19/September/2022 in Sarajevo
We can easily find "a drama" in Sarajevo, with a small amount of knowledge that an elementary school history textbook tells us;
1914 : Sarajevo assassination that triggered WW1
1941 - 1945 : Occupation by Nazis
1984: Olympic games
1992 - 1995 : Bosnian war
All over Sarajevo, I always see this mascot character
A mascot for Sarajevo Olympics in 1984
Almost 40 years passed, but still he is here
My hometown of Tokyo held the Olympics 1964 & 2021
I was in Tokyo last year, but now can't remember at all what the mascot looked like
But here it still exists
Because this mascot looks so lovely and cute that locals still love him?
Maybe yes, but I always feel the reason is different
The reason would be this Olympics was the only "positive" or "uplifting" event happened in a recent history of Sarajevo
This impression feels somewhat right, considering most of Olympics infrastructures were destroyed and even some of facilities turned to be graveyards for those who died during the war in early 90's
......This entire situation looks unfortunate, sad, tragic, catastrophic, heart-wrenching, powerless etc...
Simply put, looks like "a drama"
However, after 3 weeks here, I felt that probably this kind of perspective itself is very typical among outsiders, like myself
It is perspective that looking at things from "the past", instead of what appears now/"the present"
Locals who live in this city are very busy to consume "the present" moment in front of them, namely, dealing with their everyday life matters, embracing fully what their life offers just like many other people on many other cities on this planet
No time for sinking themselves into "the past"
Only outsiders have a plenty of time for this
It's easy, or even tempting, to project my imagination or sentimentalism onto people on the street, like "Now this old guy is smiling with his grandchildren, but probably he saw lots of sadness and pain in the past.
But it is also true that there is something unbearably vulgar and narcissistic in this kind of approach
Compassion, pity and sorrow can be just mental masturbation
Sadness is sweet
It's always difficult to approach a new person in a new city in a new country, especially with a difficult past