Sladjana

By Merima IMG_20180805_201500Jašareviæ

The first night we came to Kevljani, a sympathetic young lady came to talk to me. She told me: My name is Sladjana. My mother is Russian. I’m from Omarska, but I live in Prijedor. I want to be an actress (she said that with beautiful large smile). She also told me that she is already into acting, she has been doing some performing in some peacebuilding programs. Somebody asked her if she was Serb. She said yes.

I’m a teacher. I teach in high school. She is about the same age of my pupils. She looks like them. She talks like them. She dreams like them. Why would anybody think that she was different from them? She is not. She is different from a lot of young girls and boys from her school. If somebody wants to know why, I will tell you. Because she is brave.

Last year, she, Sladjana, a Serb girl, wanted to support the White Armband Day in Prijedor, the town where she lives. She was captured by a Serb policeman.
He asked her: where do you think you are going?
She said: I want to go there.
He said: Why? Aren’t you Serb?
She said: I’m, but I want to go there. I want to support them.
He said: You must not go there! He grabbed her arm badly and put her in the corner.
She said: Let me go!
He told her: No! You are not going anywhere! You are Serbian girl! You are suppose to be on our side. She was struggling to escape, but he didn’t want to let her.
Then she heard: You are embarrassing all Serbs!

She, somehow, managed to call her father. He immediately came and found her in the hands of THE SERB policeman. He told the policeman to let her go wherever she wants to go. He constantly repeated: She is THE SERB! Her father explained to that great Serb that she was attacked by Serbs, that they wanted to set her things on fire and called her bad names…

Her father was in VRS army. He is suppose to be SERB, right?
Have I mentioned that she was only 16 at the time?
She almost cried while she was telling us the story.
I was crying all time writing this…

2 thoughts on “Sladjana”

  1. This is heartbreaking and so sad. She is a brave young lady. I have respect for her to stand up against such hatred. Thank you for writing this, and for giving me a glimpse of how difficult it is even today to stand up for what’s right regardless of the consequences.

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