Archive for January, 2007

Original Name: Bosna i Hercegovina

There are many theories about the name Bosna. They all come down to the meaning the running water, which doesn’t surprise because Bosnia has plenty of it.  The Southern part of the country was named Hercegovina by Herceg (Duke) Stjepan who ruled it in 15th century. Bosnia and Herzegovina has been on historic scene for ages, always a target of invasions and independent only from 1992. It’s a country that can be called East of the West and West of the East, not only because of it’s geographical location, but also because of its culture and people.

Capital: Sarajevo

The history of Sarajevo dates back to Neolitic period, but it is officialy a city (Saray in Turkish) from the Ottoman age. In modern history it is known as a city where The First World War started, a city that hosted 1984. Winter Olympic Games and a city that endured the longest siege (almost 4 years) in the history of modern warfare.

Official Languages: Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian

They all sound the same. Everyone who understands one, understands the other two. They all have many indentical words, and many variations of the same word. But there are are 3 languages, as there are 3 of everything else in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Area: 51,129 km2 (19,741 square miles)

Small country? You bet. But rich. Those few square miles include mountains, lakes, many little villages, sleepy towns, beautiful canyons, waterfalls, and other places just waiting for a discovery.

Population: 4,377,033 (in 1991. – the last official census)

Nobody really knows how many people live in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They were counted last time 16 years ago, before the war which took many lives and before many people left the country in search for a better life. So, the number is smaller, not bigger as one would pressume.

Currency: Convertible Mark (code: BAM, 1BAM = 0,51129 EUR)

Oh, the lovely currency that never changes its value! It’s immune to inflation because it’s tied to Euro. I don’t remember who thought of this, but he must have been pretty smart. This currency is what keeps Bosnia and Herzegovina alive. Euros are widely accepted too.

Internet TLD: .ba

This is an interesting one. When Bosnia and Herzegovina finally thought of getting the Internet, all the good domains were already taken. But the word ba actually has a meaning in Bosnian. It can’t be translated easily. I guess it’s similar to dude, not in meaning but in usage. We say, for example, Šta ima ba? (What’s up dude? in a free translation). But ba is used in almost every sentence in Bosnian slang, especially in Sarajevo. So, you can say Hajd kupi mi sladoled ba (Buy me an icecream ba), Šta me zezaš ba? (Why are you playing me ba?) or even Mama, ba, daj mi da jedem (Mom, ba, give me something to eat). I know my Bosnian friends will say I could have chosen better examples, so if I think of them (or if someone provides them), I’ll edit these.


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