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Current time:0:00Total duration:6:17

Language and religion of the former Yugoslavia

Video transcript

understanding the ethnic and religious commonalities and differences in the state or the region that used to be Yugoslavia can be quite confusing but I want to do in this videos try to give a primer on it it's really key to understanding some of the triggers of World War one and obviously understand the breakup of Yugoslavia which is quite ugly in when the during the fall of communism in the late 80s and early 90s so first of all it's a good idea to just understand where the word Yugoslavia Yugoslavia comes from it's literally referring to the southern Slavic states so you go is referring to southern and Slavia we're talking about the Slavic states when people talk about Slavic languages they're talking about the languages they're spoken in this region but also much of Eastern Europe and in what is now Russia now what we have here in blue is we have shaded in where serbo-croatian is spoken serbo-croatian which is the dominant Slavic language in this region serbo-croatian and their multiple dialects some people will say oh it's Croatian or Montenegrin or Serbian or whatever it might be but most linguists say well they're pretty close to each other and you can kind of categorize them as one language as Scerbo create Croatian and you see that it's now spoken in modern-day croatia bosnia and herzegovina serbia and montenegro and that is kind of the the commonality here the thing that ties together this region now on top of that so the Slovenian language is also a Slavic language that is closely related to serbo-croatian in Macedonia they also speak a Slavic language it's closer to Bulgarian but it has some close ties it's not completely different than serbo-croatian so you have this linguistic connection throughout this area now what divides this area is really religion and history so this area if you if you look go back hundreds of years it was under the control of various empires the austro-hungarian Empire the Ottoman Empire different on the austro-hungarian Empire you're dealing with the Roman Catholic Empire when you're talking about the Ottomans you're dealing with a Muslim Empire and they held different parts of this territory for hundreds of years and so what you end up is really a mix of religions and that often gets tied to people's with a what they perceive as also their ethnicities and so what I have here is kind of a breakdown the religious breakdown of the state of the former state of Yugoslavia so in this pinkish color right over here I have the areas that are dot predominantly Roman Catholic and I say predominantly because it really is all mixed together so Slovenia Croatia primarily Roman Catholic if you look at Serbia and Montenegro primarily Eastern Orthodox Kosovo Kosovo you have a strong Muslim majority right over there and it really gets and Kosovo before its breakup was kind of part of Serbia and Montenegro despite it having this very different religious makeup and then Bosnia and Herzegovina is where things get really really mixed up roughly half of the population and it's been moving over the you know over the centuries but the dominant religion there is is Islam and in general and this is where it can be confusing when people talk about a Bosniak when they're talking about a Bosniak they are talking about a Bosnian Muslim Bosnian Muslim but Bosnia and Herzegovina also has significant fractions of Serbs who are Eastern Orthodox so that's why I put the brown here as well it's about a third of the population and it also has a pretty sizable Roman Catholic population or we could say Bosnian Croat so just to be clear here can be very confusing even when you hear history of it or when you heard it on the news I remember in the 90s hearing this other news and getting very confused if someone's referring to a Bosnian Muslim or bosniak that's a Muslim living in Bosnia that's what they tend to be referring to if they say a if they say a Bosnian Bosnian Croat Croat this would be a ethnically Croat who is living in Bosnia and they are they it would tend to be Roman Catholic and then if you have a Bosnian Serb Bosnian Serb this is someone who I nicked ethnically dident off' eyes themselves as a serbian or as a Serb who lives in Bosnia and Herzegovina but is probably going to be Eastern Orthodox so you can imagine you have these strong linguistic and even of kind of ethnic ties but you but at some point because of the Lang because of the religion and dialect changes there's also kind of significant amount of differences here especially when things got ugly as you have the fall of communism so hopefully this lays the groundwork of the commonalities and the differences here it'll help us understand what got us into World War one or at least what triggered Rover 1 and also some of the ugliness that was seen in the early 90s and just to finish up with a little bit of context this was not a unified state until you know World War 1 to some degree was precipitated by a desire to make this unified state these this this ethnic grouping this really this linguistic grouping tended to be broken up with the austro-hungarian Empire the Ottoman Empire entering into World War one you started to have the decline of the Ottoman Empire which started to allow these people to start to have more energy behind their desire to form a unified state World War one was essentially the catalyst that allowed the the state of Yugoslavia to unify and in different forms it stayed unified until the fall of communist communism and even though it was a it was a socialist state a communist state during the Cold War it actually always had a kind of a strange and distant relationship with the Soviet Union but after the fall of communism that was kind of holding it together these especially these religious differences frankly and these ethnic and religious differences broke it apart