The multinational environment has its advantages. Learn about others, others about you. However, such a community can be challenging, especially for those who are a minority. How Bosniaks and Gorani live. We rarely hear about their daily lives and what they face. Azra, Aris and Samra, give their insight. This text is a continuation of the RCT activities, training the youth on reporting on multiethnic relations. Read below.
In “foreignness”, but keeping their own identity; with intentions to be modern, at heart traditional, Bosniaks and Gorani, two different minorities, of the same religion and similar traditions, are often placed under the same “basket” due to lack of information. Although different nationalities, as minorities, face identical challenges. There are always two paths that their lives can take, depending on the environment, friends, neighbors and first of all parents.
Azra was born in Novi Pazar, she originates from Shar Mountain, she grew up in Leposavić. Aris was born in Mitrovica and is originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Samra was born in Switzerland, she comes from the Sharr Mountains, and she grew up in Leposavic.
What do we, as another community, know about them? Exactly the one from the beginning of the text. So much so that we often identify them. But here’s what they say.
“In my case, it was great happiness for my personality that I spent the years in which we form our character in an environment that is mostly of other religion, nationalities, customs, traditions … Why great happiness? Because I always found maximum respect and I enjoyed great freedom in the most critical years of growing up. Therefore, I learned that diversity is not something that separates and distances us, but something that teaches us that accepting diversity is the core of success in creating a healthy environment for us and finding loved ones “- explains Azra.
The feeling of belonging to the place, community, space in which she lives carries her share of importance in growing up as well. Exclusion and marginalization cannot bring anything positive to those who exclude others or to those who are excluded.
“Most of those who belong to a minority, are led through life by the thought that the minority itself is hated by the majority people and that is how it is set up, so mutual animosity follows. I had the honor of growing up among quality and reasonable people, and because of that I never lost my sense of belonging “- adds Samra.
Direct contacts are what matters. Through them, we get an insight into what is difficult to see on the surface. Aris believes that this contributes to the fact that there are no conflicts between different communities.
“When we meet a person, our attitude becomes more personal and we forget the things that are at the core of our diversity. We forget about religion, nationality, language, and the only valid measure remains the character traits of people “- adds Aris.
In addition to their experiences, the three speakers shared more important messages with you, the readers. They learned to getting to know the one “across the road” is best through conversation, information, intention to listen, openness, and their own positive attitude. That recipe could be replicated in everything in life.
“I think that information is the key to understanding. If the public were a little more informed about the life of minorities, they would live in greater idyllicness,” says Samra.
“I am glad that the newer generations want to listen and learn about other people’s cultures and thus break down prejudices,” adds Aris.
“I think the point of a good life is to see what is good in everything. A positive attitude is a matter of choice and the happiness of life itself depends on the quality of our thoughts “- concludes Azra.
This article is a result of the training organized by Reconciliation & Conflict Transformation Activity, implemented by CBM and partners New Social Initiative – Nova društvena inicijativa & Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Kosovo (YIHR KS) and supported by the American people through USAID Kosovo.