Maybe some of you might notice that the title of this post is our slogan of sorts. We use it as a quick identifier on social media to show people who’s who and how we roll. And although we are 100% Bosnian as those t-shirts found all over Baščaršija say, Sarajevo is special to us in many ways. It helped raise us and it helped shape us into the people we are today. Sarajevo is love.
This is not the first story we did about this city nor will it be the last. On this day, Sarajevo’s most important date for multiple reasons, we share this little extra something right out of our hearts.
One date, two anniversaries
Today is April 6, Sarajevo’s birthday (sort of - officially it’s ‘the Day of the city of Sarajevo’) and a day when a number of cultural and sports events happen throughout the city in a rather festive mood. This year marks 74 years of liberation from fascism in World War II and 27 years since the beginning of one of the longest sieges in modern warfare. Add the fact that 557 years since the foundation of the city will be thrown in there for good measure so you can see why April 6 is deeply embedded in the history of Sarajevo.
But all those dates are just plain numbers torn from history’s calendar without the underlying reason that really makes this day important: the spirit and willpower of all Sarajevans for universal human rights and values. Throughout its history, Sarajevo has been an important intersection, a place where East clashed with West and ultimately merged. That’s likely why we have a habit of saying (or writing) that Sarajevo’s soul and doors are always open to all kind-hearted people.
And we follow along those lines. The moment you enter our shop, we try to uphold that mantra, and then some. If anything, you’ll be greeted with tons of Sarajevo-related stuff that would take too long to mention even just half of it. Sarajevo is not just our city, regardless of where some of us were born - it’s our home. And make no mistake - we do this with a purpose and a clear goal, not because we have to or because it’s “cool”. This is our way of contributing to Sarajevo and the rest of the country to shine with the brightest of lights.
The majority of our photo shoots are done right here, on the streets in and around our shop, further away from the old core, or on the adjacent hills and mountains. When you walk through this city, you can pass small, wooden buildings that seem distant and out of time before you come up to narrow passageways and cobblestone streets with clay tile roofs and domes. The background of that oriental feel quickly changes to a backdrop of Austro-Hungarian architecture with symmetrical stone buildings and decorative flourishes. The overlap of those two styles, along with the socialist, concrete-inspired buildings and more modern projects make you wonder about the past of this place, about where you want to be.
A gem among emeralds
But Sarajevo is so much more than looks. In fact, we’d argue (ferociously, in some cases) it’s more about feels than anything. Sarajevo is a city full of beauty as much as it is full of defiant spirit, with an undeniable charm that very few can resist. Some of the very first streets still see off thousands of people every day and ooze of simpler times gone by. There’s some sort of natural harmony with its surroundings, from bordering hills and mountains to stretching rivers. You can feel its sense of belonging, that rebellious ethos that we at Bazerdžan try to keep alive in our own little way.
The more I think, the less I understand
A cave of sadness yawning inside me
I handle rhymes much harder
My eyes are full of Sarajevo
The more I think, the more I suspect
Find someone else to sing
This song I'll stay silent
There's no song without Sarajevo
Even when it's quiet, Sarajevo is singing
Even when it's squinting, his eyes are shining
Rain of tears in the gutter interflowing
Sarajevo will be, everything else will pass
Sarajevo će biti, sve drugo će proći - Zlatan Fazlić Fazla and Dorđe Balašević
That song was made in 1992, during the period of aggression and what’s generally perceived as the most horrifying time in Sarajevo’s history due to the sheer scale of raging war. Those were some hard times but full of emotion and warmth because people came together and persevered. That sense of togetherness is one of the reasons why the final verse of that song graces our shop window.
It also reflects how we do things. Almost every person we work with is a story worth telling, one whose central theme is persistence, whether it’s persistence to create what you love and believe in or persistence to stay true to yourself despite everything. It’s a huge part of what inspires and drives us to be better every day. That’s the spirit that Bazerdžan reflects: love, beauty, and defiance. In other words: that’s Sarajevo, so deeply ingrained in us.
In these fast-changing times, we see ourselves as a stronghold honoring our rich cultural heritage, our local and traditional ways meshed with a modern touch. But most of all, we see a little part of Sarajevo within us. And when we do, it’s the best day ever.
For Sarajevo, with love.
All featured images depict products that are part of our Home Deco assortment.