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ponedjeljak, 12. rujna 2011.

Croatian Becomes One Of The Official School Languages Of Montenegro

Related: croatian-added-to-youtube-apple-google

A little interesting piece of news came out not long ago in Montenegro. Interesting and relevant enough I thought for me to put here  (For those with a penchant for history however, one can read about White Croatia, and the discussion by various historians, based on documents and manuscripts, that Montenegro was once part of Red Croatia, back when it was known as Dioclea/Duklja. That they are part of the earlier arriving Slavs as the Croats who came in the 6th century. (And quite possibly the 5th century with the Goths) But that's another topic that opens up a lot more discussion about 6th and 7th century movement of peoples towards the Adriatic coast. I'll leave that to historians and archeologists and discussion groups. There are many documents, sources, opinions and views to take into account, and this post isn't about that)

Now, for those not in know, Montenegro has been an independent country since the official disintegration of  the short lived entity known as Yugoslavia, but has a history dating back to a thousand years ago remarkably. Actually longer if one studies a little bit more about this topic from various sources.  There is even a Croatian connection to Montenegro going back to the times when it was called Duklja/Dioclea, when Slavic peoples were populating the area.  A fact that may be surprising to many.  It was a kingdom for some time, until the Turkish Ottoman incursions came to the area, and complicated matters for the following centuries, with battles being fought over large swathes of Europe, and with immigration and emmigration cycles taking place depending on the where the big battles were taking place.

However, even then it still retained a level of autonomy, with borders changing slightly through the centuries, as with many Eurupean countries.  At times it was a supporter of Serbs in helping to rid Europe from the yoke of the Ottoman Empire, but before that many times it was forced to obey the orders and politics of the Byzantine empire, and be incorporated under Serb rule.  But the fact remeins that Montenegrin aspirations for independence were first and foremost with it's own King and Queen, territory and affairs.  (Under the banner of Byznatine-Serbs they had tried to assimilate and rename many other peoples, and in the process eradicate their name, cultures and histories.  The TimocaniTriballiansVlachs, Morlachs, Megleno-Romanians, Albanians other smaller Slavic tribes.   Even some Hungarians, Bulgarians and Greeks who lived by border areas were  incorporated into this new Byzantine-Serb realm.  Many Greeks and Bulgarians however were either expelled and or fled.

A Pro Montenegrin independence vote poster from 2006 urging citizens to vote Yes.

Montengrin stamps.

Montenegro retained an autonomy and then independence again that lasted right up until the end of World War I, when unknown to many,  it was forcibly and brutally annexed to Serbia again and then forced to become part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, in effect becoming their overlords.  The Montenegro Orthodox Church which maintained independence for centuries was subsumed into the Serbian Orthodox church.  From 1919 to 1926 Serbian troops maintained a reign of terror against pro-independence forces.  This multi-cultured and multi-ethnic artificial creation/product of WWI came to be called Yugoslavia for the first time ever in 1929, after a proclamation by the Serbian dictator-king, known as the January 6 Dictatorship  (The current Republics of Macedonia, Slovenia, B-H  as well as Croatia were also not represented as one of the peoples of this newly named and newly invented country. All previous historical names and boundaries that existed for well over a thousand years, were suddenly gone)

Larger image:

The forced and bloody unification of Montenegro to Serbia, annexed to become part of the new kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was deeply unpopular with Montenegrins.  So much so that on 7 January 1919 (the Orthodox Christmas Day) a National Montenegrin uprising to oppose the change began. A bloody military campaign by Serb forces to suppress the uprising took almost 7 years to complete in attempting to become their masters. Under the centralized, Serbia-dominated government of what became the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in October 1929, Montenegro largely ceased to exist.  This is just one of many examples of how well Serbs respected and treated Montenegrin identity, culture, the Montenegrin state and ethnicity through the centuries. More information:

(Many people probably also don't know that the current Serbian line of "royalty", the Karadordevic dynasty, originates from a 19th century pig farmer. (Yes, that's right folks, you can Google that, quite the astonishing and regal blue blooded beginnings) As is usually the case with Serbia's erratic history yet not uncommon trend of killing it's own even as well as surrounding peoples, the current pig farmer royalty line of the Karadordevic dynasty had the Serbian King of serbia, Alexander I killed in 1903 and then took over. This was because the Obrenovic line killed a Karadordevic previously, such is Serbian royalty, "royal fueds" and vendettas and sacking out those who disagree. After this back and forth Serb royalty fueding and killings, eventually from that point on the pig farmer dynasty had become Serbia's royal family, a Serb so-called royal family that likes to think that they represent not only Serbs, but many other Non-Serb people in Europe as well. The Croatians voted and also many others said no thanks. lol)

Interestingly, (and I've mentioned this fact before, that Wikipedia is a good starting point in gathering information, but it is not infallible. Numerous instances of false information being presented, information being twisted or exaggerated according to people who want to have nationally biased input in what is written, or just their viewpoints presented, and of course information just outright omitted)..just the bit of information that you've read up to know is not mentioned on Wikipedia. Instead, the Montenegrin uprisings, the Serbian terror that lasted years after the official end of WWI is simply described as thus. QUOTE: " The Kingdom of Montenegro had united with Serbia five days previously"...(referring to 1918).  That's it. That is all the information on Wikipedia referring to the Kingdom of Montenegro's eventual inclusion into the new Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, (Called Yugoslavia officially in just a few years)  It makes it seem like all the people of Montenegro were running to Serbia with open arms, voting in droves in favour and beating each other down over who can be the first one to kiss the Serbian dictator kings's ass, begging to become part of Serbia and be ruled by them. (The same can be said of the other peoples and their lands who were eventually included into this new political entity that was doomed from the start)

(*I've mentioned this fact before regarding other history topics. Wikipedia is a good starting point for information, but it is not infallible and always 100% correct all the time. Anybody with a Wikipedia account can add or edit information because Wikepedia depends on the good will of it's readers to share pertinent sourced information about topics all for the benefit of the readers. But it can at times be misused by people with agendas. I've come across in not a few instances where the words/ links to "Serbian" were blatantly and incorrectly added to replace the sourced text words for "Goths", "Slavs" "Slovaks" "Moravian" and that's just to name a few. More information from the Serbian Swedes, Russians, Germans, Jews, French, Norwegians, Hungarians, Italians and Swiss are Serbs historian guy)

Montenegro independence supporter holding photo of the Montenegrin President celebrating referendum results in 2006. 

....Montenegro attained a level of autonomy again however after WW II, becoming one of the constituent republics of communist Yugoslavia, and then becoming a full fledged officially independent country again in 2006 after voting to secede from the remains of Yugoslavia, which was essentially just Serbia now and always was. Montenegro has had it's own literary history, political history, and even has it's own Royal line and Montenegrin Orthodox Church.

Pro Montenegrin independence supporters celebrating in the streets of the capital city of Podgorica in May 2006.

 Unidentified woman celebrating in Montenegro after independence referendum results in May 2006.

However, Serb immigration to the area, especially over the past few centuries, has led to a sizable Serb presence which has complicated matters for the country for some time.  (In the middle ages with the appearance of the Serb Orthodox church, an attampt at Serbianization remained the first and foremost goal of the new religion, usurping other peoples and their religious views with them.  At times the Serb orthodox church was not much more than a political movement/party)  So much so that even now, the independent Montenegrin language, culture and history  is threatened by Serbian political machinations and opposition groups to boycott school cirriculums, and disrupt daily operations of the Montenegrin government and it's laws.  Over the past few years, Serb opposition parties and groups have begun refusing to send their children to Montenegrin schools and want them to be taught in Serbian, as well as have Serbian be declared an official language in the Republic of Montenegro. All in hopes of halting a deadline set for the beginning of EU negotiation talks, and moves toward becoming a member of the European Union and NATO.

Montenegro today comprises roughly the same areas as it's original predecessor, the former province of Dioclea.

Serbian ruler Stefan Nemanja (around 1166) led to the subordination of Duklja and the end of the first period of the Montenegrin state. Nemanja's conquest of Duklja - or Zeta, as it was referred to from the 11th century on -ended with its incorporation into Raska. Nemanja destroyed entire towns in Zeta that never subsequently recovered. He persecuted the Bogomils and expelled the Greeks from Zeta, burning local churches and books. Pavel Rovinski, one of the most knowledgeable 19th-century historians of Montenegro, notes that "in burning books, there was no discrimination, whether they were religious, historical, geographic, literary or descriptions of nature" (Crna Gora u proslosti i sadasnjosti, Cetinje, 1993, p.279). Numerous Montenegrin and Croatian researchers, linguists and historians (under the flag of Jevrem Brković and Vojislav Nikčević), aside from slowly standardizing a Montenegrin language separately from the Serbian, explain a Montenegrin origin history. They claim that the Montenegrins are not of Serb origin, but that they have been under heavy Serbian oppression for centuries, especially ever since the "genocidal Saint Sava that made us Serb Orthodox", referring to the fact that Montenegrins were originally Roman Catholic Croats and claiming the reason of their present Orthodox faith is strictly due to the Serbian military intervention of Stefan Nemanja in the 12th century and imposition of the Serbian orthodox church as the only allowable religion, and so people.

Nikephoros Bryennios, Byzantine historian writing in 1072:

"Croats and Diocleans rebelled throughout the entire Illirycum (Ηωροβατοι και Διοκλεις αποσταντες άπαν το Ιλλυρικον διετιθουν)" Dyrrachium themate] and later the Byzantines marched "against Diocleans and Croats" (κατά Διοκλεων και Ηωροβατων). See Heroes and Romans in Twelfth-Century Byzantium: The Material for History of Nikephoros Bryennios.

(This source is about the Croats and Diocleans who lived near the city Dyrrachium.  This text is not about Dioclea proper, (Dukljani in Croatian, today's Montenegro)...  it could be helpful to understand that Illirycum actually included the Dyrrhachium themate in the above text. So much for many centuries later and recently invented nationalist mytho-mania mantra talk about "Serb lands" or "Serbs all and everywhere" and blah blah blah. LOL. That's not the facts at all, and one can see sources actually tell us the opposite)

Anonymus (unknown Byzantine author from 13th century, author of "Review of History"), writing about the same event:

"And he heard [emperor Maneual Comnen] that Serbian ruler Nemanja Stefan had became ruthless, and that he enslaves and attacks equaly racial peoples [Slavs] and that he attends to conquer Croats and region of Kotor....."

John Skylitzes (1073)  "Mihajlo, who was a ruler of Dioclea (αρχηγον οντά) in that time of the mentioned Croats (τηνικαυτα τ(Πν εφημενων Ηροβατων) with the center in Kotor and Praprat (rrjv οικηοαν τε εν Δεκατεροις κοα Πραπρατοις ποιουμενον) and held a large territory." He also mentioned that after the defeat of Petrilo, Byzantines captured a commander who was "first among the Croats after the Petrilo" (τον μετά τον Πετριλον εν Ηροβατοιςτετατμενον).

John Zonaras writes much the same thing. Mihajlo and Petrilo are written as the "Serb rulers" But to us it is more important to know that in the text Mihajlo is described only as a leader of "the Croats" and Petrilo´s second in command is described as second "among the Croats", right behind the Petrilo. (This would have been at the time that the Croatian Kingdom was in conflict with Venice, Byzantium, neighbouring the Holy Roman Empire and growing Hungarian presence to the north)   Conclusion:  Dioclea is actually the extension of Croatia and Croats, while Petrilo is just Dioclea's temporary governor/vice-king.  It is the original first and only mentioned Serb realm of Rascia (Serbia) found more north around Belgrade, where it was Petrislav, who was also Mihajlo´s vojvoda and who ruled instead of him. 

When taking into account the above and the text of De Administrando Imperio written by East Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos, where from his sources he records that the early Croats arrived before and ahead of the Serbs, that the Croats migrated to Dalmatia and simultaneously also populated Pannonia and across Illyricum as well, written work by Michael Attaleiates about the civil war in 1080, references by Anna Comnenus in 1081 and an anonymous source telling how Robert Guiscard was attacked "from those called Croats (Harvatines) and those sent from Dalmatia by Bodin", we then see.....

Sources for Diocleans in Dioclea: 2
Sources for Croats and Diocleans in Dioclea: 1
Sources for Croats in Dioclea: 8
Sources for Serbs in Dioclea: 1
Sources for Dalmatians in Dioclea: 2
Sources for Triballi in Dioclea: 1

Sources for calling Dioclea as Croatia: 4
Sources for calling Dioclea as Serbia: 0

Its a simple math - Dioclea is not serbian land nor populated by just serbs, just as many other lands are not serbian either, no matter what some Serb historians/comic book writers may like to think and write. The Serb rulers mentioned above from the more northern actual Serbia (which they called Rascia back then) had only been temporary overlords there within the Byzantine political sphere. Areas temporarily and for a short time under the heavy murderous hand of the Serb ruler Nemanja. These texts importantly were not written by Croatian, any western or Roman authors, and so therefore be insinuated to be part of some political agenda and scheme or just made up lies, but rather they were recorded by important eastern Byzantine and Greek sources. 

See more information see

*Note - This policy of destroying religious, cultural, literary and historical existence of Non-Serbs was the same policy used by Serbian paramilitaries, Serbo-Yugoslav backed Serb irregulars and armed forces during the early part of the aggression on Croatia in the early 90's, which then extended to BiH.  This is the first step in obliterating any memory of Non-Serbs, any trace of their existence.  At the beginning of the Serbian shelling and cleansing  campaigns, especially the early shelling of Dubrvovnik, the Serbian/Jugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic made sure to infuse higher levels of  the Jugoslav military leadership with his handpicked loyal Serbian generals and commanders etc.  Greater  Serbia supporters who were thoroughly committed career communists and Serbian nationalistic Jugoslav officers were given leading positions in Montenegro especially.   An attempt to drag Montenegro into Serb aims and label them as co-aggressors. (i.e. tied to Serbia)  Media was used as a propaganda tool to the extreme to misinform and misrepresent. More on that below:

EXPERT REPORT OF RENAUD DE LA BROSSE "Political Propaganda and the Plan to Create 'A State Of All Serbs:' Consequences of using media for ultra-nationalist ends" in five parts: 

Approximate locations of Montenegro/Duklja and Croatia at the time Serbia was part of the Bulgarian lands. Circa. 900.

 Map source:

Nemanja started forcefully converting Zeta's population to Orthodox Christianity - this in a country where "there was not one Orthodox priest. And when he consolidated his power in Zeta, the Greeks had already been expelled" (Rovinski, p. 281). It was after this time that Montenegrins were converted from Catholicism to the Serb Orthodox religion, the religion of Raska (the ancient name of Serbia). Their acceptance of the Serbs' religion is often misinterpreted, even today, to mean that Montenegrins are Serbs.  See:

Despite the massive destruction during Nemanja's conquest, Zeta was culturally and economically one of the most advanced parts of Raska (Serbia). And Zetans constantly struggled to maintain and increase their autonomy. When the Serbian kingdom started crumbling in the mid-14th century, Zeta increasingly asserted its sovereignty. It regained its independence under the second Montenegrin dynasty, the Balsic, which came to power in 1356. 

....But here's the twist. Serb refusal to send their children to Montenegrin schools, and boycotting until Serbian is declared an official language within Montenegro has reached a crucial threshold that is hindering the forward progress of and daily operations of the countries school system, which is having a snowballing effect.  Afterall, more important matters are at stake, like the above mentioned EU negotiation talks as well as negotiations with NATO to become it's next member state in the near future, and obviously of course the daily function of the Montenegrin government regarding defined laws.  The EU deadline was just around the corner and the clock was ticking.  Quite a sticky situation.  So the Montenegrin government came up with a very unforeseen, intelligent and out of the blue compromise on September 8th.  Something the Serbian opposition groups and parties maybe didn't see coming or expect, and probably definitely didn't want.  In the end, great political foresight and decision making. , and in the process further recognition of the Croatian language and history, and cultural ties and contributions to the area in many spheres,  and we didn't even ask.

Just another step in shaking off the shackles of the past, and rediscovering their own unique history which had started even before any Serb presence came into the area.  A presence that many times attempted in not only assimilating but even negating a separate Montenegrin  history, culture and ethnicity. As can be seen above, sometimes even brutally.





Montenegro Ends Longstanding Language Row

A landmark deal has been reached between the Montenegrin government and opposition parties surrounding the terminology of language in the country's education system.

After months of stalemate, Montenegrin Prime Minister Igor Luksic and opposition leaders agreed that the academic subject in the country’s education system will be entitled "Montenegrin – Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian language and literature". .

Until now, opposition parties had been conditioning their support to the Election Law, a key requirement on country’s path towards the EU, demanding that the Serbian language receive equal status alongside Montenegrin in the education system.

At the last census 36 per cent said that they spoke the Montenegrin language and 44 per cent of citizens said they spoke the Serbian language.

Adoption of the Election Law is one of the crucial preconditions set by Brussels for Montenegro to gain a date for the commencement of accession negotiations. A two-thirds majority of MPs need to support the law, in order for Parliament to pass it.

PM Luksic said that the solution showed that Montenegrin remained an official language, while ensuring full protection of other languages ​​from any kind of discrimination.

 Government discussions regarding the status of the official language(s) of Montenegro. Even though the other languages are given a special protected status, Montenegrin remains to be the one official language. Photo: Reuters.  

“We are now able to utilize in a good way the richness of the Montenegrin society, of our civic state, by implementing a truly European solution to the issue of language,” said Luksic.

The curriculum for this school year will remain almost the same, while the expert commission will draft a permanent curriculum that is supposed to be implemented next academic year.

Former Montenegrin Prime Minister, Milo Djukanovic, also took part in the talks that resulted in the deal.

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