All about me

No, seriously, it really is all about me.

On the list of my daily priorities, being me ranks almost as high as “wear clean socks” and “don’t eat yellow snow.” Almost as high, but not quite. Being me, you might say, is the only option I have. There were times in my life, I must be honest, when I tried to be somebody or something else (a German poodle, once, and a Renaissance oil painting, twice), but it appears that I can’t help being myself. As much as I try to break out of being me (it is a limited and limiting state, being only and always just me; imagine how much I could accomplish if only I could transform myself into, say, a Xerox machine or the iPhone home button), the world around me keeps pounding me back into myself.

I can’t help being me. And I can’t help being Serbian.

Now, being Serbian may not seem like an important condition to you, if you aren’t Serbian yourself. And if you aren’t, then, sorry, brother, I can’t help you with that. I was just born like this. The Serbianness was implanted deep into my genetic structure, so deep in fact the doctors tell me attempting to remove it with any sharp object may result in me not only ceasing to be Serbian, but in me ceasing to be…well, me. In this body, at least.

In a world of “might means right,” I present to you the view from the least mighty part of the world. You already know what the Americans think. You already understand what the Chinese believe in. You already have a pretty fair grasp of Russian history(well, don’t you?). But what, I ask you, do you know about the Serbian? The marginalized, victimized, often misunderstood, all but forgotten Serbian? Anything? No, I didn’t think so. Enter: me! Me, the Serbian made in Serbia (not China, as some may have claimed, mistaking me for the latest tablet computer). And let me tell you, it’s important to know what the little people think because… Well, I don’t know why exactly. Don’t let me do all the work, fill in some of the blanks on your own. Treat this as you would a crossword puzzle.

I can tell you that we are a small people with grand ambitions. One day, who knows, you might find yourself living in a world so Serbianized you’ll be reading these words in Serbian, not English. Belgrade, for all you know, may be the 21st century’s New York. In a decade or two you may suddenly find yourself behind the wheel of a Yugo, stuffing your face with burek, on your way to celebrate a genuine Serbian invention, the krsna slava. Easy on the rakija, please.

Alright, maybe none of that is very likely. Nowadays we are ambitious only when it comes to sports, and I have serious doubts the world can be conquered using only a tennis racket (a canoe paddle, maybe; a racket, not so much). The truth is this. We are the laziest people you could ever hope to meet. We get easily tired of having to work for a living, have the world’s shortest attention span, have never heard of discipline, and never, and I mean never, follow instructions (Ikea furniture never had a chance here). Why, then, would you give a hoot about what a Serbian has to say?

Here’s why.

Nikola Tesla, Emir Kusturica, Vlade Divac, Novak Djokovic, and if you’ve never heard of any of these people (or had but thought they were Russians), let me throw in one you’ve surely been made to memorize in your high school history class: Gavrilo Princip, the man who, put simply, single-handedly started the First World War.

I can assure you the likelihood of me single-handedly starting anything (except maybe a game of Rummy, though I’d probably end up needing both hands even for that) is slim to none. I am lazy, prone to long afternoon naps, likely to get drunk at lunch and ramble about politics or sports, short-tempered and extremely impatient, slow to forgive, and almost completely incapable of being polite. In a word: Serbian.

And it’s damn important to me to be me.


40 Replies to “All about me”

  1. I learned of Nikola Tesla from the Sci-Fi series Sanctuary, which prompted me to look him up and learn about him. Now I’m tempted to read up on Gavrilo Princip! 🙂

  2. Svaka ti cast! This is a voice that should be heard by all young Serbs living in the diaspora. Your writing is brave, truthful, and honest, giving a fresh and insightful perspective on Serbian culture and living. Keep it up!

  3. I was going to say that the only Serbian I knew was Novak Djokovic but I wasn’t even positive that he was until you mentioned him! Hah. I obviously have a lot to learn! I look forward to reading your posts!

    Thanks for following my blog 😀

  4. Lovely and accurate account of being Serbian! My parents were born in Serbia but had us kids in America. We might as well have been raised on Serbian soil. They taught us to speak, eat, and breathe Serbian. By the way, my mom makes the BEST burek. Though if I remember correctly, she also made something similar called gibanica!

  5. Best about page EVER…my wife is part Latvian which is not as close to Serbia as I thought it was. She, too, is slow to forgive and prone to afternoon naps. As for myself, well I’m just happy to have stumbled upon one of the most insightful and well written blogs in the blog-o-sphere I have ever come across.

  6. I am in need of learning about all things Serbian. I sadly did not know who started the war and certainly would never have guessed he was Serbian.. So thank you for the education. I am looking forward to learning more.

  7. You had me at Serbian. Though, I do wonder now whether or not there’s Serbian blood running through my veins, that’d explain my laziness or at least be an excuse for it!

    But what a charming and hilarious About page, I could not not follow! From some of the posts I’ve read already it looks like that’s what Imma be getting, plus some spot on rants (say no to No People, worst kind of folk).

      1. I will take your word on that! When I fail to do a task due to laziness it shall be my Serbian heritage as the reason behind it! 😉

  8. Your first line, “It really is all about me” : Whenever my daughter would start in on me for whatever reason, I would tell her, “It’s not always all about you!” Yet, I guess it always was. 🙂

  9. love your blog, dude.

    i must admit, i am a russian, but i have my fair share of serb buddies who have gotten me into some hilarious situations. you guys know how to live life, and it makes my life more interesting by association.

    keep up the awesome work. i’ll be back for sure to have a good laugh every now and again.

  10. I burst out laughing at this — “In a decade or two you may suddenly find yourself behind the wheel of a Yugo, stuffing your face with burek, on your way to celebrate a genuine Serbian invention, the krsna slava. Easy on the rakija, please.”

    I lived in Ljubljana as a little girl, so, while clearly not Serbian, I at least have a great appreciation for the Yugo and for bureks. 😉

    So wonderful to discover your blog!

  11. And could ist be, that I just discovered that the serbian genetic structure includes a fine litte ounce of irony too? Really enjoyed reading 🙂

  12. Loving this! You really made a definition of a Serbian. Couldn’t put it in better words myself. Even tho I’m new I’m looking forward to read this blog. Svaka cast 😀

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