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Rada Tomcic in the village "Mala Crna Gora" - Copyright by ESI Plain around Zabljak - Copyright by ESI
Rada Tomcic in the village "Mala Crna Gora" - Plain around Zabljak

Some 20 km from Zabljak one reaches the small village of Mala Crna Gora (little Montenegro). It is inhabited by some 20 to 25, mostly elderly, people. The village is so remote that Ottoman forces allegedly never managed to enter it. With the first snow, the mountain road becomes impassable. Depending on the ferocity of the weather, the village is cut off from the rest of the world for four up to six months in winter.

Rada Tomcic, in her 60s, lives here with one of her sons. She has six – and five daughters – but all except one have moved elsewhere. Her husband died in 2006. Like the other villagers she spends the summers bracing for the winters, preparing pickles and other food before the snow and ice begin to cover the picturesque village and the surrounding mountain pastures. During some winters she and her son manage only to dig a small path through the snow connecting the house and the stables, where they keep five cows and some sheep. At such times even visiting a neighbour becomes impossible, as does seeing a doctor or getting to school. Even during summer there is no postal service to the village.

April 2008

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