Short story for competition 16 days of activism campaign
(She was) Born at village
Message ‘ Dear Maksida , could you help us at Saturday to translate Bosnian English at near village? Gifts to kids and learn English. Thank you so much. Kristie.” Kristie and her husband are Americans living in Bosnia, my friends who in free time organize workshops for kids. Some 35 minutes by car from the center of the city there is home of the host family. Recently built house, unfinished, without facade, at first flour two rooms settled for living and bathroom. Behind the house there is garden with vegetables, in front of the house the old car with stains of calyx and cement. The host, very hearty ,with big smile on his face, approaching to us and shaking hand with all while apologizing for mess around the house; they recently returned from Denmark where they went to start new life ..but they did not get approval to stay so they returned to Bosnia. Now they are unemployed. His wife, all cheerful and smiling, came to us with two nicely dressed kids and took us to the house. There is lack of furniture in the house but the one that’s there is clean and you can tell she is the one who keeps all that in the order. She made food from what she has; traditional pita and some cookies. I see it is hard for them so I asked her how the manage day –to –day living;
‘I do what I can, just so I am not sitting around, at least I grow some vegetables in the garden for us to have a meal, and he ( the husband) sometimes does civil works during season and bring some money ..’
‘How are the kids doing in school? Do you have any money to give them for sandwich?’
‘For that I have to have at least 1 KM for each…So they’re not, you know, embarrassed.’
‘Have you ever tried to get a job in the city? Maybe as a cook, your food is very good.’
‘I have, It’s just…so hard for us out there…in the city.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘You know, for us coming from the countryside’
‘So you think they don’t give jobs to people coming from the local villages?’
‘Yeah, you know them…’
‘How do they even know you’re from the village? To me, you look the same as woman from the city’
‘I know, the clothes aren’t problem…everything is fine until you start talking…Sometimes I go to Municipality to get some papers and as soon as I say something they at counter start rolling their eyes , become rude and just throw the papers through the counter…I can’t handle that anymore..that‘s why I stopped talking to them. ‘
For a moment we both were silent; me because there was so much of truth, pain and harmfulness in her words and she because I was silent. Suddenly, I left my previous vanity (conceit) of objective listener and got into my ‘’alter ego ’’ – the person who knows.
‘Look, there is nothing wrong with you being born at village, wrong is to hate and to humiliate.’ She was looking at me incredulously while I continued ‘ I was born in village ,and I know very well what are you talking about , because I was victim of the same discrimination, but I did not gave up. I raised my voice against that and fought…And I have been fighting since then. You have to react when someone discriminates against you, you have to stand up and say – That is wrong! We cannot chose where we were born, what color of the skin or gender, but to hate someone – we chose that ‘.