I love everything about the Balkans. I love everything about Balkan history; whether it is about how the Ottoman Empire once occupied the peninsula, or the success of the ex Yugoslavian communist nation. I love Balkan food, from desserts such as loukamades and entrees like pleskavici. I love Balkan music, like current pop DJs MC Yankoo or Greece’s Nathalie Thanou, but even the classical artists, like Macedonian folk legend, Vaska Ilieva. I love Balkan hotspots, like Belgrade’s night life and Budva’s beach life. I love Balkan languages, especially Albanian and Greek- because theyre both so different compared to the more common Slavic dialects. I love the different alphabets we use, the different dialects each country has within itself, and the different people on the peninsula. I love the different religions we all have, and the different stories we have to tell. But yet, I find it so fascinating that among all the difference, i always find something in common with any Balkan person. And I always love being with Balkan people. But we have one flaw- instead of joining together and helping each other, we separate each other and go against each other. I just wish you guys realized, we all came from the same conditions. Our families all went through the same hardships. Eastern Europe is so “well preserved”; our ancestors had to go through things without much Western innovation and influence. We had to do things in our own way and our own mentality. That’s why we all understand each other. Yet, we keep making ourselves look better than each other. Whether it is Greeks with Macedonians, Albanians with Macedonians, Serbians with Bosnians; the list goes on and on. I just wish you guys understood, that our generation did nothing to each other. I had friends who weren’t allowed to be friends with me because of where I was from. But i loved having someone who just understood what life was like for me. I have that right now and I love it. I literally think I have one friend from at least every Balkan country, and I ask you guys do the same. Just realize how similar we are, and appreciate our differences at the same time. I bet the rest of the world wouldn’t laugh at us if we realized why they are laughing at us. We’re so focused on differentiating ourselves from each other, we’re losing productivity and love towards what makes the Balkans, so showcase-able. So please, do not linger on what your parents say. If you just saw how preserved we ALL are, how similar we ALL really are, how much we ALL truly understand each other, how beautiful we ALL are, you would see how worthless all this bickering and discrimination against each other really is. I hope one day, for the Balkans not to be known as the powder keg. We are all such heart warming people, it is such a shame to be known for hating each other- for absolutely no other reason other than politics and what politicians make us do to each other. Please do not forget, we are all human. We are all Balkan- something that no other group can understand.