St. Louis Bosnia community | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Bosnia community

Missouri Botanical Garden researcher Ashley Glenn learning to cook in Bosnia from a homemaker named Dunja.
Ashley Glenn | Missouri Botanical Garden

On a recent Saturday, four middle-aged Bosnian women bustled in a warmly lit kitchen at Fontbonne University. Bags of flour and sugar, metal mixing bowls and trays of flaky pastries filled, called pitas, were spread across an island. The air smelled strongly of bread, butter and cheese.

Ashley Glenn, a botanist at the Missouri Botanical Garden, stood next to the women, providing commentary about the food for an audience of about two dozen people. Glenn has spent the last year and a half interviewing more than 100 Bosnians in St. Louis and in Bosnia about their cuisine and food rituals.

Bosnia Memory Project to expand work in area high schools

Jan 6, 2017
Bosnians gathered near the Sebilj Fountain
File photo | Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Affton High School teacher Brian Jennings will never forget watching former student Dino Svraka record an oral history contribution for the Bosnia Memory Project a couple of years ago. He’s still struck by how Svraka, a Bosnian American, captivated his students.

“That justified everything I’ve ever tried to do as a teacher,” Jennings said.

Jennings teaches a class on Bosnian American history in partnership with the Bosnia Memory Project at Fontebonne University. He began the collaboration about five years ago after meeting the organization’s executive director, Ben Moore.

Miryam Tauber and Eli Tauber prepare Sephardic eggs in preparation for Miryam's cooking class on Aug. 19, 2016. The eggs are boiled at a low temperature for hours with onion skins.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

A Bosnian historian is in St. Louis through Monday to share stories about Jewish and Muslim people living side by side in Sarajevo for centuries.

University City native Rebecca Patz Nathanson invited Eli Tauber to St. Louis to take part in a series of events highlighting positive shared experiences between Muslims and Jews in Bosnia called Sarajevo 450.

She hopes the events shift thinking in the St. Louis Jewish community and beyond, as her experience living in Bosnia shifted her own thinking.

Melissa Gerth and Arnela Bogdanic in rehearsal at Grbic Banquet Hall, where "Bosnian/American: The Dance for Life" plays April 15-16 before moving to Fontbonne University.
Traci Clapper

The generation gap is said to be narrowing as more millennials move back in with, and seek advice from, their parents. But in St. Louis, the chasm may be growing for one group of young adults.

Two decades ago, Bosnian genocide survivors arrived in St. Louis penniless and ravaged by war. In one generation, they’ve built businesses, bought homes and raised children who are succeeding at high school and college — and assimilation. A new Mustard Seed play, “Bosnian/American: The Dance for Life,” explores the lives of these young adults, weaving their story around a traditional Bosnian tale about a young sheep and a menacing wolf.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis has a long history as a melting pot of different cultures and a new, photo-illustrated book, “Ethnic St. Louis,” is striving to do justice to the various immigrant communities that have made their home here. While many people know the stories of the French and German settlers that helped to create the city from the very beginning, the book delves into lesser-known ethnic groups as well.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Nedim Ramic has a powerful personal connection to what he sees happening in the world today in regard to Syrian refugees.

“Being a refugee myself, coming to this country as a refugee and seeing how the Bosnian-American community has flourished and helped the St. Louis region in many ways, it would be a moral crime to go against admitting refugees from Syria into the United States,” said Ramic, now an attorney with Bajric & Ramic Law Office in south St. Louis.

“This is a moment in history that makes you as an individual; that makes you as a nation and allows you to follow those moral guidelines as humans that we’ve got to help other humans. That’s above religion, that’s above everything else.”

(Flickr/MaximilianV)

Bring them here.

That’s the rallying cry of a march planned for this weekend in St. Louis asking the U.S. government to allow more Syrian refugees to resettle in the city.

The St. Louis chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is organizing the event Sunday evening in the Delmar Loop. Executive director Faizan Syed said more than 1,000 people have indicated they will attend.

'Being Bosnian' explores impact of genocide on a new generation

Apr 9, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In 1993, the first Bosnian refugees from the genocidal war in Bosnia Herzegovina arrived in St. Louis. Since then, the Bosnian population here has grown to an estimated 60,000. Now, 20 years later, a different set of challenges faces a younger generation of Bosnians, many of whom have no first-hand memories of the war, but nonetheless represent its legacy.

​This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 22, 2008 - Karadzic's capture comes too late for some Bosnians

For those waiting for justice, 13 years is better than nothing, but not by much. Radovan Karadzic, a Bosnian Serb leader wanted for war crimes, was arrested July 22 in Belgrade, Serbia.

"Little Bosnia" is personal for many actors

Apr 7, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When the Avalon Theatre Company announced auditions for its spring production of "Little Bosnia," excitement buzzed in the St. Louis Bosnian community. Four actors from the former Yugoslavia were chosen, some performing for the first time. They jumped at the chance to interpret a familiar story, one they've often encountered in their community and lives.