Many Americans ask me if Bosnia is a part of Russia. The fact is Bosnia is in heart of Europe – a small country with roughly 4 million people. Most Bosnians live in rural areas. Our cities are small and most of them have kept the historic look to show how rich our culture is. We are proud of the beautiful culture that makes Bosnia so unique. For 15 years, we have tried to represent our country and culture and tell stories about our heritage here in Utica.
Bosnians love American culture; freedom and diversity is what makes the United States so special. Look at our city of Utica. So many different nations live here; so many different cultures, traditions and religions, and we all get along. How many cities can claim that? Bosnia has many different religions, with three major ones: Catholics (Croats), Orthodox (Serbs), and Islam (Muslims). We are big soccer country; soccer is a main sport and part of our culture and tradition. Bosnia came to the world’s attention in 1984, when the Winter Olympic Games were held in our capital, Sarajevo.
In the early 90’s, a bloody war escalated in Bosnia. Over 200,000 innocent people died. Who knows for what reason? I will never understand it. Between 1994 and 2000, perhaps 300,000 Bosnians came to live in America and Canada. The reason why we came here? We had no place to go. Either it wasn’t safe to go back home or homes were gone and destroyed by war. Some didn’t want to go back because they just wanted to try to forget about the war. Everybody had their own reasons, and it was hard to leave our homes.
If you ever plan to vacation overseas, go to Bosnia. You will not regret it. My home country is so beautiful.