On the politics of Eurovision

I always link everything around me with politics. Last year I saw how the football was changing politics. When I was in Bosnia, the national football team got quite far in the competition for the European Championships. In Bosnia, Croats support Croatia, Serbs support Serbia, and the Bosnian Muslims cheer for the Bosnian national team. However last year, Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats all got together and supported the Bosnian national team. I was very happy when The Guardian brought it to the world’s attention in this article.

This year I watched the Eurovision with friends from all over the world in Corrymeela. The Europeans were used to how the voting usually works and could easily predict to whom votes will go according to the politics of different countries. The Americans and Canadians however, found it outrageous.  For me this is a good sign.  It’s not because I tend to always look on the bright side, but because it is a good sign.

Yugoslavia’s civil wars involved issues related to culture, language, religion, the manipulation of history. What we see in Eurovision, not only this year, but in general, is that these same issues bring these countries together. Bosnia gave 10 points to Serbia. Now you can argue it’s because of all the Serbs living in the BiH, but I think no matter what ethnicity or religion people belong to, Bosnians in general love Zeljko. My Muslim, Bosnian teacher sometimes played me his songs for listening exercises when I was learning the language. I was learning Bosnian, with Serbian songs. I’m sure he could sell out any show in any town in Central Bosnia. Croatia gave Serbia their highest score, and there are not many Serbs living there nowadays. Why? Because of the shared culture, and language.

Slovenia gave Serbia 12 points as well. Montenegro too.

In a way, it’s not fair, but in the same time, I can’t help but feel joy seeing how these countries which not long ago were fighting bloody wars over the preservation of culture, traditions, language and religion, now come together and help each other to win a music contest.

Eurovision for me is that time of the year when individuals from former Yugoslav countries go back to the same relationships they had before the 1990s conflicts. Even if it’s just for 3 hours. It shows how music brings them together, instead of dividing them even more, as we witness in the case of Turkey-Cyprus-Greece.

I can’t help but post the beautiful Serbian song, which  ended on the 3rd place this year.  A song which I am going to translate properly and listen to for many years to come, because to me, and probably to many people in Bosnia, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Macedonia it is not just another pop song that will be forgotten after the summer is over. Enjoy!

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1 Comment

  1. My brother insisted that was a Croatian, Davor Sukor, singing for Serbia. You make a good point here, much better than my general Meh 🙂

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