Every time I try to compile the Balkan Carnival, blog.hr goes down! it happened again today, but they seemed to recover fairly quickly. Drax points out that technical reliability is not the service's only problem--they are also worried about acquiring a non-serious image, as blogs are not respected by mainstream media in the Balkans. But we respect one another (yes?), so here is another selection of this month's favorite items from Balkan blogs.
Yakima Gulag realized that it had become a Balkan blog, and explained to readers how and why. At Science and Politics, the variations on identity come together with a religious, political, and scientific reflection on how the heck our kids get so smart. It makes for an interesting reflection on identity and its pleasures and problems, and also at least by implication on ways in which Balkan identity can be chosen.
The issue of identity and its being chosen or rejected came up again in relation to the question of language. Filologanoga offered a linguistic-historical reflection on the new recodification of the Croatian language, contrasting concerns about uniqueness with enthusiasm for creativity and diversity. Meanwhile a completely different take on linguistic diversity is offered by 20-month old David Muir. The final word on the question of identity comes, as it should, from an advertisement by a sweets manufacturer.
Economic conditions remained challenging in the region, as Drax reports that they are threatening even establishments for gambling on sports matches. In Croatia, Seesaw reports that tourists are finding that Serbian agencies offer the best prices for coastal destinations in Croatia. However, there may be an incipient growth market for Bosnian snail farmers.
Not all of the economic and political improvements are moving at a snail's pace, though. Seesaw reports that >Romania and Bulgaria are expected to lead the Balkan charge into the EU. And Serbia-Montenegro was susrprised to get a favorable feasibility study which nobody seems to have got around to translating. The trifecta of developments led to a debate on whether Balkan neighbors are pleased by one anothers' success in dealing with accession to the EU.
While CNN continued a daily osvrt on the scandals of Croatian public life. On scandals elsewhere in the region, Morpheus informs us of the plan for war criminals to be captured by Pierce Brosnan. And East Ethnia followed war-criminal developments on other fronts.
It was a good month for Balkan musicians. The Bosnian supergroup Bijelo Dugme announced reunion plans, a fact which Bosny celebrated with a song translation. And "Crvena jabuka" is now 20 years old. Chuck Berry is older still, but the Partibrejkersi will open for him in Zagreb. In the folk-jazz department, electronic harmonikas Belinda Bedelkovic was featured in an interesting video. In the folk-crime department, Ceca tried to do a foreign tour but was denied visas by Canada and Australia.
The local and global competed in a pro-sljivovica poster provided by Novala, while spring was hailed by dandelion salad recipes from Yakima and from the eastern part of Ethnia. At Gulistan, there was food porn for lovers of squid.
Several Balkan blogs offered new features and changes. "The Glory of Carniola" tried a design change in the spirit of April 1, and then changed the page design anyway, from the touristy to the newspaperish. Kushtrim Xhakli put up a new interactive map of his regular destinations in Prishtine. And quiet for a while, Dvevnik ulice is back. The Burekeaters are also moving to a new home. We hope it will be large enough to hold the creation that breaks the record for the world's largest burek. In the news about bloggers, Mat Savelli is headed to grad school. And Teekay faces the technical and cultural shock of moving from Sarajevo to some distant place. Had he gone to Britain, he may have got some benefit from the advice that was found by URLanje.
A few new blogs made their appearance, including Hamburek and investigative journalism by Zeljko Peratovic. Let's keep seeing more as the blogosfera gets wider and more well rounded.