Monday, July 25, 2011

Remember Serbia

Hey there! Reporting from the most southern and western state for the first time since last August. Reporting from home, that's better.

Home is beautiful and I'm so grateful to be here, but I wanted to put one final word in for Serbia to close up this blog about perhaps the most meaningful nine months I've lived thus far.

This blog was about my year. It was designed to share information about a region of the world about which most of my friends knew little. It was designed to help me better understand my year through sharing impressions, observations, inferences, and reflections. Hopefully it fulfilled the former's aspirations and hopefully it will continue to serve as a reference to those who stumble upon it. Without question it served its later purpose. Not only did this blog help me discover an affinity for writing and sharing, it helped me to sort out my thoughts, to appreciate and remember moments and experiences as they came, to keep focused, to maintain perspective, and more generally to grow, and knowing that I had some small group of readers helped to push me to explore and take advantage of all I could. So thank you for reading and emailing and commenting and sending letters and packages.

I'd like to leave you with a final thought: remember Serbia. After typing it out it feels like some slogan, but I write it in earnest. Remember that tiny country in the Balkans. Remember the extraordinarily kind, elderly couple who lived next store. Maybe that's too specific but remember there are extraordinarily kind people there. Remember the Belgrade Pride Parade and how there is a small group of dedicated people about whom Margaret Mead preached but also remember that the small group needs to expand, and that it will in time. Remember the delightful villages like Čerević and quaint towns like Ohrid. Remember the traditions like slava. Remember Djokovic, now number one in the world. Remember the kafana culture. Remember my Roma students. Remember the Balkan wonders of the world.

This is a lot to ask, and I don't expect you to remember it all, but I would like to urge you to remember the beauty and wonder that lies in the customs, the music, the dancing, the countryside, the cities, and the people of Eastern Europe. I hope to someday be able to verify that this beauty and wonder lies in every continent, in every village but for now I am more than satisfied with two homes and many friends in a small corner of the world. After this year I have a strong inkling that it does. I'll it remember forever. I hope you'll remember it too.

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