Because I am a preschool teacher, I’ll hit you with something interesting about Balkan’s history.
A long time ago in the 12th century, Ottoman Empire descended its might on Balkan territory and occupied it for almost 5 centuries until Balkans started their rise and pushed them back. In their conquest of Europe, they managed to reach the outskirts of Vienna, but have failed to seize the city from former Austro-Hungary Empire. Their reign was dreadful and bloody, but there are also a good sides of it. Their culture stayed, polite customs, patterns of how to rule and how business should be done could be spotted even today among many big and small companies all over Europe. Many of their traditional dishes, music and art was somewhat well received by the local Balkan population and slightly modified to fit ancient customs of Balkan folk. The fight against the occupator draw western influence, so Balkan represents the genuine mix of both side, East and the West. I could talk on and on about Ottoman influence on the modern day Europe, but I will make a turn towards some more dreadful things that have haunted the poor Balkan civilians.
(Kosovo Battle, 28. 06. 1389, Serbian last stand against Ottomans)
It is considered a religious sin in Islam to make muslim a slave, but Balkans folk were predominantly followers of the Christ, so Ottoman Turks thought it was fine to enslave the Slavs, Illyrians and other Balkan races, and so citizens of the Balkan were thrown in chains for about 500 years.
People were forced to convert to Islam and those that didn’t, were impaled with a long beams of wood, originally intended for pig roast and planted near the road so everybody could see what was the punishment for disobedience. In other cases, a hot boiling oil was poured by litres in slave’s anus and cooked from within for laying their hand on their master. Ottoman Turks were the Lords of the land, and everything that moved on it was their property and had to pay taxes to their Lord.
On yearly basis, slaves had to give their whole harvest to the Ottoman empire. If one refused to do so, his head would be removed from his shoulders and family slaughtered. If a slave had nothing to give, he would pay the taxes with his life. This yearly toll was also performed in other ways. Because Ottomans were a military driven Empire that lived from freshly taken lands, fights were massive and bloody. They had a constant need for fresh soldiers, so they have devised a cunning plan to build an army with less effort and used slaves to fight in their behalf.
Every year, a brigade of riders would storm every village they come close to and snatch every Balkan male child under 10 years of age and bring it to the Ottoman Empire. Those boys were trained to become soldiers and when they reach 21st year of their life, they were sent back home. Their mission was to wait until a major religious festivity comes about and when many their family members (cousins, aunts etc.) gather to a family home to celebrate the glorious occasion. This is similar to a Thanksgiving, where everybody comes home for a supper, socialize, exchange warm feeling with their close ones. The only difference is, that in the Balkans, such supper lasts for 3 consecutive days.
(Janissaries – an Elite Troops, like a French Foreign Legion)
When the main day comes, the lost son returns home, bringing a squad of his newfound brothers and butchers the whole family. Decapitated heads of his biological father, his uncles and all of the males he have found are now proof for his commander that the lost son is loyal to the Ottoman Empire. This was a very effective test of loyalty, dedication and coldheartedness the Ottoman Elite Rider must have.
Because of this chilling events, many Balkan mothers were cutting their newly born son’s fingers, so they would be unable to hold a musket or swing a saber, leaving them barely fit for a life of a farmer.
It was also a custom that the Turkish Lord must lay first with the newly wed maiden befor her wedded husband. If the Lord was riding a horse, slave must move from the road and bow to him (meaning that slave must bow to the Lord, them bow again to the horse, as he had a bigger stature than a slave). Public gatherings were not allowed, because of the fear that slaves might plot to start a revolution, so nobody could socialize, however, slaves were given the right to honor their religion if not converted to Islam.
Slavs fit for battle were hiding in the hills and the mountains since Balkan wasn’t in scarce of that kind of structure. Festivities are now converted to a religious gatherings, as religious assembly was allowed by the Ottomans. This was a loophole fighting slaves have made to warmonger against the Ottomans, right before their eyes. From festivity, to festivity, mass around the table grew and grew with battle ready men, that will soon start a march for freedom.
(Hajduk soldiers – Serbian rebels that fought the Ottoman patrols)
Moral of the story
This have happened, more or less true to the legends, and you would assume that today Serbs hate the Turks, right? That was history. People who did those stuff are dead for a long, long time. Why would I hate someone of today, who wasn’t alive when all of this stuff happened? He has no connections with it. It is in the past, and the future is what we both make – him AND me. Some groups of people could learn a lot from this text.
DRONSTAD Facebook page.
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