A – 1995 – Bački Jarak
Student in environmental engineering at the University of Applied Sciences. Volunteering at the work camp Citizens beyond Walls, held in Temerin, focusing on how to fight right wing extremist organizations.
Q: What do you think about the position of young people in Temerin?
A: I never know how to answer well.
Q: Any way you answer…
A: What do I think about the position of young people? Well, it could be better. It can always be better, right? They should be more engaged. I mean in terms of bars and all that, it’s all cool, but there’s not much of gathering without alcohol, to have fun in more silly ways, to spray each other. I don’t know. More to gather like… connect. I mean, now it’s gonna sound very romantic, but more like to connect our hearts, and not… (Incomprehensible)
Q: And what could, in your opinion, if I understood you well, motivate them? What should, in your opinion…?
A: Doing something together. Traveling together. Exchange, for example, with other countries. Getting to know different cultures. To learn, for example, origami or to make a pot. (Laughs.)
Q: Yes, that’s a nice experience. I had an opportunity to do that once.
A: It doesn’t have to be an exchange with another country, it can be within Serbia between different towns, to meet different people. Young people have to get to know each other.
Q: And are there people of different nationalities or other nationalities in your neighborhood?
A: Well, I’m half Russian actually.
Q: Well, OK.
A: So, I mean, I have no problem with that. I know so many people from around the world. I even have a friend in Sweden. I have no problem with different nationalities, that’s not an issue… Well, there aren’t, since I live in Bački Jarak, there’s less Hungarians and… I don’t know if there are many. And I live in the very center, so more Serbs.
Q: Yes, I’ve noticed that Jarak is here and the sign for Temerin.
A: Yes. (Laughs.)
Q: I’ve noticed that since I usually go by bicycle from Kisač. So I go through Jarak, over the fields to Temerin. However, now this rain, and… I don’t have a bike, and my feet can’t push away so much mud.
A: They could make some kind of a track to Novi Sad. It would be great.
Q: There you go. An idea for a project.
A: Ah, that’s… Many people fantasize about that.
Q: Fantasize and then put it on the paper.
A: There. But really, we need a track since there are many… there are a few people who ride their bikes to Novi Sad on the road.
Q: Yes. Starting with me. It would be great for me, for example. OK, there are now those mountain bikes to go over the fields, they have wide tires, there’s some mud, gravel, you’re unstable, fall sometimes, but you go on… (They laugh.) How often do you go to concerts?
A: I’d like to go more often than I do now, but somehow it always happens that I can’t make it. Now again I have a trip during the EXIT festival just when my favorites are playing, Manu Chao. I was like ‘Oh, when will I ever see his concert?’ And when I saw that he’s coming to the EXIT festival… I’m returning on that day right after his concert.
Q: Why couldn’t it be at least two hours earlier? It happened to me once. I had to go to Slovakia on business and two trains past each other at the border. One train was going to Hungary, and the other one from Hungary. You could see the masses having a party, drinking, having fun ‘Oooooo, EXIT!’, and I was like ‘Boo hoooo! I don’t want to see you! Where’s that curtain?’
A: But OK, at least I’ll make it in time for the last day.
Q: And what do you think are the prospects of young people at the concerts?
A: What do you mean by prospects?
Q: Well, you know, that perspective experience, perspective view, like freedom and all that, having fun?
A: I mean, it depends on the people. There are those who’re getting drunk to get a trill. But there’s good people too. I mean, I’m walking around at EXIT to hear different concerts and performers, how someone is singing, depends on the songs. It’s incredible the effect the music has on people. People don’t really understand that well enough. I mean, they don’t understand how important it is to have a good time, for example, listen to some positive music, not depressive.
Q: And that probably depends on…
A: It depends on the person who’s receiving it.
Q: Well, yes. For example, I like to listen to trance too.
A: I like everything. I think that there is some good music in every genre, so it depends on the mood. Sometimes I’m in the mood to listen to metal and reggae and… I really like to go to concerts.
Q: Well, it depends in what kind of state I come home.
A: But I’m not so familiar with popular music. I have my own. Do you know (incomprehensible), for example? It’s my favorite band.
Q: I haven’t heard of them. Tell me a bit about them. What genre is that for example?
A: It’s rock. They sing in Swedish. They have a few good songs. They have many good songs, but they’re not popular outside of Sweden since they tried with one album to translate it from Swedish, but it didn’t work out.
Q: It’s difficult to translate it, right?
A: Well, it’s not difficult, but… for me, for example, it’s somehow more interesting to listen to the music in a different language than in English, otherwise it gets boring.
Q: You mostly know it already… you understand English, so you listen only to the rhythm.
A: And, for example, at the time when I didn’t understand English songs sounded more interesting, and now the words… I don’t listen to these popular songs. I mean, there are good songs, but I like French, for example. There are many good French songs.
Q: Do you think the law of youth is being respected?
A: Do young people respect the law or do people respect the law of youth?
Q: Whether the law of the youth is respected, specifically? I mean, do they have enough information to make decisions about future? Basically, I’m interested in… I asked the question whether the law of the youth is being respected coz I wanted to ask the question, but to unpack it like a WinRAR. So, first thing I’d like to know is how much you, as a young person, know about your rights.
A: We were taught everything in school at the civic education, but I think those are more general rights. I don’t know if I have a right to ask, to go there, to enter or other little things like that that I’m not sure of. I probably do have the right, but they’re hiding some things, there are things we can do that we don’t even know about. It could be better. Not everything is given on a platter, we have to find our way on our own, to get into organizations, not everything is accessible.
Q: Do you like the fact that you have to dig for every little thing?
A: No and yes. No because it would be easier if I got everything on a platter and then I can simply choose what I want. And yes because then it’s mine somehow, I found it and I fought for it and it had a greater value then.
Q: And do you manage to find something interesting and how do you share it with people you know?
A: Yes, well, Facebook. I think I don’t ever use the regular text messages anymore in those situations.
Q: Yes, I’ve noticed that Facebook is getting old already, that some other applications are getting into the spot light.
A: Well, yes, Facebook is already kind of…
A: Yes. (They laugh.) But when I find something interesting, I share it.
Q: So, you’re share information gladly?
A: Well, yes. I like the fact that you can find things easily. Things from other countries too. That was a real problem before. Now I can just type in anything, really anything.
Q: Basically, you just open Google and go somewhere to Tanzania.
A: Well, yes.
Q: It keeps dragging you further and further and off you go.
A: It is cool, but it somehow makes us lazy a bit.
Q: You think?
A: Well, it depends on the people. Maybe it’s just me that got lazy.
Q: Well, in what respect did you get lazy?
A: No, I don’t know, like if I can’t find something on the internet then it doesn’t exist. There are many information that are not available on the internet.
Q: They’re not available accidentally or on purpose?
A: Well, yes, I don’t know whether it’s accidental or on purpose, but internet is a very powerful thing. I mean, you can find so many things there. Important information and real information. Especially about what’s going on in the world. Since I know Russian, the things that are happening in the Ukraine now, so I could follow American TV and Russian TV and Ukrainian and Serbian. That’s the way it goes. I mean, someone might think it should be the same, but it’s completely different. I don’t know, these were… Actually, Russians are saying that they’re just protecting their border. Ukrainians are saying the Russians attacked. No, that the Americans are there. Ukrainians think it’s Russians. All of it is just a manipulation really.
Q: Basically team volleyball. One ball says Russia, the other one Ukraine, and everyone’s spiking.
A: Well yes. (They laugh.)
Q: So, since we’re talking about youth and information, making decisions about the future, how do you, as a young person, see your future in five years?
A: Well, to be honest, I don’t really want to make plans. That’s not really spontaneous. It’s not like I have a plan to do this, to go there… I’m kind of waiting for the life to surprise me. I want the life to surprise me. I’m making plans, but in a moment coz who knows what might happen, where I’ll end up. What’s the point of planning that far along? And where do I imagine myself in five years? Well, honestly, I don’t know. I could end up anywhere. Isn’t it great when you don’t know? I don’t know why we’re all making plans. You kind of lay out the plan for your whole life and if you made plans about everything that’s going to happen, what’s the point of living?
Q: Well, I have a habit of asking sometimes… If you have a need, feel free to say it. Now, let’s say, you’re 95 years old and there’s a dozen of grandkids in your lap, and one of them comes up to you like ‘Granny, granny, how did you spend your life?’, what would you tell him?
A: Well, I would tell them that my life was great, even if it was awful, I would say it was great, because… I would have no regrets. I guess it’s all in your head. I mean, it depends how a person perceives the situation. A situation can be seen as really bad by someone, and for someone else it can be an opportunity to grow. I don’t know. I mean, I will try my best.
Q: OK, you have time to… Feel free to say anything you want to say.
A: Well, yes. No, I don’t feel uncomfortable. Everything’s OK. But, yes… What did I want to say?
Q: Take your time.
A: I wanted to say that it all depends on your way of thinking. Positive things attract positive things.
Q: And do you think young people make informed decisions? What do you think about that?
A: Well, I can’t speak for all young people. We’re different, there are those who decide based on a feeling and those who research every little detail and then make a decision. I mean, both decisions can be good. But we could be more informed and know what we have. Sometimes it so happens that there’s some organization and we don’t even know about it, it’s not advertised. Someone doesn’t want it advertised.
Q: Yes, that’s about future.
A: Well, not just that.