Bosnia and Herzegovina

Culture

Culture


Architecture

The architecture of Bosnia and Herzegovina is largely influenced by four major periods where political and social changes influenced the creation of distinct cultural and architectural habits of the population. Each period made its influence felt and contributed to a greater diversity of cultures and architectural language in this region.


Media

Television, magazines, and newspapers in Bosnia and Herzegovina are all operated by both state-owned and for-profit corporations which depend on advertising, subscription, and other sales-related revenues. The Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina guarantees freedom of speech.

As a country in transition with a post-war legacy and a complex domestic political structure Bosnia and Herzegovina's media system is under transformation. In the early post-war period (1995–2005), media development was guided mainly by international donors and cooperation agencies, who invested to help reconstruct, diversify, democratize and professionalize media outlets.

Post-war developments included the establishment of an independent Communication Regulatory Agency, the adoption of a Press Code, the establishment of the Press Council, the decriminalization of label and defamation, the introduction of a rather advanced Freedom of Access to Information Law, and the creation of a Public Service Broadcasting System from the formerly state-owned broadcaster. Yet, internationally backed positive developments have been often obstructed by domestic elites, and the professionalisation of media and journalists has proceeded only slowly. High levels of partisanship and linkages between the media and the political systems hinder the adherence to professional code of conducts.


Literature

Bosnia and Herzegovina has a rich literature, including the Nobel prize winner Ivo Andrićand poets such as Croat Antun Branko Šimić, Aleksa Šantić, Jovan Dučić and Mak Dizdar, writers such as Meša Selimović, Zlatko Topčić, Semezdin Mehmedinović, Miljenko Jergović, Isak Samokovlija, Safvet beg Bašagić, Abdulah Sidran, Petar Kočić, Aleksandar Hemon, and Nedžad Ibrišimović. The National Theater was founded 1919 in Sarajevo and its first director was the dramatist Branislav Nušić. Magazines such as Novi Plamen or Sarajevske biljeznice are some of the more prominent publications covering cultural and literary themes.


Art

The art of Bosnia and Herzegovina was always evolving and ranged from the original medieval tombstones called Stećci to paintings in Kotromanić court. However, only with the arrival of Austro-Hungarians did the painting renaissance in Bosnia really begin to flourish. The first educated artists from European academies appeared with the beginning of the 20th century. Among those are: Gabrijel Jurkić, Petar Šain, Roman Petrović and Lazar Drljača.

After World War II artists like Mersad Berber and Safet Zec rose in popularity.

In 2007, Ars Aevi, a museum of contemporary art that includes works by renowned world artists was founded in Sarajevo.


Music

Typical Bosnian and Herzegovinian songs are ganga, rera, and the traditional Slavic music for the folk dances such as kolo and from Ottoman era the most popular is sevdalinka. Pop and Rock music has a tradition here as well, with the more famous musicians including Dino Zonić, Goran Bregović, Davorin Popović, Kemal Monteno, Zdravko Čolić, Elvir Laković, Edo Maajka, Hari Mata Hari and Dino Merlin. Other composers such as Đorđe Novković, Al' Dino, Haris Džinović, Kornelije Kovač, and many pop and rock bands, for example, Bijelo Dugme, Crvena Jabuka, Divlje Jagode, Indexi, Plavi Orkestar, Zabranjeno Pušenje, Ambasadori, Dubioza kolektiv, who were among the leading ones in the former Yugoslavia. Bosnia is home to the composer Dušan Šestić, the creator of the current national anthem of Bosnia and Herzegovina and father of singer Marija Šestić, composer Saša Lošić and pianist Saša Toperić. In the villages, especially in Herzegovina, Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats play the ancient Gusle. The gusle is used mainly to recite epic poems in a usually dramatic tone.

Probably the most distinctive and identifiably "Bosnian" of music, Sevdalinka is a kind of emotional, melancholic folk song that often describes sad subjects such as love and loss, the death of a dear person or heartbreak. Sevdalinkas were traditionally performed with a saz, a Turkish string instrument, which was later replaced by the accordion. However the more modern arrangement, to the derision of some purists, is typically a vocalist accompanied by the accordion along with snare drums, upright bass, guitars, clarinets and violins.


Cinema and theatre

Sarajevo is internationally renowned for its eclectic and diverse selection of festivals. The Sarajevo Film Festival was established in 1995, during the Bosnian War and has become the premier and largest film festival in the Balkans and South-East Europe.

Bosnia has a rich cinematic and film heritage, dating back to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia; many Bosnian filmmakers have achieved international prominence and some have won international awards ranging from the Academy Awards to multiple Palme d'Ors and Golden Bears. Some notable Bosnian filmmakers, screenwriters and cinematographers are Danis Tanović (known for the Academy Award– and Golden Globe Award–winning 2001 film No Man's Land and Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize–winning 2016 film Death in Sarajevo), Dušan Vukotić (won an Oscar for best animated short film in 1961 for Surogat ("Ersatz"), being the first foreigner to do so), Emir Kusturica (won two Palme d'Or at Cannes), Jasmila Žbanić (won Golden Bear), Ademir Kenović; Dino Mustafić, Benjamin Filipović, Jasmin Dizdar, Pjer Žalica, Srđan Vuletić, Aida Begić etc.


Cuisine

Bosnian cuisine uses many spices, in moderate quantities. Most dishes are light, as they are cooked in lots of water; the sauces are fully natural, consisting of little more than the natural juices of the vegetables in the dish. Typical ingredients include tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, dried beans, fresh beans, plums, milk, paprika and cream called Pavlaka. Bosnian cuisine is balanced between Western and Eastern influences. As a result of the Ottomanadministration for almost 500 years, Bosnian food is closely related to Turkish, Greek, and other former Ottoman and Mediterranean cuisines. However, because of years of Austrian rule, there are many influences from Central Europe. Typical meat dishes include primarily beef and lamb. Some local specialties are ćevapi, burek, dolma, sarma, pilav, goulash, ajvar and a whole range of Eastern sweets. Ćevapi is a grilled dish of minced meat, a type of kebab, popular in former Yugoslavia and considered a national dish in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. Local wines come from Herzegovina where the climate is suitable for growing grapes. Herzegovinian loza(similar to Italian Grappa but less sweet) is very popular. Plum (rakija) or apple (jabukovača) alcohol beverages are produced in the north. In the south, distilleries used to produce vast quantities of brandy and supply all of ex-Yugoslav alcohol factories (brandy is the base of most alcoholic drinks).


Sports

Bosnia and Herzegovina has produced many athletes, both as a state in Yugoslavia and independently after 1992. The most important international sporting event in the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina was the 14th Winter Olympics, held in Sarajevo from 7 to 19 February 1984. The Borac handball club has won seven Yugoslav Handball Championships, as well as the European Championship Cup in 1976 and the International Handball Federation Cup in 1991.

Amel Mekić, Bosnian judoka, became European champion in 2011. Track and field athlete Amel Tuka won the bronze medal in 800 metres at the 2015 World Championships and Hamza Alić won the silver medal in shot put at the 2013 European Indoor Championships.

The Bosna basketball club from Sarajevo were European Champions in 1979. The Yugoslav national basketball team, which won medals in every world championship from 1963 through 1990, included Bosnian players such as FIBA Hall of Famers Dražen Dalipagić and Mirza Delibašić. Bosnia and Herzegovina regularly qualifies for the European Championship in Basketball, with players including Mirza Teletović, Nihad Đedović and Jusuf Nurkić. Bosnia and Herzegovina national u-16 team won two gold medals in 2015, winning both 2015 European Youth Summer Olympic Festival as well as 2015 FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship.

Women's basketball club Jedinstvo Aida from Tuzla won Women's European Club Championship in 1989 and Ronchetti Cup final in 1990, led by Razija Mujanović, three times best female European basketball player, and Mara Lakić.

The Bosnian chess team was Champion of Yugoslavia seven times, in addition to club ŠK Bosna winning four European Chess Club Cups. Chess grandmaster Borki Predojevićhas also won two European Championships. The most impressive success of Bosnian Chess was runner-up position in Chess Olympiad of 1994 in Moscow, featuring Grandmasters Predrag Nikolić, Ivan Sokolov and Bojan Kurajica.

Middle-weight boxer Marijan Beneš has won several Championships of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yugoslav Championships and the European Championship. In 1978, he won the World Title against Elisha Obed from the Bahamas.

Association football is the most popular sport in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It dates from 1903, but its popularity grew significantly after World War I. Bosnian clubs FK Sarajevoand Željezničar, won the Yugoslav Championship, while the Yugoslav national football team included Bosnian players of all ethnic backgrounds and generations, such as Safet Sušić, Zlatko Vujović, Mehmed Baždarević, Davor Jozić, Faruk Hadžibegić, Predrag Pašić, Blaž Slišković, Vahid Halilhodžić, Dušan Bajević, Ivica Osim, Josip Katalinski, Tomislav Knez, Velimir Sombolac and numerous others. The Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team played at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, its first major tournament. Notable players on the team included Edin Džeko, Asmir Begović, Emir Spahić, Miralem Pjanić, Muhamed Bešić, and Vedad Ibišević.

Former Bosnian footballers include Hasan Salihamidžić, who became only the second Bosnian to ever win a UEFA Champions League trophy, after Elvir Baljić. He made 234 appearances and scored 31 goals for German club FC Bayern Munich. Sergej Barbarez, who played for several clubs in the German Bundesliga including Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV and Bayer Leverkusen was joint-top scorer in the 2000–01 Bundesligaseason with 22 goals. Meho Kodro spent most of his career playing in Spain most notably with Real Sociedad and FC Barcelona. Elvir Rahimić made 302 appearances for Russian club CSKA Moscow with whom he won the UEFA Cup in 2005. Milena Nikolić, member of women's national team, was 2013–14 UEFA Women's Champions Leaguetop scorer.

Bosnia and Herzegovina was the world champion of volleyball at the 2004 Summer Paralympics and volleyball at the 2012 Summer Paralympics. Many among those on the team lost their legs in the Bosnian War.

Tennis is also gaining a lot of popularity after the recent successes of Damir Džumhurand Mirza Bašić at Grand Slam level. Other notable tennis players who represented Bosnia are, Amer Delić and Mervana Jugić-Salkić.


Leisure activities

Coffeehouses, where Bosnian coffee is served in džezva with rahat lokum and sugar cubes, proliferate Sarajevo and every city in the country. Coffee drinking is a favorite Bosnian pastime and part of the culture. Bosnia and Herzegovina is the tenth country in the entire world by per capita coffee consumption.

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