Bosnia and Herzegovina Culture
(Bosna i Hercegovina). State of the Balkan Peninsula (51,209 km²). Capital: Sarajevo. Administrative division: Croatian-Muslim Federation (FCM), divided into 10 cantons, and the Serbian Republic, consisting of 7 regions. Population: 4,377,033 (2009 estimate). Language: Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian (official). Religion: Sunni Muslims (43%), Orthodox (29.9%), Catholics (18%), others (9.1%). Monetary unit: convertible mark (linked by a fixed exchange rate to the euro). Human Development Index: 0.812 (76th place). Borders: Serbia (E) and Croatia (NW-S). Member of: CEFTA, EBRD, UN and OSCE, EU associate.
According to itypeusa, the mountainous nature of the territory, the extension of the woods (42.7% of the total surface) and the low population density have maintained large areas still rich in biodiversity in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The environment is protected by an ad hoc ministryoperating at the federal level. To the two “historical” national parks of Sutjeska and Kozara, after 2000 was added that of Hutovo Blato in the S of Herzegovina, a few kilometers from Capljina. The first is the oldest in Bosnia and Herzegovina; extended for 175 km², it includes the Maglić mountain (2386 m), the highest peak in the country on the border with Montenegro. Sutjeska Park, named after the canyon-rich river of the same name, contains one of the last primary forests in Europe. Equipped with tourist infrastructures, it is reached for guided excursions, mountaineering, winter sports and sport fishing. Kozara Park established in 1967, is located in the Serbian Republic between the Sava, Sana and Vrbas rivers; its total protected area is 33.75 km² and it is also a well-known tourist resort. Adjacent to this there is a ‘ deer, hares, wild boars, foxes, martens, pheasants and wild ducks. Hutovo Blato National Park covers an area of 74.11 km². Its lake is the natural habitat for 240 species of birds, of which it is possible to follow the movements with photographic safaris. Furthermore, in Bosnia and Herzegovina there are the two regional natural parks of Jahorina and Trebeno, as well as various other locations subject to specific forms of protection (bird oases, nature reserves, etc.). The whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina is at great seismic risk, but the most serious problem of its territory is that of the unexploded mines left after the war on Bosnian soil. From 1996 to 2005, the victims of mine accidents were more than 1500 and after nine years of reclamation at least 4% of the territory is still at risk. Only 0.8% of the country is protected in the form of protected areas.
CULTURE: GENERAL INFORMATION
The cultural life of the country has always grown closely linked to that of the Slavic populations of neighboring Serbia, both during the Middle Ages and in the years following the end of the Ottoman Empire. It was only with the outbreak of the civil war that a coexistence apparently devoid of major diversifications was resolved in fierce cultural opposition, creating a feeling of proud belonging to the Bosnian identity precisely as it was separated from the Serbian and Croatian ones. The years of conflict, with the long and painful siege of Sarajevo, have indelibly marked the experience of two generations of intellectuals; after the Dayton agreements (1995), the economic and political conditions have not allowed the country’s cultural life to settle on standards comparable to those of Europe for a long time. However, Bosnia and Herzegovina possesses great intellectual resources, which the experience of war and partly that of exile, forced or personally chosen, paradoxically made more alive; on the contrary, intellectual resistance was a source of pride in the years of the conflict and is the basis of the resilience shown by the country in the following years. There are four universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina: in addition to the capital, in Tuzla, Mostar and Banja Luka. An important film festival has been held in Sarajevo since 1994, the Sarajevo Film festival, which for years was the only link between the besieged city and the outside world. In 2005, UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as for their artistic value, also as a symbol of the ability to coexist between different cultures and ethnic groups. § For Entertainment and Traditions see also the entry Yugoslavia (former European State).