Wonderful Serbia for Beginners : Read about point where East meets West

Picture worth thousands of words.
Picture worth thousands of words.

I represent you Republic of Serbia

... The country where culture and civilizations of East and West meet. The county which today's way of thinking,clothing,and whole culture - in general - was made under the influence of East and West, and probably South and North...
I will, in this Hub - speak about one country that has really turbulent past and present. I will write from it's history,revolution, transition from communist to democracy, trough the it's very own and original way of thinking of the people that live there...

First, to make things...

-In "nova-days" there is no doubt that life in countries that are on their way of "European Union integration" have problems about adjusting the life standard, human rights, health and economy to the rest of E.U members... Problems about resolving social problems, in general.


-But there, in Southeastern Europe, somewhere between Bulgaria,on right side,and Croatia on it's left - there is a country called Republic of Serbia , who's first settlers came somewhere in 12th century.

History of people, in general - on Balkan, are very painful and difficult to understand - for people that have never tasted life without oil,milk,bread or at least standing in line for it in - 20th/21st century.

-Capital of this small "pro-European" politic based country is Belgrade - town with over 1.500.000 people , town that is officially titled for most boomed city during 20th,and 21st {until today} century. Metropolis who's name is actually "Beograd" , a word - that's constructed within two words "Beo" and "Grad" ; "Beo" stands for "White" and "Grad" stands for "City" = so you get ... Beograd = Beo+Grad = White+City = WhiteCity = Belgrade .

Visiting Serbia

Would You visit Serbia as a tourist ?

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On the map...

Parliament Palace of ex-Yugoslavia on fire...
Parliament Palace of ex-Yugoslavia on fire...
People came even with the excavator to brake down the "police circles"...
People came even with the excavator to brake down the "police circles"...

When was the "Serbian Revolution" , what was the meaning of it , and what is different after it ?

MILLIONS OF PEOPLE....

.... gathered on that day - 5th October 2000. - to show regime that people is starving and that people had enough of sanctions and international isolation.People were used to live in poverty, standing in line for milk and bread. Gasoline was smuggled trough Bosnia and Hungary during 90's , because back then Serbia had "embargo" on everything so ... it had to be like that. Cigarettes, one of the thing that was also hugely smuggled during nineties trough Montenegro from Italy.

Young people, those who were highly educated with great ambitions, were escaping where ever they could...Ending up, sadly most of them, on street...But, believe or not, everything was better than staying in Serbia during nineteenths. On that day, many people - number was estimated to 1.500.000 people - forced police {some of them ,police, were surrendering and telling people that they are with them} and putting them beside,and broke in to "Palace of Justice" and "Government's Palace" and burned it - with making chaos that everyone will remember.The picture of excavator, that is going trough mass of people to break in to Parlament - it's still one of main pictures that describes and symbolizes that day. Serbian Revolution against Milosevic's Regime. For example; familiar picture was also, and one of picture that shocked CNN and BBC viewers was the picture where "unknown" man is sitting on a chair that's ripped of from one of Palaces and putted in center of Belgrade demonstrating the power of people - power of will for changes.

"To be or not to be, the question is now."

Why ? What is the difference?

People asks WHY? How can that be possible? How can one country like Serbia, with resources for export,and with such a good geopolitical place,with soil fulled with granite and other metals, could "miss a train" for European Integrations for not one or two - for not two or five - for not five or six - BUT ELEVEN YEARS.

  • Eleven years, people live in hope that tomorrow will something be better.Can you imagine what's feeling like???Along with arresting ex-president Milosevic, who was accused for war crimes during civilian war in Yugoslavia, and extracting him to International Court for War Crimes in Hague, Serbia has began it's way of pro-European integrations for sure.Democratic changes hit all levels of society, which has culminated with assassination of vice-president Dr. Zoran Djindjic - only man with real democratic vision of Serbia, man with real plan how to bring Serbia to EU until 2008. , only man that stood up against organized criminal and mafia that were ruling the country for a while.Once , back then , Mr.Djindjic said: "It is normal for a country to have mafia in it.In certain level...yes.But what is not normal,and what is shocking is the fact that Serbia is only country where mafia has it's own country and not opposite." - That sentence is marked as beginning of Djindjic's mafia fight.
  • Before October of fifth , the day of Serbian Revolution , investigation showed that Djindjic worked tight with Milorad Ulemek - "Legija" {ex-Legion member} - back then one of the most wanted mafia bosses.Further investigation showed that Djindjic was meeting "Legija" couple of times. His wife and closest friends were responding to this facts and rumors about Djindjic's connection to the mafia, telling that before the "Revolution" - Mr.Djindjic didn't have anyone to work with in a meaning of get riding off Milosevic regime and all of his people from political scene of Serbia/Serbia and Montenegro.In mafia like Legija's, Djindjic could easily handle with situations like he was often in - car accident , attacks , and many other things but - in same time - making moves to force Milosevic to step back from its "throne".

Serbia as a member of European Union?

Do you see Serbia as a future member of E.U ?

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Waterfalls in Serbia are not rare thing to see.This beautiful picture has been taken somewhere in Western Serbia... On mountain called "Kopaonik"
Waterfalls in Serbia are not rare thing to see.This beautiful picture has been taken somewhere in Western Serbia... On mountain called "Kopaonik"

!!!! SERBIAN MUSIC !!!! AMAZING !

Serbia today - mix of modern and post-modern style...

--SERBIA TODAY - POSTMODERN COUNTRY--

Republic of Serbia today, is made of regions. On North of Serbia, autonomic region of "Vojvodina" - in ex Yugoslavia beside Slovenia, the most richest region in it - is situated , with three smaller "vice-regions" : Banat,Backa,Srem. Vojvodina, it's own , is not republic but it is an autonomic region with capital in Novi Sad , that can make laws and decisions and creating budget on their own - without prior questioning or doing "stuff" with capital of whole country Belgrade but in their own Parlament called "Skupstina Vojvodine"..Now, after A.P Vojvodina - there goes Serbia - with several regions like : "Sumadija","Kulubarski Okrug","Raski Okrug" ...and so on ... all of those are like districts.

Now, in nova-days Serbia is going trough the new "decentralization" process which is new to the Europe,in general. I can say, that for example Serbian ID cards, and Health-Insurance cardsin close future will be one of the most modern type of cards for that intention.Also, Serbian new biometric passports have "plastic" side of passport with hologram on it ,and many other things,like chip - just like on I.D card - which will make identifying and traveling more easier.

  • Decentralization process, should bring changes like :

...instead of mentioned A.P Vojvodina - with "vice-districts" , Vojvodina will have it's own regions - five of them - who will have full local authority and they can change or vote for some changes in law so - for example one law is on force in one local area - but in other it's not.So ,on that way - also, money that is "produced" in one area is staying - at least most of it - for local authorities to do what people voted for , to do. Decentralization, should give people more understandable and more flexible way of singing in to different kind of things like, making new passport - id - health card and etc , because now ; in this case ; they won't go to the Belgrade or Novi Sad as capital of A.P Vojvodina - instead, they can do it, in comfort of their own city.Local authorities will have more power , instead , how it was until now - and still it is - every "big thing" like going for passport or getting approved for something,or getting stamp, or singing in to substitution treatment for people who are addicts are no more needed to go to tercial level of health care - in close future - they will/could do it in their own place.

In social way, Serbia had an GDP down until last year - when GDP started to grow.Inflation ,for this year will be less than 10% ,and investments are - once again - in rise. Serbia is marked this year ,as it actually should be,as a "Balkan Tiger" because of its - sadly - UNUSED potentials. Slowly, Serbia is gaining foreign investments estimated to two billion dollars for this year, so - slowly { instead of rapidly } Serbia is growing in to one stable,powerful,economically "OK", human right respected , country. There are many things left to do , especially in health care. Health care in Serbia is on really low/poor level. Starting from way of prescribing medicines, to the way of treating ill people , and the staff that is so unpleasant and efficacious, that changes should be done radically. People with chronic deceases are still waiting in a line, every day - once per week - to get their prescriptions. Opiate addiction, treatment of opiate addiction or drug addiction, in general, is on very low level in compare with our neighbors that started two or more years ago, to rise their efficiency and implement new medications and therapies that are more than needed here.Serbia , so far, have done an step in that way by registering buprenorphine in 2010 , five years after Slovenia did,and four years after Croatia. Without further discussion ,this IS an good move for "well-motivated" or "new" patients suffering from chronic state of opiate addiction. But what about strong and really aggressive stigma about those who are on substitute therapy with Methadone? What about people that want to try another medicine, like SR Morphine for their chronic state - as Methadone gave them severe side effects or they can not catch up with stigma around them.Modern country like Serbia, that has now primary objective to rise up health care level, especially in sector of "mental care". Registration of one more substitute like "MST Continus" or "Substitol" , would benefit country like Serbia that is marked as "alarming number of heroin addicts" with 25.000 by officially records but estimated to 100.000 heroin addicts. Opio-phobic doctors, that are literally gabbling with lives of addicts should start prescribing Tramadol - at least - for those who have chronic headaches and stuff like that.... Noninflammatory painkillers are... not sufficient for this kind of issue.Stigma is taking lives - and non of EU representatives for Health is reacting. They just close their eyes,and ... like nothing is happening to the future EU member. OR, the real question is coming from all this non responding to efforts that Serbia made in just few months {arresting of Mladic and Hadzic,laws,etc} ... Nothing came as a positive sing - and people are thinking now twice - is EU playing with us, and do we really need them?

Communism or democracy ?

How do you see Serbia, as an communist country or as an democratic one?

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One of the newly-build pikes...
One of the newly-build pikes...

Hard work - Will it pay-off ?

Serbia has invested billions of dollars/euros ,in to making new roads and building new "Coridor 10" that will connect South and North in about hour of driving. "Coridor 10" itself costs hundreds of million euros.But, Serbia has to have "European" like roads,and highways.

Except investing in roads, Serbia is investing in things like making new "sub cities". One of them is "Bellwile" , it's located as suburb of Belgrade. It should represent the cutting edge infrastructure when its about civilian building structures.Many new small suburban cities are made in past few years.That kind of decision is made for, primary for, students like an reward for best academics or students , successful young people that haven't got their "roof on head"

Serbia is also, in past few years, returned to investment in "Etno villages" - that will represent Serbia back in time and in same time show "untouched" nature. Untouched like it was back in 12th century - for example. The goal is also to attract tourists from all over the world, and by visiting ,and doing this kind of tour - they will meet and understand the clothing back then in ancient Serbia {Kingdom of Yugoslavia} and the way of living that survived until day today.

Investing in school system, is one of primary goals of government that was elected by last elections. School system has improved,and showed results. Serbian young scientists represent this small country in best light. Last result of Serbian young scientists were those in Paris , Word's Scientist Gathering 2011 - where Serbia took 1st place.

Investing and improving health care in Serbia. What can I say? As an researcher of addiction of opioid type, I can just say that - they are trying to do their best. Money is the problem. That is really an great issue because, improving health care and making strategies and getting them involved in REAL LIFE is the key of success and key of improving lives of society at every level. There aren't enough money for implementing new therapies and doing / registering new therapies that are almost an standard as "Methadone" for heroin addicts is. For example, slow release morphine or hydromorphone could be an really surprisingly good solution for those who do not want methadone as substitute or they find methadone's side-effects to hard to "catch-up" with or just "methadone stigma" is taking their lives to...

The view of Danube from the coast in New Belgrade...
The view of Danube from the coast in New Belgrade...

Danube-the beauty,and other potentials...

- The main river in Serbia is Danube. It's the longest and biggest river in country along with "Sava", that meet Danube in Belgrade. Belgrade, in that way, is situated on a place where two river meet. The Danube is Europe's second longest river after the Volga.Danube is really an beauty and a river of great potential.The potential of Danube in Serbia is only 20% used. There are many projects for close future for building decks and stuff for ship trafficking and "river tourism". River tourism can be used, with it's huge potential, because Serbian ancient history along with it's castles mostly situated beside big rivers like Danube and "Sava", so investing in "river tourism" will have an huge impact to the Serbian country and "filling states budget" at general. Another "Danube's potential" and one more good thing with Danube floating trough the Serbia is the "hidden potential" in using Danube as "water highway" to travel around Europe if you have in mind that the Danube river flows through, or acts as part of the borders, of ten countries: Germany (7.5%), Austria (10.3%), Slovakia (5.8%), Hungary (11.7%), Croatia (4.5%), Serbia (10.3%), Bulgaria (5.2%), Moldova (1.6%), Ukraine (3.8%) and Romania (28.9%). (The percentages reflect the proportion of the total Danube drainage basin area).

- My personal experience from Budapest, where Danube is also flows, is that the view from a "tourist boat" that's providing a beautiful view from a boat - along with a restaurant in it, so tourists could have a drink while they are doing their tour, is better from a boat that flows in Belgrade or Novi Sad's part of Danube. Belgrade, and Serbia in general, is well-known by really amazing night life, and everyone that was in Serbia will tell you that they haven't experienced anything like night life in Serbia and that the view from a tourist boat that's doing tourists trips - is truly amazing - especially during weekends, when popular "splavs" { discotheques floating on river } are crowded with youth and what I would separate are beautiful Belgrade girls...

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Comments 11 comments

CASE1WORKER profile image

CASE1WORKER 5 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

Thankyou, an interesting read of a country that we would once have called eastern european and now more central european!


lafamillia profile image

lafamillia 5 years ago from Soutcentral Europe Author

Thank you for commenting, and reading this article. I hope that you see that Serbia is no more a country where mafia has its land, but a state of law and justice. A modern,maybe more modern then some of members like Bulgaria or Romania - and maybe country with much much more potential than mentioned.... But - we are no more then spectators in this "story" called "Serbian Integration".


freecampingaussie profile image

freecampingaussie 5 years ago from Southern Spain

This is a really good article !Very interesting , I will be voting you up.


Rehana Stormme profile image

Rehana Stormme 5 years ago

I voted this hub up and useful, awesome, beautiful, interesting etc. :D I've learnt quite a bit about Serbia from this article. This is a very informative hub. There's only one thing you missed out - a map of Serbia :P That would make the hub complete. Serbia is a beautiful country. You should really write more about it, it's landscapes, tourist destinations, culture etc. Would love to know more. Keep up the great work! ^-^


lafamillia profile image

lafamillia 5 years ago from Soutcentral Europe Author

@Rehana Stormme

I've added the map ... Only for you. :} hehehe, Check it out...


Rehana Stormme profile image

Rehana Stormme 5 years ago

Haha, cool! The map was very helpful, and it adds on to the quality of the hub! :D


lafamillia profile image

lafamillia 5 years ago from Soutcentral Europe Author

@Rehan Stormme

Have you voted on pools? Thank you for answering and communicating with me trough comments - because I am an really communicative person that would like to meet someone from "the west"... :D hehehe :D So,anything interesting new that you would recommend to me?


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

Very interesting reading. I will have to see that my husband reads this. He was last in Belgrad and Novi Sad in 2006. We can see that there is also more religious freedom now than when he escaped from the former Yugoslavia in the 1950's and even since his first visit back in 1972. I wish you well on HubPages.

If you want to meet someone from the west, and you don't mind meeting one of the older generation, one of my former classmates in California says he's now living in Serbia, since he just married a Serb. If you'd like me to try to put you in touch with him, let me know through the contact button. I am also Facebook friends with a Serbian girl who was an exchange student in our local high school last year. She is now back home in Serbia and is attending law school there. We had spent some time getting to know her.


mickey 5 years ago

keep it going


UnnamedHarald profile image

UnnamedHarald 4 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Very interesting introduction to Serbia. I look forward to reading more of your hubs. Voted up and interesting.


nemanjaboskov profile image

nemanjaboskov 4 years ago from Serbia

You are definitely a smart man, and I can tell this by the following quote from your Hub: "Democratic changes hit all levels of society, which has culminated with assassination of vice-president Dr. Zoran Djindjic - only man with real democratic vision of Serbia, man with real plan how to bring Serbia to EU until 2008. , only man that stood up against organized criminal and mafia that were ruling the country for a while."

Djindjic was the only one who could have gotten us out of the cesspool we are still in, and, unfortunately, I don't see anyone who can do the same thing today.

Svaka ti cast, i zelim ti svu srecu na Hubpages-u :)

Nemanja

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