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Weekly Focus: Armenia, Bashkortostan, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The penultimate week of CEE Spring is here; just one more week and some extra days after that remain! This week our focus moves to Armenia, one of the bigger CEE communities, Bashkortostan, a federal subject of Russia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Armenia is another example of how the CEE community can demonstrate its diversity. Located in the “E” of “CEE”, the country has a long history with its golden age at its greatest extent under Tigranes the Great. There have also been some dark periods in the history, namely the Armenian Genocide and more recent the Spitak earthquake which had a big influence on the country’s economy. However, let’s not stick with historical events, let’s enjoy some Armenian food. Their list includes popular entries like lavash, tan (also known as ayran in other cultures), but also some lesser known ones like the traditional Christmas dish Ghapama, which is a baked pumpkin, stuffed with rice and dried fruits.

There are some beauties in Armenian nature, too, including four national parks — Dilijan (famous for its forest landscapes), Arevik, lake Arpi and lake Sevan National park.


Bashkortostan is a federal subject of Russia, located between the Volga River and the Ural Mountains — the easternmost part of Europe and the CEE region. The Bashkir community has prepared an extensive list of topics, but it is our task to point out some of the more interesting ones. A traditional local summer festival is Sabantuy and the local user group even chose this name for their local conference «Вики-Сабантуй 2015» in Ufa, the capital of the republic.

A nation is defined by its culture and Bashkirs have a representation in Russian culture through prominent popular music performers like Yuri Shevchuk (leader of DDT) and Zemfira.

There are some great news for anyone writing about Bashkortostan topics. Everybody who writes an article about Bashkortostan during CEE Spring can add their work on the Bashkortostan-100 contest page and win additional Bashkir prizes.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina was late to the party this year, but still offers some interesting articles to write about.

Vrelo Bosne is a public park on the outskirts of Sarajevo, which is used as a recreational area not only by the local population, but also the Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team.

The park also contains several buildings from the Austro-Hungarian rule in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which lasted from 1878 until 1918 and played an integral role in Islam becoming a recognised religion within the whole Austro-Hungarian empire in 1912.

Of course, at that time the popular Bosnian folk and sevdalinka singer Hanka Paldum was not alive yet. She started her career by sneaking out of her bedroom at the age of 12 to sing at local events and run back home again, before recording songs at Radio Sarajevo in her teens and recording her first EP at the age of 17. Paldum went on to become to be regarded as one of the best female sevdah performers in the 20th century.

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