Serb villages spread across the vast Livno field beneath Dinara have devastated the past war, today only thirty returnees to Gubin lead a bitter battle for survival, because Serbs, in that federal canton, are neglected and mostly left to themselves.
The life in villages where war has destroyed everything is very difficult. The small number of returnees live in difficult conditions, but what keeps them is a love for native soil. Most important, they point out, is that they have not been forgotten in Republika Srpska and Serbia.
This region, as they say in the Regional Association “Ognjište”, /”Fireplace”/ is recognized for its good and honorable people in the first place.
“The Serb`s villages of Livno do not belong to anyone today, but we are here to take care of those who have returned, every stone, house, every inch of our grandfather`s place”, from the Regional Association.
The President of the Assembly of the “Ognjište”, /”Fireplace”/ Nedeljko Vukovljak tells SRNA that their goal is to preserve the customs and traditions that are passed down from generation to generation, and that they do so by participating in various fairs.
“This year, we received an invitation to participate in the Homeland Fair in Novi Sad on February 22. We are proud to present what makes Livno region recognizable – cheese from Livno, brandy Plemka, wine, prosciutto, authentic folk costume”, Vukovljak says.
The Association also cooperates with Vojvodina, where a large number of Serbs from Livno live, and received financial assistance from the director of the Provincial Fund for Refugees and Displaced Persons Duško Ćutilo last year.
He notes that they have never received anything from Livno, to whom they belong, and those who help them are few.
“But it is important to say that we receive the greatest support from Republika Srpska and Serbia”, Vukovljak said, and appeals to the representatives of the cantonal and federal authorities to come to Serb`s villages in Livno and see how live the small number of the returnees.
The Serbs of Livno, the people who have suffered during the centuries, but also been resurrected, stand shoulder to shoulder today with all the adversity and proudly defy the winds of Dinara and Šator in the vast Livno field.
They gather for the holidays, they sing and then these villages come to life as they were many years ago. Each year, at the end of August, they organize “Native Days in the Gubin Parish” that brings together more than 600 parishioners displaced around the world.