Bosnia and Herzegovina Geography and Population

By | January 8, 2023

Bosnia and Herzegovina – geography

Bosnia and Herzegovina was the third largest and most ethnically complex of the former Yugoslav republics. Most of the country is characterized by the Dinarids, which to the north slope down towards the Sava river plain. Only through a narrow corridor does the land reach the Adriatic coast at the town of Neum; traffic to the Adriatic passes mainly through the neighboring republics of Croatia and Montenegro.

As a result of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the country was divided into two units or entities, Republika Srpska with 49% of the country’s territory and the Federation of Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims with 51% of the territory. The country has gradually become more integrated with increased traffic and the return of refugees and internally displaced persons. However, Bosnia and Herzegovina is characterized by weak state structures, and an international presence is still needed to ensure peace and stability militarily in the form of EUFOR, the successor to the international forces IFOR and SFOR.. The international community also exercises extensive civil authority in the form of the OHR (Office of the High Representative), around adjustments to the political system, ensuring the continued integration of the country through the implementation of the return of refugees and internally displaced persons, and the administration of foreign aid.

Population. At the 2013 census, Bosnia and Herzegovina had 3.53 million. residents, after the civil war in the country 1992-95 led to large population movements. It was especially the neighboring countries Croatia and Hungary that received many Bosnians, but also most of the other European countries received Bosnian refugees.

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At the most recent census in 2013, three main ethnic groups together made up 96% of the population. 50% were Bosnian Muslims, 31% Bosnian Serbs and 15% Bosnian Croats. In addition, a large number of other people. The ethnic groups do not live regionally separately, but there is a predominance of Bosnian Serbs in rural areas and of Bosnian Muslims in the cities. This mix is ​​one of the many factors that complicate the division of the country into ethnically based areas, as the Serbian minority, by virtue of its affiliation with agriculture, has inhabited a large part of the area.

Profession. The Civil War caused extensive destruction of production apparatus and infrastructure. Through the Federal Yugoslav Development Funds built up a diverse industry, concentrated in the few major cities of Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Tuzla and Zenica. It consisted mainly of light industry, but in the Sava Valley and in Mostar by the river Neretva there was also a lot of heavy industry.

Despite significant improvements in the early 2000’s, Through EU support, which is particularly visible in large cities such as Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Mostar, the scale of corruption and economic crime is high, which is partly linked to high unemployment. Therefore, it is of great importance when foreign companies invest in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as when a Canadian-Indian consortium in 2005 took over the steel plant in Zenica north of Sarajevo, which had lain dormant for years.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is an agricultural country with small and medium-sized private farms and characterized by large forest areas. Unlike most of the rest of Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia never carried out a collectivization or nationalization of agriculture. The typical agriculture was based on a versatile breeding with intensive forms of cultivation that was under modernization. Among the most important crops were maize, wheat, potatoes, sugar beet and fruit, among others. plums for the production of the well-known brandy slivovits. For culture and traditions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, please check aparentingblog.

Nature. The climate is characterized by the mountainous terrain with great local differences. It is predominantly continental with cold, snowy winters and hot summers. Large parts of the Dinarids are limestone mountains with the characteristic erosion formations karst; a very varied terrain with deep, often difficult-to-access valleys, dolines, and steep mountain sides. From a military point of view, such terrain is difficult to operate in, and it favors the locally known defender, a relationship that has been significant several times in the area’s history.

Bosnia and Herzegovina – language

In Bosnia-Herzegovina Serbo-Croatian is spoken, the so-called Eastern Herzegovina dialect, which is the central and most widespread Serbo-Croatian dialect; it is also spoken in western Serbia, the northern half of Montenegro and in large parts of Croatia. From time to time, the discussion about the use of the term Bosnian for the language of Bosnia-Herzegovina has flared up, most recently in connection with the recognition of the republic’s independence in 1992. But since the mid-1800’s. The Eastern Herzegovinian dialect has been the model for the common Serbo-Croatian standard language of the former Yugoslavia, and the term Serbo-Croatian has since gained ground. The vocabulary is influenced by the more than 400-year-old Turkish occupation, during which a number of Turkish and thereby Persian and Arabic words were recorded in the language, especially in the fields of administration, justice and war, as well as crafts and trade.

Bosnia and Herzegovina – religion

Statistics are uncertain; with a vague mix of ethnic and religious criteria in the latest census (2013) it is traditionally assumed that there are 50.7% Muslims (“Bosnians”), 30.7% Orthodox (Serbs) and 15.2% Catholics (Croats)) as well as other smaller Christian and Muslim nationalities. Until 1992, the religious groups lived extremely mixed, but with a predominance of Muslims in central Bosnia-Herzegovina, in enclaves to the south and east and around Bihać; Orthodox lived mainly to the north and east, and Catholics to the southwest. The practice of religion in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of Yugoslavia was free but not encouraged by the regime in Belgrade.

In parallel with the EU’s efforts throughout the republic, e.g. Saudi Arabia donates money to mosques and Koranic schools, which, however, is not perceived as undividedly positive by some local imams who do not want Wahhabi missions in an area traditionally characterized by more moderate versions of Islam.

Bosnia and Herzegovina – Music

Compared to other art forms, which have many common features in several regions of the former Yugoslavia, the music of Bosnia and Herzegovina has specific characteristics that make it extremely interesting.

The folk music in the countryside is very different from that of the cities. In the mountain villages there are songs that stand in such stark contrast to the cities’ more popular melodies that there seem to be many hundreds of years between the two styles; some believe they may have roots all the way back to ancient Illyrian tribes. The songs of the mountain dwellers use a scale with few tones and small intervals; one sings with loud voice and several unusual forms of voice technique. The most important thing, however, is a two-part voice, in which the second sound is treated as consonant. In a newer form of two-part voice, the voices move mainly in third parallels and end in an empty fifth. In the small towns one has early been receptive to foreign influences, especially oriental, which is heard for example in the lyrical sevdálinka, a melodic, richly ornamented solo song that expresses love and longing.

Secular art music manifested itself with the National Theater Orchestra (1921) and the Sarajevo Philharmonic (1923). After World War II, development accelerated; composers of that time should include Vlado Milošević (1901-90) and Cvjetko Rihtman (1902-88), who also became pioneers in folk music research, as well as Avdo Smailović (1917-84) and Vojin Komadina (b. 1933).

Bosnia and Herzegovina Geography