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Ruza Petrovic, Marina Blagojevic: The Migration of Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo and Metohija

V. NEW CIRCUMSTANCES AND NEW PROBLEMS IN SERBIA

"I grieve for my birth place, necessity and misfortune compelled me to move. My father, and grandfather and great-grandfather are buried in Kosovo, my heart is down there. I'll never be myself here, in spirit I'm still in Kosovo".

(Worker, head of a ten-member household)

"You don't have to worry whether your child will come home alive or covered in blood - a peaceful, free and dignified life to which every decent person in Yugoslavia has the right".

(Father of three)

Leaving Kosovo and settling in Serbia has been a major change for the Serbs and Montenegrins - they have changed their ethnic environment and in consequence are no longer a group which is the target of discrimination, the main factor behind their migration from Kosovo and from Metohija.

Parallel to this fundamental change which is the same for all households, there have been changes in the distinctive features of the households and their members which can be divided into three groups.

The first group of changes is related to the passage of time in general. For the household members this is the process of growing up and aging and through this changes referring to the growth of related characteristics and possibilities, first and foremost education, graduation, economic activities and marriage. These are the phases of development in the changes relating to the size of the family and its generational structure, through marriage, childbirth, death and the aging of different generations. The growing up and aging processes would take place even if there were no migration but the others are effected by the change of environment. The second group is made up of objective changes related to the new environment, employment of both the settlers, the new arrivals and settled members, as a result of which the household's social and material circumstances change and changes occur, for example, in the type of housing and standards, type of township, relations with neighbors and way of life.

The third group consists of changes in which there is a subjective guideline in the examination of the position of settlers in each new environment, in the assessment of the objective changes in the environment and the household itself, in changes in the basic living problems, aims and aspirations.

The three groups are interlinked, their separation has only an analytical importance but in real life they are inseparable.

If we leave aside the overall change in the ethnic environment then, on the one side, we have households which have undergone very little change and, on the other, households with [marked changes. Understandably, little change also means fewer difficulties but overcoming them greatly depends on the subjective and objective ability to adjust to the environmental conditions.

1. CHANGES IN THE STRUCTURE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE HOUSEHOLDS AND THEIR MEMBERS

Starting from when they migrated, the households were divided into two categories: those which made a complete move and those divided into a part which migrated and one which did not.

Starting from the time of observation, we again have two categories of households: one which remained the same as when it moved and one which acquired new members. Besides affecting the household's size and structure, the new member also influenced its other distinctive characteristics, for example its degree of activity or education.

Two hundred and twenty-nine households, almost every second, had new members. Their presence was plainly linked to the length of time which had elapsed since the household had moved. New members were to be found in two-thirds of the households of the earliest settlers who had migrated prior to 1969, in half the households which had moved from 1970-79 and only in one in every five of the households which had been the last to move. The second condition for their presence was the phase of development the family had attained at the time of migration.

Out of the 494 new members, 385 were children born in Serbia while the remainder were spouses in marriages contracted after the move. The largest number of new members to enter the family through marriage - 65 - were born in Serbia, 16 in other republics and 29 in Kosovo, and had either moved with their parents' family or had come here to marry.

Without this rejuvenation, the average age of the household members at the time of the survey was 35.5 years (settlers only) but as the average age of the new members was only 12.7 years, the average age of the sample was 30.9 and was lower than in Serbia Proper and lower than in the communes where the households had settled.

a. Changes in the Households' Size and Structure

If we examine the average number of household members before (M and K members) and after moving (I and N members) a slight increase of 5.0 to 5.2 members is noticeable. The changes in the structure, however, are greater. The number of the smallest (1 and 2 members) and of the largest households (6 and more members) has been reduced, and the number of 4 and 5-member households has noticeably increased. No change was recorded in 194 households while in 15 the change was neutralized by an equal number of remaining and new members. A decrease was recorded in 105 households and an increase in 186. The numerical structure of members is now more homogenous than before the move - 54.2% households with 4-5 members, as opposed to Kosovo where there were 44.2%.

The structure of the family changed, generally narrowing down -to one family in the household.

The majority of households, both before and after the move, consisted of married couples with children. After the move their number increased from 50.4 to 58.8%. The second largest group was made up of households with two families but after the move this group decreased from 21.2 to 18.2%. The number and participation - 12.2% - of the extended families remained unchanged but this does not mean that no changes took place in their structure. The situation was the opposite in the case of married couples without children and households with three or more families: the number of married couples decreased and the number of households with three or more families in the sample increased slightly.

On the whole, the figures show a very slight narrowing of the structure. The predominantly inner structure arises from a bi-directional trend, from the completion of the innermost family structure in the period following the move 1(11 bachelor and 24 households of married couples in Kosovo) and the disintegration of the broader structure in Kosovo, 13 extended families and 53 multi-family households split up prior to moving (one of them is the nuclear family in the survey). Furthermore, a trace of tenacity in maintaining the multi-family structure can be seen.

Taken separately, with the passing of time the households undergo considerable change in terms of the structure of the (family and some typical patterns can be seen. In three-quarters of the cases, the married couples who have moved have now become families with children and this is more frequent with single people who have moved. The married couples with children have mainly extended the family structure to two families, as a result of the younger members growing up and marrying. As far as extended families in Kosovo are concerned, most frequently married couples with children moved, half the two-family household was split up and one of them moved. The changes in the three-family was bi-directional, 11 of them split up into a narrower structure in Serbia but on the other hand 13 households with an narrow structure in Kosovo became three-family communities in Serbia.

This leads to the conclusion that, although it is not strong, there is a tendency toward reducing the structure to one family. Each type of structure in the household underwent bidirectional changes during the move and the period which followed, tending either to narrow or expand, and the ratio between them indicates that the narrowing process is more frequent. All this attests to a very strong tradition of community life and solidarity in the family, which keeps up this tradition even in considerably different specific and general circumstances of the new place of residence. Besides, it is very probable that the new circumstances dictate the household's expansion and the preservation of the broader structure, for example problems in getting an apartment.

The expected arrival of the remaining members of the household from Kosovo will naturally contribute to the fact that the narrowing of the structure will be surmounted by a trend in the opposite direction. Particularly, if the remaining part of the household consists of only one member or the parental married couple, their arrival will give a large number of the inner families an extended or multi-family structure. Thus, the migrant families stand out even more in relation to the new environment. This type of family structure is unusual, bearing in mind the educational background of the members of the household and the degree of urbanization.

New members are the cause of the extended structure of the family and just as the existence of the new members is connected to the time of resettling, there is also a link between the time of resettling and the number of separate family structures in the household. Households with two or more families make up 24.2% of the total number of households but 31% of those which migrated before 1969, 32% of those which moved between 1970 and 1974, 20.8% of those which moved between 1975 and 1979 and only 17.2% of those which migrated after 1980. In other words, the longer the period of time which has elapsed since the migration, the more frequent the extended forms of the households' family structure. This partly depends on the degree of the households' development and the arrival of new members - and again on the difference in the amount of time each household took to settle down which was shorter in agricultural and numerically larger and longer in white-collar worker and numerically smaller households.

b. Activity, Profession and Employment of Members

Among the members who have emigrated, the number of active persons increased from 772 to 1,089 which gives a level of 48,8%; among the new members it is very low, 16.6% (as a result of the large number of children) so that the overall level of activity is now 42.5%.

The occupations the emigrants engage in show an almost total de-agrarianism and a pronounced blue-collar worker type in the migrant groups: 2.1% agricultural workers, 66.5% blue-collar workers, 31.4% white-collar workers. In all cases, those with higher qualifications are more numerous: 27.5% unskilled and semi-skilled, and 39.0% qualified and highly-qualified workers, employees 14.5% with high-school and 16.9% with higher level and university qualifications.

Twenty-four of the blue-collar workers are working abroad - a number equal to the number of active agricultural workers. They make up 2.1% of the active persons from the sample, while they accounted for 5.4% of the actively employed in Serbia in 1981 and 8.9% in Kosovo.

Changes in the activities and occupations of the members who moved occurred along with growing old, growing up and getting an education. The increase in the number of active, from 772 in Kosovo to 1028 here, was present in all groups of occupations with the exception of the agricultural worker group. It should be borne in mind that 102 of the former active members are now pensioners and 358 of the people who were formerly dependent, mainly school children and students, are now employed. Only one in every four agricultural workers who migrated kept up this occupation, the older generation stopped and the younger moved on to other occupations, mainly unskilled workers, and the number of people who have left the country in search of work is largest in this group. The largest numerical increases from the move to the survey are found in the group of qualified and highly-qualified workers, from 254 to 404, employees from 231 to 308 while the number of unskilled workers increased by 79 or by 59.5%, 33.3% and 43.7% in relative terms. The increase in the number of unskilled workers stemmed both from young agricultural workers and from the younger female members of the households who did not even dream of getting a job in Kosovo.



48. Occupations of Migrants in Serbia and Kosovo
  Serbia Kosovo
Number % Number %
Total 2109 100.0 2109 100.0
No occupation 945 44.9 1303 65.2
Pensioners 136 64 34 1.6
Persons with occupations only 1028 100.0 772 100.0
Unskilled workers 269 25.8 190 24.6
Skilled workers 404 38.9 254 33.0
Employees, high school qualif. 139 13.2 99 12.8
Employees, higher education 172 17.6 132 17.1
Agricultural workers 23 2.2 93 12.0
Employed abroad 24 2.3 4 0.5

What is characteristic in terms of social mobility coupled with resettlement in our sample is the agricultural workers' shift to blue-collar jobs, while the number of white-collar occupations among the migrants remains virtually unchanged, 29.9% in Kosovo and 30% in Serbia. What is more, examples of a downward trend are not infrequent in many households, as are cases of children from white-collar families working as blue-collar workers, doing jobs which call for lower qualifications and even emigrants with a university degree working as manual laborers. Along with this, only a few households still possess arable land and engage in farming; these are mainly migrants who moved earlier and were able to get a favorable price for the sale of their land in Kosovo, people who mowed at a time when there were not too many settlers in the new environment and the price of land there was lower than it would be when larger numbers of settlers arrived.

All this points to the conclusion that the move from Kosovo was not prompted chiefly by economic reasons nor were the aspirations to rise up the social scale a driving motive to leave Kosovo.

Employment in Serbia has become the households' chief source of income and here too there are pronounced changes.

Whereas 145 households had no employed members in Kosovo, now there are 27. It should be borne in mind that the households without employed members in Kosovo were not without a source of income and all of them had members who were looking for a job.

Among the households without employed members in Serbia, 12 were pensioners, 7 agricultural workers, 2 self-employed, 2 households had an active member working abroad and real unemployment could only be spoken of in four. For example, a married couple with three children, the husband a serious alcoholic has changed jobs five times and his wife, who has an elementary school education, cannot find a job. Or a young married couple with two children born here, the wife, an elementary school teacher, could not to find a job, even in Kosovo, the husband, a high school teacher, lost his job when the school center was reorganized and their sole source of income is the dole from the Labor Exchange.



48. Households by number of employed members and total number of employed in Kosovo and in Serbia
Number employed Number of households Number of employed members
Serbia Kosovo Serbia Kosovo
0 27 145 0 0
1 201 208 201 208
2 181 126 362 252
3 52 13 150 39
4 31 5 124 20
5 and more 8 3 89 20
Total 500 500 932 539
Number of employed settlers in Serbia Number of employed migrants in Kosovo
0 1 2 3 4 5+ Total
0 9 13 3 2 - - 27
1 56 113 29 8 - - 206
2 38 67 68 5 3 - 181
3 11 25 6 5 1 - 48
4 3 8 15 3 1 - 30
5 4 - - - 1 3 8
Total: 121 226 121 23 6 3 500

Employment in the households means in fact employment of the members who have settled in Serbia because they account for over 90% of the total number of employed. For this reason, we will examine the differences caused by the move and resettlement in terms of the number of the households' employed members.

In 187 households, the number of employed remained the same, although they were not always the same people, but the retirement of the older members was counteracted by the younger members of the family finding employment. The number of employed members in 64 households is now smaller, more often than not as a result of retirement and less because of the unemployment of the active members, in the majority of cases, in 249 households, the number of employed members has increased.

At the time of the survey there were 132 unemployed persons among the settlers, 20 of them had looked for a job even before the household moved (most frequently unskilled female workers). Therefore, in 500 of the migrant households 855 members, or 1.71 per household, found jobs in Serbia. We have seen that there were 65 unemployed to 100 employed in Kosovo and this figure has now dropped to 15 so that the unemployment level is over four times lower.

c. The Socio-professional Structure of the Households

The change in the family structure of the household (with the exception of those who are still in Kosovo but including the new members) and in employment has led to the formation of its new socio-professional structure which is one of its most important social characteristics. From what has been set out up to now, a pronounced de-agrarianism as a result of the decline in the number of purely agricultural and mixed forms is to be expected.

Indeed, only seven of the households surveyed in Serbia have remained purely agricultural and 22 mixed households have members who are agricultural workers. Just as the occupations engaged in by the actively employed made this a typical blue-collar worker group, 295 of the households are now exclusively worker. The number of employees - 94 - is considerably smaller, while 77 are blue-collar/white-collar worker households (bearing in mind that pensioners are classified according to their former occupations).

The households' socio-professional structure can be classified according to their position in the social stratification, for example, agricultural, worker-agricultural, employee-worker/agricultural, employee-agricultural, worker, worker-employee and finally employee, leaving aside the gap between individual groups. In this order, linking the structure in Kosovo with the structure in Serbia it can be seen that the socio-professional structure was identical in 311 or 60% of the households. In 149 households, their changed structure led them to make a major shift in the social stratification, this was the case in 70 of the agricultural households - 59 of them made a complete break with their agricultural activities, in 11 they are kept up by the older generation while the younger generation is engaged in non-agricultural activities. Furthermore, the agricultural part is no longer active in 45 mixed households Therefore, the greatest shift in the social structure of the households is linked to the de-agrarianism of the agricultural members and considerably less to changes in the blue-collar worker households.

The households which have gone down in the social stratification - 39 in all - are particularly interesting. Ten of these, for example, were blue-collar/white-collar worker households in Kosovo and are now blue-collar. Eleven white-collar worker households have become blue-collar/white-collar worker, 3 white-collar worker have become blue-collar worker and 3 blue-collar worker households are now agricultural. This downward trend was at times evident in one generation (e. g. the high school teacher who works as a bus conductor), and in some cases between generations (the head of the households has a job corresponding to his college education while his children have remained uneducated because there were no facilities in Kosovo where they grew up). Three new agricultural formerly blue-collar worker households are particularly interesting.

The number of employed per household is largest in agricultural-mixed households with an average of 2.8 employed members, followed by the white-collar/blue-collar worker - 2.2 per household. The average number of employed 1.8% is the same in blue-collar and white-collar worker households (there are no employed members in the agricultural and other categories}, while the overall average in the sample was 1.86. It should therefore be borne in mind that the average number of members in the household is uneven and a more favorable evaluation of employment in households of different socio-professional structures has been obtained by linking the number of employed to the total number of members. In the households surveyed (emigrants and new members) have 35.8 employed to every 100 members, that is 42.0 in the agricultural-mixed, 40.7 in the blue-collar/white-collar worker, 36.9 in the white-collar worker and 33.9 in the blue-collar worker households.

50. Socio-professional structure of Households in Serbia and Serbia
  Socio-professional structure in Kosovo
Socio-professional structure in Serbia Worker Agricultural Employee Agricultural Worker Agricultural Employee Agricultural Worker Employee Worker Employee Others Total
Agricultural 4 3 - - - - - - 7
Worker 52 194 3 32 - 1 10 3 295
Employee 1 16 67 - 1 - 7 2 94
Agricultural-worker 9 1 - 7 - - - - 17
Agricultural-employee 2 - - - - - - - 2
Agricultural-worker-employee - 1 - 1 - 1 - - 3
Worker-employee 6 18 11 1 1 2 38 - 77
Others - 2 - - - - - 3 5
Total 74 235 81 41 2 4 55 8 500

Leaving aside the mixed households, which have an evident advantage, the employment rate in the white-collar worker is slightly higher than in the blue-collar worker group. This is somewhat influenced firstly by the increased number of young people in the blue-collar worker households and secondly by the low employment rate of the female members of the blue-collar worker households which is linked to their low level of education.

By linking the socio-professional and familial structure, an insight is gained into overall relations in society. Naturally, households with two or more families are most frequently found in the combinations with agricultural workers, showing that social differences between the parents and children's generations are most frequent in the mixed structures. The innermost family structure of the agricultural households is the sole exception to the relationships generally valid in society. These agricultural workers, however, are by no means typical. As far as the blue-collar worker households are concerned, it is most frequently an extended family, for the white-collar workers a nuclear structure. This, in fact, is the greatest difference between these two categories because the participation of households with two or more families 23.0 % and 21.2 % is very high.

It is clear that pronounced change in the socio-professional structure of the household associated with migration is not accompanied by equally intense changes in the family structure. If we recall that every type of family structure in Kosovo (with the exception of single persons) has, by migrating, undergone a bi-directional change, tending both to narrow and to expand, then the reasons behind the presence of multi-family households both in the blue-collar and white-collar worker category will be clearer. Even more so in the households which were agricultural Kosovo and in which the generation change has led to a changed socio-professional structure without separating the parent-agricultural workers and their non-agricultural worker descendants.

The number of migrant households which own arable land in Serbia will now be far smaller. Only 65 of them own land, without taking into account, of course, the land on which the family home stands. Therefore, 16.4% of the households surveyed, own land. The amount of land owned is now immeasurably less than in Kosovo. In the majority of cases - 38 households - it amounted to up to half a hectare, in 16 from 0.6 to 1.0 hectares, and a further 16 owned 3 or more hectares, a total of 54 hectares, as compared to 0.9 in the households which own their own home.

The number of households with land, although far less than before, is larger than the number of non-agricultural households. The non-agricultural households which own land are mainly blue-collar worker households. Bearing in mind the fact that a large number of the non-agricultural households in Kosovo had arable land, it is evident that the changes in the way of life and sources of income are greater than they appear at first glance. Now the non-agricultural households have no additional income from the land and are deprived of the chance of their inactive members, particularly the older generation, contributing to the family budget.

Examining the characteristics of the households which have settled in communes in Serbia we see that the upper sections of the social stratification were to be found more frequently among the Kosovo households in communes where the level of the commune's economic-social development was higher and offered greater advantages and prospects. Particularly significant was the difference in terms of the unemployment level (per 100 employed) between the families in the sample and the total number of the commune's inhabitants: Krusevac 6.9 and 17.9, Obrenovac 18.0 and 30.9, that is with the emigrants' lower level of unemployment, Smederevo 15.8 and 16.4 and Kragujevac 13.1 and 15.6. The differences are small. Only in Batocina (the least developed commune where the earliest emigrants settled, with the largest number of young household members who on arrival became of age to work) is the 22.2% level of unemployment among the people from Kosovo perceptibly greater than the 16.7% of the overall population. Many of the characteristics of the households and members and their assessments of their position and of the new environment can be seen to coincide with the amount of time which has elapsed since they moved.

2. THE NEW ENVIRONMENT - SURVIVAL AND ADJUSTMENT

Every change in. lifestyle and surroundings gives rise to many difficulties - from ensuring the family's survival in the material sense of the word, to adjusting, settling in and putting down roots in the new environment. These difficulties will be more frequent and bigger if no preparations for the move have been made or if they have not been adequate or effective; if there are major differences between the old and the new environment, between the migrant families and the society they are entering, and finally if there is little ability or readiness to adjust.

a. Changes in the Type of Township

The survey showed that the movements of former urban and rural households toward urban, suburban and mixed settlements, were both complex and multi-directional. These trends have certainly brought significant changes to the household's way of life and in many cases necessitated complex adjustments.

51. Type of township in Serbia
  Type of township in Kosovo
Town Rural-Urban Rural Total
Town 106 6 38 150
Suburb 49 32 82 163
Rural-Urban 43 7 102 152
Rural 2 2 31 35
Total 200 47 253 500

 

There is a considerable difference between the type of township where the households lived in Kosovo and their new place of residence in Serbia. In Kosovo half the households lived in villages, 40 % in towns, only 9.4% in mixed settlements and there were no suburbs. Now 7.0% of the households live in villages while the others are more or less equally spread out in other types of settlements.

These changes are influenced by the difference in the degree of urbanization and development of the two environments and by other circumstances connected to the move. Here, in fact, we not only have a trend mainly moving from the country to the town - but a move in the opposite direction by many households.

Only half the number of the households from urban settlements have settled in towns, the rest have settled in suburban or mixed settlements and in two cases in villages. Over two-thirds of the households from mixed settlements in Kosovo have settled in suburban areas. The largest number of migrants from villages have settled in mixed and subsequently suburban settlements. What strikes the eye is that most of the 35 households living in rural settlements in Serbia had also lived in the country in Kosovo.

Therefore, the link between the type of settlement in Kosovo and in Serbia shows firstly the town-town and village-village connection, two-thirds of the households which settled in towns in Serbia came from urban settlements in Kosovo and almost 90% of the households living in rural areas in Serbia hailed from the country. There is, therefore, a marked upward movement on the urbanization scale for 260 households (144 remained in the same type of settlement) while 96 households moved in the opposite direction.

In some types of settlement, social differences between the households have appeared.

The higher the households' position in the social stratification the more frequent the tendency to settle in urban and suburban settlements.

b. Chief Difficulties Encountered when Settling

The reasons for the difference between the idea to move and the move itself have, as we have seen, been explained mainly by the need to secure a means of survival in the new environment - a place to live and a job. Therefore, the same material conditions necessary for survival predominate in replies to the question about the main difficulties encountered by the household when settling in.

One hundred and thirty-five households found no difficulties whatsoever in settling in: material problems were resolved before the move or at the moment of resettlement. The remaining 365 households said that finding somewhere to live was the chief problem, which is hardly surprising in view of the fact that even in normal circumstances the housing problem is difficult to solve. This was followed by problems relating to the new environment, employment, material difficulties and privations and in the end family and personal problems were listed as problems peculiar to settling in a new area. This order is obtained when the statements about the first and second are taken into consideration; if only the first are taken into account, allotting them a priority position in a manner of speaking, then the order remains the same but housing difficulties and difficulties related to the new environment acquire a more prominent position.

Starting out from the fact that a source of income is indispensable for survival and bearing in mind that after emigrating, the chief source of this is employment, we feel that importance should be attributed to difficulties related to employment which can be divided into three different phases. The first is employment in Serbia prior to the entire household's move. The second phase consists of looking for jobs for members who have moved, regardless of whether they were previously unemployed or left their jobs in Kosovo prior to moving. In the third phase new and members who are now grown-up begin to search for employment.

In the first phase, 338 household members found jobs; at the time of the survey only 20, mainly unskilled female workers, had looked for a job before moving and were unable to find work. When the households emigrated, 649 people looked for jobs and 517 were successful and besides the 20 who had tried to find work before moving, 92 began looking when they arrived in Serbia. While over 300 people left their jobs in Kosovo in order to move, 488 found jobs for the first time in Serbia. Over half the people who found their first jobs in Serbia had looked for work in Kosovo and the rest had reached the age of employment in Serbia. A total 132 members remained jobless but, as we have already said, total unemployment was found in only 6 households, and the rising generation in the families accounts for a large number of jobless.

The strongest need for employment in the households occurred in the first years after the move when the second and third phase of employment overlapped. Not many households of this kind were to be found at the time of the survey.

In view of the fact that a large part of the households had at least one employed member prior to the move and that a large number of those who searched for a job after moving were successful (relatively speaking, this was most frequently the case in households with highly educated and highly qualified workers) it can be seen that all in all employment - a fundamental difficulty when migrating - was by no means a crucial problem. As a fundamental difficulty it falls behind the dominant problem of finding somewhere to live which is of special importance both in terms of frequency and duration.

52. Chief Difficulties Encountered when Moving and at Present
Chief difficulties when moving First Second Total %
Number of households without difficulties - - 135  
Number of households with difficulties - - 365  
Total number of difficulties 365 153 518 100.0
Finding somewhere to live 251 31 282 53.7
Employment 33 39 72 14.2
Material, privations 26 43 69 13.6
New environment 51 32 82 16.2
Family and personal circumstances 4 8 12 2.3
Chief difficulties now First Second Total %
Number of households without difficulties - - 268  
Number of households with difficulties - - 232  
Total number of difficulties 232 58 290 100.0
A roof over one's head 82 9 91 41.4
Employment 48 14 62 21.4
Material, privations 51 21 72 24.8
New environment 26 12 38 13.1
Family and personal circumstances 25 2 27 9.3

Over half the households questioned - 282 - had housing problems when they moved. One hundred and forty-one households, a far smaller number than those with members who had already found work, had resolved their housing problem before moving. All the 359 households arrived in Serbia before resolving this problem once and for all.

Let us take a look at how these 359 households surmounted this problem. For a large number of households, the principle that getting a roof over their heads was exclusively their problem applied. Only 72 households live in socially-owned accommodation which they obtained through their firms, 24 live in rented accommodation and 263 have resolved their housing problems, or are still doing so, with their own money and efforts. Naturally, getting a socially-owned apartment is closely linked to the household's position on the social ladder, and is as follows:

0.67 for blue-collar worker, 1.46 for blue-collar/white-collar worker and a total of 1.99 for white-collar households, and 1.06, 0.92 and 0.78 for private ownership. Thus, the overall social circumstances and relations in the area of housing are clearly expressed in our sample.

Resolving the housing problem alone means building a house, only a small number of households own an apartment, and only in two communes where the migrants from Kosovo settled later were several cases of buying finished houses registered. And building a house, as we know, involves time, money and effort.

In 92 cases, the housing problem was resolved parallel to other preparations for emigrating; as a rule before leaving Kosovo the household would buy land and begin to build a house. In fact, in all the areas visited, with the exception of city centers, entire building sites were to be found near the migrants from Kosovo where Serbs and Montenegrins who had not vet moved but were making preparations to leave Kosovo eventually were either starting to build or finishing their houses.

53. Housing Situation of Households in Serbia Proper
  Households
Number %
Housing situation
Total 500 100
Owners of family homes* 396 79.2
Owners of apartments 4 0.8
Socially owned apartment 72 14.4
Others 28 5.6
Time taken
Prior to moving 141 28.2
During moving 92 18.4
After moving 282 56.4
Still not resolved 35 7.0
Temporary solution
Total 359 100.0
Subtenants 181 50.4
Living in partially finished houses 103 28.7
Living with relations or friends 48 13.4
Temporary accommodation (huts etc) 27 7.5
* including unfinished buildings

The largest number of households-282-resolved their housing problems after moving. Many of them began to tackle the problem before moving and bought land and began to build but many others, particularly those who moved later, began from the beginning. They had to find temporary accommodation and solved this problem in different ways. The majority -181-lived in rented accommodation (what is called the "subtenant relationship", while 48 of the households stayed with relations and friends. The remainder most often lived in the unfinished house in which at least one room had a roof over it; it must be added here that unfinished houses were not rare even in the case of those who considered their housing problems to be over. Several of the families found "temporary accommodation" as it is called, in huts; among these were a large number of very poor families - "social cases" Others found temporary accommodation in "workers huts" as they are called, this was frequently the case with workers who arrived before their families and tried to secure an apartment or house for them There were households which made their own "temporary accommodation" by erecting an improvised dwelling of boards or sheet metal. Others set up a tent on the land they had bought and lived in it all through spring and summer until the roof was put up over the first room in the house At the time of the survey, 35 households in the sample had not resolved their housing problem, 24 were subtenants and 11 lived in houses which were being built.

The length of time taken to solve the housing problem was predictably related to the socio-professional structure of the household and to the possession and sale of real estate in Kosovo and Metohija. Thus, the number of agricultural-mixed households which had secured a roof over their heads before or during the move was far larger and the number of them which resolved the problem after moving is two times lower than in the overall sample. The white-collar worker households too settled this problem before moving, more frequently than in the overall sample. Relatively speaking, blue-collar worker and worker-mixed households were those who rarely resolved their housing problem before moving. On the other hand, households which did not own property or had not sold it are more frequently found among those who still do not have a roof over their heads and among those who achieved this after moving. It is understandable that this ratio is the opposite in the case of households which sold their property.

It may therefore be concluded that the most frequent difficulties in living in a new environment were encountered by blue-collar worker households which did not own land and a house in Kosovo, or did but did not sell them for some reason. In this context, agricultural and mixed households which had sold their land had fewer difficulties A large number of the white-collar households, obtained apartments as well as jobs from their firms. And in this particular domain, the social differences which had been present among the households surveyed prior to the move from Kosovo have to a great extent been carried over to the present situation in Serbia.

The widespread practice of building family homes as a matter of course created certain specific characteristics in the methods of resettlement. Land, as a rule, could only be bought on the outskirst of the township. This has greatly influenced the territorial grouping of people from Kosovo within the township and its borders. Relations, friends and people from the same area bought land to build houses one beside the other and one after the other, so that groups, then lines of houses, followed by streets and even small villages were formed by emigrants from the province. This undoubtedly confirms the role played by three different social factors: the earlier migrants, the mass nature of the move from Kosovo and the relative isolation of the settlers in the new environment. For this reason, only 149 households do not have settlers from Kosovo in their immediate vicinity and the majority of these have settled in town centers. As far as the remainder is concerned, they are distinctly grouped according to their affinity with the land of their birth: 125 households have relations living (in their direct vicinity; 175 have people from the same area, and 319 have settlers from Kosovo in their direct vicinity.

Some of the houses built in the new environment have been put up illegally without either a building permit or respect for building regulations, which was not the case in Kosovo. The respondents are reluctant to speak about this: we will cite only two characteristic statements. Question: What are the household's chief difficulties now?

"I don't have any problems at all, but the commune wants to pull my house down". Question: What is the attitude of the commune toward the settlers?

"Good, they advised me to get the roof up as soon as possible because they don't pull down houses with roofs on theme.

The houses and little villages where the people from Kosovo live are often outside the network of asphalt streets, in mud, with no water supply, on totally unsuitable land, prone at times to flooding. There are great differences in the location and the standard of the newly erected houses, depending on the social position of the household, funds, sale of the land in Kosovo and the time it moved. As one of the respondents laconically put it:

"The poor there are poor here too".

Of the other difficulties listed, hardship and poverty came fourth and the answers from 69 households highlighted these difficulties. It must, however, be stressed that this is not lasting poverty and hardship both in Kosovo and after settling in Serbia. It is a state of poverty caused by a number of circumstances related to the move. All in all, hardship and poverty have hit the family because of the loss of sources of income from the land or employment or because of the costs of moving.

"I came from land to asphalt, from a house to a cabin. I had a lot of fertile land, here we're poor and miserable".

A considerable number of households encountered difficulties when moving which are due to the change in the environment (82 households). The- term "new environment" gave rise to replies which refer not only to the new conditions but to adjusting:

"There are differences between us and the locals in morals, mentality, way of speaking, customs. It's hard at our age to make new friends and a reputation all over again".

In this context, the difficulties created by the family and personal problems, which was the case in 12 households, should be mentioned. More often than not, this referred to material and emotional problems created by dividing the family or living apart:

"I've been here two years alone, without my wife and child, I've built a house and it was terribly difficult. I feel sad sometimes, I spent my best years in Kosovo".

"My children are all scattered around Serbia, we're here alone".

As far as social and psychological difficulties related to the new environment are concerned, there is no doubt that they existed in almost all the households but had been totally suppressed by the chief problem - survival - when moving and what is important, had been dispelled by the difficulties created by the disturbed ethnic relations in Kosovo. This will be clearly shown in the following pages.

c. Difficulties Encountered by Households at the Time of the Survey

In order to evaluate the strength of the economic, social and psychological shock that the migrations have caused the households, as well as questions about the difficulties encountered when moving, one more was asked about current difficulties, that is at the (time of the study. Of course, depending on when they had moved, all households did not have the same length of time at their disposal to resolve and settle the difficulties they encountered at the outset. Were the answers grouped according to the length of residence, a more reliable answer would be forthcoming but on this occasion it was not possible to enter into these details. Even from answers where time has not been taken into account, however, it can be seen that the difficulties of the households have considerably decreased. Particularly because the so-called current difficulties are mainly encountered by households which have moved more recently.

Two hundred and thirty-two households had no fundamental difficulties at the time of the survey, as opposed to 135 which did not encounter them at the time of moving, or in the words of one of them "nothing special, just normal ones like everyone has".

3. THE ATTITUDE OF THE NEW ENVIRONMENT TOWARD THE MIGRANTS

"The locals don't like us and that's hardly surprising, we're a reminder of the battle that we've all lost".

(Young married couple of intellectuals)

A complete insight into the attitude of the environment toward the migrants would necessitate an enquiry into "both sides" at the institutional, group and individual level, with the use of both objective and subjective parameters. Only one side, the Serbian and Montenegrin families who had emigrated from Kosovo Province, were questioned in our study. The questions called for totally free replies concerning the attitude and stand of institutions, the administration and socio-political organizations toward the settlers, as well as the stand and attitude of the local residents.

According to the replies, the attitude and stand of the institutions is far better than that of the locals. The reasons for this differ greatly. Firstly, perhaps the attitude and stand of the institutions was genuinely better. Secondly, relations with institutions are established far less frequently than everyday contacts with local residents. Thirdly, the avoidance of a bitter reply was possibly more pronounced here than when talking about the locals. Let us recall the details regarding the types of behavior of the respondents in the study and the pronounced fear that someone would send them back "down there".

The number of difficulties now is considerably less, 290 compared to 518 when moving and the order has somewhat changed. "A roof over one's head" is still rated by the majority as the biggest. This type of reply was given by 91 households, both by subtenants and those who did not have the money to finish the houses they were building or make them fit to live in. For understandable reasons, this difficulty was listed by over three times fewer households then at the time of moving.

In return, hardship and poverty are now mentioned more frequently - in 72 households, one-quarter of the total number of difficulties. Unemployment, recorded in 62 households, ranks third in order of importance. Now, of course, the second and third phases of employment overlap because the young generation of migrants has reached working age and is looking for work.

The number and role played by difficulties related to the new environment have also visibly decreased, but for this reason family problems are distinctly more numerous and more frequent. These are at present, old age, illness and most of all the further breaking up of the family in cases where it has been impossible to find work in the new environment. This new phase in the division of the family is at present considered to be temporary but will most likely become permanent.

One-third of the respondents assessed the attitude of the institutions as good, and the second third as a stand in which no distinctions were made, often formulated as "normal" One-quarter of the households assessed the attitude of the local authorities and the socio-political organizations as disinterested "they didn't ask us anything", "they didn't help us at all but they didn't hinder us either". Objectively speaking, this reply is the same as when no difference was made between them and the locals, but the settlers evidently consider that the upheaval of leaving Kosovo and settling in Serbia is deserving of social and institutional interest and solidarity.

Twenty-nine households cited unwillingness and resistance, 24 did not reply or said that they had no contacts or experience in this field. - The communal authorities look on us as a burden. The most frequent examples of lack of cooperation and unwillingness on the part of the institutions are in terms of housing problems: the wait for a building permit, or a permit to install electricity and water - general difficulties encountered by everyone who builds a house and in our sample by those who moved recently. Of course, the other emigrants from Kosovo have had the same experiences - unless they opted to build without permission but they have either forgotten or did not consider it as a special attitude toward them.


54. Assessment of the Attitude of the Environment toward the Migrants
  Households
Number %
Total 500 100.0
Attitude of local government and socio-political organizations
Good 171 34.2
No distinctions (like toward others) 159 31.8
Disinterested 117 33.4
Uncooperative and unwilling 29 5.8
No reply 24 4.8
Stand of local residents
Good 245 49.0
Exclusionist, aloofness 64 12.8
They call them Albanians 104 20.8
Resistance, intolerance 36 7.2
Insults and reproaches 43 8.6
No reply 8 1.6

The behavior and attitude of the locals, or to be more precise the people already living there, many of whom had settled there during the postwar move toward the towns, received a far less favorable assessment full of astonishment, resignation and bitterness. Only eight households did not give a direct reply to this question.

Two hundred and forty-five households described the attitude of the locals as good with no tendency to exclude them.

- There's no detachment or difference in the behavior of the locals toward the settlers from Kosovo, even relations between neighbors are more cordial here.

- Everything is in the best possible order. The neighbors have accepted us - sometimes they jokingly say "You Albanians", but its not malicious, we're among our own here.

- The attitude of the locals is normal but I think that the Serbs here don't really know what the situation in Kosovo is like.

- The locals didn't know enough about the reasons behind our move but ever since they've learned something relations between us are better.

Sixty-four households said the overall attitude of the locals was one of exclusion.

- Here in Serbia the locals are reserved and they say that we are. I don't take it as an insult at all when they call me Albanian, at least they're my own people and don't make any trouble for me.

- My daughter had to sit by herself in school for the first three months, nobody wanted to sit beside her.

- In Kosovo our Serbian neighbors were like relations, but here nobody even bothers to greet you. We're not friendly with anyone at all here.

- We don't mix with the locals, only with our relations and other people from Kosovo.

- Nobody asked us anything, nobody helped us. I think that the people here don't like us moving in, in this crisis they think we're taking jobs away from them. We had nothing, nobody helped us. Now it's better although we're still strangers to the people around us and they are strangers to us. (Moved in 1983 lives as a subtenant). Down there we had friends and enemies among our neighbors but nobody takes any notice of us here. It was better in Kosovo, we still haven't settled down here. The atmosphere here is safer although we miss the people and friends we used to live with. Its hard when all of a sudden you find yourself alone, when there's nobody to help you even with the smallest things. It's hardest of all when you feel a total stranger.

Many people said their greatest reason for feeling hurt and offended was the nickname "Albanian" they had been given in the new environment. This is understandable, if we bear in mind the attitude of the Albanians toward them in Kosovo.

- You leave the place where you were born, where you spent your childhood and early youth, the graves of your forefathers and you come to Serbia to be a Serb, which is what you are, and then for society you became an "Albanian".

- I came here as a Serb but here I'm an Albanian. No-one says "Hi there mates but "Hi there Albanians.

- My granddaughter has problems in school... they call her Albanian and she cried and didn't want to go to school... they make fun of her when she gets up to answer a question because she doesn't know how to put the accent on words like them.

- They call me Albanian everywhere, as long as I thought they were joking I didn't get annoyed but now I'm going to begin to fight.

- They've rejected us and avoided us all the time. I'm sorry that the young people behave like this too... we're still rejected, all alone, we don't belong anywhere... they call us Albanians. We're doomed here and down there".

- I was told "all you Albanians from Kosovo should be stuffed into a tug-boat and dumped in the Ibar river... Here at least I know who says this to us and what he thinks.

- My sons and I will never be Serbs here, perhaps my grandsons and great grandsons will. Down there we were Serbs for everyone and here we're Albanians.

- The head of the household spoke in detail about why he did not reproach the locals at all for calling him an Albanian once he got paid and got drunk, and on the way home on a pitch dark winter night he fell into a ditch and fell asleep A few young locals passed by pulled him out and brought him home "with all the money, in Kosovo they'd have strangled me in the ditch. They can call me whatever they like, any name they like, but they're good people"

These and similar replies in assessments of the attitude of the locals were given by 104 households while 29 cited lack of cooperation and resistance toward the settlers from Kosovo:

- They think we've moved here because we sold our house down there for a huge sum of money.

- The attitude of the locals is bad, they compare the settlers with Albanians. They can't bear us because they think that the people from Kosovo get jobs easily.

- The attitude (of the locals toward the settlers from Kosovo) is very bad, we're strangers everywhere, in Kosovo and in Serbia and Montenegro. They figure that we're taking their jobs away from them although then (when the head of the household was looking for a job) the labor exchange had no-one with this occupation on its list. My wife had to have additional training here to be able to keep her Job (teacher). They work much harder here and pay far more attention to everything, to every detail.

- They're not exactly crazy (the locals) about us moving in. But what can we do, we have to go somewhere and when we have to then its better to be with our own folk. We still haven't managed to make the break, our life has remained in Kosovo.

- No settler can get ahead here, regardless of his professional and political merits, because Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo are considered second-class citizens and they themselves (the locals) as above the rest.

You should have people from Kosovo in your team who have felt the gravity and bitterness of migration I don't believe that anyone who hasn't felt this can make the necessary objective Judgement, particularly if he is one of those who expresses a lack of understanding and resistance toward the settlers. Many Serbs and Montenegrins are far more unhappy and uneasy in their new surroundings than in Kosovo because they feel like "foreign bodies" in the new environment and there's nothing harder in life than when your hopes become empty illusions in a new environment. Its a bad feeling.

- The attitude of the locals is very bad. They look at us with disparagement, and run us down when we look for a job. We're abandoned by society, we have to fend for ourselves. We build our houses with loans and sacrifices. Its worse here, for us (his wife has been looking for a job for 5 years) we do without all sorts of things, we suffer.

- The Serbs here look on us as enemies. Nobody lent a hand even when it was hardest. As if we weren't the same religion, they hate us, like they hate the Albanians. If I had known that it was going to be like this. I would have stayed down there to die. We've no neighbors, a neighbor should be like your blood brother and the neighbors here are almost like them (Albanians). I feel as if I'm in prison here.

- They call us Albanians and we're not, they get annoyed because we'll take their graves from them, they say that we grab everything but it's not our fault...

- Down there the Albanians hated us and here the Serbs do... so where are we anyway, where is there a place for us?

The assessment of the attitude of the locals is linked to the assessment of the attitude of the institutions. Households which termed the attitude of the locals good, particularly stressed the positive attitude of the local authorities and the socio-political organizations, an attitude which did not discriminate against the settlers, while the attitude of the institutions was rarely defined as one of disinterest or of unwillingness and resistance. On the other hand, households which felt that the locals had a negative attitude toward them, along with insults, resistance and reproaches, often assessed the institutions in a similar way. The assessment of exclusion practiced by the locals is frequently the response to resistance or disinterest on the part of the institutions It is interesting that those households which stress the nickname "Albanian" as the chief indicator of the locals' attitude most frequently assess the attitude of the institutions as good or without distinctions and rarely as uncooperative or disinterested.

Without any doubt the assessment of behavior is also influenced by the length or residence and the social moment of the study. It is probable that had it had been carried out somewhat later, the study would have produced a different scale of separate assessments because as one settler stressed - and he comes from a commune where the study was carried out last - the circumstances of the mass migrations were not widely known nor had they received an official political assessment.

From the replies regarding the attitude of local residents several levels can be discerned on which, according to the settlers, the locals have their own opinion of them which goes as far as open insults, criticisms and remonstrations. The first is the economic level. At a time of large-scale unemployment for the young generation, the constant inflow of a work force and the employment of settlers is undoubtedly a major cause of the distinction made between the people from Kosovo in the attitude of the locals. On the one hand there is a high degree of employment in families of the settlers (the degree of unemployment here is lower than the overall level in Obrenovac and Krusevac, at the same level in Smederevo and Kragujevac and only in households from Batocina is it higher than the overall level) as an objective indicator of the behavior of the social environment and on the other, in verbal behavior, the subjective indicators are, as can be seen, totally contrary to the first. It is interesting that this is mainly found in families with a large number of employed and highly-educated members, therefore in the upper sections of the social stratification, while it was very rarely spoken of in worker households.

The indisputably high rate of employment among the settlers, bearing in mind the overall situation in Serbia Proper and the communes observed, depends to a considerable extent on taking up any kind of work, regardless of what how hard it is and how much it is paid, according to statements from employees and officials in the commune and not the settlers themselves. This particularly applies to those who, by definition, were not interviewed in the study, that is to single persons, the precursors of the migrant family who, regardless of their high school or college education, take the first manual job they can get. Naturally, this was also the case with the precursors of the households in the sample. Once employed, through hard work, discipline and frugality, they will improve their position at the first possible opportunity.

At the economic level there is also the idea that people from Kosovo get socially-owned apartments or large sums of money for the property they sell in Kosovo - an idea gained from looking only at those whose housing conditions here are above the average. The facts about the sale of property in Kosovo and the housing situation of the households in Serbia show how false this impression is.

The second level could be termed the social and socio-psycho-logical level inside which the negative stereotype attitude of the locals toward the people from. Kosovo is formed.

Here language plays a major role, or to be more precise the dialect spoken by the migrants from Kosovo which frequently stands out sharply from the dialects spoken in Sumadija and the Morava Valley. Some of the respondents have such a specific accent and vocabulary and syntax, that they could be taken for Albanians or rather, as far as the language is concerned, it is not possible to distinguish between them and Albanians who speak Serbo-Croatian. This is, undoubtedly, the main reason why they are called and considered Albanians. A second reason might be the size of the households and families, the number of children in them is noticeably larger than in the new environment which views a large number of children as a lack of concern for them and their future. Besides, this is an environment known for its personal, family and group nicknames ("stockings", "peppers", "pegs", for example, for people from certain towns in Serbia). Finally there are also differences in behavior and manners which are more open but with more ritual and tradition than in the contemporary environment.

Several highly-educated respondents said that specialists from Kosovo were underrated and estimated to be not as well-trained as those educated in Serbia Proper, while on the other hand many teachers said that schoolchildren from Kosovo who transfer to schools are not as knowledgeable as their counterparts from Serbia Proper.

Coming from an environment which adheres far more to the traditional in the family and society, the settlers find themselves in a contemporary environment with relationships which they must feel are geared toward isolating them although, in fact, they are not. Furthermore, although the situation in Kosovo has stimulated the Serbs and Montenegrins' ethnic solidarity, there is no longer any need for this in the new surroundings and hopes of this kind fostered by the settlers have not been fulfilled. Thus, the need for links with a wide social framework has in this situation forcibly led to links between the settlers from Kosovo which in turn has prevented them from integrating more rapidly and comprehensively in the new environment.

4. DIFFERENCES IN LIFE "DOWN THERE" AND "UP HERE"

"Now we sleep peacefully".

(White-collar worker family with two children)

The most difficult question in terms of classification and generalization was the one about the differences in the life of the households in the place they had left and the place in which they had settled. In fact, different points of comparison tended to overlap, at times moving in the same direction and at times contradicting each other.



55. Assessment of Changes in Living Standard and Housing Situation in Kosovo and Serbia and Comparison of Living Areas
  Households
Total 500 100.0 %
Assessments of changes in living standard
Higher in Serbia (or lower in Kosovo) 263 52.6
Higher in Kosovo (or lower in Serbia) 178 35.6
The same, no changes as a result of moving 36 7.2
Impossible to compare 16 3.2
Don't know, no reply 7 1.4
Assessments of changes in housing standard
Higher now 320 64.0
Lower now 99 13.8
The same 59 11.8
Different, impossible to compare 22 4.4
Comparison of living areas
Larger than in Kosovo 254 50.8
Smaller than in Kosovo 115 23.8
The same 56 11.2
No details for one of the areas* 75 15.0
* 35 households here had not resolved their housing problems in Serbia, the remainder were unable to provide details of their living area in Kosovo

a. Changes in the Households' Material Standard

Changes in the households' material standard move in opposition directions, tending both to improve and deteriorate in relation to the situation in Kosovo.

Over half, that is 263 of the households, consider their material standard here to be better, with greater employment than in Kosovo or higher wages for the same jobs. On the other hand, over one-third (172 of the households) say that their standard Is now lower as a result of retirement, unemployment, expenses incurred in building a house and they tend to link the higher standard in Kosovo to revenues from the land which they have now lost.

Thirty-six households said there was no change whatsoever in the standard while 16 felt that the overall changes in the way of life are so great that it is impossible to compare only one of them.

We have examined the major differences in employment and the minor ones in terms of the possession of a family home, which, more often than not, was made possible by the sale of property in Kosovo Let us add to this assessment that of the respondents themselves regarding the standard of housing in Kosovo and in Serbia.

Most of the households - 320 - consider that the housing situation is now better whereas 59 feel that is more or less the same. In 99 cases, the housing situation was more difficult and worse; besides subtenants there are instances here of a marked drop in the size and furnishing of the family home. According to 22 households, - households which were formerly agricultural and no longer live in the country so that their type of housing and living area has undergone a typal change, it was impossible to make a comparison.

A comparison of the overall area of the apartment or house shows that in half households it has increased, in 56 lit is more or less the same and in 115 smaller. Reduced living space is therefore more frequent than the assessments that the housing situation is no worse and reveals other housing conditions and other stands in this regard.

Both in Kosovo and in Serbia there was a wide span in the standard of housing expressed in terms of area but in Serbia this was, nevertheless, somewhat larger. In one area there are small houses up to 30 square meters built from inferior material and in another spacious and well-furnished of from 100 to 200 square meters.

- My house is bigger and better than the one in Kosovo but eight hectares of the best land paid for it.

The differences in the housing standards of households of a different socio-professional profile in Kosovo were, in terms of the span between them, almost equal in Serbia; former differences were carried over as a rule. As a result, however, the assessment of the changes differs; they are often assessed as better by the small numbers of agricultural and agricultural-mixed households, followed by the worker-households, while white-collar worker households tended to assess them as having deteriorated.

A further objective indicator of the change in the material standard and in the way of life is the possession of consumer goods (cars, tractors, trucks, refrigerators, washing machines and television sets). The total number of these in Kosovo was 996 and now in Serbia is 1,427, that is 1.9 and 2.8 per household which in general speaks of an increase, mostly of refrigerators and televisions sets.

Here too the changes are bi-directional, because when the households are examined separately in 126 of them the number of consumer goods had dropped. This was most frequently the car which was sold to build the house or these were young households which had separated from the parental one and were only beginning to set up house. While 151 households did not have any of the goods mentioned in Kosovo, this now applies only to six and in Kosovo this was mainly the case in villages which had no electricity, "we didn't even have a light bulb", The buying of consumer goods has an established order, first a television, then a refrigerator, while half the migrant households in Serbia still do not have a washing machine.

Undoubtedly, the general improvement of the material standard of the migrant households along with the deterioration of the standard of a certain number coincides with overall trends in society. The question, of course, is are the standards and their increases smaller, greater or equal to overall trends in the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and in Serbia Proper.

b. Changes in Relations with Neighbors

Changes in relations with neighbors in terms of adjusting to the broad social environment and way of life are also, according to the people from Kosovo, bi-directional. One-third, or 167 of the households, assessed them as better and far better, 105 as good but without comparing them with Kosovo, 75 felt there was no difference whatsoever - good there, good here - 40 households said that they are now completely segregated and have no contacts with neighbors and 113 of the households categorically stated that relations with neighbors in Kosovo were better. These assessments were influenced by the structure of the neighborhood in the place of settlement and in the place of origin. In the sample from Batocina, which has the earliest settlers from Kosovo and therefore the longest period of settling down in the new surroundings, despite the slight territorial grouping of people from Kosovo, only 7 households consider relations in Kosovo to have been better and 5 spoke of exclusion practiced by their neighbors. On the other hand, the assessment of better relations in Kosovo is relatively more frequent in the samples from Krusevac and Smederevo, in households with apartments in the center of town, in big towns where relations with neighbors are, as a rule, purely formal.

Whether the assessments favor relations with neighbors here or in Kosovo depends primarily on the ethnic structure of the neighborhood in Kosovo. Emigrants from Serbian or mainly Serbian districts and in general people from ethnically grouped communities with Serbian and Montenegrin neighbors give an advantage to the neighbors they had in Kosovo. Many of them who have come from close every-day neighborly, relations, traditionally fostered, strengthened by ethnic ties and solidarity in the face of different forms of pressure ("a neighbor should be like your blood brother", "we lived like one household"), give a very negative assessment of the present situation and through the neighbors of the general attitude of the local residents. On the other hand, households which had Albanian neighbors, and particularly if they were in conflict with or threatened by them, assess the present relations as better by far, regardless of their content.

There is a very evident link between assessments of relations with neighbors and those of the locals' attitude toward them. When the attitude of the locals is assessed as good then there are fewer cases of exclusion practiced by neighbors or better relations in Kosovo, if the locals practice exclusion, then neighborly relations are more often than not the same or were better in Kosovo. Opposition, insults and remonstrations are strongly identified with exclusion on the part of the neighbors and with better relations in Kosovo. However, in households whose main criticism of the locals was the nickname "Albanian" given to the emigrants there was less difference in the assessment of better relations here and better in Kosovo.

There is a clear connection, more often than not neighbors are a form of contact with the social environment for young and old alike, and the assessment of the locals' stand is greatly influenced by neighborly relations. If we recall the changes in the type of township and the overall differences in relations between neighbors in towns and in the country, then the unfavorable assessment of the present relations with neighbors and consequently the assessment of the stand of the locals loses a considerable measure of its special quality for the sample.



56. Assessment of Changes in Neighborly Relations and Index of Association with Locals' Attitude toward the Settlers
  Assessment of neighborly relations
Assessment of locals' attitude Better in Serbia Good Same Exclusion* Better in Kosovo Total
Good, no distinction 102 63 44 7 29 245
Exclusion 14 10 8 9 23 64
They call them "Albanians" 37 19 14 6 28 104
Resistance, insults remonstrations 13 11 8 16 31 79
No reply 1 2 1 2 2 8
Total 167 105 75 40 113 500
Indices of association
Good, no distinction 1.25 1.21 1.19 0.35 0.52
Exclusion 0.65 0.74 0.83 1.72 1.59
They call them "Albanians" 1.07 0.86 0.89 0.70 1.19
Resistance, insults remonstrations 0.49 0.66 0.67 2.49 1.74
* 10 cases of no reply added to the "isolation" category

c. Changes in the Households' Way of Life and Prospects

Changes in the way of life had to be considerable even for households which did not change either their socio-professional structure or type of township. For this reason, only 60 of the households, for the most part frequently highly-educated town residents, said there were no major changes in their everyday life. A total of 205 households assessed the way of life here as better and easier and 81 said that life in Kosovo had been better. This type of reply was given as a rule by older people who came from Serbian or mainly Serbian settlements in Kosovo and Metohija. A total of 139 households felt that the way of life had undergone a major change but in different ways. Thus, the change ;in the way of life is linked to urban settlements in 72 cases as a change for the better and in 34 as a change for the worse. Forty-two households felt the changes to be so deep and widespread that they could not be compared; replies such as:

- This kind of hell has to be experienced then anybody could see the difference.



57. Assessment of Changes in Households' Way of the Life and Prospects
  Households
Number %
Total 500 100.0
Way of life
Better in Kosovo 81 16.2
Different (urban) tending to deteriorate 34 6.8
Different (urban) tending to improve 72 14.4
Different, impossible to compare 33 6.6
No major change 60 12.0
Better and far better here 205 41.0
Don't know, no reply 15 3.0
Households' prospects for the future
Changed for the better 309 61.8
There were no prospects there 101 20.2
Same prospects 12 2.4
Undecided, depends 32 6.4
No prospects now 20 4.0
No reply 26 5.2

 

Viewed on the whole, 23% of the households gave an unfavorable assessment of the present way of life. Here are some of the replies.

- We found ourselves here alone without anyone to help us (there are no relations or people from the same locality in the new surroundings), we practically had to begin from the beginning.

- I earn more now, and can even spend money on something that isn't important. Now we live in a town and there's a lot of things in a town that a man who lives in a village, particularly in Kosovo, can't even imagine. I hope to get an apartment in a few years, that's really all we need.

- We had a higher standard and a better way of life in Kosovo, we've moved from Pristina - from a large town, to a village.

- We tend to watch television more here, down there we used to visit each other more often It's better in Kosovo, the young people here drink more (emigrants from a purely Serbian township).

- We went visiting more down there, here it's just work and then home. We're at ease here, nobody threatens us.

- It was better down there, we got together more, there was more consideration, we had our own land and crops, it was easier there.

- It was better there because we spent so many years there, the whole village was like one family. We were better off because we were Serbs there and we're "Albanians" here. They call us "Albanians" but we're Serbs and bigger and better ones than they are. This offends us. Our families are broken up and that's the worst.

- Our life is harder now, my sons have to work harder and it's harder to live. My sons have no friends here and pine for their birthplace, I'd go back but they wouldn't dream of it. It can't be better for me here than down there where I had relations and my comrades from the war.

Two-thirds of the households assessed the way of life here as better for different reasons.

- It's better here, women can't go around by themselves down there.

- It's better here, if I want to, I can even go to Krusevac (about 10 km away).

- You can get on a bus here without being pushed and knocked about on purpose.

- We can move around, go to the doctor, buy food supplies.

- This is heaven on earth, we don't lock the door.

- We live freely here and don't lock up the house, down there we had to lock the door and we kept a rifle beside the bed. The better and more comfortable way of life in Serbia is linked most of all to the socio-psychological aspects, to the freedom from the pressures of the environment in Kosovo, both direct and indirect, both objective and psychological. To put it simply - it's better here because it's not like down there. The assessments of a better way of life here far less frequently were based on material conditions, employment, urbanization and the social standard of the township.

When the way of life in Kosovo was assessed as better, the opposite applied, it was mostly a case of a higher standard in Kosovo or impoverishment here, rather than the feeling of being uprooted and leaving the homeland, the disintegration and scattering of large, close families, the break with relations, friends, neighbors, with the graves of one's forefathers Replies like this were most often given by older people and women for whom the move from Kosovo means not only a change of surroundings but a break with the longest part of their life.

- I pine for my homeland, I'm sorry I moved when I was so old.

- I left Kosovo where I was born, I'll never get over this.

Along with the respondents' age, previous occupations, and the ethnic structure of the township where they have settled, and the gravity of their reasons for emigrating, the way the people from Kosovo feel about the way the locals behave toward them also plays a part in their assessments of the changes in their way of life. Those who felt this to have been better in Kosovo tended to stress the locals' resistance toward them, while those who felt the way of life in Serbia to be better more often assessed the good attitude of the locals, more frequently in fact than in the entire sample (27.3% and 56.5% compared to 17.4% and 49.0% in the sample).

Thus, two extremes in the successive generations are visible. On the one hand, a young educated man, employed or still studying, who has moved from one town to another. On the other, an elderly farmer who no longer has any land from a township which once had a Serbian and now has an Albanian population, whose sons have brought him with them to an environment to which he cannot adjust. This is where the different directions and assessments of the way of life and overall changes caused by the migration originate.

The changes in the households' prospects for the future show that two-thirds consider them to have improved and one-third points out that in Kosovo they had no prospects whatsoever, which makes a total of 410 households or 82%. Infrequent replies - that the households have no prospects at all now - are to be found in poor or older families and in those which have split up. Those who gave conditional replies more often than not said that their prospects depended on whether it would be possible for their children to find employment.

In view of the content and concrete nature of the assessments, the response to this question was the most inadequate compared to all the other questions. The replies were most frequently stereotyped and lacked the existential quality of the answers to the questions about the other changes. Perhaps this was because the majority of the households focused on the present and its current problems or did not want to think about the future.

d. Changes in Socio-Psychological Terms and in Terms of the Children

Only in 52 households, that is every tenth, were the changes in socio-psychological terms or to be more precise in the socio-psychological climate, assessed as unfavorable owing to homesickness, the disintegration of the family, the feeling of being ignored and rejected and the great difficulties encountered in adjusting.

- We're lonely, unsure and unhappy, abandoned by the world, nobody cares about us. Look how we live, neglected, alone, like the poor...

- The father came from Kosovo sad and bitter, so bitter that he wouldn't talk to me about it, as if he was ashamed.

- Even now we're turned toward Kosovo, as if we weren't here.

In contrast to this small number of expressions of grief, hopelessness and bitterness, replies speaking of liberation and relief from the previous situation in Kosovo predominate.

- The feeling that your job and life are safe, the mental unburdening, the feeling of security everywhere, at work, on the buses, in the playschool, the first aid station, everywhere.

- I still haven't got used to the fact that nobody harasses me here, and here I never think that somebody's going to come and bang on my window during the night.

- I wasn't safe down there. As soon as it gets dark you have to bolt the door.

- Freedom of movement, freedom of lifestyle, being treated like a human being in the street and at work.

- Freedom of movement, life, personal rights guaranteed.

- The children are safer, I've nothing to be afraid of at night, nobody makes threats and nobody starts fires.

58. Assessment of Changes in Socio-Psychological Terms and in Terms of the Children
  Households Number %
Total 500 100.0
Changes in socio-psychological terms
No fear, no pressures, feeling of peace and freedom 346 69.2
Better, easier, no problems 68 13.6
Homesickness, despair 18 3.6
Difficulties in adjusting 16 3.2
Break-up of the family, personal problems 14 2.8
Neglect, rejection 6 1.2
Unable to assess the changes 13 2.6
No reply 19 3.8
Changes in terms of the children
No fear for the children 166 33.2
Better education facilities 164 32.8
Better job opportunities 105 20.1
Better, no further explanation 17 3.4
Children grown up and unemployed 9 1.8
No children in the household in Kosovo 32 6.4
Don't know, no reply 7 1.4

 

- Freedom! (pollster's note: he simply yelled it out) Freedom of movement for the whole family day and night. Down there I had to wait outside the school for my daughters with an axe, because the Albanians often get violent down there. Here my children are safe, thank God. I don't have to be afraid of anybody here, no matter what happens, it's the same for everybody.

- Here we're free, we go out freely, we speak our own language out loud. Down there we had to keep quiet in public places.

- There's no fear here. My wife can open the door at any time, to whoever knocks.

- Here we feel more at ease and free. Down there when we get on a bus we're terrified.

- Because I'm at ease and I don't have to think about whether someone will come and bang on my window at night to provoke me. There are laws here ...I still can't get used to nobody harassing me here.

- We're free. Believe me it was worse than prison. When you're in prison at least you know what you were sentenced for and how long you'll be behind bars.

- There's no fear, we're all equal before the law.

- Nobody does me any harm, nobody disturbs me.

- I don't have to think about threats and encounters with unknown persons, freedom of movement and security.

- Peace of mind. The freedom to move around day and night.

- You can move round freely, you don't have to worry about who's in front of you or behind you.

- Here we're among Serbs, so we're not afraid.

- There's freedom of movement here, I go out at night and I'm not afraid of anyone. Down there I didn't dare to go out after dark.

- We lived in fear and dread that someone would attack our children, that something would happen to them.

- Spiritual security and the children's safety. My brother asked for a light and the Albanian took out a match and a bomb... and is that any way to live?

The assessments of changes in terms of the children are virtually unanimous, Which is understandable in view of the details set out regarding the threat to them in Kosovo.

The change most often stressed was the end to fears of physical harm to the children.

- We don't have to worry here about someone hitting them just because they're Serbs.

- You don't have to go everywhere with the children and wait for them here.

- The children are free and safe, we're not under pressure, we're not afraid for them.

- It's good for the children, I don't worry, they go wherever they want and make friends with whomever they want to.

Besides an end to fears for the children's safety, two other improvements in schooling and employment were mentioned.

- Children can walk the streets in peace here and get an education.

- The education is better here, there are better teachers.

- They have greater freedom here and a better education, nobody will insist on a compulsory knowledge of Albanian when they apply for a job.

- My children would never get a job down there.

Motives related to the children were, as has already been established, one of the chief reasons for moving ("so that my children could live 'in freedom").

The uniformity of the changes in socio-psychological terms and in terms of the children consistently counteract the drop in the living standard and the difficult living conditions.

- We didn't have an apartment or jobs, we were sub-tenants. We got jobs and shortly after that my husband got an apartment. The living standard in Kosovo was higher but it's better here, the children are safe.

- Relations with the neighbors down there were more open, closer, more intimate, it's not like that here, we're left to ourselves. The greatest change is the feeling of security. That's what kills the Serbs in Kosovo, the feeling that they've been left to shift for themselves.

- The living standard in Kosovo was far better, I didn't spend my pension, I had an income from the land and a car. I'm free here but I barely exist. We're not afraid for our son here, in Kosovo the Albanians turned us into nervous wrecks. The main problem when moving was building a house, a roof over our heads, and now it's the fact that the family has split up because our son can't find a job here and works in another commune.

- Relations with neighbors are better here, there are no conflicts because there's no reason for them, I've no land. The living standard down there was far better, I had everything in order and now I've squandered my property. It's better for the young people here, I'm more at ease, freer and safer here.

- Relations with neighbors in Kosovo were more open and cordial. The living standard was higher in Kosovo, we had land, -our own produce, it was a better way of life. The greatest change is the freedom of speech and movement, without fear for the children. We're so sorry about Kosovo and we'd go back if all the migrants went back and the law was enforced.

- The standard in Kosovo was higher, we had a 160 square meter house and the one we have now is 60, for a long time we didn't have a building permit, they call us Albanians, we only mix with people from Kosovo. We're secure, safe and free, we're settling down.

- From a material point of view, we're worse off here, but it's better because our children are safer, we send them to play school and we don't worry, we're among Serbs and its better. (pollster's note: they live in an unfinished modest-sized house, the mud and water in the yard and street come up to the knees).

- Its unfortunate and bad that we've had to move but it's very good here. We didn't know what the meaning of life was until now, peace, freedom happiness. We were better off down there, we got together more... if was easier for us down there... it's better here, we wouldn't go back, not for the whole of Pristina. The replies are contradictory like life itself.

e. The Biggest and Most Important Changes

When asked what they considered to be the biggest and most important changes, 60% of the respondents said the freedom from fear and freedom itself.

This type of reply was to be expected, in view of the statements regarding the conditions and reasons for moving.



59. Assessments of the Biggest and Most Important Changes Households
  Number %
Total 500 100.0
Freedom from fear, freedom, security, without national divisions 280 57.8
Settlement of existential problems 67 13.4
Changes in environment and type of community, adjustment 75 15.0
Family changes 22 4.4
Uprooting from the homeland 16 3.2
Impoverishment 12 2.4
No major changes 9 1.8
Don't know 10 2.0

 

A small number, only 28, said the biggest change was the negative result of moving, impoverishment, grief for the homeland, and the feeling of being uprooted. These results are present in a considerably larger number of households but lose their significance as the most important changes in the face of the major factor - the elimination of pressures and discrimination.

5. MAINTAINING TIES WITH KOSOVO AND THE POSSIBILITY OF GOING BACK

"We visit out graves"

(Migrants from a predominantly Serbian township)

The ties the migrants maintain with the region they have left depend on a series of differing circumstances. First of all, on whether this was the birthplace or one of the points in the migrational history, on the life span and social and emotional relations established, on whether the rest of the relations, friends have remained there, and finally on whether the place from which he moved had some special features for the migrant as well as the circumstances and causes which dictated the move.

Only 45 households said they had no links with Kosovo. Several families of military personnel and households of migrants from townships where there were no longer any Serbs or Montenegrins had no ties.

- We don't keep in touch with Kosovo, we haven't anyone there.

All the others kept in touch in one way or another from telephone conversations to visits to Kosovo.

- We go to Kosovo once a year for the days of mourning for the dead.

- It's hardest of all for me when I go to Kosovo and see the locks and chains on the doors of the Serbian houses, and my mother complains about their inhuman behavior.

- When I go down there it's like going to the slaughter, I get upset, its a different atmosphere.

- I've kept the Kosovo registration plates on the car because they wreck cars with Serbian ones.

- I don't dare go by myself, somebody always comes with me.

Besides visiting members of the family and relations, more often than not the trip to Kosovo is made because an official document is needed or to try to get the money for the sale of the property, or to visit the unsold farm and empty house.

- For six years now my daughter has been trying to get a certificate of nationality, so has my daughter-in-law, and they can't get an identity card issued without it. That's why they go to Kosovo, to try to get it at the commune or at the police station but it's no use.

- I went three times to transfer the land I sold to the buyer but it's no use, I still pay the taxes.

The emigrants' visits to Kosovo are evidently neither a frequent nor a desirable way of maintaining ties with the province. In fact, the most frequent and closest links are maintained here in Serbia by constant visits from friends and relations and other people who have not moved, and who were often present when the households was interviewed.

The subjective, emotional link is very strong and came to the surface in many of the replies, ranging from the [feeling of being uprooted and breaking traditional ties to the fear of a possible return which would not be welcomed.

Very few of the respondents are contemplating leaving their place of residence in Serbia: over 90 % consider it to be the final one. In view of the difficulties they have encountered in securing basic living conditions for themselves, this is understandable. Besides, we can presume that they are in a way mentally exhausted because most of them have not moved freely but out of necessity.

Those who are contemplating further moves are young married couples without a house or apartment, often with an unemployed member, and they would like to move to a larger urban center where they would hope to find better conditions. Only 9 households explicitly said that they wanted to go back to the "homeland" in Kosovo.



60. Possible Resettlement and Return to Kosovo
  Households
Number %
Total 500 100.0
Intention of emigrating again
No intention of leaving present place of residence 469 93,8
Would move to a larger urban center 22 4.4
Would like to move back to "birthplace" in Kosovo 9 1.8
Would you go back to Kosovo
Would never go back 383 76.6
Some of the members would go back 19 3.8
The head or the entire household would go back 98 19.6
Would return, to Kosovo on condition
Overall conditions 165 100.0
Enforcement of the law and security 95 57.8
The return of the rest 34 20.6
The restoration of usurped property 9 5.4
Job opportunities 12 7.2
Others 15 9.0

 

As far as going back to Kosovo was concerned, a specific question asking them to explain under what conditions they would return was posed.

Three-quarters of the households said that under no condition would any of the members return to Kosovo. In 19 households, this question often divided the family into the young and the older members

- I'd go back, but my sons won't hear of it.

- I'd go back but my children would have to stay in Serbia, and my wife would rather die than go back.

In 98 households which would go back, the conditions were clearly set out. The enforcement of the law and security and an end to discrimination predominate. Although there are not many of them, the replies stating that the households would return if the rest of the Serbs and Montenegrins who had moved out would do likewise are interesting. This can be interpreted as a genuine refusal to return because the condition set is impossible, but also as the feeling of a community and safety which is offered by large numbers. Households which mentioned Kosovo as a possible destination when moving - 9 in all - link their return to the return of the property which has either been taken from them or damaged or which they have been forced to sell. In only 12 cases is the return linked to job opportunities, economic reasons were evidently not a motive which would encourage them to return. Besides, the sample showed several cases where people had left Serbia and found a job in Kosovo, but they soon returned to Serbia again.

The replies from a number of households expressed a touch of bitterness rather than stipulating conditions for their return.

- If there was freedom there, I'd go back and leave this house here to the state.

- If it was alright there and if there was freedom, I'd walk all the way back to Kosovo. I wouldn't even wait for transport.

- Yes, on condition that the children of our leaders, those at the top, move there too.

- We'd almost all of us go back to Kosovo on condition that everything changes, from the officials to the policemen and if the Serbs' rights were restored to them.

- If all the migrants moved back and the law and freedom was guaranteed.

- On condition that I got my house back.

- Yes, everyone would go back if they would say whether Kosovo is Yugoslav or Albanian.

- I'd go back if I was armed.

- I'd go back if there weren't any Albanians down there. The refusal to even think of going back was most often very succinctly and resolutely expressed.

- Never, there's no going back, I don't want to be afraid of someone hitting me any more.

- If somebody ordered me back to Kosovo, I'd jump into the Danube.

- I wouldn't go back for anything not even if you gave me a present of a whole apartment block.

- No, never, under no condition whatsoever.

- Not for the whole of Kosovo.

- God forbid!

- No thank you!

- Never!

- No!

6. ASSESSMENT OF THE MIGRATIONS OF THE SERBS AND MONTENEGRINS

"A shameful flight with the blessings of the authorities"

(Worker, 36)

The replies the people from Kosovo gave to many of the questions were full of emotions ranging from unfriendliness, dejection and hopelessness to grief, humiliation, .anxiety, fear and bitterness. The assessments of the migrations of Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo and from Metohija show that the same emotions are present even when the problem is looked at from a general and personal position and that the two make up an indivisible whole.

Together with the necessary generalizations, the replies can be classified into a number of groups of direct or descriptive qualifications related to Yugoslavia, the Socialist Republic of Serbia, the Serbian and Montenegrin nation, and to what the respondents call the "irredentists" or Albanian nationalism, human rights and freedoms. Only 32 households did not reply or the replies did not fit into these groups, for example:

- Thank God somebody calls it a process, up to now we've been "cases"!

- Let's wait for the end, when everyone moves out, it'll be easy for us to assess the migrations!

Several households gave multiple replies; when processing them, the first two were taken and the number of replies from 462 households totalled 602.

All the replies gave a negative assessment of the migrations of Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo and from Metohija as a social process. Sixty-eight gave no explanation for this negative assessment: "it's an ill wind" was the type of reply.

The negative assessments in most cases related to Yugoslavia.

- It's disgraceful that this is happening in Tito's Yugoslavia, disgraceful for the whole country.

- Things like this don't happen in Africa.

- This is a big problem for the security of the country.

- It's a great misfortune for Yugoslavia.

- What's there to say, everybody's leaving, fleeing, and the leaders look on; let them go and live in Kosovo.

- Yugoslavia had a fine reputation in the world, but after this I don't know.

One hundred and sixty-one replies related to Yugoslavia were followed by 144 referring to human rights and freedoms.

- As for "moving outs as its called, it's not easy for any of us. It's terrible when you see it as the only way out, when nothing else is possible. You have to keep on telling yourself that there was simply no other way.

- Its a disgrace that people have to flee from their homeland in their old age.

- If it was alright, they wouldn't be moving. It's easy to be a Serb in Sumadija, but try being one in Kosovo! The second largest negative assessment, 92 replies, is related to the Serbian and Montenegrin nation:

- It's a disgrace and a pity, Serbs fleeing from their firesides, from the terrible oppression.

- Our ancestors died for Kosovo, now it's being surrendered without a fight!

- It's humiliating for innocent Serbs and Montenegrins to flee in the face of the domestic foe. In World War II we defended our land and now we're fleeing from the very same land.

- They have to move. There's no place down there for the Serbs. A few who have a comfortable position and a good salary remain, Serbs like that stick up for the Albanians.

- There's a lot of pressure placed on the Serbs. I don't know if it's like this in any other socialist country.

61. Assessment of the Social Process of the Migrations of Serbs and Montenegrins
  Assessments
First Second Total %
Negative, related to Yugoslavia 152 9 161 26.8
Negative, related to the S. R. of Serbia 23 33 56 9.3
Negative, related to the Serbian-Montenegrin nation 74 18 92 15.3
Negative, related to human rights and freedoms 115 31 144 23.9
Negative, related to Albanian nationalism 42 39 81 13.4
Negative, no explanation 32 households did not give an assessment 64 4 68 11.3
Total 468 134 602 100.0

 

Replies relating to Albanian nationalism, 84, rank fourth.

- Since they've achieved everything they set out to do to date, they're certain to succeed in their demand for a republic and secession, for annexation to a Greater Albania!

- It's clear that the goal of an "ethnically pure Kosovo" is within reach! What have we got to complain about any more, Kosovo can be freely proclaimed a republic!

- You should ask decent Albanians this question!

Finally, 56 households linked their negative assessment of the migration process to the Socialist Republic of Serbia and its organs.

- Its just not right us having to move out, the authorities are to blame. The people from Belgrade should have put pressure on the police, and not allowed them to do what they like.

- The migrations will only stop when all the Serbs and Montenegrins have moved out. This can't be stopped by stories and pictures of the politicians on television!

One hundred and thirty-four households gave multiple replies. If we examine the first and the second in the order they were given, human rights and freedoms are most frequently linked to Albanian nationalism, followed by Yugoslavia and the Socialist Republic of Serbia and finally Yugoslavia and human rights and freedoms.

- This process is the result of brutal pressure exerted by the Albanians and the benevolent and conciliatory stand taken toward these events by all the organs of authority and the sociopolitical organizations from the commune and the Province to the Republic and the Federation.

- The entire responsibility for the flight of the Serbs and Montenegrins should be borne by the authorities. Kosovo is finished, it's not another republic, it's another state and it'll be great if it stops here because the borders of Kosovo are constantly expanding, Vranje is theirs already, they've got as far as Toplica, we're waiting for them to come here too.

- The migrations are a disgrace to this country. Forty years after the liberation, people have to flee from their homes in the face of violence and there's nobody to protect them.

- The Albanians are firmly resolved to achieve their goal and to unite with Albania. They don't regret the casualties which occur while achieving this - the victims are the Serbs and Montenegrins. Ludicrous and terrible things are being done in Kosovo.

- The migrations represent the greatest defeat to have befallen the new Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The disgraceful betrayal of the Revolution, of people who gave their lives for freedom and justice, now we are paying the penalty, nobody has protected us. The very people who were our enemies and burned down our houses during the war are now in power and persecuting the Serbs and Montenegrins. The reputation of our government and state has been ruined. This country made a big mistake when it let the Albanians do whatever they wanted to. We've paid the price for the power they were given, we who lived down there.

- Ask him how is it that the authorities allow this kind of a situation to continue, to lie to the public that the authorities and the law can prevent the migrations.

- I think it's amazing that nobody has tried to stop these catastrophic migrations, that nobody has been called to task. And so we've lost faith in our leadership. The state has failed the test as far as Kosovo is concerned because in four years it hasn't done anything, it's permitted us to be driven from our homeland.

- I think that we've got a kind of genocide on our hands. Society has expressed its concern for Kosovo by doling out money which has been spent illogically. And while Albania took care of the Albanians nobody bothered about the Serbs and Montenegrins. If the Serbs have anything to be ashamed of - underline this - then it's Kosovo.

- The migrations are an organized process of Albanian separatism prepared over the years and supported or passed over in silence by the highest leaders of Serbia and Kosovo.

- What is driving the Serbs and Montenegrins out of Kosovo is a tremendous force, the Albanians could never do it by themselves. But when they have support from the people at the top, then it's another story.

- The migration process has been totally successful, I can only congratulate the authorities for achieving the desired goal and I'm not alluding only to the Provincial but to the Yugoslav ones.

- It's a great shame for the Serbs and the authorities who just kept quiet when they knew about everything that was going on.

- It's a disgrace for our socialist Yugoslavia but the Serbs and Montenegrins had no other way out and they still don't.

- The migrations are taking place under pressure, not the kind of pressure I'm afraid of but political pressure. They shut down the schools, they don't give jobs to Serbs, they do away with the positions held by Serbs and Montenegrins and how then are you supposed to stay?

- This is the implementation of a fascist doctrine, aimed at establishing a Greater Albania. The idea is to first create an ethnically "pure" Kosovo.

- I personally found myself in their hands, without any protection, they did what they wanted to. And our authorities knew all about it and it suited them. Kosovo remained theirs - "whoever owns the sheep owns the mountain".

Along with the general trend, the replies could be further classified according to their general or specific characteristics, according to tone and grading - not good - problem - disgrace - evil - catastrophic - danger; according to the orientation to the past, present and future, for example.

But, regardless of the differences and nuances, the replies give us a full insight into the overall sentiments of the people from Kosovo who have moved out under duress, and in fact their profound disappointment in a society epitomized by the socialist order and its basic principles, in the state organization, in the organs of authorities duty-bound to carry out the law and ensure equality for all, regardless of ethnic affiliations. The disappointment is coupled by mistrust in any type of promise or social assistance - in anything except their own efforts, "when you lose faith in the authorities once, then it's hard to establish it again", one of them says. Perhaps the passing of time will help blunt these sentiments, but at present they quite simply do not believe in anyone.

In any case, the most frequent orientation - to Yugoslavia, human rights and freedoms - is highly significant, particularly when it is compared to the infrequent orientation exclusively to Albanian nationalism.

Instead of a conclusion to this section, we will quote one of the respondents who when asked: "Do you want to add anything something that we haven't asked you and which you feel should be said", replied:

- You didn't ask me who is responsible for all this! The answer is the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Kosovo, the provincial organs of authority, the communes and the security service.

The order is clear and needs no comment.

"... and even if our stories are of no use, at least let them be written down in a book.. ."

Appendix >>


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