Welcome to the second monthly Carnival of the Balkans, the collection of the best blog posts of, by, and for people of the Balkans. How many countries are officially classified as Balkan countries? I don't know. Let's try to count: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Monetenegro, Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece and Turkey - that's ten. Shouldn't Cyprus be counted here as well? Did I forget anybody?
Anyway, this is the only blog carnival I know (and I've been tracking them closely lately) that has posts written in languages that are not English, including Italian, German, Slovenian and various spawns of what used to be called Serbo-Croatian. English still dominates, though. I hope that in the future, the Carnival of the Balkans will have entries from all the Balkan states written in all the languages used there.
Also, my recent computer problems make it difficult for me to make nice links, so I will just copy and paste the URLs - sorry about that, though I like to see what the URL can tell me about the post before I click on it. Some can be quite informative. Let's start with the posts now.
Novalas Europa writes about a wonderful exhibit of photos of Bosna from 1907-1908: http://sodazitron.blogger.de/stories/225907/
and again on the Yu-Retroshop bringing the nostalgics back to Tito times (with a banner sign: Currently no new products): http://sodazitron.blogger.de/stories/222850/
Hmmm, if you are from a "socially acceptable family" in Croatia, you can get away with murder. Interesting legal precedent, presented here in two languages and two emotional states, first one from Draxblog
http://draxisblogging.blogspot.com/2005/02/brave-old-world.html, the other one from Pastoralni Kupus (pastoral cabbage) http://kupus.blog.hr/arhiva-2005-02.html#173612. One wonders if such legal language is really neccessary for a class-based judicial system to operate. After all, it has been operating in many places for centuries, just not this openly.
Drax has also learned a new word recently:
It is very, very cold in Europe right now:
An important international recognition, via Burekeaters:
One day I am going to translate all songs of Djordje Balasevic into English, but Sarajevo-Bosnia has scooped me already for this one song:
Frank writes about wine on Blue Danube Wine Blog:
An exciting new archeological discovery, noted by Balkan-Scissors:
Turkish Torque wonders if there is an international organization that gives Latin names to plants and animals. The answer is yes, but Turks are doing their own naming anyway:
URLanje ("screaming") links to the post (http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2005/2/7/161047/1869) that gives suggestions (tongue-in-cheek) how to start your very own blog in fifty-one easy steps:
Over At Teekay's, on the civilized way to drink coffee:
Tajni Grad ("secret city") wonders why Tom Waits pays so much attention to his shoes:
If your browser cannot read Cyrillic script, you cannot read Srbovanje, but apparently 300,000 people did:
Matt of Roma Roma reviews the book The Natashas:
Pestiside reports on two invasions on Budapest, one by aliens, the other by farmers:
American ignorance of geography is legendary, but at least USA Today should have tried to figure out which country was Bush really visiting last week. Here, Carniola comments on Mr Bush's visit to Slovakovenia: http://www.carniola.org/theglory/2005/02/bushs_visit_to_.html One wonders how did they manage to manufacture a bad map when there are so many correct maps out there...
Now, this one made me roll on the floor laughing. It is from Carniola on the funniest drink name ever: http://www.carniola.org/theglory/2005/02/peachka.html. For those not familiar with Slavic languages, here is an entry from an online Dictionary: pička as**ole, beaver, co**sucker, creep, c*nt, f**k, fu**er, fur pie, honey pot, pr*ck, pu$$y, snatch, tail. The Dictionary has really mixed up two shades of meanings of two slightly different synonyms. I remember a famous line from an old Yugoslav movie (which one? I forgot) attempting to figure otu the difference between the two words: "Picka je polni organ, pizda je karakterna osobina" [Picka is a (female) reproductive organ, pizda is a character trait].
Histologion on the consequences of the use of depleted uranium in Kosovo in 1999:
Kushtrim Xhakli writes on a sensational discovery of Iliro-Albanians:
Growing up, my favourite comic strip was "Alan Ford". It was one of the most influential strips in the area, many of its lines permanently infiltrating the language. Maniac Shop posts an interview with the strips' author, Max Bunker:
Maniac Shop also offers the most authentic Balkan screen-saver here:
This post is ancient, but still one of may favourites, Halfway Down The Danube wondering if Belgrade is the least child-friendly or most child-friendly city in the world:
...and to continue on my own nostalgia trip:
Eric Gordy of East Ethnia was prolific this month. First he had a series of four posts covering the outrageous sale of Sarajevo University property for funny money to the USA for the new Embassy:
Eric also wrote a good post about purity of language:
http://eastethnia.blogspot.com/2005/02/merc-per-leggere-mein-mreni-balvan.html and one that made me salivate and run to my pantry to see if I still own a bag of Vegeta (I do): http://eastethnia.blogspot.com/2005/02/universal-vegeta.html
Finally, my own musings about growing up in an atheist country:
Check the homepage (http://balkania.blogspot.com/) for news about the next Carnival, planned to appear on or around April 7.