The portal is dedicated to the Kolimer and to the Tesanovic and Toromanovic families that once lived in this area at the bottom of Mayevica Mountain in the Yugoslav Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. After more than 25 years, on my way from Biyelyina to Tuzla, I paid a brief visit to the place of my birth. I was filled with recollections and with sorrow for the way of life now long gone, the silence that has remained, for the overgrown roads and homes. The idea, born much earlier, now grew stronger and I determined to build a memorial to the unforgettable memories.
Those were the days of my childhood. The seasons came and went and each of them was like a dream in paradise. Autumn brought us rare fruit that until yesterday had been hidden among the leaves on the trees. Autumn laid nature bare and offered us its rich store of fruits. Rains were warm and joyful. We would make little watermill wheels out of corn stalks and watch them turn in the rivulets created by the falling rain.
The starry sky had the same intensity as in summer, but now it seemed to say that winter and snow would soon be coming. Winter was also part of the endless round of Kolimer paradise, it had its own charms. At that time of the year the locals prepared food preserves, which was like a dream to us, children. A special cake was made only at that time of year. Snow would cover the countryside but wherever we went, paths would be cleared..
When I was small, the snow would be over my head, but I never felt lost; I was happy.
I would be out all day long with Cviko´s son Drago, Joya, Milan´s son Stanko, Blagoya´s daughter Jela, Diva, Vinka and other children who were younger than us. All of us had sledges that were passed on or made by our elder brothers. Slopes for sledging were all around us. They spread from Mladen hill towards Janyici or from Ravna Nyiva across Kolimer in the same direction.
When spring came, it brought a new dream promising a new beginning. Besides attending school, we were more or less obliged to take care of the cattle, which meant taking them into the big woods, and staying with them at all times. Every day was full of adventures. The forests around us, with thick carpets of last autumn’s dry leaves, simply invited us to play there. It never took long for mushrooms to spread everywhere. We could smell the first blossoms and the nights became so warm we could sleep outside. Both Joya and I had already slept a number of times in the ferns up the hill from our houses. I spent wonderful nights in the paradise of Kolimer.
There were no lights except for the stars above, and they seemed to be so close, almost touching your head. Even when there was no moon, the stars were bright enough to light everything. Stars above us and fireflies all around us.
Mothers would make 'zarac' cheese and when, on St Peter´s day, the youngsters would carry their home-made torches in a procession from house to house round the village, and all around us, in the other hamlets in the hills, people could see the light of our torches. As our procession moved along from house to house, each of us would stuff our shirts with 'zarac' cheeses given to us by the jolly families of Kolimer.
We Kolimer children had a favourite meeting place, a grassy spot behind Zivko’s house where there was a big old mulberry tree. Its branches spread towards the gardens of Simo´s wife Draginya and Jovo´s wife Radoyka. That mulberry tree was like a magnet to us locals and also to visitors because it was the most magnificent tree in the whole region and always full of fruit, and no matter how much people shook the fruit down, the following day the tree would be black with newly grown mulberries. The tree was one of the main attractions in the whole area and we children spent most of the summer on its branches.
There was a small river on one side of our place, towards Selyublye, where we went fishing and swimming in the whirlpools. Mehmed from Selyublye had a watermill there and we used to grind our grain and wheat there. On the other side of the town there was a proper little jungle with a wild brook flowing through it. We used to catch crayfish there and found lots of small surprises. I think...I remember... There were various fruits, such as sloes, medlar and rowan. I can also remember cornelian cherries, hazelnuts, walnuts, plums and cherries, different varieties of apples and pears, and I also remember lots of maize, that was turned into baked corncobs,, polenta, flapjacks, and
‘guzvara’ (a kind of cheese strudel) and ‘grushava’, the local pies.