Of Mice and Flags

August 25, 2006 at 8:51 pm 19 comments

“Suppose we’ve chosen the wrong god. Every time we go to church we’re just making him madder and madder”

Ever since Serbia became a sovereign entity, we’ve been bombarded with our new national anthem and flag. I’m not the type to sing any anthem at a stadium, nor will I have any respect for a piece of cloth with some colors on it, so I shouldn’t care less. But, I do.

Serbia, although our grandparents fought many bloody battles to put an end to a brutal monarchy, has a crown on its flag. There is a Byzantine cross there, and a Byzantine double headed eagle. And I hate that those Byzantine firesteels are interpreted as four letters S (probably having something to do with Serbia), while they are in fact stylized B’s, and stand for Basileus Basileon Basileuon Basileusin (“King of kings, ruling over kings”). I was afraid for a moment that Serbs had a pagan Slavic tradition, but it seems we are in fact direct ancestors of the Palaiologos dynasty.

As a crown on our crowned flag, we don’t have a national anthem, but rather a prayer. The song is, ironically, about God saving the Serbs from a world conspiracy, and is in imperative in its entirety, with the noun being the God. God forbid somebody went out on the street and polled people if they believe in any god, resurrection or how often they go to church.

Now, compare that to the Slovenian anthem, which celebrates all the nations of the world who want all people to be free and that all men free, no more shall foes, but neighbors be!

Next time I participate in an Olympic event, I won’t win the gold on principle!

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Entry filed under: Serbia.

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19 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Anonymous  |  August 28, 2006 at 3:15 am

    Why don’t you move to Slovenia, then, if you like it so much? What is keeping you in Serbia?

    Reply
  • 2. serbianmess  |  August 28, 2006 at 12:30 pm

    I don’t like their beaches….

    Reply
  • 3. Francis Tyers  |  August 28, 2006 at 2:32 pm

    “Why don’t you move to Slovenia, then, if you like it so much? What is keeping you in Serbia?”

    Probably the Slovenian and Serbian governments. The Slovenian for not letting him in, and the Serbian for failing to reform and hand over war criminals, thus increasing isolation from the EU and the international community and decreasing his chance of obtaining a visa.

    Reply
  • 4. bganon  |  August 29, 2006 at 5:03 pm

    I don’t like the fact that the Slovenes consistently look down their noses at the Croatians. This is true but its odd the way that most Slovenes dont adopt this attitude towards Serbs.
    I read somewhere that the Croatio-Slovene border dispute has blown up again. I think Serbia should side with the Croats on this one. When the Slovenes take offense and voice concerns at the ‘meddling’ as they inevitably will, they can be reminded of their statements regarding Kosovo. In return perhaps the Croatians can be persuaded to adopt a friendlier approach towards Croatian Serb refugees etc. In the public mindset regarding the former Yugoslavia recent history cant be rewritten but one might be pleasantly surprised at the attitude of the Croatian media if Serbia was to lend support to Croatia on the border issue.

    Better take my politicians hat off.

    Its kind of sad that Serbia has such a mixed up heritage with all kinds of anthems and symbols but hey they are just anthems and symbols which is the end are far less important than real people.

    And nobody should forget its people, not land, not symbols etc that are important.

    Reply
  • 5. Anonymous  |  August 29, 2006 at 10:59 pm

    “I don’t like the fact that the Slovenes consistently look down their noses at the Croatians.”

    Oh, boo hoo – like that’s such a big deal – even if it is true. Compared to how Croats treat Croatian Serbs as less than animals, frankly I think the Croats deserve a little more. It may teach them some humility.

    “This is true but its odd the way that most Slovenes dont adopt this attitude towards Serbs.”

    Slovenes did support the separatist movements, but now I think their more interested in money, investments, trying to get the former Yugoslav market back. And some of them do miss Serbs/Serb culture. I know because they’ve talked about it. One guy was pining for a Serb directors to settle in Slovenia because he likes Serbian movies. I believe a Slovenian film, with a young Serbian director, did win an award about 3 years ago. He also like the Serbian restaurants and is glad about the Serbs who’ve moved there, and was saying they and their children would probably stay – he didn’t want them to go back to Serbia. He was in the computer industry and knew some Serbs in Slovenia working in that field.

    “I read somewhere that the Croatio-Slovene border dispute has blown up again. I think Serbia should side with the Croats on this one.”

    Oh, it sounds like a little snit. Without foreign powers meddling and heavily backing and promoting one side, it will not get too out of control. It was something about a Slovenian policeman angry at some Croatian construction workers building on disputed property, and then the Croatian police came. Big deal.
    As for taking either the Croats’ or Slovenes’ side – stay out of it. Serbia doesn’t have any power there and would look silly, plus it may involve repercussions, and lastly, Serbs should know better than kissing up to Croats will not buy them any true favors. Do not get involved and keep your opinions to yourselves, or at least unofficial.

    “When the Slovenes take offense and voice concerns at the ‘meddling’ as they inevitably will, they can be reminded of their statements regarding Kosovo.”

    Just ignore their dispute, and the best outcome would be that their anger at each other would detract from the hate upon Serbs, because they can get away with much more and severe abuse on Serbs by license of the international community.

    “In return perhaps the Croatians can be persuaded to adopt a friendlier approach towards Croatian Serb refugees etc.”

    I’ve told you this won’t work. You should learn your lesson and never trust the Croats, nor expect any favors to be returned by them or the Albanians. Remember how the Serbian government gave electricity to Kosovo several months ago when it was having severe problems – the Serbian government gave this in hopes that the Serb villagers, who were cut off from electricity in the middle of winter, would get some. It didn’t work. It never does. Don’t ever expect anything. And if something good is offered, you have to be suspect. Good if it is genuine, but it is rarely the case. The recent 4,000 accomadations for Serb refugees in Croatia. Well, suddenly we hear the conditions and strings: 1) Croatia wants a list of the names to check for any “war criminals” – this will effectively remove most any male who was not elderly during the war. 2) no inheritance for the children of the returnees 3) the apartments revert to Croat state ownership after death (so Croatia is making an investment for itself after the elderly die off)

    “In the public mindset regarding the former Yugoslavia recent history cant be rewritten but one might be pleasantly surprised at the attitude of the Croatian media if Serbia was to lend support to Croatia on the border issue.”

    Don’t trust the Croats.

    “Better take my politicians hat off.”

    You are too naive to be a politician in these times.

    Reply
  • 6. serbianmess  |  August 30, 2006 at 1:27 am

    Disclaimer: I don’t shop in Mercator, I just like France Prešeren! 🙂

    In my opinion, Serbia is better off staying out of Croatia-Slovenia dispute. Piran issues were not to be taken lightly, but seem to be resolved now (for some time), and the latest incident looks, at least to me at this stage, too minor to get involved in.

    As far as cultural connections go, I think that it’s the phenomenon of your 9th floor neighbor being good and always saying “hi” in the elevator, but your next door neighbor always making a lot of noise and stuff.

    And Slovenia doesn’t get all that involved into Serbian politics, when you think how much investments they have made. They want to, obviously, protect their capital and that may seem to us as a bit of an “older brother” attitude. But the matter of fact is that Slovenia is in EU, and as much as their economy relies on ex Yugoslavian market, we rely on them to be our “spokespeople” in the Union. Looking at Serbian or even Turkish experience, there is a lot of factors involved which are not exactly connected to pure economy.

    Reply
  • 7. Michael M.  |  August 30, 2006 at 10:58 am

    I always thought that they were in fact four S’s, standing for “Samo Sloga Srbina Spasava.” One truly learns something new every day.

    I won’t get into the whole intricate mess of relations in the former Yugoslavia; I’ve been here long enough to know better. But I do think that a lot of Slovenes do have fond thoughts of Serbia, as evidenced by a growing influx of them to Belgrade.

    I also loved Serbia when I visited, although I might be a bit biased since my wife’s family comes from there. (According to the not-quite-logical logic of one of her cousins, that automatically makes my children Serbs.) Either way, I would theoretically move there, although I don’t think it’s any easier than vice-versa.

    Reply
  • 8. Anonymous  |  August 31, 2006 at 8:11 pm

    “Next time I participate in an Olympic event, I won’t win the gold on principle!”

    Serbia is starting off fine without you. I doubt you have much athletic ability, much less of the high caliber necessary to earn a gold medal.

    This young man has more class and talent than you:

    http://www.b92.net/eng/news/society-article.php?yyyy=2006&mm=08&dd=31&nav_category=126&nav_id=36422

    National anthem solo

    31 August 2006 | 19:47 | Source: Beta

    After winning the gold medal, Serbia and Montenegro junior swimming champion Ivan Lenđer sang the national anthem a capella.

    The 16-year-old won the gold in the World Championship’s one hundred meters dolphin race, but the Brazilian organizers did not provide the anthem’s instrumental at the medal ceremony. As the new champion sang the national anthem, joined by other team members, the crowd listened in compete silence, after which a loud applause broke out.

    The talented swimmer has won 360 medals to date and has broken more than 120 state records.

    ——————————————————————-

    And the rowing team I’m sure was proud to win the first ever rowing medal for Serbia. So…who need you?

    http://www.worldrowing.com/display/modules/news/dspNews.php?newid=324016&pageid=25

    Serbia take their first ever rowing medal as a new nation.

    Men’s Coxed Pair (M2+)

    An historic moment. Three years ago at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Athens, the coxed pair for Serbia & Montenegro made history by becoming the first World Champions for their country in rowing. Today Jovan Popovic, Nikola Stojic and coxswain Ivan Ninkovic set history again in this event by being the first rowing World Champions for their newly-formed Serbia and the second World Champion for their country (canoeing won a medal a week ago).

    Stojic was a late addition to the crew and turned up for the second time today having raced just over an hour earlier in the men’s pair B Final. Subbing for his injured compatriot, Stojic was doing a fine effort and took the lead at the start.

    Meanwhile, Canada (James Byrnes, Derek O’Farrell and coxswain Brian Price) and Italy’s Francesco Gabriele and Dario Cerasola and coxswain Andrea Riva, battled it out for second. It’s been the Italian style to start slow and come through in the final sprint and Canada was doing their best to hold on to silver. With Serbia still in the lead on a comfortable 34, Italy sprinted. Canada couldn’t react. Serbia take gold, Italy silver and Canada bronze.

    Stojic: “Despite the change (into the boat) I’m not surprised, I had expected this result.”

    Reply
  • 9. bganon  |  August 31, 2006 at 9:17 pm

    Well I politely disagree. I think that Slovenian President has involved himself on the Kosovo issue without any invitation. Dont get me wrong I’m not a hardliner on Kosovo, far from it, but I do know a thing or two about negotiation. Interference or ‘interest’ in domestic issues of foreign countries goes both ways.

    Actually I like all the peoples of former Yugoslavia but my idea is purely based on the welfare of the Serbian population in Croatia and with futher reconciliation in mind between Serbia and Croatia.
    If relations between Serbia suffered a little as a result and for example thousands of Serb families in Croatia gained the right to own those houses being built by the Croatian government then it would be worth it. Some positive media coverage of Serbian actions in the Croatian media would make a difference for the Serbian community in Croatia I’m certain of it.

    Mercator will hardly pull out of Serbia. And yes Slovenia is a keen supporter of Serbia in the EU and that is appreciated but it makes about zero impact or increases Serbian chances of joining the EU by about 2 percent – in about 10 years time that is.

    Relations in SFRJ were not as fixed as people like to believe. Quite often there would be shifting alliances on different issues.

    Anyway isnt it the Slovenes that out of the former yugolsavia have the ‘its just business’ attitude the most?

    Reply
  • 10. serbianmess  |  August 31, 2006 at 10:32 pm

    Bg anon, while this is obviously a topic to be discussed over that beer we never drank, I will just note that Slovenia has been trying to get more involved into the matter. I’m not sure if its Drnovsek’s middle age crisis, or they think they can get something out of it (see this article from January. And just imagine Kostunica or Draskovic giving their opinion on Piran. I mean, literally, try to imagine that!

    I really don’t know, perhaps it is, as Michael has confirmed, a cultural matter that Slovenia will be Serbian new Russia (10 points if you find a square foot without a Slovene in Guca).

    Reply
  • 11. serbianmess  |  September 2, 2006 at 2:36 pm

    And yes, to the anonymous commentator who doubts my athletic abilities: Ivan Lendjer sang Hej Sloveni, not Boze pravde 🙂 At least according to: Radio 021.

    Reply
  • 12. Red Detector  |  September 6, 2006 at 2:38 pm

    I smell a Commie when I read this: “Serbia, although our grandparents fought many bloody battles to put an end to a brutal monarchy, has a crown on its flag.”. My Serb grandparents fought against the Communists that brought war ciminal TIto to power to slaughter hundreds of thousands of Yugoslavs AFTER the end of WW2.

    Reply
  • 13. zora  |  September 18, 2006 at 3:18 am

    i’m sorry? did you just call tito a war criminal and a murderer? i have NEVER in my life heard ANYONE say such a stupid thing. you’re completely entitled to your opinion, but show some respect. this man achieved more for the peace of former Yugoslavia than any other human being on the planet.

    as for the comments in regard to slovenia, serbia and croatia….

    i agree with the people saying that serbia should just mind her ownn business when it comes to disputes that aren’t hers. however, i’m half croatian and half serbian, and i go to both countries for extensive periods of time each year. in regards to how welcoming croats are to serbs…..well, they’re not.

    the serbs and croats are interconnected, whether it be through language (which the croats are slowly modifying), traditions, or family. still, this doesn’t mean respect. for example, this year was the 150th anniversary of Nikola Tesla’s birth. it was widely celebrated in both croatia and serbia, but prior to this year the croatians had denounced tesla as a croatian, and had even gone as far as to tear down his house and statues during the war.

    croatia is a wonderful place and a lot of people might not care if you’re serbian. yet, it’s still not 100% safe nor, 100% pleasant.

    Reply
  • 14. Red Detector  |  September 25, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    “i’m sorry”? yes, you should be sorry for being completely ignorant while professing some kind of qualified opinion on the subject. You truly know nothing about Yugoslav history if you can’t admit the Tito was a war criminal, which he was. Tito was a Communist, which is bad enough in itself because all Communists are scum, but he was also definitely a WAR CRIMINAL, and yes, do be ‘sorry’ about that.

    There were the massacres at Bleiburg which included mowing down women and children with machine guns by Tito’s forces, the slaughter of surrendered people and refugees at Kocevje and other locations in Slovenia by Tito’s forces, filling those pits up with the dead after they had any gold teeth smashed out with hammers and removed with pliers while still alive, and the post war death camp at Goli Otok. You have had a ‘good’ Yugoslav education, nicely indoctrinated with all of the blinkered Communist dross still intact and all of the War Crimes well covered up, but you truly know nothing about history if you are ignorant about the War Criminal Tito. You would be a credit to your master. Like a newly-born puppy, still blind.

    Some reading material for you:
    Borivoje (“Boris”) Karapandzic. “Kocevje: Tito’s Bloodiest Crime”, 1991

    Venko Markovski. “Goli Otok: the Island of Death”, 1984

    Nikolai Tolstoy, “The Minister and The Massacres”, 1986

    Reply
  • 15. Zex  |  September 26, 2006 at 4:51 pm

    If they introduce extremely boring writing into Olympic disciplines you have a good shoot!!!

    Reply
  • 16. igor  |  October 11, 2006 at 10:21 am

    btw, Bože pravde was composed by a Slovene.

    Reply
  • 17. Ignorant like u  |  November 21, 2006 at 6:54 pm

    Yah Zex, genocide is like soooo 1940’s! Forget about it, girl! Get over it!

    Reply
  • […] of the Serbian Mess explains the coat of arms that appears on the Serbian flag and compares Serbian anthem to that of Slovenia. […]

    Reply
  • 19. haha  |  May 26, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Why you are so liar? You are not Serbian, you are Slovenian or Croatian, and you’re trying to insult Serbia. Go to play with your friends, kid…

    Reply

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