The history of Janjevë/o locality is connected to the mining tradition of Novo Brdo and Kopaonik which had deposits of lead and silver that fostered economic development and growth. The history of Croat community in Kosovo dates back to the 13th century. Though the mines have been closed since the 16th century, the community continued to find meaning in Janjevë/o and reasonable cause to remain. Connected to regional mercantile centers, the architecture of Janjevë/o features a mix of Ottoman dwellings and Austro-Hungarian houses. By recording oral history interviews with the members of different communities, we seek to increase understanding of the cultural and economic identity of the locality of Janjevë/o. 

The research on Janjevë/o is part of the “Inter-community Dialogue through Inclusive Cultural Heritage Preservation” project funded by the European Union’s Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) and implemented by United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) in Kosovo.

 

Olga Gucić

Educator

We socialized quite a lot, it was really, we had weddings and baptisms and all that brought a special joy. You prepare yourself for one celebration to another. The streets were always clean, each and everyone cleaned it in front of their house every Saturday. We sang, I don’t know. Every Sunday, we had korzo, which was a hill above Janjevo – Glama. In the afternoon, only youth hung out there. We also had St. Georges, for that, we had some very special celebratory preparations. On the night of St. Georges, rifana, usually the girl who got engaged invited all her friends and family.

Omer Škrijelj

Doctor

I’ll tell you this story from that time. Truck after truck went by, there, somewhere there near a strong community of Croatians who decided to stay. About two hundred meters from here all the way to the post office, they had been lined up and loaded into those trucks. It was a mass migration, it’s hard to forget for those from Janjevo. So now, an old lady comes for a check-up but has no real problems.

And I say to her, ‘Grandma, what are you complaining about, what hurts?’ She says, ‘The trucks hurt.’ I say, ‘They hurt all of us.’ So there was this diagnosis also, ‘The trucks hurt.’ What really hurt was that you’d be just sitting with them in the evening, having a drink and hanging out, and the next day they’d be gone because decisions were almost made overnight. First, they’d say, ‘We’re not going, we don’t need to.’ And then something happens overnight, probably a neighbor goes, then another. Then they say, ‘Why would I stay, I’ll go too.’ And so…