18 srpnja 2010
About slavic banknotes
The article was taken from here: http://5magazine.wordpress.com/2010/01/25/banknotes-of-european-countries/
Bosnia has among the simplest banknotes in the world. There is no recognition in the artwork of the Bosniak Muslim culture. Most of their notes reflect the proud Yugoslav heritage of the Bosnian people (not to say that they have affections for the Serbs). Bosnia, despite being one of the poorest nations of Europe, sets its currency with rather high value. Today, as a result of the Yugoslav conflict, Bosnia is split in three internally: Republika Srpska for Serbs in the east, Croats in the southwest, and Bosnian Christians and Bosniak Muslims in the center.
Belarus is one of Europe’s youngest countries, indeed not having an independent national history before the breakup of Russia in 1917, but one with a unique history. Long controlled by the Lithuanians, the language of this Slavic subject population functioned as a diplomatic lingua franca. No Belarusian cultural or national identity existed, although its people retained a distinctly Slavic character from the Baltic Lithuanians. Belarus was one of the most loyal of all Soviet republics, and today proudly espouses its Soviet heritage. Its president, Aleksandr Lukashenko, is often called “Europe’s last dictator,” yielding near absolute power and openly operating as a Soviet-style authority. It is a very poor nation that receives very little support from Western Europe due to their political stance, but they remain one of Russia’s closest allies today. Their currency is unusual in that it almost exclusively has only animals depicted.
Bulgaria has an interestingly currency reflecting their ancient history as one of the oldest-surviving nations on earth, founded in the 7th century. Bulgarian banknotes express the proud Bulgarian Orthodox Christian heritage of this ancient Slavic nation.
Croatian money has had a difficult economic and political history. Croatian money was worthless when the country was breaking from Serbian-dominated Yugoslavia, but as the country has rapidly evolved to become a major and beautiful tourist paradise, the value of the Kuna has increased. Croatian currency expresses the strong Slavic (and Catholic) pride of this culture on the coast. The first banknote’s reverse (the strange statue) is an ancient sculpture of early Slavic history. The Croats’ desire to print their own local currency and manage their own regional affairs was arguably one of the first events that caused the bitter Serbian reprisal of political centralization that caused the Yugoslav Wars. The Croats have spent the last century defining themselves as a unique nation and culture from the Orthodox Serbs, despite their common racial descent from the Slavs (“Yugoslavia” means “South Slavs”).
Czech Republic KORUNY:
Though the Czechs and Slovaks have only had completely independent nations very recently, the Czechs and Slovaks are quite proud of their ancient Slavic and Catholic heritage. Their homeland has played a key role in the political evolution of Europe for the last 1,200 years, often vaccilating from being a puppet of the Germans to a major independent power. Their currency expresses their early Slavic roots, their church, and their medieval heritage as Bohemia, which broke from the Austria-Hungarian empire after World War I. Their Czechoslovakia banknotes are particularly beautiful and archaic. The Czechs and Slovaks, two cultures with almost identical history, genetics, language, religion, and heritage split into two states in the Velvet Divorce of the 1990s largely because of political disputes resultant from the struggles of post-Cold War state formation, a problem that greatly incensed many Czechs and Slovaks who view themselves as one people still today.
As one of the newest countries in European history, Macedonia has little independent history of its own, though it prides itself in a strong revolution against the Islamic rule of the Ottomans before World War I. It has only historically acted as a disputed buffer zone between the Serbian, Bulgarian, and Byzantine empires. Today it is one of the poorest nations in Europe, and with a 33% hated Albanian Muslim minority. The Macedonians identified themselves as ethnic Slavs until the chauvinistic dominance of the Serbs encouraged their discord from Yugoslavia in 1993. Ever since, the Macedonians have largely reversed their previous affiliation with their Slavic ancestors and promoted an independent racial identity. Many nationalists claim that the Macedonians are related not to the Russians and Serbs, but to the ancient Macedonian Greeks like Philip and Alexander. For this reason, when becoming a nation in 1993, the backwater country was embargoed by Greece, which proudly reveres their world-conquering hero. As a result of the conflict, Macedonia is now called the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to emphasize that it is not the original nation of Greek Macedonia. The mere use of the word “Macedonia” without the preceding “FYRO” is almost always met by tremendous political and diplomatic conflict.
Poland, despite the low value of its currency and its unfortunate image as an impoverished ex-Communist state, is one of the oldest and proudest nations in Europe that (when merged with Lithuania) forged a massive empire stretching from Belarus to the Black Sea. It is also one of the oldest Christian countries of Europe, having been Christianized by Mieszko I over 1000 years ago. Their banknotes have all of their greatest heroes, including Boleslaw (who helped reunite Poland), Mieszko, and Casimierz (who made Poland a respectable and centralized power).
The Ruble is one of the more famous currencies of Europe, having been an active currency (at least in name) for centuries. The Soviet Union used a Ruble as well, though the format, worth, and imagery have changed. Interestly, it is almost impossible to find a Russian currency (new or old) with Joseph Stalin on it despite his cult of personality as the leader of the largest empire on earth. Instead, Lenin is on virtually every banknote. Today, they tend instead to show the glorious architecture of Russian churches and government offices like the Kremlin.
Serbian money has taken many changes because of its previous union with Bosnia, Macedonia, Slovenia, and Croatia as Yugoslavia. Its Yugoslav currencies of the past show great pride in collective work, the Slavic people, Marshall Tito (the beloved quasi-dictator and founder of the socialist version of Yugoslavia), etc. Most of the breakaway states still have a proud expression of Yugoslav heritage in their banknotes despite their intense hatred for the Serbs. When the empire collapsed, the Serbian currency became valued at 500 BILLION per US dollar. It remains among Europe’s poorest countries, still troubled by corruption and a constantly-revolting Albanian Muslim minority in Kosovo (where they are the majority). Serbian currency today expresses the proud Yugoslav heritage of the country, their ancient Slavic history, and the role of Orthodoxy in Serbian culture.
Though the Czechs and Slovaks have only had completely independent nations very recently, the Czechs and Slovaks are quite proud of their Slavic and Catholic heritage. Their currency expresses their early Slavic roots, their church, and their medieval heritage as Bohemia, which broke from the Austria-Hungarian empire after World War I. Their Czechoslovakia banknotes are particularly beautiful and archaic. The Czechs and Slovaks, two cultures with almost identical history, genetics, language, religion, and heritage split into two states in the Velvet Divorce of the 1990s largely because of political conflicts resultant after the Cold War nation-building process. Many Slovaks and Czechs view this as a travesty, believing that both are one people.
The Ukrainian Slavs are incredibly proud of their ancient cultural heritage. They claim to be a very ancient and longstanding nation despite the fact that the Ukrainians did not constitute a nation for most of their history, but were instead a region of intense competition between Cossacks, Poles, Russians, and Muslim Turks. The Ukrainians claim to have founded the oldest Slavic state and the nexus of Russia, which was centered at Kiev over 1,000 years ago (called Kievan Rus). The Russians, of the same cultural and genetic heritage as the Ukrainians, view themselves as the founders of Kiev Rus. In reality, however, the genesis of this pan-Slavic nation was built by foreign Germanic Vikings called the Varangians, although the Slavs proceeded to carry these foundations into a powerful empire.