Heads in the Sand
of Balkan History

Self-subjection. This is perhaps the word that best expresses the enduring spiritual situation of the Balkan peoples during their long and painful process of building their states. They impose historical forgetfulness on themselves to justify their existence upon the map. They use nationalism as a cloak for their fears and insecurity. They insist on walking backwards as the world moves forward. They are unable to open bridges between themselves, because they exaggerate what separates them and minimize what unites them. They prefer to ignore problems rather than solve them, pretending that whatever they do not see does not exist. They stick their heads in the sand like ostriches, Balkan heroes painted on an ostrich egg, the expression of one truth, one reality.