By:
Mabel Fatokun

Let’s Explore Bosnia And Herzegovina Together

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • 3,198,678
  • 51,209 km²
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Located in Southeast Europe on the Balkan Peninsula, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Serbo-Croatian: Bosna i Hercegovina, Боснa и Берцеговина commonly known as Bosnia-Herzegovina and colloquially as Bosnia) is a country. It shares borders with Montenegro to the southeast, Croatia to the north and southwest, and Serbia to the east. Its only sea connection is through the town of Neum.

The coastline stretches 20 kilometres (12 miles) along the Adriatic Sea towards the south. Due to its mild continental climate, Bosnia experiences scorching summers and chilly, snowy winters. The topography is mostly flat in the northeast, somewhat hilly in the northwest, and mountainous in the middle and eastern sections. Herzegovina’s smaller, southern region is largely mountainous and enjoys a Mediterranean climate.

Bosnia And Herzegovina

Three major ethnic groups live in the nation: the largest is made up of Bosniaks, followed by Serbs and Croats. Jews, Roma, Montenegrins, Albanians, Ukrainians, and Turks are among the minorities. The legislature of Bosnia and Herzegovina is bicameral, and the presidency is composed of three members, one from each of the three main ethnic groups. But because the nation is so decentralised, the central government’s power is extremely constrained. It consists of three autonomous units: the Brčko District, which a municipal administration runs; the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Republika Srpska.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is ranked 74th in the Human Development Index and is classified as a developing nation. Agriculture and industry are the main drivers of its economy, with tourism and the service sector following. In recent years, there has been a notable surge in tourism. The nation provides free elementary and secondary education, as well as a system of universal healthcare and social security. It is a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean, which was founded in July 2008, as well as a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Partnership for Peace, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Central European Free Trade Agreement. Since April 2010, Bosnia and Herzegovina has been a candidate for NATO and the EU membership.

The Bosna river, which flows through the centre of Bosnia, is thought to be the source of the land’s name. The philologist Anton Mayer suggests that the name Bosna may have originated from the Illyrian *”Bass-an-as”, which may have been derived from the Proto-Indo-European root, which means “the running water.” According to English medievalist William Miller, the Slavic immigrants in Bosnia “adapted the Latin designation… Basante, to their own idiom by calling the stream Bosna and themselves Bosniaks.”

The word “herzog” is derived from the German word for “duke,” and the name Herzegovina means “herzog’s [land]”. The origin of the title comes from Stjepan Vukčić Kosača, a Bosnian nobleman who lived in the 15th century and was known as the “Herceg [Herzog] of Hum and the Coast” . The Bosnian Banate had taken control of Hum (formerly known as Zachlumia), an early mediaeval principality, in the first half of the fourteenth century.

Languages
Serbo-Croatian, a word used to collectively characterise the mutually intelligible languages presently known as Serbian, Croatian, or Bosnian, depending on the speaker’s ethnic and political identity, is the mother tongue of the vast majority of people. Although there are some little regional differences in vocabulary and pronunciation, the speech of Bosnia and Herzegovina is more similar to that of other regions than, say, the speech of Belgrade, Serbia, or Zagreb, Croatia. There are two alphabets—Latin and Cyrillic—that are taught in schools and are utilised in the media. However, with the development of nationalism in the 1990s, Serbs began to identify with Cyrillic, while Croats and Bosniaks aligned with Latin.

Fishing, forestry, and Agriculture
One-third of the land in Bosnia and Herzegovina is either in pasture or under cultivation, making it a major agricultural region. The north, along the valley of the Sava River, has the most rich soils. Both farming and grazing are done on land in hilly regions. Apples, plums, cabbages, potatoes, wheat and maize (maize) are the main crops. Tobacco is grown throughout Herzegovina and in the more sheltered parts of Bosnia. The majority of the animals are sheep, though pigs and cattle are also raised, as well as apiculture. Since wood items, including furniture, make up nearly two fifths of the nation’s total area, timber has been a significant export. The potential for fishing is being used more and more.

Security
The Yugoslav People’s Army was built to fend off invasions, and as part of its plan, it utilised Bosnia and Herzegovina, a republic in central Europe, as a stockpile for weapons and as the location of the majority of its military manufacturing. The majority of these weapons were taken by Bosnian Serb forces, who were fighting for their own Serb state with assistance from the Yugoslav People’s Army. In other places, the (mostly Bosniak) Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Croatian Defence Council were established with assistance from Zagreb, but their collaboration quickly deteriorated.

Welfare, housing, and Health
Due to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s decentralised healthcare system, there exist disparities in service quality and unequal access to medical care. Compared to co-payments that are required by law, informal payments for care are more prevalent. Approximately twice as many people live in poverty in rural as in urban areas. According to the United Nations Human Development Index, which assesses quality of life widely, the nation was towards the bottom of the “high human development” level at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It was ranked lower than almost every other nation in Europe, with the exception of a few former Soviet states.

Cultural environment
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s cultural life is influenced by a variety of European and Turkish elements. The cultures of the rural and urban areas, as well as traditional and modern, differ greatly.

Social Norms and Day-to-Day activities
Strong bonds exist between family members, and networks of friends and neighbours are well-established. Hospitality, spontaneity, and the skills of wit and storytelling are highly valued. Strolling along the town’s promenades is a popular summer activity. Throughout the year, kafane, or traditional coffee shops, and kafići, or contemporary café-bars, are popular gathering spots. Bosnian food takes great pleasure in its Turkish influence, which can be found in stuffed vegetables, coffee, and baklava-style sweet cakes. Another example of Turkish influence in the cuisine is the national dish known as ćevapi, or ćevapčići. These are little grilled rolls made with spiced ground meat (generally a blend of lamb and beef) that are often served in a bread pocket.

The plums found in the nation are frequently processed into thick jam or or slivovitz, a popular alcoholic wine.

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