021 + 021

The initiative to twin Novi Sad and Split is romantic and noble, which minimizes its chances. But once such an initiative is launched, it doesn't matter whether it succeeds or fails, because its fate will tell us so much about us, perhaps more than we would like to know.

4287 views 2 comment(s)
Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

Brotherhood is a dangerous thing, because where there is brotherhood, unity cannot be far away. And where there is brotherhood and unity, there is already the final solution to the game of associations: Yugoslavia.

And Yugoslavia is the worst thing that could happen to us, that is to say again, and there is never enough caution in the face of that terrible possibility that freezes the blood in the veins. And the less Yugoslavia there is, the more we should be afraid of its specter and specter.

This is how it looks in the minds of those who know nothing and understand nothing, but whose word is the last in all our dilemmas and discussions.

The new Yugoslavia is hardly more realistic than the restoration of Austria-Hungary, but they need it as a scarecrow that stops any normalcy on the soil of that vanished, but not forgotten country. A land that lives only through its permanent absence from physical reality.

And in order for it to be permanently killed and destroyed, first of all, the idea that people living in these areas could be related in any way: ethnically, culturally, linguistically, must be eradicated.

Let them be neighbors when they have to, let them even be friends, but not relatives. Hell lurks from there.

The initiative to twin Novi Sad and Split is romantic and noble, which minimizes its chances.

The initiators cite, among others, reasons that are delightful coincidences, such as the fact that both cities are the second largest in their countries, that they are regional centers, that both have the area code 021 and the postal code 21000.

One could count more similarities, less romantic, and more testifying to our common degradation and ruin.

Among the first, the initiative was supported by the writer Ante Tomić, who more than twenty years ago published his debut novel in Novi Sad, demonstratively in Cyrillic (as much as Cyrillic in Serbia is beaten for getting in line, in Croatia it is a sign of freedom and disobedience in the same line of herds), and the famous Novi Sad restaurateur Aleksandar Samardžija, also known as Splića, who is the first address for all those intending to travel from the Dalmatian side.

If he were still among us, I'm sure that Đorđe Balašević, the first and last Pannonian sailor, a symbol of the identity of Novi Sad, but also of a different Split, would immediately support her.

However, for this initiative to succeed, it needs the support of political elites. Can he have it?

Novi Sad and all of Serbia are ruled by the direct heirs of the radicals, which means that their fundamental orientation is Croatophobic. Split has, at least at the moment, a more progressive government, but it operates within a wider context that is not so much Serbophobic as it is Jugophobic. And there is no cure for such phobias.

In the end, why is it even important that Novi Sad and Split become fraternal? What do we from 021 get out of it?

Well, maybe it doesn't matter at all. Declarative twinning in itself is a dubious matter. But, once such an initiative is launched, it doesn't matter if it succeeds or fails, because its fate will tell us so much about us, maybe even more than we would like to know.

Neither Serbian nor Croatian 021 anymore correspond to their idealized representations from the pre-war era.

Entire agglomerations of those who, damaged by their misfortune, seek only hatred and revenge have swelled along their edges, and in the meantime they have penetrated into the center, spatially and symbolically.

And yet, that initiative is worth rooting for. Not only because "a gentleman always fights for a lost cause", but also because one should not act as if that "cause" is already lost, because there is a moment when social and political "realism" turns into mere opportunism , and when we use it to reinforce the normalization of the abnormal, the perpetuation of the incidental.

By the way, 021+021 add up to 42. And 42 is the ultimate riddle of the meaning of life and the universe, according to Douglas Adams.

Adams may not have had us in mind, but then again, we are part of life and the universe, so we have no less right to our piece of meaning.


Bonus video:

(Opinions and views published in the "Columns" section are not necessarily the views of the "Vijesti" editorial office.)