|| issue 3, year XIV, 2007
Mr. NEBOJSA RADMANOVIC,
Chairman of the Presidency
of Bosnia and Herzegovina
"WE WILL STILL BE DEDICATED IN THE FUTURE TO THE GOALS, WHICH WE HAVE COMMITTED OURSELVES TO ACHIEVE"
Address at the celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome,
Sarajevo, 25 March 2007
H.E. Mr. HAMDIJA JAHIC,
Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina
AS A MEMBER-STATE OF EC AND NATO,
BULGARIA WILL BE BENEFICIAL
TO US WITH ITS EXPERIENCE
Interview by Valentin Kostov
Following the period of restoration, Bosnia and Herzegovina has entered a stage of positive economic development. Since 2000 the economy has marked a 5% annual sustainable growth - a tendency expected to keep going in the future. With the aim of attracting foreign investments, BIH's Council of Ministers adopted a law for the establishment of a Fund for support of foreign investors.
The privatization process of state-owned companies is quite advanced. More than 60% of the small firms and over 30% of the big ones are now private property or are in a process of public sale.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA'S STATE SYSTEM
Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the six federal units, that had once constituted former Yugoslavia. The Republic gained its independence during the wars in Yugoslavia in the 1990-s. In line with the Dayton Peace Accords the country is presently a protectorate of the international community, and is being supervised by a High Representative, elected by the European Parliament. The country is decentralized and is divided administratively into two entities - Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBIH), and Republika Srpska , and one district - Brcko. The very regions Bosnia and Herzegovina are historical and geographic regions, which have no political status today. Sarajevo is the country's capital and largest city.
THE LANGUAGE/ LANGUAGES
IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
The national literary language type satisfies the needs of those, who define themselves as its bearers in all spheres of public life, in the various kinds of communicative situations, in their own mental and creative world.
During the XIIth c. a new script was formed, constituting a mixture of Glagolitic and Cyrillic alphabet, with the aim to simplify orthography and draw the script nearer to the living folk language. A significant written monument of that period, registering the so called Bosanchica or Bosnenska Kirillica (Bosnian Cyrillic script) is āBan Kulin's Orderā, dated 1189. The conveniences of Bosnenska Kirillica made it applicable far beyond the boundaries of medieval Bosnia and Herzegovina.
BULGARIA AND BIH
Information about the Bilateral Relations from
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria
FROM ANCIENT TIMES
TO THE PRESENT DAY
The ancient ties between Bulgarians and Bosnians are not fully investigated, thus many of them being entwined in legends and sagas. There was a period during the Middle Ages when both Bulgaria and Bosnia were the greatest countries on the Balkan Peninsula and bordered on each other, without facing any conflicts. The coming of the Bulgarian Bogomils to the country after 1199 and the establishment of their teaching in Bosnia as a state religion, called āBosnian Churchā, had a crucial importance for the Bosnian state and people. Historical data show that in the XVth c. the Bulgarian man of letters Vladislav Gramatik, a follower of Patriarch Evtimii, settled in the lands of the last Bosnian ruler Stjepan Vukovic the Mower. His stay there was reflected in his religious writings in defense of the Orthodox faith. Throughout long historical periods the paths of Bulgarians, Bosnians and Herzegovians intersected over the entire territory, inhabited by them, particularly during the Ottoman rule. In this sense, our merchants, craftsmen and clergymen had constantly been in touch. The traditional intimacy between our peoples constitutes an open and boundless field for mutual popularization of our spiritual values, for investigation of our ties through the centuries, where we have not yet penetrated comprehensively.
A UNIQUE PHENOMENON
The ethnic originality of Bosnia and Herzegovina determines its whole development from times immemorial. For centuries on end cultural influences and traditions from the East and West have entwined in the spiritual life of the country, thus constituting an enormous wealth. This has also laid the foundation for the development in newer times of a specific general Bosnian-Herzegovian culture, having combined the most significant elements from these influences. This process originated provisionally from the tombstones (Bogomil āsteckiā) and donors' inscriptions in churches after the Xth c. They had been written in the Glagolitic and Cyrillic scripts. In the beginning of the XIIth c. also came into being the so called āBosancicaā or āBosnian Kirillicaā, which was an original combination between the two alphabets, necessitated due to the need of a written expression by way of the living folk language.
BY CAR THROUGH TOWNS,
MOUNTAINS AND RIVERS
The beauty of BIH's green hills and rivers warms your heart, even when your mind is preoccupied with thoughts about business meetings. What good one can see among the sad post-war sights, can attract the Bulgarian - either a tourist or a business guest. The best way to get to know Bosnia and Herzegovina is by car.
Neum is the only town of BIH along its 20-km outlet to the sea, which breaks the Croatian coastline.
Only a few people in BIH could be able to explain to you the borderline between the two historical-geographic districts, constituting the territory and the name of the country. But you might feel like re-living your film visions about the European South: austere, stony plateaus under the bright light of the constantly changing sky, the white-stoned houses with green shutters on the windows...
One of the main riches of Bosnia is its rivers and their powerful hydro-energy potential. In this mountainous country pasture stock-breeding provides subsistence to many people, while lumbering is one of the most profitable industries.
Passing by Balkan landscapes, fortresses and ruins, rivers and bridges, towns and valleys, you reach the place where the Balkans actually end - and that is Bosnia and Herzegovina.
THE ISLAMIC CULTURE
IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
On both banks of the Neretva river stands out the 100Ā 000-strong Mostar - a historical and economic centre of Herzegovina. Its favourable location and climate have drawn here since ancient times various tribes and peoples, such as Illyrians, Romans, Goths, Slavs, Turks and Austrians.
In 1566 the wooden bridge over the Neretva was replaced by a massive stone bridge, which became an invariable symbol of the town.
Mostar was not spared by the 1992-1995 war. As a result of the bombardments, hundreds of houses were destroyed, thousands of innocent citizens became victims of the conflict. In 1993 the town symbol - the Old Stone Bridge (āStari mostā) - was blown up, but was later restored to its former splendour and was officially opened on 23 July 2004. Many Catholic cathedrals, Orthodox churches and mosques were also restored, and this process is going on to the present day.
In 2005 the Old Stone Bridge and its vicinity were included in the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage.
Mostar's authorities make efforts to develop tourism which offers great opportunities. Tourism's gem is Mostar itself.
The capital of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the picturesque city of Sarajevo, is situated in the high-mountainous Sarajevo-Zenis plain, 500 m above sea level, amid the Dinaric Alps. Sarajevo's population before the war numbered 600Ā 000 people, 50% of whom - Bosniaks (Muslims), 33% - Eastern-Orthodox Serbs, 7% - Roman Catholic Croats, and the rest - Jews and other ethnic groups.
The Federal Institute for Protection of BIH's cultural, historic and natural heritage, as well as the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, both take care for the restoration and preservation of the monuments of culture.
In 1984 Sarajevo was honoured to host the XIV Winter Olympics, which were carried out well owing to the good organization, thus increasing the interest in that part of the Balkans. Following the Olympiad the country, and the region around Sarajevo in particular, keep offering suitable conditions for winter sports.
Built on the two banks of the torrential mountain river Vrbas, Banja Luka, with its 220Ā 000 inhabitants, ranks second in population in BIH after the capital Sarajevo. It is supposed that the town has got its name from the warm mineral springs, which are found in Gorni Seher, Slatina and Laktasi.
The climate in Banja Luka is warm and humid, with mild winter and heavy rains, and with a record number of sunny days throughout the year, which is typical for Panonia and Posavina. It is rightly considered one of BIH's greenest towns.
Sarajevo is the de jure capital of entity āRepubllika Srpskaā, but Banja Luka is the de facto capital, and it is there that the entity's President Milan Jelic and the Government of Prime-Minister Milorad Dodik are seated.
LOVE MESSAGES FROM THE AGES
Deep out of centuries-old forests, from the green rug of high hills, from the subcelestial azure of rocky mountains peep queer moulds, covered with wood moss and lichen. Witnesses of an ancient civilization, they resemble miniature stone cribs without windows and doors. Out of them peep the souls of forgotten images, who had once lived here.
If you stand in front of these peculiar sculptures and ask yourself what this is, you will hear how today's Balkan people, as well as the ancient Bogomils, call them by the nice Bulgarian words ābelegā (scar) or āznakā (sign), ākamenā (stone) or by the unknown Bosnian-Herzegovian word āstecakā.
The Bogomil men and women of the Middle Ages were earth-born people. They did not run away from earthly joys, nor did they succumb to the prayers and promises of spiritual leaders. They did not seek heavenly happiness in the outer world, but lived a vigorous life here, on Earth.
Earthly life is short, but the stone messages keep living for ages, after those that lie under them had gone away for ever.
To this day the ancient Bogomil tombstones are a subject of respect and pilgrimage. Many paths lead to the stone āscarsā amidst ridges, woods and shady spots. Someone has plucked the wild thorn-bushes and shrubs, that had choked them, and has left a candle and a fresh flower on the grey stone.
AMORGOS: AN ENDLESS AZURE
Amorgos is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece and no doubt its cordial, amiable, sociable and kind inhabitants are its greatest wealth.
The sea water around Amorgos is crystal clear and blue.
TOBACCO BEYOND TOBACCO-SMOKING
The spreading of tobacco in Europe dates back to mid- XVIth c. owing mainly
to its curative, almost miraculous, qualities, ascribed to it. In this way the product from the tobacco bush turns into a panacea for the healing of all kinds of illnesses: it is used on wounds to stop bleeding, in case of fainting-fit, eye inflammation, drunkenness, against rabies, arthritis, as first aid in case of drowning, etc.
FROM BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
āSHAVARSH ARTINā PHOTOCONTEST
PREDESTINED TO CLEAR PASSAGES
A WORLD OF FAIRY-TALES
Galia B. Cholakova
|Translated by Galia B. Cholakova