Podcast episode 6: What’s in a name? How Herzegovina was named.

It's been eight months. I have finally uploaded a new podcast. This one is epic, long, dark -- it's the story of Herzegovina and how it got its name. I hope you enjoy it. The transcript is below. Have a great day!

Podcast transcript: what is Hercegovina

Hi I’m Jonathan, and this is The Bosnia Project podcast. The Bosnia Project is the chronicle of my life as a world traveler youth worker father and husband. 

The Bosnia Project is the story of how I came to live and work overseas in a country called Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s my blog, the Bosnia Project dot com, this podcast, and our Facebook community, and email updates we send out to our supporters and followers.

“The Bosnia Project” is a process and a product, all wrapped up into one thing, and this podcast, the blog, and everything else is a way to catch all that work, write it down, record it and preserve it, so that it can be of use to someone. This is the Bosnia Project, and it will continue for a good while longer. 

This is the second episode in a series that will attempt to answer several of the questions that people ask about Bosnia, Sarajevo, Mostar, and Eastern Europe in general. We are going to talk about Communism, America, Atheism, Religion — there’s going to be a lot of issues thrown together here. I hope you like it. Today’s episode is called “what's in a name” it's the story of Herzegovina and how it got its long interesting and confusing name. 

What’s in a name?

Why do we name things? All of us do it, we name our children, places that are memorable to us, period of our lives that we remember for one reason or another. If you have a place where you had a difficult experience you might refer to it as a terrible place. If you had a good experience somewhere, you might come up with a positive name for that particular place, and then in the future when you talk to your spouse about it you might just use the made up names you've assigned to these places instead of the band used by everyone else. It's a way of asserting your point of view on the world, according to your experiences. 

I've done this before -- there is a certain beach in Croatia that my wife and I refer to as "our beach", rather than using its actual name. We've vacationed there for four years in a row and we enjoy it. The name denotes pleasure, ownership, experience. 

The ancient Romans called the Mediterranean Sea "our Sea", because they had conquered the land all the way around it. The felt, obviously, that they were the owners of the entire thing, and that's what they wanted to communicate with the naming of the sea -- their accomplishment of taking dominion over the sea, not a small feat in their time. 

Other people had different names for the Mediterranean, calling it The Syrian Sea, the Sea of the Philistines, or just the Great Sea. The Arabs sometimes called it the White Sea. All of these names communicate something different about the sea, and also something different about how ppl viewed the world. A lot of the names imply ownership, which in turn implies that that group of people obviously viewed themselves as quite important. To call the sea, which most people call the "great Sea", "ours", means you want people in your country to know that you've reached a certain level of significance. 

Name of Bosnia

What's in a name? A name denoted IDENTITY. 

In the country where I live, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, there is always this question ppl ask about the name. Why is it so long? And what is it, exactly? 

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