Sarajevo Bosnia Culture
Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is the second largest city in the country and the third largest in Europe after London and Paris. With a population of more than 1.5 million people, it is one of the most populous cities in Bosnia and has recently become a cultural centre. The first large theatre of its kind in Sarajeva was built in 1919 and is still the national theatre of the Bosnian Duke Egovinas. After the Bosniak war in 1995, the Saraja Film Festival was founded and became the largest film festival in the world with over 1,000 films from over 100 countries.
At the height of the crisis, Sarajevo was described as the second largest city in Europe and the third largest city in the world after Istanbul itself, after London and Paris.
Sarajevo was called the "Jerusalem of Europe," and at one point I heard that the Serbs started the war because, after the dissolution of Yugoslavia, they saw the Serb Orthodox presence in Bosnia radically expanding and they were eager to conquer as much Bosnia as possible. When war broke out, we were told that it was not a religious war between Muslim Catholics and Orthodox, but a civil war, a civil rights and civil liberties war between Muslims and Catholics. We were told that non-Orthodox Serbia itself had been treated long before the war, and that Bosnian Serbs were only mistreating the non-Serbs who stood in their way throughout Bosnia.
I came to Bosnia twenty years ago, and Sarajevo was my first real foretaste of this part of Europe, and since then I have repeatedly withdrawn from the Balkans. Nowadays it seems to be becoming more and more popular, but many of us do not feel the need to visit it. I am sure that life in Sarjevi is very good and that it is a great city with a good education system and a lively culture.
The population is ethnically heterogeneous, with Bosniaks and Bosnian Muslims clearly in the majority, but no one pays much attention to Serbs, Croats or Muslims. Bosnians and Serbs are identified less and primarily by their ethnic identity and more by the culture they share with their neighbors. Serbian culture, which has developed into a rather isolated community in the Republika Srpska, which has strengthened its collective identity.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, all three groups represent a large proportion of the population: Bosnians, Croats and Serbs. Serb historians call the conflict a civil war or patriotic war, and Bosniaks repeatedly speak of the Second World War, in which Muslims were condemned in Sarajevo. The Croatian interpretation of this conflict calls it "homeland war" and the Croatian interpretation of these conflicts as ethnic war.
The besieged city of Sarajevo, which is predominantly Bosniaks, has long been considered a multicultural haven in Bosnia and Herzegovina, leading to a dissident rock'n "roll culture in the 1970s. But in 1991, when Yugoslavia fell apart and the Bosnian civil war broke out, it experienced some of its darkest times.
Serb troops closed a narrow ring around Sarajevo that lasted until the end of the war, i.e. until a few months before the collapse of Yugoslavia. More than two decades after the wars, memories of the Bosnian war still resonate in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Saraja in particular. It has undergone a number of changes, such as the construction of a new airport and the opening of an international airport in the 1990s.
Sarajevo was besieged by the Army of the Republika Srpska during the Second World War and in the early 1990s. The third historical event commonly associated with the city is the Battle of Sarajeva, one of the most important battles in the history of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In 1918, the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (now Republika Srpska) of the Ottoman Empire was founded and Bosnia annexed to the new nation. In 1929 Serbia annexed Bosnia as part of a new kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, renamed Yugoslavia in 1929.
The Dayton peace accords created a second level of government, consisting of the Republika Srpska, which was predominantly led by Bosnian Serbs. It was also recognised as the second-tier government, made up of the Bosniak majority, predominantly Bosnia and Herzegovina (BOS) and the majority - Bosnian - led Republican RS (RS) of Serbia.
When ethnic and regional conflicts persisted and became a threat to the unity of the country, Tito suppressed them until the end of his term.
With the population almost equally divided between Serbs, Croats, and Muslims in three areas, Bosnia became a key battleground as Yugoslavia crumbled and NATO troops intervened to stop the ethnic cleansing that was taking place. Diplomats acknowledged that Bosnian Serbs were part of the former Yugoslavia, but not the rest of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia or Serbia.