Thursday, 11 December 2008

Integration: this stuff really happens!

It was end-of-term karaoke night a Klub. It was also a farewell bash for Kate, who’s moving back to the UK after three years in Mostar. The place was packed and it was noisy. Again, it was a reminder that although sometimes people believe he who shouts loudest, there are often untold stories that defy the common wisdom. There are plenty who will tell you that in this part of the world you can’t witness what I saw tonight. So, as the chances are you weren’t there, let me fill you in on things the way I see them.

I saw a room full of young people enjoying themselves. The stereo was blasting as one after the other took the mic and belted out local tunes. As the evening warmed up it became first a group sing-a-long, finally and jumping, shouting, dancing party! I didn’t spot anyone who wasn’t having fun. All that is good, but not necessarily surprising; young people enjoy enjoying themselves. But when you realise these young people represent all the ethnic groups in Bosnia Herzegovina, including Roma, you get a picture of integration many say is not possible. That it clearly is should be a source of hope for everyone invested in the future of this region.

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