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Bonfire

July 24, 2013

On 11 July I saw somes kids making a big pile of tires but failed to see the significance. Then in the evening I saw the bonfires and I realized what the pile of tires was for.

Orthodox kids celebrating St Peter’s Day light fires in the streets. I found it so ironic that in Northern Ireland, where half of my family is from, bonfires are also burned for 12 July, but there to celebrate Orangeman’s Day. Northern Ireland & Serbia. Different countries and different holidays, yet the same exact date and tradition. Some coincidence.

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There are so many similarities between the Bosnian Serbs and the Prods (I’m a Prod..)– an ethnic minority who seceded from a larger state at the time of independence (Ireland/Bosnia and Herzegovina), to form their own quasi-state (Northern Ireland/Republika Srpska), affiliated with a parent country (UK/Serbia), the tragedy that those who fear becoming victims turn into victimizers. Living here reminded me that some of us have a great opportunity to repent for the sins of our forefathers (like the prophets of Israel…)

The kids burn bonfires for 12 July, and it’s good craic. It looks pretty while it burns.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 24, 2013 5:49 pm

    Wow, so interesting that the traditions and history is so similar! I’m sure those are fun holidays to celebrate! I’m kind of a fan of fire. 😉

    • July 25, 2013 9:08 am

      oh dear– my blog post was being ironic! these are terrible nationalistic holidays that often result in ethnic conflict, riots, etc. I need to write more clearly so that comes through in my post…

  2. July 29, 2013 10:42 am

    And some of these conflicts, and celebrations, are thousands of years old.

  3. August 12, 2013 4:35 pm

    I just recently made the same connection after watching a documentary about Belfast. Is it not called the ”11th night” in Northern Ireland? It’s quite fascinating how these things travel through time and space.

    • August 12, 2013 9:44 pm

      oh which documentary did you watch? time and space are bending and expanding 🙂 I love your research, I bookmarked the link after Belma tweeted your site! right now it’s vashar in Bratunac and your work gives me a new perspective on it… (boli me glava od ove muzike mozes misliti oh my goodness… seasonal ritual :D)

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