Calling All Serbs! You CAN Make a Difference

If any Serbs are reading this blog (and I hope some are), please read this great article by Rosemary Bailey Brown. She’s married to a Serb ex-pat. While Rosemary has a unique perspective on things, she missteps comparing the histories of the two countries. Serbia is an OLD country; the U.S. is a very young country, relatively speaking. We can’t claim roots that go back to the 10th Century. Plus, it’s a bit disengenuous to think that Serbs want to befriend America or even to understand it. Their kneejerk reaction to a country that unilaterally and without provocation bombed them, bombed their highways and byways, power plants, electrical sources, water sources, radio towers (Avala, anyone?) is abject hatred and who can blame them? I may be one of those small handful — two percent — of Americans who even know anything about Serbia and because I do, I’ve managed to delve into quite a bit of its history, and particularly into what really went on in the 1990s. Our country, along with Western mainstream media, has swept just about all of this right under the rug. They have reason to. What our country did was wrong and there is no …

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Violence Erupts in Montenegro After the Country’s Recognition of Kosovo

Podgorica, Montenegro Thirty four people have sustained injuries after riots broke out in the Montenegrin capital city of Podgorica. Opposition supporters gathered to protest against Montenegro’s recognition of Kosovo as a sovereign state. Thousands carried Serbian flags of various shapes and forms and banners proclaiming “KOSOVO IS SERBIA,” “MONTENEGRO IS ALWAYS WITH SERBIA,” “TRAITORS,” “HONOR IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVERYTHING.” His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral (of the Serbian Orthodox Church) said that the day Montenegro recognized Kosovo was “the darkest day in Montenegro’s history.” The rally was peaceful but loud, for the most part.

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Eurovision 2008

From my friend in Belgrade… thanks, Petar, for the pictures and narrative! Russia’s Dima Bilan won the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest held in Belgrade. Maria Serifovic, last year’s winner from Serbia, handed him the flowers. Next year, Moscow will host the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time ever. An unusual thing is that Bilan sang barefoot and (almost) shirtless. In Russia, he has already become a national hero. The Eurovision fireworks in Belgrade were spectacular – at Branko’s bridge, Kalemegdan, in front of the City Hall, outside the Belgrade Arena, and even inside the Belgrade Arena. Thousands of people partied in front of the Belgrade City Hall. Eurovision 2008 was held on the 20th, 22nd, and 24th of May in Belgrade and about 20,000 foreigners came to the Serbian capital, and Belgrade became a city of major social events for those few days. All this took place at the White Palace, at the Communist-styled building known now as the Palace of Serbia (Palata Srbije – ex-Palata federacije), at the Sava Center, and at various embassies and clubs. Everyone had a good time and no incidents were reported.

Eurovision 2008

From my friend in Belgrade… thanks, Petar, for the pictures and narrative! Russia’s Dima Bilan won the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest held in Belgrade. Maria Serifovic, last year’s winner from Serbia, handed him the flowers. Next year, Moscow will host the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time ever. An unusual thing is that Bilan sang barefoot and (almost) shirtless. In Russia, he has already become a national hero. The Eurovision fireworks in Belgrade were spectacular – at Branko’s bridge, Kalemegdan, in front of the City Hall, outside the Belgrade Arena, and even inside the Belgrade Arena. Thousands of people partied in front of the Belgrade City Hall. Eurovision 2008 was held on the 20th, 22nd, and 24th of May in Belgrade and about 20,000 foreigners came to the Serbian capital, and Belgrade became a city of major social events for those few days. All this took place at the White Palace, at the Communist-styled building known now as the Palace of Serbia (Palata Srbije – ex-Palata federacije), at the Sava Center, and at various embassies and clubs. Everyone had a good time and no incidents were reported.

Happy Birthday/Srecan Rodenjan!

My best friend and web design partner owns and operates the largest internet forum in his country, and has since its inception. Today, that forum is six years old. Ivan, you’ve done a great job with it, I know it hasn’t been easy and sometimes it hasn’t been fun, but I know it’s very close to your heart and always will be. You should be very proud of what you’ve accomplished with it. Monkeys? Pshaw! 🙂

Holding My Breath

Today, Serbia votes on a new president. The original voting, which took place on January 20, resulted in today’s runoff election between incumbent Boris Tadic and Tomislav Nikolic. While both oppose the secession of Kosovo, Tadic apparently is not prepared to impose sanctions or trade embargos against the West (meaning the U.S. for one), which probably will further isolate this troubled country from the rest of Europe. I have a vested interest in the outcome of this election as my very best friend in the world lives there. Sitting here today hoping for the right outcome, and remembering that you can cut diplomatic relations, you can impose embargos, you can refuse to deal with a certain entity. But you cannot cut heartstrings. Update, 4:03PM CST/11:03PM CET Serbian Election Commission: Based upon 47,55 % of the votes that have been counted so far… TADIC, Democratic Party 51,16 % of the votes NIKOLIC, Serbian Radical Party 47,18 % of the votes Thanks, Alex, for that update! 🙂 It’s Official… Tadic won.