He, was a sturdy leader whose power once held the country together under the banner of brotherhood and unity. He, became one of the most prominent political figures that wielded his country’s influence beyond its size. He, was seen by some as a strongman who oversaw one of the most prosperous periods this region has ever had. Above all else, He was hailed as the creator of modern Yugoslavia, when hundreds of foreign delegates from both Communist and non-Communist states were bidding his last farewell in the House of Flowers, just inside the National Yugoslav Museum in Belgrade. He was Josip Broz Tito.
“What? You are going to Serbia? Why Serbia and what for?” That was the immediate response of my friends when they knew I was soon flying to Serbia. Serbia, to myriads of us, is merely just a middle-size country located in the Balkan Peninsula, nothing much special. When you asked about this uncommon destination beforehand, our knowledge was only limited to its past presence as part of Yugoslavia, the NATO bombardment in 1999, and also the birthplace of Novak Djokovic for some tennis frantic. Yet, the more the conversations with the locals, the more I discover the fascinating side of Serbia, and the more I would like to share my observation about this actually somewhat unique country.
After some sightseeing in Belgrade for a few days, the stay still didn’t satiate our yearn for travelling further, but grows within each passing day. In hope of making the most of our journey in Serbia, we decided to head to the north, to Novi Sad, which is the capital of the Autonomous region of Vojvodina. After the bus ride for an hour and a half, the peak of the medieval fortress and the snowy outskirts of this second largest Serbian city passed in the glimpse of our eager eyes.