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We live in "The Balkans" but we don't have to be "Balkanci"

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Summary: Croatians don't like being labeled as "Balkanci". Geographically we live on the Balkan Peninsula and we can't do anything about that. Being a "Balkanac" also has a socio-political connotation and stereotype which is based on a society which is; Corrupt, Politically immature, Prone to hysterics, Tribalistic and Dwell in the past with ethnic hatreds. This is an image WE must take responsibility for and WE must fix. WE must prove to Europe and the world that we are a mature and sophisticated people and nation.

Croatians don't like being labeled as "Balkanci" (from The Balkans)
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The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains, which run through the centre of Bulgaria into eastern Serbia. "Balkan" comes from a Turkish word meaning "a chain of wooded mountains".

The Balkans - can be looked at from two perspectives

1. Geographic
2. Socio-political

Geography

The Balkan Peninsula may be defined as an area of southeastern Europe surrounded by water on three sides: the Adriatic Sea to the west, the Mediterranean Sea (including the Ionian and Aegean seas) to the south and the Black Sea to the east. Its northern boundary is often given as the Danube, Sava and Kupa/Kolpa rivers.
Countries which are geographically located fully or partially within the Balkan peninsula include: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia

This is a geographic reality that nothing can be done about.

Privitak 279

Socio-Political

The concept of the “Balkan peninsula” was created by the German geographer August Zeune in 1808 to describe areas that remained under Turkish rule after 1699. Zeune's goal was to have a geographical parallel term to the Italic and Iberian Peninsula, and seemingly nothing more.

In the 1990s The Balkans (Southeastern Europe / Western Balkans) became more of a pejorative term for the politically immature, backwards, unstable and violent ex-Jugoslavia (minus Slovenia plus Albania). Historical obstacles we have to overcome is that WW1 was started in the Balkans (the incident wasn't really the reason for the war but just an excuse) and then in WW2 most Balkan states were part of the Axis Pact. Most recently, the violent dissolution of Jugoslavia coupled with the ethnic cleansing and atrocities committed by the Serbs unfortunately make us all look like violent neanderthals to the European simpletons who do not understand the reality of what happened.

The Balkans now is seen as a group of people that are:

  • Corrupt
  • Politically immature
  • Prone to hysterics
  • Lack rule of law
  • Tribalistic
  • Dwell in the past / ethnic hatred

From the situation of the Balkans comes the term "Balkanized" which means: The division of a political unit (country) into smaller units.

Sadly this is the image that Europe and the world has of us. WE MUST ACCEPT THIS. We can't ask them not to think of us this way but we must show them that we are not "Balkanci". We have to show Europe and the world that we are a sophisticated and modern nation. On the European and world stage we must act like mature adults rather than emotional teenagers.

Being an adult means that there must be compromises made. We can't be perceived as obstinate. (Definition 1: perversely adhering to an opinion, purpose, or course in spite of reason, arguments, or persuasion, : not easily subdued, remedied, or removed). Please note that this does not mean that you capitulate because you must struggle for your national interests but you must also show that you can compromise for the greater good.

We must learn to work with the Serbs. We do not need to like them (the wounds are still very raw) nor trust them (they have taken advantageous of us too often) but we must show Europe that we can work together for the common good. How many wars have the French and English fought against one another? How many wars have the Germans and French fought? All three countries have fought many wars and many people have died in those wars yet today Germany, England and France are allies.

The best revenge against the Serbs is for us to become more successful than them! Show them that:

  • We have more friends
  • We are thought of more highly in the West
  • We develop a higher standard of living
  • We beat them in Soccer, Handball, Water Polo and Tennis (they can have badminton)


The onus is on US to fix the problem. WE must prove to Europe and the World that we are "grown up" and can be trusted.
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