Bosnian culture dating
Home sweet home Orhan Maslo, founder of the Mostar Rock School, was only 17 when the Bosnian war ended.Joining the Bosnian defence army at the age of 14, he was one of the youngest soldiers in the country.
While nuclear households are common in towns and cities, the average size of the Bosnian house is still quite big.Today, the school accepts 100 students each year from Mostar and other neighbouring towns.“Each school year is divided into five cycles,” Orhan explains.“Before a new cycle, the groups are separated and re-grouped, so that everyone gets to meet and play music together.” Ethnic parity now depends on an individual’s musical taste.With as many Muslims as Croatian Catholics or Orthodox Serbs, roughly 60% of Mostar marriages are mixed ones.The 1992 Bosnian war explains this phenomenon: while nearly all Orthodox people escaped the region to join the Serbian zones, Bosnian Muslims and Croatian Catholics clashed violently on either side of the frontline that divided the town.The former battlefront, which has now become the city’s main road, boasts ancient walls pitted with holes that allow wind and ghosts to pass through.
Since the end of the war, Croatian Catholics and Bosnian Muslims have lived separate lives, sending their children to separate schools, attending separate hospitals, bars and sports centres.
With the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreements in 1995, the Catholic and Muslim populations migrated from one area of the town to another and the famous point connecting the East with the West was nothing more than a debris of bricks brought in by the current.
Twenty years later, the bridge in Mostar still spans the Neretva River, re-built after the war by UNESCO.
But contrary to the nationalist segregation that has defined the community since the war, The Mostar Rock School has been uniting its youth since 2012.
The school has trained 500 people, producing some of the nation’s greatest talents and is bringing back more social cohesion than ever since the war. Deserted roads and lethargic buildings, the quiet town discretely conceals the events that have taken place a few hundred metres from the centre.
Orhan ended up leaving the band and returning to Bosnia in order to open an intercultural music school.