Trebinje, Bosnia: Yugloslavian Diversity – Rick Steves’ Europe Travel Guide – Travel Bite

Trebinje, Bosnia: Yugloslavian Diversity – Rick Steves’ Europe Travel Guide – Travel Bite


Before we get into Bosnia,
let’s review the big picture. Every place we’re
visiting on this trip was part of Yugoslavia,
which means literally “the land or union of
the South Slavic peoples.” The country of Yugoslavia
lasted roughly from the end of World War I
until the 1990s. While its ethnic make-up
shaped its recent history, the differences
between its groups can be subtle and confusing — That’s because the major
ethnicities of Yugoslavia were all South Slavs. They have the same ancestors and speak
closely related languages. The defining difference is that they adopted
different religions, brought here over the centuries
by various emperors, missionaries,
bishops, and sultans. Catholic South Slavs
are called Croats, Orthodox Christian South Slavs
are called Serbs, and Muslim South Slavs
are called Bosniaks. For the most part, there’s
no way that a casual visitor can determine the religion
or loyalties of the people just by looking at them. So we can better understand
this troubled union, I’m joined by my friend
and co-author of my guidebook to this region,
Cameron Hewitt. It just seems like
an unlikely union. Oh, well, it was
extremely unlikely. You had all these different
groups in this one territory. There’s only one person
who was able to hold it together
successfully. That was Marshal Tito,
who ruled Yugoslavia. He respected all the diversity
within the country, but he believed above all
in Yugoslav unity. He said that the divisions
between the different groups should be like the white lines
in a marble column. That marble column didn’t
last very long. No, it didn’t last
very long. After Tito died in 1980,
this very delicate balance he created started
to topple. Different groups started to grab
for more power and authority, and before long,
the whole thing just fell apart. Now, I’ve always
just thought of it as a place with
so much ethnic baggage, that it was just —
without Tito, a bloody mess
waiting to happen. And that’s definitely
one factor. There’s no question
that this region has a long history of groups not getting along
with each other, lots of warfare. On the other hand,
that can’t be the only reason. There were long periods of peace
in their history as well. In this case, you had
politicians who were taking advantage
of those feelings, manipulating
those feelings. It was the combination
of those two factors that caused
Yugoslavia to fall apart in such a violent way. It was a horrible war. It was a horrific war. As each group tried
to grab for more of what they thought was
their territory — this is the conflict
that introduced the term “ethnic cleansing”
into our vocabulary. Steves: And much of the worst
happened here in Bosnia. That’s because
this was Yugoslavia’s crossroads of cultures. Looking at the architecture,
you can see this is where its three major ethnicities — Catholic Croats, Orthodox Serbs, and Muslim Bosniaks —
all came together. In the 1990s, Bosnia was ripped apart
by a three-way war between these groups. Hewitt: So, after a few
bloody years of fighting, all the different factions
across Yugoslavia finally laid down their arms and agreed
to peace accords in 1995. Here in Bosnia, they had to actually create
a semi-autonomous Serb state within the larger
state of Bosnia to preserve that balance.

29 thoughts on “Trebinje, Bosnia: Yugloslavian Diversity – Rick Steves’ Europe Travel Guide – Travel Bite

  1. We are at ends times and we all need to follow the Lord's laws! Alot is going on right now and I would take it seriously!

  2. Dear Rick Steves. That's a good right way to find the best side of the people and places around the world. Thanks for showing us many beautiful and real things. Best wishes.

  3. Rick I live these little cultural vignettes. Appreciate the effort you put into these beautiful little snapshots. Cheers !

  4. Hello Rick… I'm from India… And I love to watch your travel series… ??? God bless you….. please make long videos on your travel diaries

  5. Yugoslavian diversity means blood till knees. First Yugoslavia drawn in blood 1941-1945, then 1991-1999, and for minime Yugoslavia btw. Bosnia is only question of time, not if but when? So much for diversity.

  6. A horrific war that we should have not been part of in the U.S., we had no business being there besides private interest

  7. Good lessons from recent history for the rest of the West. Ethnocultural diversity, without a dominant supermajority (> 90%), doesn't work over time; Multiculturalism ideology doesn't work.
    “In unity is strength.” —Æsop fable

  8. I live here, it's a beautiful country with huge resources. Unfortunately the people here are awful, eneducated, corrupt and very xenophobic. There is going to be war again, the hate is everywhere. You will see it probably in the comments too.

  9. hi rick greetings i,am harly from Jakarta indonesia.when you come to southeast asia. i want seen your video in southeast asia. thank you.

  10. As a person living in Bosnia, this is an excellent quick objective explanation of the break up of Yugoslavia.

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