Author Topic: The Balkans--their cultures, languages, religion and history  (Read 116887 times)

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  • Guest
Re: The Balkans--their cultures, languages, religion and history
« Reply #45 on: August 07, 2005, 06:44:59 AM »
Quote from: Forum Admin Alex.
You will please apologize for the homosexuals remark. Which I have removed from your posting. There will be no further warning on such behavior.[/quote

I have removed that remark from the original text as you can see if you go back to the message.

I realised I went out of line the moment that went through and I apologize.

I would also like to apologize to Finelly and the Admin.

Once again, sorry, I do realize that was distasteful and out of line. I was a bit angry at certain individuals from the West who called the Balkan nations barbaric.

It would be nice if Palimprest and David Pritchard apologized for calling the Balkan nations barbaric. Greece is like the founder of democracy and existed since ancient times, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia had existed for a thousand years. Like I said, Serbia was your ally in both world wars and some of its monasteries are protected by UNESCO as world heritage. Calling that barbaric is an insult to my culture.

I really like this forum and please allow me to stay. Like I said, we are a bit tempered and sometimes our tounge works faster than our mind.



  • Guest
Re: The Balkans--their cultures, languages, religion and history
« Reply #46 on: August 07, 2005, 07:02:43 AM »
[quote author=ilyala , the girl goes on a holiday and look what she misses!

... but there is such a thing as a balcanic spirit and i can understand the dread of going to a western country and noticing too many rules ruling the simple stuff in life that should never be ruled....[/quote]

Welcome back, girl!  ;)

Thank you.   :-*

Glad to see someone knows what I am talking about. Like I said, it takes a person from the Balkans to understand the spirit in the Balkans. I take it you are from Romania, because I see that you have posted so many articles on Romanian Royal Family??

As for too many rules in the West, here is my example. Canada. Beautiful country, American lifestyle with a European touch.

But, on escalators, it is written: "Please stand on the right. Please hold the side. We are not responsible if you fall".

On the subway, it is written: "Please place ticket here". As if one is an idiot and does not know where the ticket is supposed to be validated.

Plus, I was totally shocked when they said you cannot put anything on the balcony that would be visible from the street. Not even a bike. Heck, it's MY balcony.

Then I was shocked when certain apartment buildings do not allow pets, while some do not even allow children. That's not humane at all.

They make babies wear bikinis and little boys wear bathing suits on the beach.

Etc. A million rules for the simplest things, just so someone does not get sued if he falls or something.

With the latest terror attack in London, I think there will be more cameras, I read even eye scans, and there will be less freedoms.

Personally, I don't think people in the West are as free as they used to be.

Fear will engulp Londoners each time they board a subway, or Americans each time they board a plane. In a few years, Belgrade will be more safe than Paris, Rome or London. Let's wait and see.

Now they have begun applying all those European rules here, and we are not even in the EU. First they made us fasten seat belts as we drive. We got used to it by now. Then Montenegro has introduced a ban of smoking in all public places. In Serbia that law is still not in place so you can see people smoking. But, at the airport and foreign companies, smoking is banned.

I read somewhere that we will have 80,000 pages of rules to adopt if we want to enter the EU. From big things like the environment, to stupid things like the length of bananas etc.

The more I think about it, the more I do NOT want to be in the EU.  It's just taking piece by piece of everyone's identity.

On the other hand, one benefit of the EU would be travelling without visas. That's nice.


  • Guest
Re: The Balkans--their cultures, languages, religion and history
« Reply #47 on: August 07, 2005, 07:26:34 AM »
quote: What is unfortunate, is that you as a Serb do not recognise the injustice of the Allied Nations through the Treaties of Versailles and Trianon that put Serbia in the position of imperial master over the Croats, Slovenes, Hungarians, Bulgarians and Bosniacs... end quote.

Well, let's see, correct me if I am wrong, but Slovenes, Croats, Bosnians were part of Austria Hungary and they invaded Serbia. Bulgaria also invaded Serbia.

Those guys had LOST the war and Serbia was the only Balkan country, to have come out of that war VICTOROUS but loosing 1.5 million people which was 27% of the entire population.

France had initiated the deal and at the time was favoring Serbia in order to prevent a renewal of Austria-Hungary and stop the threat of a new pan-German expansion.

If we were an IMPERIAL MASTER, as you have put it, we would have created a Greater Serbia. And we could have done so. No big power was stopping us. Germany and Austria-Hungary were defeated, England was away from the Balkans as was the US, while the French and Russians would not have objected to a Greater Serbia.

It is unclear as to why Regent Alexander I Karadjordjevic had changed his mind and decided to unify all southern Slavs instead of only Serbs. Did someone pressure him into it, or did he really think that all Southern Slavs were one people.

Serbia had given 2 of its states - Kingdom of Serbia, Kingdom of Montenegro - to create Yugoslavia. Bosnia was prior to unification already part of Serbia as was Macedonia. Slovenes, Croats gave nothing. Plus, Serbs gave about 1 million lives for Yugoslavia.

The Croats had practically begged the Serbs to come because Italy was ready to take Dalmatia and Istria. Plus, Croats who LOST the war avoided paying any war damages to Serbia. In the uniform of Austrian-Hungarian soldiers, they massacred Serbs in Macva. We forgave them. Instead of paying war damages to us, when they became part of Yugoslavia, they RECEIVED AID to recover, as did Serbia.

Alexander tried to please the Croats just to end their separatism. He totally neglected Serbian interests. He industrialized Croatia while Serbia remained a peasant country.

During WW 2 the Croats repeated their murder campaign against Serbs - in the Croat Nazi state, upto a MILLION Serbs perished.

After WW 2, communist Tito, who was anti-Serb, forgave the Croats AGAIN. Instead of paying for war damages, they again ended up receiving aid. And again, they were industrialized much more than Serbia or Macedonia. Not to mention that he gave part of Serbian Vojvodina to Croatia to make a "balance" of the utilisation of the rivers and the corn fields.

Yes, that is how IMPERIAL we were. Indeed.

As a result of our "imperialism", we now have nations, states and languages that have never existed before.

If we truly were imperial, a Greater Serbia would have been created in 1918, a small Croatia would exist, Istria and Damlatia would be in Italy, and Slovenia would be in Austria. And we would not have all the mess in the Balkans that we have now.

Yugoslavia was a bad idea. We should have had nothing to do with Croats.

Of course we realise that now, after giving about 3 million lives for Yugoslavia and after having forgiven them for genocide TWICE, only to always get stabbed in the back by them. Now they have their own state. I wish them good luck and to stay as far from us as possible.

The Serbian borders now are Tito's borders and are terribly unjust to the Serbian populace, which is scattered across the former Yugoslavia.

Offline TampaBay

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Re: The Balkans--their cultures, languages, religion and history
« Reply #48 on: August 07, 2005, 09:36:14 AM »

At the risk of sounding stupid, remember I am an ignorant American,  why could not the "former Yugoslavia"  form a Federalist nation with individual states like the USA & Germany.

Florida is a different world from Kentucky which is a differnt world from New York which is on a different planet from Califorinia...etc...etc...Each state is very different from the other but we are one country.  Our diversity is our strength!!!

Why does this work in the USA & Germany & Canada but not so well other places.

I ask this questions out of respect and my desire to learn more about geo politics?

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by TampaBay »
"Fashion is so rarely great art that if we cannot appreciate great trash, we should stop going to the mall.


  • Guest
Re: The Balkans--their cultures, languages, religion and history
« Reply #49 on: August 07, 2005, 10:53:14 AM »
Quote from: TampaBay

why could not the "former Yugoslavia"  form a Federlaist nation with individual states like the USA & Germany.


Hi TampaBay,

It is a very good question. The first Yugoslavia (Kingdom, 1918-1941) was an unitarian (centralised) country, a dictatorship under King Alexander. That didn't work.

The second Yugoslavia (communist Republic, 1945-1991) was a federation made up of 6 Republics and 2 autonomus provinces. All 6 republics were in fact states within the state of Yugoslavia. That was a dictatorship of Tito, much tougher than was Alexander's dictatorship.

As we saw, that didn't work either.

Probably because of the desire of those who never had a state (fully recognized and sovereign) to finally have one.

So, they used Yugoslavia for as long as they could, and when they realised that they had their chance of making their own state, they went for it - armed to their teeth.

And then we Serbs who were trying to save the Union, and who gave the most lives for the Union, got accused of wanting a Greater Serbia. We could have easily done that in 1918, when we had friends outside, as opposed to 1990, when we had no friends.

Anyway, Yugoslavia could not have survived by any method or system. It was a capitalist monarchy and failed. It was a communist republic and failed.

The differences between the western and eastern portions of Yugoslavia were too big. Slovenes and Croats are Catholics, more sentimental to Germany. In Bosnia, Kosovo etc there are Muslims, and Serbia and Macedonia were Orthodox, Serbia being sympathetic towards Russia (for our Slavic origin and Orthodox religion). When you add the fact that Slovenia and Croatia were for centuries dominated by Western culture as they were under Austria-Hungary, while Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia were under the influence of Oriental islam (under Turkey), and when you also add different wars and unsettled scores from the past, then it is clear - Yugoslavia could not have survived.

3 Yugoslavias changed names, systems, borders and shapes before finally disappearing off the map - and all that in just about 80 years.

It was a nice country, large, compared to what we have now, with many natural beauties, but impossible to hold on to. Yugoslavia was a utopia (imagination). We often joke and we write YUtopia.

The only question is - did the separation have to be so full of bloodshed?  :'(



  • Guest
Re: The Balkans--their cultures, languages, religion and history
« Reply #50 on: August 07, 2005, 11:00:39 AM »
Hello all,

I have photos which illustrate the Balkan spirit and total party mayhem. But, I don't know how to post them.

Gucha is a small place in Serbia that attracts tens of thousands of domestic and foreign visitors for a brass band competition which takes place each August, usually in the beginning of August and lasts 7 days. You can see in the photos by the atmosphere that it's total mayhem. Several thousand people from Slovenia came, organized as a group, to them this is totally interesting and completely opposite to what they are used to. That also goes for Germans and others.

The photos are so cool. I wish I had been there. One photo shows a young woman dancing on a table inside a tent. The other two photos show a boyfriend and a girldfriend dancing together. And then a group of young men having fun with a lot of beer.

If you would like to see the photos, please let me know either how to post them, or let me send them to you via email.

One picture is worth a thousand words and they will tell you a lot about what we are talking about here, and what I've been trying to explain.

What is "Balkanic"? You will see in the photos.



  • Guest
Re: The Balkans--their cultures, languages, religion and history
« Reply #51 on: August 07, 2005, 12:35:27 PM »
Alex -

I would have more respect for your views about the balkan states if you didn't keep criticizing the west, using "facts" that are misleading and unsubstantiated by you personally, given that you have only been to Canada.

In fact, I'm going to ask you to stop criticizing the west.  You can tout al of the wonderful things about Serbia you want without jumping all over apartments pet restrictions and senior citizen apartment complexes.

And if you think that people don't listen to music, dance spontaneously and have wonderful parties here, then obviously you are either a small child or a person who has never been outside of some restricted area of ONE western country....or both.

So knock it off.  I have nothing against the balkans and in fact my former husband is Romanian.  But you are not accomplishing what you say you want to achieve by alienating everyone else.


  • Guest
Re: The Balkans--their cultures, languages, religion and history
« Reply #52 on: August 07, 2005, 01:36:31 PM »
It would be nice if Palimprest and David Pritchard apologized for calling the Balkan nations barbaric.

Dear Alex,

I reviewed all of my posts on this thread and I can write that I did not describe the Balkans as barbaric. The closest that I wrote to that was that the Balkans are often viewed as less than civilised. Not a direct statement from me but the description of the general image of the area held by outsiders.

In time you will understand the rules about objects left on the balcony, especially when you and your fellow Serbs pay fair market value for your flats or the going commercial rate for rent.



  • Guest
Re: The Balkans--their cultures, languages, religion and history
« Reply #53 on: August 07, 2005, 02:08:26 PM »
I have apologized but that is not enough for you. Just as certain people can critisize the Balkans, I can critisize the West. It's funny, this is a thread titled "What is Balkanic?" and then you would not let someone from the Balkans speak.

I have not only been to Canada. I have also been to France and Italy. As well as India, Tunisia, Bulgaria and Greece. So please don't think I am some poor dude stuck in Serbia all my life. I have a fair idea of what it's like in the West, in the Balkans, and in the far East.

It's not just the music and the parties, I see that you do NOT understand, it's the general atmosphere. In the West people are alienated, they work all day, it is not so easy to make bonds between humans as is in the Balkans. In the Balkans people are more relaxed, more open to enjoying little things in life.

The West is not ideal. Its policies are full of double standards. On the one hand children are encouraged to recycle at school, and at the same time nuclear power plants are poluting the environment.

The West has restricted smoking in public places and yet in some countries marijuana is legal. And don't forget that Marlboro makes millions of dollars and has done so for decades. And will continue to do so.

Then, we have the little children in Asia working for companies such as Nike.

Then we have the behind-the-scenes double dealing - when both Hussein and Bin Laden once got support from the US and are now its enemy.

Etc, etc, etc. The West hides its bad things nicely and only people not enchanted by its consumer-society spell can see it.

Only when you live outside the West can you see the other side of it all. Just like when you live in the Balkans you can understand it fully.

I don't think I am alienating everyone else. As a matter of fact, I have made some friends here.

I am just trying to present my view. Freedom of speech, remember?

This is a thread about the Balkans and I am sorry - but I am from the Balkans and I have the right to speak. There is a huge culture clash here, a difference in backgrounds, etc, but perhaps if we all talked about things, we could all understand each other a little better, or at least try to do so.

I think the internet is a great tool for people all over the world to communicate to each other and bring the world closer.

I wish you peace. In your heart and your mind.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Alex_for_King »


  • Guest
Re: The Balkans--their cultures, languages, religion and history
« Reply #54 on: August 07, 2005, 02:09:30 PM »
In time you will understand the rules about objects left on the balcony, especially when you and your fellow Serbs pay fair market value for your flats or the going commercial rate for rent.

Or, you know, when people start liking to keep their living areas beautiful.


  • Guest
Re: The Balkans--their cultures, languages, religion and history
« Reply #55 on: August 07, 2005, 02:32:15 PM »
Finelly, David, Palmprest...

What would make you feel better?
If I said - hooray, the West is so beautiful and the Balkans are primitive.

Let's not get those morons from the Balkans into the EU, ever. Who needs them, anyway, their petty little wars and religions and Gypsies.

Let's keep the civilized West in Europe. Hooray!

If that would make you feel better, then why was this thread started at all?? This is a forum on Royalty and all of a sudden we are discussing what is the Balkans?

Unfortunately, we are not living in a fairy-tale world. Nothing is ideal, the Balkans for sure, but also the West. To much of your disappointment, the Balkans will enter the EU, someday. Only then will Europe be fully complete and only then will there be a lasting peace on its soil.

What would you like me to do? Spit on my country, my region, my culture, my background? I can't do it.

Do you think I am not aware as to how people in the West view us? Do you think it doesn't hurt when I have to wait for a visa or go in line that says "others" while the "civilized" folks go through the line that says "EU citizens only"? Do you not think I wish that there were no wars in the Balkans? I wish that every day. Do you not think that I felt insulted when someone looks at me like I am from Mars?

Serbia is not just communism or Milosevic. Serbia is a thousand year old country, now a struggling democracy, a country that I love with all my heart. I am from the Balkans, and I would never trade with anybody. Surely I like to visit places and experience them, but this is my home. And my home is sacred to me.

If you asked "what is Balkanic" and you wanted only westerners in the thread, it wouldn't make any sense.

How can any of you know the Balkans better than the peoples that actually live there?

Do you not think that there have been times when I was desperate to leave this place? I tried, but some unseen force always drove me back here. When I would complain to my friend: "Why was I born here and not in Switzerland?" she would say: "Look, you could have been born in Afghanistan or Iraq, so it's not so bad, after all?"

The point is, we cannot choose who we are, where we are born, who our parents are, what our country is. Naturally, each one of us should love his or her native country more than anything in the world.

The Balkans are a crazy, tough little nut that so many have tried to crack open, and have failed. That makes it all the more exciting.

Cheers to you all.


  • Guest
Re: The Balkans--their cultures, languages, religion and history
« Reply #56 on: August 07, 2005, 02:36:45 PM »
I guess you were not educated to provide evidence in favor of one thing without denigrating the other.  

Too bad.  


  • Guest
Re: The Balkans--their cultures, languages, religion and history
« Reply #57 on: August 07, 2005, 06:49:34 PM »
It would be nice if Palimprest and David Pritchard apologized for calling the Balkan nations barbaric.

You must have misunderstood me… I have started this thread with the specific purpose of diminishing what I consider is a distorted representation of this European region. I’m a Romanian [my parents are from Walachia & Moldavia] and I highly consider most of my “Balkanic” heritage, in spite of many other Romanians I know who deplore it. I was trying to overstate David’s own opinion on the matter [using a poor rhetoric, I must confess].

I wish I could be 100% behind your pro- arguments, but I cannot. You try so hard to make you point but the result is not convincing. You mix up so many things!

I have hesitated to write on the matter because what I have to say needs explanation, and there is a good reason for that too.

To put it bluntly for me the Balkans are “Byzantine”.
But this needs explanation, BADLY!!!
Your most likely first impression would be vastly deceiving.
You would be exceedingly wrong if you would think this has for me any of the bad connotations that the Enlightenment historiography has given to it.

“Byzantine” means for many of us today something highly involved or intricate, characterized by elaborate scheming and intrigue, something devious.

The Enlightenment needed to contrast itself with something in order to put up the myth of their “progress”, so they forged the myth of the “Dark Ages”, and in order to do it had to annihilate The authority of that particular historical time, Byzantium. Most of us learn today in school a strange broken succession of great civilizations: … Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, a huge blank [for the “Dark Ages”], and back again with the Renaissance, etc. Most of us have heard how the Roman Empire has “died”, and history on the subject has been dominated by Edward Gibbon’s “Decline and fall of the Roman Empire”, nowadays generally regarded by historians as responsible for the modern misunderstanding of Byzantium. Historians of the period are trying hard to change this massive bias, so well implanted in our heads today.

So much for what you must NOT understand from my statement.

So, for me the major POSITIVE and specific characteristic of the Balkans is its Byzantine heritage. As soon as I have time I’ll explain what this means to me.

if you ask yourself Quo usque tandem? have patience, I'll be back.  ;D


  • Guest
Re: The Balkans--their cultures, languages, religion and history
« Reply #58 on: August 07, 2005, 08:21:42 PM »
This is actually a very interesting topic to me. In college, I had a class called "Cross Cultural Communications" and it dealt with the differences in culture and how they enhanced or inhibited communications, particularly in a business setting. It was interesting because in this class were a handful of students of different nationalities and they gave views on different topics. There were a few from Bulgaria and then said that things are more relaxed and slow if you will. It sounded great and that I would fit in perfectly. I would also like to hear more about this culture.

However, I feel I need to point out that many of the views given here about the West are stereotypical. We have soul and spirit. Not everyone here is outstandingly rich... in fact, there are very few outstandingly rich people. Yes, we may work more, not because we WANT to, but because we HAVE to, to pay our bills. And just because a few of our more well-known celebrities and politicians say their opinion, doesn't mean everyone feels that way also. And about the subway ticket sign: the subway workers probably got tired of people coming up to them, asking them where to validate their tickets. It may seem like a no-brainer to you and me, but for others, they just don't know. The western businesses, I think, are in constatant fear of being sued or held responsible, therefore all these signs of disclaimers and rules... like no items on balconies. It's their way of saying "we're telling you what's recommended, but if you leave something and it gets stolen, don't come crying to us."


  • Guest
Re: The Balkans--their cultures, languages, religion and history
« Reply #59 on: August 07, 2005, 10:50:14 PM »
Alex -

What I would like is to hear about the wonders and wondrousness of the Balkans without hearing about how the west sucks.

It's not too much to ask.  I can and do extoll the beauties of Sweden without castigating the U.S.  I can compare life in Romania with life in Israel without bashing either one.

But then, I have a western education.....