Page 712 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 712

Dimitrije Djordjević
The liberal and radical opposition, however, refused to accept the creed of the conservatives. although the lib- erals in the 1860s and the radicals in the 1880s espoused the Kosovo tradition as everyone else in the country did, they believed that there was no freedom abroad without freedom in Serbia itself. Only democracy could accom- plish the Kosovo legacy. emperor Dušan’s portrait pub- lished in Novi Sad in the 1860s carried the beard and mous- tache of the liberal leader Svetozar Miletić.97 The poet jo- van jovanović-Zmaj ridiculed the conservatives: “Tell me, O Nemanja,— tell me, O Dušan! How could you succeed and be so great—and do it without the gendarmes!”98
The young socialists, organized in the 1870s, were the only ones who refused to “build the future on the grave- yard of the past.” They questioned all established values, including the Kosovo myth and any history which fostered national megalomania.
at the end of the century when Balkan cooperation against the Ottoman empire became an obvious neces- sity, Prince Lazar was used as the example to follow.99 His attempt to organize the Balkan resistance at Kosovo was modified to the needs of contemporary Balkan politics. Special emphasis was placed on Serbian collaboration with Montenegro, “the first seed sprouting from Vidovdan.”100
in spite of adaptations and modifications, the Kosovo tradition has remained deeply embedded in modern Ser- bian statehood. For centuries, from medieval to modern times, Kosovo has been regarded as a holy land. its tradi- tion inspired the 1804 insurgents, echoed in the 1844 na- tional program, supported the 1878 recognition of inde- pendence and the 1882 proclamation of Kingdom, and fi- nally motivated the peasant-soldier to fight in the 1912– 1918 wars.
Not long ago isidora Sekulić wrote that “Kosovo lived, is living, and will live from Lazar and Murad—through many uprisings, Njegoš, Kumanovo, Rakić’s poetry, Meš- trović’s sculptures, Young Bosnia, and the Vidovdan in Sarajevo, albania, and Kajmakčalan.”101 Deeply rooted in the mind of the people, the Kosovo tradition is still tor- turing Serbian blood. Today Kosovo again revives the na- tion in a combination of historical memory, harsh reali- ties, and genuine optimism. The poet Ljubomir Simović has recently written a Kosovo drama in verse, which was staged on the occasion of the 1989 commemoration of the battle. The drama opens with a question which a faith- -healer addresses to a monk:
“is this the way to Kosovo?” The monk replies:
“Yes it is.
But you can take the other one. Or go another way too.
The way you came from, also.
Why do you wonder?
all the roads will bring you there. Today, for Serbia there is no other way: To Kosovo, or from Kosovo!”
Thomas Emmert/Wayne W.S. Vucinich (Eds.), Kosovo: Legacy of Me- dieval Battle, Minnesota Mediterranean an east european Mono- graphs, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN., 1991, pp. 123–139.
 97 Skerlić, Omladina, p. 70.
98 Skerlić, Omladina, p. 109; also “Srpkinjama na Vidovdan 1889,”
in Orao (1889), p. 63.
99 Otadžbina (1889), p. iV. Orao Ilustrovani Almanah (1889).
100 Poem of jovan jovanović Zmaj, “To King aleksandar and Prin- ceDanilo”,OraoIlustrovaniAlmanah(1889).
101 isidora Sekulić, “Kosovo neprolazno,” in Zadužbine Kosova, p.278.

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