When traveling around B&H, you may ask yourself, whos part is this one. The easiest way to find out wether the place belong to Muslim, Srebs or Croats is to look at the church and its bell-tower. If the bell-tower is like this one on the picture, it is a catholic church and the place belong to Croats.
Minaret indicate Muslim population, while orthodox church those of the Serbs.
Sometimes you might be confused wheter the church is catholic or orthodox, it is simple, just look at the position of the church's door.
There are three main religions here; Muslim (Bosniaks), Roman Catholic (Croats) and Orthodox (Serbians). When entering in a different temples be as Roman in a Rome, respect their customs.
On the picture you can see an Orthodox Church (Banja Luka).
I am from Bosnia & Herzegovina and I have to say I am offended by some comments that some foreigners made about my country.
1.) First of all, the war in Bosnia was NOT a civil war, because Serbia attacked Bosnia when it was already recognised as an independent country.
2.) Smoking pot is NOT legal in Bosnia. If you own a bigger quantity and try to sell it to others, you will get arrested.
3.) No need to even comment this guy who said that shaking hands is rude in Bosnia and that you should grab woman's breasts instead. He wanted to insult us for whatever reason and of course that is not true.
If the troop is small, the pasture is in the close vicinity of the villages and those who tend it are children or aged woman.
Hand-made spinning wool is activity which aged woman practice when tending the troop. This kind of handicraft is an very old tradition in Bosnia, however, it can barely seen around today, only if you're lucky.
Sheep-farming is basic activity for the people who live in the mountain regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. For many of them it is the only income they can have here. Since the pasture is of excellent quality, no polution at all, the sheep meat from Bosnia is delicious.
About 45% of the people in Sarajevo are Muslims and many follow the Muslim custom of removing their shoes upon entering someone's home.
Many Bosnians converted to the Muslim religion to receive tax breaks during the Ottoman Empire (Turkish). After the Turks left, the communist took over. Tito and other communist rulers discouraged religious practices. This helps to explain why Bosnians are called the “Worlds Worst Muslims”…they drink alcohol, eat pork and will go shopping in Vienna long before they choose to visit Mecca.
Although many of the Bosian’s do not follow the Muslim faith many did retain the habit of removing their shoes upon entering their homes and naming their children Muslim names. In addition, the Muslim faith in Bosnia has had a bit of a resurgence since the war. Maybe because Bosnian Muslims were the victims of one of the worst genocide campaigns in recent history....because of the religion!
The national money in Bosnia - Herzegovina is the Konvertible Marco ( KM ), and its rate of exchange is something about : 1€ = 2 KM
This money is valid only inside the country, so don't forget to exchange it for Euros again before leave the country.
During a few years this country had used the germany Marco as its money, anyway the Germany Marco died when the Euro was born, in 2002. This way, the Bosnian autorities have created its own money, but based in the rate of germany Marco. Here is the reason of the name of Bosnian money - Konvertible Marco.
There many famous mosques in some parts of Bosnia but not all of them are accessible by visitors. Some are just opened in the prayer time to let people get in and closed again after they are out. Mosques are regular functioning places of prayer and visitor hours should be respected while visitng. Taking pictures of people praying can be seen as offensive.
War is the last thing comes to people's mind. After going thorugh a long civil war, what all ethnic groups want is peace. Thouch reconstruction going on still war scars are visbible in most part of the country. Be sensitive taking photos of those war damage.
Arrakia is a local brandy made from plums. The Bosnians all harvest the plums and then make their own supply. Autumn is Arrkia season here. Several guys get together and rent an industrial sized still with which to make the liquid fire.
They take tons of plums and put them in barrels and basically let them rot in water for 21 days. After this amount of time they run them through the still and have instant hooch. Some call it Bosnian Whisky but they all call the still the "Happy Machine."
They all make 100 litres or more of this stuff so that they have a years supply. During the making of it they have parties so it is like a month long Arrakia festival. I will be glad when it is over because I am exhausted from attended night after night of it. OK, I'm lying. It is terriffic fun but is tiring.
This photo is myself and my limey buddy Jerry Field. He is our token Englishman in Bosnia and he and I have become great friends during my year here.
A few kms east of the town center is the begining of rough paths up the side of Apparition Hill. Stations of the Cross are found on the way up and down. Religious fervor is very evident among the pilgrims as they struggle up the hill. Services are held among the different groups at the Site itself.
In most homes people remove their shoes before entering. It is a cultural holdover from the time of Turkish rule but is also very practical. The roads and streets are usually muddy or slimy in the winter and dusty in the summer. Most homes have hardwood floors with carpets for padding. This keeps the household from becoming muddy or dirty.
As it is custom you get used to wearing slip on shoes and making sure that you are not wearing socks with holes in them.
As the cyrillic alphabet is identified by the local Moslim population with the Serb aggressors, there are almost no Cyrillic writings in BiH, unless you travel to Republika Sprska (that is part of BiH, anyway) where, on the other hand, everything is written in Cyrillic. Republika Sprska is inhabited only by Serbs and it has a sort of independence inside BiH.
Throughout all BiH the death of a Moslim is announced by printing a small poster that is then hung around town, usually to the light poles.
The posters are usually green, show a picture of the dead person, and there are always some arabic writings and the turkish half moon on them.
Though just a few of the Bosnian moslims can read or speak arabic, there are always some arabic writings at the Mosques.
This is because the only allowed "religious" language for Islam is Arabic, at list for some of the practices.
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