MY COUNTRY INSIDE OF ME

Emina Vučelj,
A four-year student of Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo
The second prize on the competition of the Fund "Bošnjaci" Sarajevo

There are, on “steaks” are hands of my ancestors peacefully raised, with open fingers. As if they are waving to us. As if they are greeting us or stopping us.

If they wave to us, then they want to tell us: There you are, good luck to you in your land, the land of the ancestors who did not harm anyone, but have lived on this land while preserving all its beauty and goodness for future generations. All fields, meadows, like a colorful and fragrant carpet, fertile fields, high mountains like a green quilt heat Bosnia, lakes like mountain eyes, emerald rivers like fuel meandering through fertile valleys. For a moment, they calm down in plains, and for a moment run down the hills and mountains through which bridges are spread in Mostar, Višegrad, Bihać, connecting green watersides. They join hands with slender hands. They bring people together. They connect hearts by stitching hope.

If they greet us, then they greet us because we are here, in our own land, the land of our ancestors, loyal hundreds, thousands of years, in this Bosnia hilly, skittish, rocky but warm, and as if her breasts are starting from Bužim and warmer to Mostar. It hid us into her breast from Una to Neretva, from Sava to Drina, and we are her great heart that pulsates just for her.

„Congratulation“! It say those raised hands from “stećaks” and are greeting, not only us, but greeting and waving to any well-meaning chance traveler in this country.

Your country,
your country,
my country,
our country.

If they tell us to stop, then they tell us: "Stop and think about your country, about your lives, about your destiny, about your future generations. Is there anything better from your country, from freedom, from youth?"

I’m standing, while feelings coming up like pearls of Una river, and there are lining up: “aladžas” on our grandmothers like woven Bosnian “serdzadas” and rustling of soft “dimije” like blossoming twigs of those Bosnian women bowed in a tiny arch. “Seharas” with headscarves and table covers, in every of them is smell of oranges, embroidered shawls with crochets, smell of “gurabijas” and Turkish delights, and at the bottom, down there, below everything, in velvet wrapped up Book. By the window, in the mother's lap, through embroidered veils, through the lattice, are protruding small heads, playful and carefree, of children.

Bosnians, the knights of the high forehead and head held high, giants with long and firm steps. There are in their eyes fire and sun, in their face is vividness and welcoming, in their hands are a pen and a sword so in everyone of them I see a believer and a hero, and a servant and a professor, and a scholar and an agha, and a reveler and a husband.

Children like flowers, like poppies, like crickets, like ants.

Girls like doves, good-looking. Silky, finally, loosen hair, so as birds were fluttering their wings on the shoulders. And every hair is a silky thread, ivy green, and, above it, treetop of a fragrant quince.

Handsome guys like Lombardy poplars, solid as rocks. In their muscles are flint sparks, in their minds are insouciance and happiness, there is serenity in their faces and eyes, from which, by some miracle, easy start lightning and thunder, if necessary.

What about me? I wonder. I stand in front of the raised hand and, well, I see Hasanaginica, somewhere in Eden embraced their children, Meša’s Ahmed Nurudin in the another world collapses walls by view and plants flowery pathways, Mimar Sinan and Hajrudin how line a stone on a stone, connect coasts and worlds together, and their long arms are tighten firmly over bridges and greeting. I see happiness and tears of joy in eyes of Ferhat-pasha and Gazi Husrev-bey, that wudhu can be done with, and clean Ajvaz-dedo’s soul in front of Prusac’s cracked rocks from which clean water flows. Karađoz in the middle of Mostar’s madrassa waqufed happiness keeps on his palm, like brilliants. And Ayat venerable: And anyone who does even the mote of good – that one will see Him.

And look, on the other side of Bosnia, almost from Sava, roars Bosnian army, and from white Grada

ac’s tower the Husein’s faithful love looks at them. The captain, Dragon of Bosnia, went to defend Bosnia through captaincies and “sandžaks”. Over seven, over eighth, over tired, over bitter...

O God, what about me? What that raised right hand of my ancestors requires from me? There is a big crossroad in front of me and all roads call me.

Where? Where to go? Nowhere. I stay here, but different, with different thoughts and different requirements, some kind of completely new. Own. In front of me collapse borders, the World open its door and I’m from the entrance gate of Europe. Here I am, quite close. With a raised hand I stop and imagine, think carefully, turn around and go to Europe, to modern times, in the conquest of new knowledge. To learn, read, study, to write to mine and about mine Bosnia and that all that is mine I lock in my grandmother’s treasure chest, and key, it is in my soul. In my heart. In my head. In a strongly raised right hand. Raised for allegiance and honor.

What pledge:

Me a good Bosniak woman,
I pledge, To you, Bosnia
The right friend I will be to You
From me
Forever!
On the right road I will, Mother, get out
Pride
Glory
Beauty of Your name
I’ll pass over the world like a modest Bašeskija
Truth will talk through truth
So I can, without shame, like Odyssey in Ithaca,
Come back
Faithful to You,
like Umihana, Mujo’s love
I pledge, to You, by my right hand
I’ll be careful
That I, small, will not go
under the stars;
I would want to
at my end
instead to the powder
I cross completely in the stars
That I to my descendants
like a faithful hard worker
forge a craft carrier
across the Blue River.

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