“Mixed Meat” or a lesson in national purity in Republika Srpska

One comes across a lot of bad, hateful and nationalist texts when reading newspapers in former Yugoslavia, but a recent column in the Daily Glas Srpske (Voice of Srpska) called “Mixed Meat” (Miješano meso) stands out as a highlight to which lows of hate speech the public discourse in the RS has sunk.  The columnist Nikola Pejaković describes in great detail his opposition to mixed marriages, marriages between individuals of different national or religious background, and suggests that they are essentially a expression of communism, to be precise: “a Yugo-melting pot with the goal or creating a Yugoslav nation, atheist and based on the teachings of Marx, Engels, Stalin and local šalabajzer” (an untranslatable term standing for something like a simpleton).

He accuses particularly Serbs for having given up their god and been to willing to enter mixed marriages and points out “the experience of the past war has demonstrated that mixed marriages have resulted in many problems for these people and their families. Thus we should no longer beat around the bush. Ok, love happens, but when it happens… But where to marry? In whose church? Or again in the municipality, like the marriage is a municipal matter, a building permit.”

In the end the columnist concludes that “in my humble opinion marriages that remain mixed (sic!), where one doesn’t know who is the man and who the woman, neither to which god the children should pray, where for the sake of peace at home they celebrate neither Easter or Bajram—are just a misfortune for the lover and for their children.”

Of course such a language is nothing new to Glas Srpske, which was owned by the Republika Srpska government until a few years ago when it was sold to Željko Kopanja who used to be considered a critical and daring journalist in the RS.

While the hate speech of the war and immediate post-war period has declined it remained loyal to nationalist rhetoric of SNSD. Amidst glorifying the RS and the war, downplaying war crimes committed, the suggestion that “mixed marriages” stands out as particular offensive. The fake care for children from mixed marriages cannot hide the fascist (and I do not like to use this word) assumption: nations should marry among themselves, some kind of national purity would thus be maintained expressed through religiousness and worship of the imagined ancestors of the nation.

Not only does the author clearly oppose mixed marriages to be concluded, but also against the ones that already exist. Ironically, the authors claims that “Excuse all those who are in mixed marriages or from mixed marriages. This is not against them, but against the communists and their pro-Nazi plans, playing with people-nations and genetics, against their experiments which cost us 60 year standing in place ….” (of course there were mixed marriages before Communism and after)

Of course, it is the author who is promoting ideas of national purity which is a lot closer to the terms he accuses the communists of. The fact that such ideas which present the legal relationship between two individuals of different national or religious backgrounds communist and undesirable in 2012 in a European daily is hard to fathom, especially for a newspaper published in Banja Luka where Radoslav Brdjanin said 20 years ago about children from mixed marriages “We shall throw them into the Vrbas and those who swim out are certainly Serbs.”

5 Responses to “Mixed Meat” or a lesson in national purity in Republika Srpska

  1. I am shocked that someone is writing and publishing articles like this in 2012.

    BTW, Here is publication of several text of Bosniak/Muslim intellectuals on “mixed mariages”.

  2. Elena B. Stavrevska says:

    I found this research on mixed marriages in BiH – http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/sarajevo/09259.pdf – to be quite interesting. It is one of the rare in-depth analyses on the topic that I have come across.

  3. Pingback: Kolika su muda Nikole Pejakovića? « vahida maglajlic

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