Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Reflections on Yugoslavia

Yes I know that there is no place currently named "Yugoslavia"; but it does translate as "Land of the Southern Slav's" and that is where we went.
Tito did Croatia a great favour when he insisted that industrial development remain away from the Dalmatian coast.  This act preserved the historical city centres and look and feel of the country in a way unparalleled in Europe (except perhaps in Malta).  On the other-hand; there are huge swaths of depopulated countryside where it is obvious that farms and villages used to be that are now completely empty.
Tito did a great harm to all Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks by not changing their identity to that of "Yugoslav" rather than "Serb, Croat, and Bosniak",  The ONLY discernable difference between these people is the way they worship.  If he had called the language "Yugoslavian" instead of "Serbo-Croatian" that would have helped.   Anything to banish distinction between these 3 groups could have prevented the huge amount of bloodshed.
Not sure why they sided with the Serbs in the conflicts; as the Montenegrins speak a different language, have a different history, and in general only live next door to Serbia.  Perhaps it's that most Montenegrins (like the Serbs?) are Orthodox.
Full circle:
All of the former Yugoslavian countries have either joined or applied to join the EU.  None of them are fully integrated yet with only Montenegro using the Euro and Bosnia part of the Shengen zone.  Croatia  and Slovenia are full members, and Slovenia is both a Shengen and Eurozone country.   Once they all complete their membership, Then Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro will again be reunited.  These countries that fought so hard to be separate.  Odd how this goes full circle?

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