I recently returned from Sarajevo, Bosnia and while it wasn’t the first time I have been there, this time since I went with my hubby and in-laws, all of whom haven’t been back to their motherland in 14 years! Needless to say, this time around was less about visiting museums and historical sites and more about meeting and visiting extended family members and friends. Who knew I was now related to about half of Sarajevo?!
I’ve spoken before about trying to learn the language, and while I’d say my understanding rate is still pretty low, I have certainly mastered the art of hellos and goodbyes, which we’ll consider a small success!
A visit to a Bosnian household is quite a treat. While in America the custom may be (at least in my house), “can I get you anything to drink?”, and when the person responds “no, thanks”, to just leave it at that, this absolutely doesn’t fly in Bosnian hoods (which are referred to as “mahalas”.) Every time we’d visit a house, we were served a huge spread of traditional Bosnian coffee, juice, sparkling and still water, and sweet and savory treats. They wouldn’t take no for an answer, I tell you! And of course it would be considered rudest of rude not to accept. End story: it’s a good thing we came back when we did or we would have been rolled onto the plane!
One of the highlights of the trip was a beautiful dinner arranged by the family where they took my love for the story “The Little Prince” and provided Bosnian versions of the book for all the guests and a Little Prince cake! Completely, completely touched.
Seriously, Sarajevo hospitality just can’t be beat, and I feel really blessed to have such a wonderful culture of people to now call family.