From Serbia to Slovenia, Yugo-Nostalgia Seeps Into The Western Balkan Nations

Albena Shkodrova's picture

With the passing of time, the nations that made up former Yugoslavia are beginning to see the strongly desired and violent fragmentation of the federation as a great loss. Developing a whole new set of Yugo-mythology, Serbs, Croats, Macedonians and even Slovenians set up to collect memorabilia, reinvent heroes, revive old and create new Yugo-festivities.

In the latest display of this trend, almost 5,000 young Slovenians made a pilgrimage to Belgrade, the former capital of Yugoslavia and now the capital of Serbia, to celebrate the New Year, The New York Times reported recently. According to its account, some 50 Slovenians plan another pilgrimage to the city to visit the tomb of Yugoslavia’s founder, Josip Broz Tito, and mark his 116th birthday this spring.

The breakup of the former federation, which began in the early 1990s and may finish with Kosovo proclaiming independence within days, claimed thousands of victims and troubled the whole European continent for two decades. It is ironic to note that just as it finally comes to an end, many people on the Western Balkans consider it a mistake.

The signs of this are remarkably numerous: from the renewed flow of travellers, including members of the young generation, between the republics, to the increasing commercial and cultural cross-border cooperation. It seems that only those territories where the violence during the Yugoslav wars was at its worst, namely Bosnia and Kosovo, remain enclaves, isolated from the process. But, as their neighbors’ experience shows, time does seem to cure old wounds.

Source: By Balkan Travellers - Inspiring You to go, helping You get there.

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