Serb from Bosnia
1: So you’re from Bosnia?
1: But you’re Serbian?
2: I know. [smile]
1: How’s that? Isn’t Bosnia Muslim?
2: Most of it is, but there is a small minority of Serbs and Croats.
1: Oh. Like how much?
2: Like maybe 5%.
1: And is there tension?
2: Politically there is, yes. Before, it was never like that.
1: Before the war?
2: Yes, we were all together. I know a friend right now, he’s Serbian, his wife is Muslim.
1: From Bosnia?
2: Yeap. From Bosnia.
2: And you know what’s funny? More Serbs go to Turkey to vacation than to Croatia. Go figure.
1: But what about the Srebrenica massacre?
2: Well there are some bad people, and they should be punished.
1: But why was this gang warfare happening?
2: Unfortunately, it was a war. But actually it’s wrong to kill someone random who hasn’t harmed you.
1: You believe that?
2: Of course! Go after the perpetrators.
1: But what about if someone saw a woman in a head scarf walking or something, and would attack or kill them?
2: That’s wrong.
1: So you were there when there was the war?
2: Till this day, I have two best friends, one is Serbian, and the other is Muslim.
1: So the war didn’t separate you?
2: No. Why would it? That’s not how I was raised. Actually, I was helping some Muslim friends get out of some towns.
2: I was an I.T. contractor working at the UN. And I would bring people in my car.
1: But how would they contact you? Call you up?
2: No. They knew where I worked. Literally, knock on the door.
1: Oh. And the other side wouldn’t say anything?
2: No, we had to go through Croat territory, and they wouldn’t say anything, because it was the UN.
1: And what if the Croats knew you there were Muslims without the UN protection?
2: They would send them back.
1: Send them back? Really?
2: Oh yeah.
1: Oh man. But no one can tell who is who right? You all look the same.
2: Yeah. Mmhmm. Just the names.
1: It’s sad. But what can you do, there is distrust.
2: But not everyone was involved with the war. There’s lots of people who didn’t want anything to do with it. Like I said, my father taught us to respect other cultures. I grew up in Sarajevo, it was multi-cultural. Back in the day, you could go to jail for insulting other cultures. When I used to pass by different villages with my dad for work, he taught us to greet the people of each village in their way.
1: Oh right.
2: When we pass by a Muslim village or some Muslims, he taught be to say Marhaba.
2: Yes, marhaba. And when we passed a Croat village, I would say Dobar Dan.
1: Nice, what does it mean?
2: Good day.
1: Oh, okay.
2: That’s how I grew up.