Bosnia and Herzegovina is known for its regional folk costumes and dances, showcased at various folklore festivals. Dances are performed in separate groups of women, men and children, or in other various groups. Usually dancers hold hands or are linked together by handkerchiefs, small towels or strings of beads, as well as grip each others’ belts or shoulders. Men’s dances are usually more vigorous, while women’s are a bit more graceful. Dances are accompanied by such traditional instruments as drums, flutes, lyres and violins.
The art and architecture of Bosnia and Herzegovina were strongly influenced by various religions. The more than 60,000 stecak, medieval tombstones of the Bosnian Kingdom, are the most complete expression of medieval art in the country, located at some 2,600 sites. Other medieval art attractions include the religious icons of saints and biblical subjects on wooden panels, as well as early church paintings associated with Orthodox and Catholic churches, mosques and synagogues. Most of the country’s religious buildings are centuries old. The largest Islamic monument and landmark in the country is the famous Bey’s Mosque in Sarajevo.
The first centuries of the New Age first millennium are full of the chances of ripple effects. Ilires, the Iron Age new supporters, for the first time in prehistoric period made one higher level of cultural – civilization from of social community.
Roman conquest of this area, from the third century before New Age up to the first ages of the New Age, defined its further history. The area of modern Bosnia and Herzegovina, from that period has the destiny of empire which was placed on three continents.
By the disintegration of Communist system in 1990, in Yugoslavia where was Bosnia also, the first democratic elections took place. In March of 1992 by the decision of legally declared government in Sarajevo and with recommendation of Arbitration commission of international conference about Yugoslavia, the referendum took place, when the 2/3 of population declared for independent, integrated and sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 6th of April, this decision was conceded by the members of Europe community and other countries, and gave state subjectivity of Republic Bosnia and Herzegovina in historic and internationally confessed borders.
A new leader arose by the late 1980s, a Serbian named Slobodan Milosevic, a former Communist who had turned to nationalism and religious hatred to gain power. He began by inflaming long-standing tensions between Serbs and Muslims in the independent provence of Kosovo. Orthodox Christian Serbs in Kosovo were in the minority and claimed they were being mistreated by the Albanian Muslim majority. Serbian-backed political unrest in Kosovo eventually led to its loss of independence and domination by Milosevic.
During World War II, Yugoslavia was invaded by Nazi Germany and was partitioned. A fierce resistance movement sprang up led by Josip Tito. Following Germany's defeat, Tito reunified Yugoslavia under the slogan "Brotherhood and Unity," merging together Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, along with two self-governing provinces, Kosovo and Vojvodina.
During Ottoman rule, many Bosnians converted from Christianity to Islam. Bosnia was under Ottoman rule until 1878, when the Congress of Berlin transferred administrative control to Austria-Hungary. Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia in 1908. While those living in Bosnia came under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, South Slavs in Serbia and elsewhere were calling for a South Slav state. World War I began when Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip assassinated the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo.
The three constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina are Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats, and languages are Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian. Religions include Islam, Serbian Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Judaism, some Protestant sects, and some others.
The Turkish Army conquered the kingdom of Bosnia in 1463, when Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror captured the Castle of Babovac and ended the Kotromanjic Dynasty. Nevertheless, ongoing battles and sieges continued for many years thereafter. The Turks, under Sulejman the Magnificent, attacked Austria through Bosnia, arriving at the gates of Vienna in 1533, where they were defeated. In 1571, on the Mediterranean Sea, the Turks lost the battle of Lepante. And in 1683, the Ottoman Empire was once again and finally defeated at the walls of Vienna. It was the end of its expansion toward the west.
In the 15th century, as the Ottoman Empire settled in on a long-term basis in Bosnia, there were additional demographic shifts in Bosnia. As religious persecution in various western European countries, including France and Spain, continued, many Jews began to settle in Sarajevo, where they found religious tolerance and were able to form a very active, rich and powerful community. These Sephardic Jews continue to play a vital role in Sarajevo's community life.