48 Ridiculous Things Only Bosnians Will Understand

48 Ridiculous Things Only Bosnians Will Understand

We may come from a small country, but we have big personalities to make up for it.

Before you read this, I just want to say that I freaking love my culture and am proud of where I come from.

I hope that I am not offending any Bosnians out there, this is just poking a little bit of fun at relatable things. And I'm assuming that if you're Bosnian, you can certainly take a joke.

If you're not Bosnian, the following will probably make no sense but you should read it anyway.

1. Your grandma does not understand why you “aren’t hungry anymore” after eating multiple plates of food.

You can’t get mad at her because she’s so sweet but if you hear, “Hajde sine, jedi jos malo,” one more time, you might scream.

2. You’ve always been told that “promaha” will kill you.

In other words, having the window or door open for too long will cause a draft and you’ll pass out. We never questioned it.

3. Every time you leave the house, you’ll hear, “pamet u glavu!”

This literally means don’t do anything stupid aka don’t do anything that will embarrass our family and cause our neighbor Senada to start some unnecessary gossip.

4. You can tell who’s Bosnian a mile away.

You’re at the grocery store and your mom is staring at a man in the check out line next to yours. She tells you he’s definitely Bosnian and you ask her how she knows, he’s a complete stranger. Next thing you know he’s speaking your language to the woman standing next to him. You’re amazed at your mom’s psychic abilities.

5. You have heklanje on the coffee table in your living room.

Actually you probably have it on every table in your house.

6. Your last name probably ends in “ic.”

Unless you’re different from the rest like me and Edin Dzeko.

7. You have cousins you’ve never met before who live in Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, etc.

And you probably found each other first on Facebook. Thanks to the war, your whole family is basically scattered all throughout Europe.

8. During the winter, you eat “grah” or “kisela sarma” at least three times a week.

I don’t think any of us will ever forget the moment we asked mom what was for dinner and to our disappointment she answered, “grah.”

9. The same goes for “paprike” in the summer.

Nothing wrong with a little dolma and fried peppers with garlic.

10. Growing up you were taught to eat bread with every meal.

Even eating pita with bread makes sense. I dunno.

11. It’s acceptable to miss school to watch a soccer game but not if you have a migraine.

It's the Bosnian way.

12. Your mom has called you “sine” before even though you’re a girl.

"Sine" technically means "son" but close enough, right?

13. Your dad probably puts salt on his food before he even tastes it.

The saltier, the better.

14. When you see an old friend, you literally ask them where they are even though they're standing right in front of you.

Whenever we greet each other, we say, “Gdje si,” which is the equivalent of a “Hey, what’s up? How’s it going?” but when translated into English, it literally means, “Where are you?”

15. At least one of your cousins drives a BMW.

I'll bet ten marks he has a license plate with the name of the city he's from on the front, too.

16. When your brain doesn't know what language you want to speak.

You'd be lying if you said you didn't mix Bosanski with English.

17. You must bargain at the pijaca or else you’re doing it wrong.

Everything's already cheap, but if you can get it for cheaper then why the hell wouldn't you?

18. Any mention of your small country gets you excited.

Yes, we exist.

19. There's probably a picture of Mostar or Sarajevo hanging in your hodnik.

As if you'll forget where you're from.

20. You've got copper for days.

That's right, all the way from the Bascarsija.

21. Every time you go to Bosnia, older generations will warn you to never forget the language.

"Nemoj zaboraviti jezik" because how else are you going to communicate with Nena?

22. When having conversations with each other, certain points in time are always referenced as "before" and "after" the war.

As you can imagine, things were very different than how they are now. Thanks for nothing, Dayton.

23. Dating advice be like...

No wonder we have no luck.

24. Mom: *doesn't vacuum for a week*

"Our house is so dirty, we can't have guests in here!"

Get ready for a full day of cleaning.

25. Rakija is used to cure all illnesses and celebrate marriages.

Don't tell me your mom didn't soak your feet in socks and rakija when you had a cold.

26. If something doesn't go your way, you say, "Jebi ga," and move on with it.

This has always been the motto.

27. This is one of the hardest decisions you've had to make.

Which is why we just keep both in our pantry.

28. When you meet another Bosnian you don't know, you automatically ask, "Odakle su tvoji?"

"Oh, you're from Zenica, too? How have we not met before?" is a typical conversation. And then you find out they also know Sead, who plays soccer with Mujo, who went out with Lejla once, who happens to also be friends with your cousin Amra. It all makes sense now.

29. We always argue about who is going to pay when eating at a restaurant or cafe.

There is no such thing as "splitting" a meal.

30. Whenever you go to Bosnia, you take an entire suitcase full of gifts.

Not to be confused with the fact that some of your cousins in Bosnia think you are rich just because you live in the United States.

31. You wouldn't be surprised if your luggage got searched when coming home from Bosnia.

No more chocolate for me, I guess.

32. Your weekly Skype calls to family members mostly consist of a lot of yelling and "cujes li me?" the entire time.

And lots of freezing screens and telling stories only to realize they couldn't hear what you were saying.

33. You have this hanging in your car.

Or something similar.

34. When people say they're from Sarajevo but they're really from a small selo nearby.

You don't have to lie, it's okay. We know you wished you were from Sarajevo.

35. When in Bosna, you drink coffee three times a day.

Hearing "Hajmo na kafu" never gets old.

36. When your American friends went in your pantry looking for snacks, they found pasteta and asked why you had so much cat food.

It's not cat food, it just looks like it, I swear.

37. Name a more iconic trio, I'll wait.

Faruk, Izet, and Damir: at least one of them represents a family member of yours.

38. You forget to breathe when watching Bosnia play.

And you probably almost passed out during the World Cup 2014 qualifier.

39. When mama tells you not to eat the keks or kolac you put out on the table because they're for the "gosti."

Even if you're starving.

40. If you can't drink your coffee black every once in awhile, then are you really Bosnian?

You've got to drink it black so you can get your fortune read. Yes, your future lies in the coffee grounds.

41. You know exactly how to pick out a good watermelon.

...and you've gotten some pretty weird looks at the grocey store because of it. Don't mind me, just knocking on my watermelon over here.

42. Ladies, you haven't reached "mlada status" until you've learned how to make coffee and pita.

Gotta start them young.

43. When guests are getting ready to leave your house, you spend another thirty minutes talking at the door.

Typical Bosnian fashion.

44. Vegeta on everything.

Everything tastes better with a little Vegeta.

45. When everyone goes to Sarajevo for the summer and abuses the crap out of the Snapchat geofilter.

You know the one.

46. You've fantasized about watching the sunset atop Zuta Tabija with that special someone.

It's the best view of Sarajevo.

47. This picture makes sense to you.

I don't even know how to explain this one.

48. We make a big deal out of nothing. Always.

But we learn to laugh about it later on because we know life is short.

Cover Image Credit: Lana Karat

Popular Right Now

To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.


So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?



Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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