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Obrad MuminJelena Mumin
Obrad and Jelena Mumin

Obrad Mumin lives in a small isolated mountain village in Mala Crna Gora, or Little Montenegro. Once there were 70 people in the village. Now no more than 20-25 people spend the winter in Mala Crna Gora. Life is tough here. Obrad Mumin's mother and father died when he was still a boy.

Today Obrad lives on a small farm, together with his wife and his sister Jelena. Theirs is a life of poverty and hard work. The beauty of the summer months, says Obrad, is offset by the harsh winters.

"In the summer it's great here, it’s a beautiful, mountainous area. Many tourists come here, more than to any other village: people who come here, who pass by here, who stop here. It’s really beautiful. In the summer there's clear air here, pure water; it's glorious, everything is exquisite!

As far as the winter is concerned, it's bad: there’s a huge amount of snow. I don't have anything else to say about it. In the summer every house is full. Those who moved away, who have houses, apartments there, come back; those who took their children and left; those who moved away from here, because they didn’t want to spend the winter here.

There used to be 70 inhabitants here. Now there are roughly twenty, twenty-five at most. The others can't spend the winter here. All grandmothers and grandfathers … and goodbye, farewell, there'll be no one left here. Not a living soul. Because one is cut off. One is cut off for six months, because one can't get to Zabljak. It's only for this reason…. If you need a shot or something here, then you have to die, because you won't get to a doctor."

His sister Jelena adds:

"We have television, we have radio, we have everything. We follow the news as if we were in Podgorica. And then we knit – in the winter, you know. In the summer we don't have the time, but in the winter we switch on the television and take out the needles and the spindle – by God, we still have one that you power with your feet. We knit. We knit socks, jumpers, that sort of thing and, God knows, nothing else."

April 2008

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