Experiences of an American woman who was married to a Serb.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Trade Mission From Boston Visiting Serbia Today

Kind of fun to read this press release about mainly Boston-based companies whose executives are touring Serbia today as part of a trade mission. Seems like they are mostly seeking cheap tech labor; although, based on his name alone, I bet US executive Milenko Beslic will be busy also visiting relatives!

I've emailed him personally to ask how the mission goes and will let you know if I hear back.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Super-Easy Way to Piss Off Serbs: Praise Any Clinton

In a move calculated to piss off pretty much every Serb around the world, Kosovo is about to unveil a statue of Bill Clinton. This is an overly dramatic comparison, but think how would Americans feel if another country commissioned a big public statue of Osama bin Laden?

Deliberate provocation.

I wasn't aware of any connection between Clinton and Serbia before I married my husband, and so was astonished by Serbs' invariably venomous reaction to any mention of the name "Clinton." The anger extends to the whole Clinton family, and simmers just under boiling to this day. It's about the NATO bombing of course. Something typical Americans were only vaguely aware of, and only few knew Clinton had anything to do with. It was a European thing, between Europeans, surely?, many would say if asked.

So no one in New York thought it was unusual when then-Senator Hilary Clinton promised to use her powers of international persuasion to get that young Serbian basketball player sent back to the US to stand trial for beating up an American in a bar a couple of years ago. Anyone who knew Serbs laughed at her presumption. Not a chance. No matter how hard she tried or what she promised -- with a name like Clinton!

And now, most people in the US who hear about the new statue of Bill Clinton in Kosovo will probably think, 'How nice' and assume American aid such as food for hungry people or help building schools had something to do with this international 'thank you'. They won't recognize the insult. Kosovo is slapping Serbia in the face, and using an American President's image to do it.