SRBIJA – SERBIA – СРБИЈА

Crkva na Oplencu, mauzolej kraljevske porodice-The Church of St. George on the top of Hill Oplenac, the Mausoleum of the Royal Family

Crkva na Oplencu, mauzolej kraljevske porodice-The Church of St. George on the top of Hill Oplenac, the Mausoleum of the Royal Family

Etno kuca na istoku zemlje-An Ethno house in the East of the country

Etno kuca na istoku zemlje-An Ethno house in the East of the country

Gardos kula u Zemunu-Gardos Tower in Zemun

Gardos kula u Zemunu-Gardos Tower in Zemun

Grob Kralja Aleksandra I-The tomb of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia

Grob Kralja Aleksandra I-The tomb of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia

Grobnica Karadjordja-The tomb of Black George

Grobnica Karadjordja-The tomb of Black George

Hram Svetog Save, najveca pravoslavna crkva na svetu, i spomenik Karadjordju-Saint Sava Temple, the largest Orthodox church in the world and the monument of Black George

Hram Svetog Save, najveca pravoslavna crkva na svetu, i spomenik Karadjordju-Saint Sava Temple, the largest Orthodox church in the world and the monument of Black George

Manastir Poganovo-Poganovo Monastery

Manastir Poganovo-Poganovo Monastery

Manastir Sukovo-Sukovo Monastery

Manastir Sukovo-Sukovo Monastery

Monaliza iz Perleza-Mona Lisa from the village of Perlez

Monaliza iz Perleza-Mona Lisa from the village of Perlez

Ridjica na severu Vojvodine-Ridjica village in the northern province of Vojvodina

Ridjica na severu Vojvodine-Ridjica village in the northern province of Vojvodina

Pogled na Beograd sa reke Save-A view of Belgrade over Sava River

Pogled na Beograd sa reke Save-A view of Belgrade over Sava River

Sa NJKV Aleksandrom II Karadjordjevicem-With Alexander II, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia

Sa NJKV Aleksandrom II Karadjordjevicem-With Alexander II, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia

Skupstina grada Beograda-The Belgrade Assembly

Skupstina grada Beograda-The Belgrade Assembly

Spomenik zrtvama 1941. u Kragujevcu-Broken wing monument in Sumarice Memorial Park in Kragujevac

Spomenik zrtvama 1941. u Kragujevcu-Broken wing monument in Sumarice Memorial Park in Kragujevac

Stari platan ispred Milosevog konaka u Beogradu-An old planetree in front of the Miloaev Konak Museum in Belgrade

Stari platan ispred Milosevog konaka u Beogradu-An old planetree in front of the Miloaev Konak Museum in Belgrade

Tipicna etno soba istocne Srbije-A typical Ethno house of the Eastern Serbia

Tipicna etno soba istocne Srbije-A typical Ethno house of the Eastern Serbia

Tvrdjava Momcilov grad u Pirotu-Momcilo's Town Fort in Pirot

Tvrdjava Momcilov grad u Pirotu-Momcilo’s Town Fort in Pirot

Zgrada Narodne skupstine u Beogradu-Federal Assembly building in Belgrade

Zgrada Narodne skupstine u Beogradu-Federal Assembly building in Belgrade

„Bila je to zemlja seljaka na brdovitom Balkanu“, pevala je tako o Srbiji poznata pesnikinja Desanka Maksimović. Mislim da se nije mnogo promenilo u njoj od vremena nastanka ovih stihova.
Ostavio sam je za kraj jer mi je vrlo teško da pišem o sopstvenoj zemlji, a da, pritom, ne upadnem u zamku predrasuda o njoj, njenim žiteljima a svojim sunarodnicima, stvarnošću sa kojom se svakog dana susrećem. Takođe sam malo putovao po Srbiji, sledeći onu poznatu misao da se svoja zemlja uvek najmanje poznaje.
Glavni grad Beograd ima nešto kosmopolitsko u sebi, zbog čega ga mnogi vole i često u njega odlaze. Koliko ima duh svetskog grada, toliko i provincijsko raspoloženje preti da taj duh uništi ili mu bar umanji značaj. Izuzetna geografska lokacija na ušću dveju velikih reka, Save u Dunav, daje mu posebnu energiju koju takve reke nose sa sobom. Veliki broj splavova na vodi i restorana sa ludim noćnim provodom čine Beograd sasvim posebnom odredištem za takvu vrstu zabave, zbog koje dolaze mladi iz cele Evrope.
Iz susednih država, nekada republika bivše Jugoslavije, danas, osim u provod, dolaze i u takozvanu Kuću cveća, grob predsednika Tita ili, kako su ga zvali, najvećeg sina naših naroda i narodnosti. To je lepo uređen prostor koji su do nedavno čuvali vojnici Garde, a danas samo čuvari. Moji prijatelji iz Japana, profesor Hosaka sa suprugom, uživali su u njemu, kao i brojni drugi posetioci iz inostranstva.
U Beogradu se nalazi Hram svetog Save, najveća pravoslavna crkva na svetu, u belom mermeru i sa spomenikom Karađorđu ispred nje, čoveku koji je poveo srpski narod u borbu protiv Turaka i njihove vekovne okupacije ovih prostora. Međutim, u Srbiji se nalaze i mnogi manastiri i crkve sa starim freskama od kojih neke predstavljaju remek-dela sakralne umetnosti. Oni se nalaze po čitavoj zemlji, na Fruškoj gori u severnoj pokrajini Vojvodini, ali isto tako značajni u centralnoj i južnoj Srbiji i na Kosovu. Moj rodni istok Srbije može se ponositi čuvenim manastirom Poganovo iz XIV veka, na levoj obali reke Jerme, koji, nažalost, danas više posećuju Bugari nego Srbi. Freske u obližnjim crkvama na kojima je predstavljen Isus bez kose i brade, Bogorodica sa krilima ili Sveti Kristofer sa konjskom glavom, predstavljaju neobične primerke pravoslavne umetnosti. To samo potvrđuje činjenicu pesnikinje sa početka teksta da je “Srbija velika tajna“.
Plovidba Dunavom otkriva nam na svom putu vredna arheološka nalazišta kao što su Vinča i Lepenski vir koja ukazuju na život u ovim krajevima još u praistoriji. Njegovi rukavci na pojedinim mestima otkrivaju ambijent sličan onom u delti Amazona.
Planine Tara, Zlatibor ili Kopaonik predstavljaju turističke centre izuzetne prirodne lepote, posebno zimi kada se zabele njihovi vrhovi.
Srbija je ovih dana veoma ponosna. Na njenom tlu, u gradu Nišu koji se tada zvao Naisus, pre više od sedamnaest vekova rođen je rimski car Konstantin, prvi vladar koji je primio hrišćanstvo i potom doneo Milanski edikt kojim se promovisala verska tolerancija u Carstvu.
Srbija može biti ponosna na mnoge značajne ličnosti koje su obeležile njenu noviju istoriju, od Nikole Tesle, Ive Andrića do Novaka Đokovića. Mnoge od njih su deo svetske istorije danas.

Oktobar 2013.
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’It was in a land of peasants in the mountainous Balkans…’ wrote the famous poetess Desanka Maksimović about Serbia. It seems to me that nothing much has changed in Serbia since the time this verse was written.
I left Serbia till the end, as I found it difficult to write about my own country without falling into prejudice traps about the country itself, its people and my fellow countrymen, as well as the everyday reality of living. Also I travelled around Serbia only a little, in accordance with the popular belief that we know our own country the least.
The capital, Belgrade, has a cosmopolitan feel about it, which is why it is liked and visited by many people. Even though it has an air of a metropolis, a provincial mentality is threatening to destroy it, or at least diminish it. Belgrade has a distinct geographical position on the confluence of two large rivers, the Sava and the Danube, which lend their special charm to the city. A large number of boat restaurants and floating bars with crazy night life make Belgrade a one of a kind destination for this sort of entertainment, drawing young people from all over Europe.
Apart from the night life, people from neighbouring countries that used to be part of Yugoslavia also come to visit the House of Flowers, The Mausoleum of President Tito, the greatest son of all the nationalities and minorities – as he used to be called. It is a pleasant space, in the past kept by the Guards, and today only by ordinary security guards. My friends from Japan, Porfessor Hosaka and his wife, as well as many other visitors, really enjoyed its interior.
In Belgrade you will find the Church of Saint Sava, the largest Orthodox church in the world, built out of white marble; in front of it is the monument to Karađorđe, the man who lead the Serbian nation against the Turks’ occupation of Serbia that had lasted for five centuries. However, there are many more monasteries and churches scattered around Serbia, housing old frescoes, some of which are considered masterpieces of sacral art. They are found all around the country, at Fruška Gora and the northern province of Vojvodina, but also, importantly, in southern and central Serbia and in Kosovo. I was born in the East of Serbia, where the famous Poganovo Monastery from the 14th century lies on the left bank of river Jerma; sadly today it is visited more by the Bulgarian people than the Serbs. Frescoes in nearby churches where Jesus was depicted without hair or a beard, the Virgin Mary with wings, and St. Cristopher with a horse’s head, represent unusual aspects of Orthodox art form. They only confirm the fact stated by the poetess from the beginning of this text, that ’Serbia is a great secret’.
Sailing down the Danube, we discover important archaeological sites such as Vinča and Lepenski Vir (Lepen Whirl), which showcase prehistoric life in this area. The Danube branches out and in some places its ambiance is reminiscent of the Amazon delta.
Mountains – Tara, Zlatibor and Kopaonik – are all tourist spots of outstanding beauty; in winter they stand in full glory when their peaks are white with snow.
These days Serbia is very proud. More than seventeen cenutries ago, Constantin, the Roman Emperor who first adopted Christianity and passed the Edict of Milan promoting religious tolerance in the Empire, was born in Naisus, today the City of Niš.
Serbia can be proud of many individuals who marked its recent history, from Nikola Tesla, famous scientis and inventor, Ivo Andrić, Nobel Laureate in literature, to Novak Đoković, number one tennis player. Many of them are now part of world history.

October 2013

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