My homeland Jošanica in Bosnia and Herzegovina
January 1, 1970
by Munevera Osmanovic Kulović
Position and natural geographical features of Jošanica
I would like to begin with the words told by the great Bosnian poet Mak Dizdar, who once said:
“Bosnia, forgive, there is a land,
both barren and barefoot, forgive,
both cold and hungry,
and even more, forgive, defiant by a dream.”
In these verses it can be seen how Bosnia is rich in nature and it is difficult to describe it. Thus, it is also difficult to describe and tell about the place where I live, Jošanica in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Jošanica was established only in 2012, deriving from Donje Snagovo village, near Zvornik. Even though it existed before, it was established in 2012. Jošanica village has a surface of 319 hectares. It is located on the east of Bosnia, near Zvornik. Jošanica consists of eight villages: Mahala, Gaj, Brdo, Mušanovići, Bečići, Luke and Dobra Voda. Mahala was famous for youth gathering, and now it is famous for khanqah, which is often visited. Before the war, there was a TV and all the young men used to gather and watch football matches. Old people used to say that people gathered there to watch performances by Muhamed Ali. What is interesting about this facility is that anyone who would come would bring a piece of wood to make a fire to keep warm in winter. Now, this custom has faded away and everyone is preoccupied with his own life. People who returned after the war live in this village. There are also inhabitants who live abroad, but do not forget about their compatriots. Back in 1953, according to the census, there were 56 households, i.e. 178 inhabitants in Jošanica. Unfortunately, today there are much less. What is missing in this village are children. There are less and less of them and people rarely return to their homeland. In spite of that, this village has most children in comparison with surrounding villages. The children are hardworking and good students. The effects of the war have remained and many people have fear from previous years and from what they experienced. So, we too have “White birds” who spilled their blood and gave their lives for this country. Many Jošanica mothers remember that they dedicated their sons for Bosnia. It can be said that this country is the country of shaheeds and it is an honor to live in it.
Jošanica Cultural and historical monuments and attractions
This village is adorned by one beauty, one queen, a mosque, which welcomed many passengers and sent many of them to the Akhirah (the Afterlife). When one looks at other villages from the cliffs of Jošanica, one would say that all the surrounding mosques look at the Jošanica beauty, the queen. It is the center. The mosque was built in 1977 by waqif Ibrahim Brkić and the jama’at. It was completely destroyed in 1993, and reconstructed in 2011, whereby minaret was left as an exhibit and a reminder of war. Within the mosque there is maktab (Islamic primary school) now attended by forty-six pupils. What is specific about this jama’at is that collecting money for some social events has been made at the mosque, making it a center of social and religious events. Activity of social life is reflected in gatherings of local people twice a week for several years now. Looking at the beauties of the village, I was walking through my thoughts and stopped on the small river of Jošanica, where people used to water their cattle and now it is as clear as it once used to be, as many people say. Grandfathers used to tell me that there was buried a great man. I wondered who? It was a Partisan soldier, political commissioner of the First Proletarian brigade and the national hero of Yugoslavia Filip “Fića” Kljajić, who died in 1943. In his early thirties he became a hero. He was born in Tremusnjak, Austria-Hungary. Today, many factories and schools are named after him. We have many writers who published books, medical doctors, psychologists, economists and many other highly educated people who are able to provide appropriate knowledge. We also have many war heroes, the most known and the bravest among them in this area is Muharem Sinanović, who liberated the camp in the neighboring village.
Traditions and social life of the village
Apart from these landmarks and knowledge, this village is adorned by some customs. Since most of population are Muslims, the greatest festivals and the greatest joy is for Bayram (Eid) and Ramadan. I have researched ethno-pedagogical approach regarding this custom and I have reached different knowledge. I have come upon results that I huge role in life belongs to mother. Mother dresses up children in new or unworn clothes, special for these festivities. Mother takes care of food and arrangement. During the holidays, one can say that socialization has been developed through national poems and visiting neighbors. It is interesting to say that an authentic and esthetic education has been developed in a way that mother used to embellish children and supported it by words. On the basis thereof, one can say that every custom during the months of Ramadan has its place and an educational value, according to ethno-pedagogical point of view. This village has its specificity and value that other villages do not. Regardless of the fact that the same religion is practiced, approaching festivities is different. Apart from these customs, this village has agricultural features.
How people work in Jošanica in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Most of population grows cattle and fruit. Thus, in Jošanica, we can find good and qualitative meat. We can also offer beautiful and tasty raspberries, blackberries and vegetables like tomato, peppers, etc. People here rarely complain about work, they are hard working and earn both for themselves and for others. It is interesting to mention that most people go to the neighboring forests to pick up mushrooms, sell them and earn money. Sometimes a wandering tourist is found there, for whom it is interesting to go around the Jošanica forests and look for mushrooms. Richness of this village is reflected in many springs of water that many people use. Water is potable and cold. Many passengers and inhabitants drink it. To live here is never boring; there is always something to do, but there is plenty of laugh and joy, too. These people have experienced torment and pain, but have remained consistent to their mode of living, with their heads up and firmly standing on the ground. These people have experienced several torments, temptations, but have always returned their home, their heart, have always been dedicated to their shaheed people. What is this village also rich in are forests. There are different types of forests, from deciduous to evergreen forests. They are rich in wild fruit and wild animals. What would be of help for this place is a tourist mode of life. Jošanica can offer tourists fresh air, potable water, rest for ears and body. This is a very calm place, there is no noise of machines and cars, and this is what people often need to get some rest from urban noise. A lot more could be written about this village and again not everything would be written about the things which adorn this place. People are peace-minded and their homeland is a story of its own. Untold. A feather could never evaporate writing interesting stories and experiences. Anyone who comes here will be welcomed with a nice gesture. I can recommend visiting this place and getting convinced that everything I told about this place is true.