lunedì 29 giugno 2015

Which river are you most like and why?

All those who were born or who live on the bank of a river are assumed to spend some time on the river itself and to observe and understand its nature, its behavior, its character, in a few words its personality. As for me, I was born on the Soča (Isonzo) river and I can say that it reminds me of a young guy, active and quiet at the same time.
Instead, the river Sava reminds me of a middle-aged housewife, who spends her days preparing "pita" and gossiping with her neighbors.
Af for the river Danube, he's an old man, who likes telling stories to his grandchildren and who is proud of himself when troubadours from all over Europe sing about him.
The Neretva River is undoubtedly the reincarnation of Odysseus, an old-timey warrior who, after many years of fighting, is going to get some rest in the Adriatic sea.
Finally, the Drina river, the one that I like the most, because I identify with her: a nervous woman who cannot stay still for a minute and who, when enough is enough, burst her banks and overflows, without prior warning.
Today's winner is therefore the river Drina. But, as I spent some time on the banks of other rivers in Bosnia Hercegovina and Serbia, I wish to pay tribute to all of them. I hope you'll appreciate the pics and that you'll enjoy answering the question included in this post's title.
That's all.

Vrelo Bosne
Spring of the Bosna River (Ilidža, 2013)
The Skakavac waterfall, formed on the river Perućica (12 km from Sarajevo, 2013)
The Skakavac waterfall (ibid)
Drina Bijeljina
The river Drina (near Bijeljina, 2015)
The river Trebišnjica (Trebinje, 2013)
Janja Bijeljina
The river Janja (Bijeljina, 2015)
Sava Belgrado
The River Sava (Belgrade, 2015)
Novi Sad Danubio
The River Danube (Novi Sad, 2015)
Sava Brčko
The River Sava (Brčko, 2015)
Sava Brčko
Fishing on the river Sava (Brčko, 2015)
Somewhere, I don't know where (2013)
The river Bosna (Zavidovići, 2014)
Il ponte sulla Neretva
The bridge on the Neretva (Jablanica, 2013)
Confluence of Drina and Sava Rivers (Rača, 2014)
Sava Danubio Belgrado
Confluence of Sava and Danube Rivers (Belgrade, 2015)
Drina tramonto
Sunset on the Drina (near Bijeljina, 2015)
Sunset on the Sava (Belgrade, 2015)
The Danube in the night (Belgrade, 2015)

lunedì 22 giugno 2015

Mi smo Titovi (We are Tito's)

"Mi smo Titovi" is the sign that welcomes you at caffe Tito in Sarajevo. It literally means "We are Tito's" and underlies a feeling that here and there, in former Yugoslavia, hasn't totally disappeared yet: a sense of belonging to an idea of society, whose symbol was Josip Broz (Tito) himself, the communist leader of the multinational yugoslav partisan movement during World War II, the President of Yugoslavia from 1953 to 1980, the co-founder and chief leader of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Many people who I met, especially in Bosnia and Hercegovina, say that when Tito was alive, things were better, compared with the war period and with today's one, when free trade and deregulation make wild sex in all the six countries that made up the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). People say that those times anybody had a job, anybody had a house, anybody could go to school and university; there was one big united country and not six small ones and there was peace; nationalism and religion were secondary issues. Then things changed, from many points of view, starting from the war and continuing with the present economic situation (Click here to read some brief evaluations about Bosnia and Hercegovina).
In a few words Tito represents the symbol of a unified country where people could live in peace and where social rights (education, social assistance, health assistance) were granted to all.
Was the SFRY a democracy? Before you answer that, please define "democracy", take a look at Italy or another UE country and decide whether a regime of social inequality, social injustice and class privileges can be considered democratic.

As far as I'm concerned, I was really moved at Tito's grave in Belgrade, as I was at Che Guevara's one in Santa Clara, three years ago. Rest in peace, both of you.

That's all.

p.s. pics where taken (in alphabetical order) in: Bijeljina, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Trebević. They are intentionally mixed.

caffe Tito Sarajevo
Tito nostalgija
Kuća cveće Belgrado
caffe SFRJ Belgrado
Tito calendario
caffe Tito Sarajevo
caffe Tito Sarajevo
Battaglia sulla Neretva
Tito e Jovanka Broz
Bijeljina stazione autobus
caffe SFRJ Belgrado
caffe Tito Sarajevo
caffe SFRJ Belgrado
Kuća Cveće Belgrado
Tomba di Tito Belgrado
Caffe Tito Sarajevo

venerdì 12 giugno 2015

Sarajevo 1984-2015

I felt in love with Sarajevo two years ago, when I went there for the first time in my life. I really like it because from the very beginning I felt at home, thanks to the great sense of hospitality of its people, a feature that many Bosnians have in common, regardless of the "entity" in which they live or other stuff like political or religious convictions, which seem to be actually questions of power, more than other.
There was a war, many people died, many people suffered, but "now the game is over", this is what a lot of Bosnians told me all over the country. Civilians of any "nationality" that survived the war, men who were forced to serve in the army, men and women who decided to serve in the army in order to defend their homes, told me the same: "Idemo napred, ne nazad" (Let's go on and not back).
The question is: "Go where?" Bosnia and Hercegovina is nowadays full of banks of any kind, full of new mosques, full of new orthodox churches, full of shopping centers standing like "cathedrals in a desert", while industry lacks totally and more than 40% of its population is unemployed. Sarajevo is not an exception: while commercial buildings shine like the sun, many private houses and public spaces still bear traces of the war and post-war neglect.
Please excuse my harsh words but believe me, if I didn't care I would never talk about that.
That's all.

p.s. some pics where taken in 2013, some others last week. The situation didn't change a lot, with the exception of the Wojtyla Statue (a new entry - 2014) and that of the City Hall, which is now open; but first of all with the exception of Čika Mišo, who unfortunately died last year.

Lo stadio olimpico Zetra
Zetra, the Olympic stadium (2015)
Mountain Trebević (2015)
Trebević pista bob
The olympic bob sled (2015)
Trebević funivia
Once there was a cable-car (2015)
Looking through the holes (2015)
War archeology (2015)
cimitero ebraico Sarajevo
The old Jewish cemetery (2015)
cimitero ortodosso Sarajevo
I was Eighteen (2013)
cimitero mussulmano Sarajevo
Resting on the hill (2015)
Moschea Alipašina Sarajevo
The Alipašina džamija (2015)
Wojtyla Sarajevo
From Vatican to Sarajevo (2015)
caffe Tito Sarajevo
Tito is ours (2013)
Rest in peace, Čika Mišo (2013)
Sarajevo artigianato tradizionale
Me and my hands (2013)
Playing violin in Baščaršija (2013)
Reflexes of Baščaršija (2013)
Mercato coperto Sarajevo
Traditional trading (2013)
Modern trading (2015)
Without museum, without culture, without morale (2015)
Reflexes of modernity (2015)
Surfing on the wall (2015)
Sarajevo pista bob Trebević
Sarajevo 2015 (2015)