The former Yugoslavia has been filled with warfare. Violent atrocities have become common place.
But recent events have rekindled public attention to the long-muted Western Balkans, with a European qualifying football match between Serbia and Albania turning into a nationalist battleground. After years of perceived stability, the Balkan powder-keg was back in the headlines.
In the wake of the abandoned football game, angry Serbian supporters burned and stoned Albanian-owned businesses in Vojvodina, fomenting an atmosphere reminiscent of the war and the post- Kosovo independence protests.
In attempts to tame the flames, many have assured us that the hostilities between the Serbs and Albanians are truly not very old in their origins. In other words, there is no reason to panic.
If the hatred between these ethnic groups spans only a few decades or a mere hundred years, there is hope for change — for improved relations and tolerance between Serbs and Albanians in the Balkan Peninsula. This is, of course, what we all want to hear.
What these optimistic accounts forget, however, is that history in the Balkans does not merely consist of the most verifiable events that unfold between two nations — Balkan history is the telling and remembering of stories passed down through generations.
Whether these stories are true or imagined, they are what construct Albanian and Serbian understandings of themselves, enemies, friends, and modern-day resentments. Improved Serb-Albanian relations will only come about when both sides partake in honest dialogue over such historical narratives and encourage their respective populations to move forward regardless of them.
What will not help is to perpetuate the denial of such ancient discontents in the minds of Serbs and Albanians.
The remainder of this article offers historical examples of this discontent. Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Serbs and Albanians have battled over Kosovo, with ethnic Albanian guerilla forces and civilian protests consistently threatening a predominantly Serbian government.
These protests, whether violent or peaceful, were met with harsh repression. Revenge attacks were common on both sides. These more modern hostilities, however, find their support in ancient perceptions of the groups as intruders, invaders, and enemies of a collective identity.
Ancient perceptions of Serb-Albanian hostilities — opposing realities.- Violent clashes break out in Kosovo between Serbs and ethnic Albanians, prompting intervention from NATO forces. - In October, voters in Serbia approve a new constitution that declares Kosovo part of Serbia.
Mar 03, · Find out more about the history of Bosnian Genocide, including videos, interesting articles, pictures, historical features and more. Bosnian Serbs wanted to be part of a dominant Serbian state.
The Serbian-Albanian struggle for Kosovo, the heartland of Serbia’s medieval kingdom, dominated Serbia’s political life in the s.
Between and , the Serbian share of Kosovo’s population dropped from percent to less than 10 percent, while the ethnic Albanian share increased in proportion because of a high birth rate and immigration .
About the Serbs. \nSerbs (Serbian: Срби, Srbi) are a south Slavic people who live mainly in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and, to a lesser extent, in Croatia.
The Bosnia Crisis: Serbs, Croats and Muslims: who hates who and why: Tony Barber in Zagreb traces the ancient roots of a culture clash that has shattered what was Yugoslavia into warring pieces. Serbia has a Jewish history that can be traced back to the 12th century.
Today, the Jewish population in Serbia is approximately 1, people. From the period of the 12th century C.E. until the midth century, Jews in Serbia were generally treated well.
They were traders mainly involved in selling.