Sunday, August 19, 2007

Summer in Serbia

After a long time summer in Serbia, I'm finally back in the UK. I thought that it might be interesting to recount some of my experiences while there for my first blog entry in over 2 months.
I'll start with the highlight of my stay which was a tour of the Valjevo region. I had the honor of venerating the holy relics of St. Nikolai, located in the monastery of Lelic. A local priest that I met 2 years ago on the Bosnian border was good enough to drive me around. I experienced some authentic Serbian hospitality in various mountainous villages where he had family. At one particular village the priest bought up the subject of Ratko Mladic, the former leader of the Bosnian Serb Army, wanted by the Hague War Crimes Tribunal (which curiously prosecutes everybody but the main perpatrators of the all the Balkan wars: America). Everyone around the table had pretty strong feelings on the subject. The priest went as far as telling me that people in the Valjevo region were willing to die to prevent the capture of Mladic. I did notice while I was there an increased level of national consciousness, especially in comparison to Belgrade.
Together with the priest I attended a lecture that was given in another monastery by a history professor. The subject was Serbian history, from Saints Cyril and Methodius to the present day. It turned out to be extremely informative. Towards the end, the professor made a slight diversion from history and started talking about the New World Order, mentioning also the financial clout of the Jews, and tying it in with American foreign policy and the Balkan wars. I looked behind me to check out if anyone’s sensitivities were being tested, but the hundred and fifty or so people didn't bat an eyelid. Either most the people were already familiar with these topics, or if they weren't, they certainly hadn't been conditioned to reject them out of hand as hateful. I couldn't help but think about the reaction the professor would have received had the speech taken place in England. Before I left the monastery I randomly came across a book by Ratibor Djurdjevic (I recently added his site to my links section). I subsequently ended up reading a number of his books back in Belgrade. I'll probably post about him another time.
While trekking up a mountain with some friends from Belgrade (relocated from Kosovo), we came across a guy from the organization Dveri, whose site I recently found and linked to. We had an interesting discussion mainly concerning the disastrous effects of the 2 world wars on Serbia and the need to preserve our people and our way of life without a head-on physical confrontation with the world powers. Not many people know this, but Serbia lost 50% of its male population during WW1, which I think is the highest proportion of any country during the war. I'm not sure about the proportion lost during WW2, I'd say 25% is a conservative estimate. The guy was advocating that Serbs need to adopt a strategy of keeping quiet and lying low for a while, and that the main point of resistance has to be within the family. In essence he argues that the Serbian youth need to put their faith and efforts into marriage, and building healthy (in every sense of the word) families with plenty of children. Then even once the children are exposed to the various delights of the NWO outside the home (or within it if they switch on the TV), they are already immunized and are capable of viewing these abnormalities in their true light, which will of course lessen their effect.
I also met some guy from a village in the northern Serb province of Vojvodina that told me an interesting story. Apparently a village near his decided to start holding an annual sausage fest in the middle of the fasting period. The local bishop said that they should delay it by a few days till the end of the fasting period, which the organizers rejected. Within a few months one of the organizers was dead, and the other's son had died in a road-traffic accident. Obviously many would say that there's no connection, or that it's disgusting to even believe that the 2 could be connected. Who am I to say either way, but what is for certain is that their sins were not merely confined to not keeping the fast. That is a personal choice that anyone can make. What they were doing was tempting and encouraging others to break the fast, and compelling others to sin. And then there is the second point about disobeying the bishop and undermining his authority, again publicly. I guess some readers from non-Orthodox countries might find it hard to comprehend the meaning and purpose of fasting in Orthodox countries. As Christians we strive to cultivate the virtues, and to eliminate the sins and negative attributes (sometimes referred to as 'the passions') that alienate us from God. The fasting period is a time of prayer, and material self-denial. Needless to say, the idea of holding a sausage festival in the middle of the fasting period can only occur to someone for whom the idea of spiritual struggle and betterment means nothing, for whom the spirit means nothing, for whom Orthodoxy means nothing. And such a person inevitably undermines the very foundation and spirit of an authentic Serbian society. The opposite of a society of individuals striving to better themselves and sacrificing themselves for others, is one of individuals striving to better themselves (although they are ultimately harming themselves), at the expense of others. Clearly the sausage fest organizers were thinking only of the money they would make, and of their bellies.
Back in Belgrade, I attended the beer fest, which was not a particularly positive experience. The picturesque fortress of Kalemegdan was packed with hundreds of thousands of people. The air was filled with the usual soulless noise pollution that passes itself off as music. Various drugged up youth were gyrating and contorting their bodies in a trance like state. One guy actually had his head up against a massive speaker and was seemingly stroking and rubbing it with his face. I can only liken it to tree hugging. He must have been so high he couldn't feel the effects of his eardrums being pulverized. I also witnessed a massive brawl with people having their heads kicked in as the masses looked on passively. To be fair the level of drunkenness wasn't so bad, but there wasn't anything positive to take from the experience. What can I say; Serbia succumbing to the cultural revolution was never going to be a pretty sight.
Serbian TV leaves a lot to be desired, surprise, surprise. There are 3 channels dedicated exclusively to astrological hocus pocus, and at least twice that many catering for Serbs that wish they were rappers living in an American ghetto. And apparently our economic situation is so great that whoever runs the Belgrade bus network decided it was a good idea to invest in fitting every single bus, with the exception of those 'bendy buses', with a TV monitor. And what do they play on these screens? Rap, R'n'b, Hip hop. You can't make it up. Most likely some corrupt official received a kick-back to buy these needless contraptions for the bus service. And what is the result? Serb school children being greeted by gyrating degenerates twice a day. Without going overboard, assuming that this is due to corruption, it effectively means that this official values money more highly than he does Serbian minds and souls. In my eyes that makes him/her a traitor as well as thief. A lot of people always moan about how omnipotent America and its sub-culture are. About how they penetrate into every sphere of national life. This cultural imperialism wouldn't be half as effective if Serbs didn't aide and abet it's spread. Or if they demanded a government that actually protected it's own culture and people and protected their sovereignty, instead of professing that it's number one goal is to submit it to the EU. One of the most outrageous actions of the government while I was there was the arrest and deportation of Radovan Karadzic's son from Serbia by the Muslim cabinet minister Rasim Ljajić. It's a sorry state of affairs when Muslim ministers are deporting Serbs from their own country.
A few days before I headed back to the UK I watched some boring discussion on TV between 3 so-called intellectuals who supposedly represented different points of view. One was for joining NATO and the EU, and the second was only up for joining the EU. I'm not 100% sure about the third since I switched on after his main monologue, but judging from his subsequent comments, he was somewhere in-between the first two on the issue of Westernization. The usual superficial case of 'diversity' and 'choice', similar to Western democracy, where people are exposed to a spectrum of views or parties which only differ on inconsequential details. They ended up discussing the tragic death of a teenager in the Belgrade zoo, located next to the river Danube in the town centre. He somehow fell into the bear enclosure and was mauled to death in the middle of the night. All kinds of theories are doing the rounds. Some claim that a sect was involved, others that he was thrown in by hooligans, or that he was intoxicated. Either way the discussion quickly spiraled into a character assassination of the owner of the zoo. Apparently the guy is politically unacceptable, they were accusing him of being a supporter of Legija, the man accused of assassinating Zoran Djindjic. The city council wants to have the zoo relocated away from the centre, but has no authority over it, since it seems to be privately owned. Anyway what made me laugh was that apparently the owner has given politically incorrect names to certain locations within the zoo. The one that stood out was a certain passage named after Monika Lewinsky, because you have to bend over to walk through it. The 3 debaters found that distasteful, and were complaining about having to explain the name to their daughters. It was curious to see how the name of an obscure passage in the town zoo was being treated as an outrageous affront to their moral sensitivities, but no one mentioned the more overt and frequent sexualisation of children through the media. Every time one of their daughters walks past a kiosk she's exposed to pornographic magazines. I think they were more concerned about Serbia's 'image' and sucking up to America than they were with morality. These are the type of people who actively seek to be offended by non-politically correct sentiment. Yet when others are offended by their liberal values regarding gay marches, pornography, abortions, multi-culturalism etc, then it doesn't seem to matter. The third guy expressed outrage that there were bear's 'shitting and pissing in the town centre, and prepared to rip to pieces anyone that dropped into their enclosure'. First off bears 'shit and piss' in zoo's the world over, why it is against human decency to have such normal functions occur I'm not quite sure. They are animals after all. I mean human's 'shit and piss' in the town centre, and not all of them do so where they are supposed to, unlike the bear who exclusively does so in his allotted enclosure. There were tens of thousands of people urinating out in the open at the beer fest. And why the surprise that a bear is prepared to attack anyone that comes into its territory. That happens anywhere, who cares if the zoo is in the city centre. The guy made it sound like it was entirely normal for the bear to have visitors dropping in on him. I made a point of taking some younger cousins to the zoo after watching the show.
Before heading out of the country I attended a medieval reenactment festival in the city center, and witnessed the bizarre sight of a poor woman bending over backwards to be offended on behalf of others. Essentially she was pleading with the organizers: ‘They’ll never accept us into EU if you insist on holding such manifestations’. These are people so obsessed with Western living standards and ‘enlightened values’, that they have completely lost their mind. To the point that they are so willing to capitulate to any of the West’s demands, and prove their ‘progressive’ credentials, that they will sacrifice even those things that the West does not require of them (just in case!). Who in their right mind is not aware that every European nation has reenactment groups? Who in their right mind could brand such a harmless activity as indicative of militarism, hatred, and a desire to ‘revert back to the past’ and ‘commit ethnic cleansing’? These people in fact want to eradicate any institution or values that can be described as traditional, because in their eyes to ‘progress’ most effectively one needs to eradicate everything from the past, even those things which are good. It’s all worth it if we end up with a good GDP, or so they claim! Suffice to say if I thought the existence of historical reenactment groups would be a key sticking point regarding Serbian negotiations for entry into the EU, I’d be in the shed piecing together my chain mail this very moment!
Technorati tags;
lelic belgrade corruption eu beer fest reenactment


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"if I thought the existence of historical reenactment groups would be a key sticking point regarding Serbian negotiations for entry into the EU, I’d be in the shed piecing together my chain mail this very moment!"

If only it were that simple, eh? Good to see you back and back on form in such terrific style, Nikola. Hope your disappointment at the UK on your return wasn't too great.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Crvena zvezda said...

I wouldn't doubt if the man falling into the cage was related to cults or sects. There were 2 disgusting incidents involving them in Serbia this summer.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Nikola said...

Thank you Mr. Smith. To be honest I've come to terms with the idea that things need to get worse before they get better, so I try to take the positive view that the worse things get, the closer people are to awakening from their slumber (spiritually, politically, culturally etc). It would be more depressing if I thought this moral order and its political institutions were capable of surviving long term, as seemed to be the case for a period during the 90's perhaps. Instead there are many examples every day that it is decaying and collapsing. It makes it all the clearer to me that the values that are held up and sanctified are not just erroneous, but that they are leading it's proponents and practitioners to their own destruction.
Crvena Zvezda, good to see you around, hope you are well brother.

8:30 PM  

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