Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Bosnian Indpendence Day

It's a holiday for us! Bosnian Independence Day.

We knew a couple of weeks ago that schools and public offices were going to be closed on March 1, but we weren't sure why. Some people said it was to celebrate the start of the war. Celebrating the beginning of a war? That couldn't be right.

Finally, we learned that it is the anniversary of the day of the 1992 referendum which voted to sever Bosnia and Herzegovina's ties to the former Yugoslavia. Which means it was also the day that the war started.

So today government offices and schools are closed. Except in Republika Srpska, where the holiday is ignored.

Eleanor's class attended a special program put on by some older Bosnian schoolchildren in honor of President's Day and Bosnian Indpendence Day (which impressed me--how many US schools put on a program in honor of Bosnian Independence Day?). The kids gave short biographies of the six most important US presidents. Quick. Before scrolling down, can you guess which ones?
George Washington.

Thomas Jefferson.

Abraham Lincoln.

John F. Kennedy

Barack Obama.

And (drum roll, please), Bill Clinton.

Bill Clinton, you ask? He spearheaded the push for NATO airstrikes in August 1995. There is no more loved American in Sarajevo than Bill Clinton. 

Well, not in the Republika Srpska part of Sarajevo.

(All presidential images from here.)


Clare said...

Turns out Emma's school IS shut! She's now in a fort in the living room, driving me mad ;-)

Nathan said...

We guessed right, except for Pres. Obama. We put Roosevelt instead.

Annette said...

Clare, I'm as mystified as you are about how to tell if things are going to be shut or not.

Nathan, I guessed Roosevelt too, but I totally missed Pres. Clinton. I'm impressed you got him.