Julianne Funk, Research Fellow at ELIAMEP’s South-East Europe Programme published a chapter in the 2019 edited volume Both Muslim and European: Diasporic and Migrant Identities of Bosniaks (ed. Dž. Šuško), Brill publishers, 2019.
Dr. Funk’s chapter is entitled “Bosnian Diaspora Experiences of Suživot or Traditional Coexistence: Bosanski Lonac, American Melting Pot or Swiss Fondue?” (pp. 145-158).
Suživot is well known throughout the former Yugoslavia as a traditional way of socially relating across cultural differences, but it has been particularly characteristic of Bosnia and Herzegovina due to its ethno-religious diversity. Both the literal translation ‘co-life’ and the standard translation, ‘coexistence,’ demonstrate the concept’s lack of an inherent positive or negative value, but simply implies that people of different backgrounds or identities live in the same place with each other. The expression of suživot as a phenomenon continues to evolve in the postwar context of BiH where people try to build a ‘normal’ society ‘together’. However, because of the 1990s war, an estimated 1.4 million Bosnians live outside the country (Valenta & Ramet 2010), where the concept and dynamics of suživot is not exactly the same. The research behind the chapter sought to compare the expressions and perceptions of suživot in BiH today with those in two different migrant contexts (Switzerland and the USA). While suživot remains widely valued, is also regarded with much skepticism and distrust. For BiH residents, despite their discouraging postwar reality, the latter lack of trust is tempered by the need to create a positive future, a future that necessitates suživot. The diaspora’s distance from BiH may account for their greater pessimism about suživot in BiH. The diaspora’s pragmatism relates to adapting to their adopted countries, while relations with other diaspora or with BiH itself are less essential to achieving the ‘good life’. Nevertheless, tolerance, openness and positive interactions are still highly valued.
You can read more about the volume in the following link: https://brill.com/view/title/54445?lang=en