“There are not five Bosnias. There is only one Bosnia. Our Bosnia.”  Naida Sekic, a member of the Bosnian diaspora who lives in Sweden, has been a guest writer for Diplomatically Incorrect. Following is her latest essay which exemplifies the love of her roots.     — Brought to you from Susan Sacirbey



“What actions are most excellent? To gladden the heart of a human being, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the wrongs of the injured.”

Bosnians are so international nowadays. We are scattered all over the world – Sweden, Germany, Norway, Austria, Denmark, America, Canada, Australia, you name it. We travel these places to visit our loved ones. We catch up; we sip several cups of coffee (preferably Bosnian coffee) and talk about our children, and how they are doing in school, at work. We make zeljanica, sirnica, burek, japrak, ćevap, čorba and hurmašice and we enjoy ourselves. Oh, I almost forgot to mention bread. Bosnians love bread. We eat bread with nearly everything. We make jokes and try our hardest not to reminisce the past. But one cannot escape the past when it so fiercely haunts the present. Still, are we to escape the past or deal with the past? Enough running. Bosnians must deal with the past in order to heal from the past. To heal, we must seek the truth from within. We must drown our fears, free our hearts and open our eyes and choose to see what lies before us. We must value the severity of yesterday and understand the reality of today. We must know that we are worthy of healing. But if only that easy. Healing of the heart, mind and soul is rather difficult when society encourages one to remain in tragedy rather than to flourish in bliss.
We all have our reasons for our difficulties. Late Marek Edelman once said, “Europe has learned nothing from the Holocaust. Nothing has been done to put an end to these murders. What is happening in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a posthumous victory for Hitler.” Consequently, there are thousands upon thousands of stories to be told of grave hurt and betrayal. But should we burden the world with our stories any longer? Yes, yes, and yes! We must share, speak, and write our experiences of injustice in order to spark the flames of knowledge and humanity and inspire the minds of tomorrow to walk toward better days. My story of refuge began in late April 1993. My mother took me from my cradle at eight months. I left with no memories of my home. But I was determined to make my memories of Bosnia, and I was determined to know the truth of our suffering. My regular travels to Bosnia; my readings and my meetings with survivors over the years have helped me in my understandings. I am determined not give up on my country and our finest value, namely multiculturalism. There are not five Bosnias. There is only one Bosnia. Our Bosnia.

Yes, Bosnians are very international indeed. We are great travelers. We have upgraded ourselves as we no longer travel with plastic bags but with proper suitcases. Today we have time to plan what to bring, we no longer need to rush as before. But what lay behind our sudden thirst for adventure in 1992-1995? Genocide and ethnic cleansing. All changed overnight as they came knocking at the door of the heart-shaped lands, ready to lead the cattle to slaughter; men, women and children alike. In spite of our educations, jobs, successes and failures; we must never forget who we are, and we should never shame for our roots. “I prayfor eyes that see the best in others, a tongue that speaks not of evil and a heart that never loses faith.”

Follow Naida on TWITTER @SrcePutnika
and Facebook: Naida Sekic


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