have buried many relatives already. My wife died of grief. I do not know what to do any more.” More victims continue to be found each year. The arrest of the guilty, & the trial of General Ratko Mladic, is no consolation to the families in mourning. In The Hague, at the war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the trial of the man arrested last year after 16 years as a fugitive from justice resumed on Monday. (Read more at Euronews)
Sarajevo's Red Line
(HN, 4/6/2012) - People in Sarajevo marked the 20th anniversary of the start of the Bosnian war on Friday with a visual reminder of the lives lost in the longest siege in modern history. Exactly 11,541 red chairs were lined up in rows along Sarajevo's main street - one for every man, woman and child killed in the city.
The Bosnian War or the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between April 1992 & December 1995. The war involved several sides. The main belligerents were the attacking forces of the self-proclaimed Bosnian Serb & Bosnian Croat entities within Bosnia & Herzegovina, who were led & supplied by Serbia & Croatia respectively, & the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Peace negotiations were held in Dayton, Ohio, & were finalized on December 21, 1995, known as the Dayton Agreement. (Read more at Wikipedia)