Thursday, May 19, 2011


I have a hard time remembering people's names here because most of them are so unfamiliar:

Darko, Radomir, Timor, Mila, Rua, Emina, Ratko, Goran, Henna, Inan, Adi, Armin, Ajdin, Aldin, Dzena, Mirala, Irfan, Nena, Esma, Goca, Luna,...

When I meet someone new, I have to silently chant the name to myself if I have any hope at all of remembering it. But while all my attention is focused on just remembering the name, a Bosnian hears someone's name and instantly knows that person's ethnicity.

Names are Serb, Croat, or Bosniak. Which explains one reason that ethnic divisions survived Tito's attempt to squash them and are not going to go away anytime soon.

But these subtleties are entirely lost on me. I, for example, have no idea if I have achieved ethnic diversity in these snapshots of grafitti. I think Andrej must be a Serb or Croat name since it's the name of an apostle. And Emina and Hasan I'm pretty sure are Bosniak names. But the rest? Haven't a clue.

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