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Srbija do tokija

The meaning of «srbija do tokija»

Srbija do Tokija (Serbian Cyrillic: Србија до Токија), meaning "Serbia to Tokyo", is a slogan and catch-phrase dating back to the early 1990s. In 1991, Serbian (then-Yugoslav) football club Red Star Belgrade won the European Cup and the worldwide title in Tokyo, Japan, winning the Intercontinental Cup. This was the greatest success of any football club ever in Yugoslavia, and was much envied by the other nations at the time of increased ethnic tensions.[citation needed] The phrase has been used by Serbian football fans to taunt fans from rival ethnic groups in the beginning of the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s.

The phrase is evoked by both Serbian nationalists, and Serbs jokingly mocking Serb exceptionalism alike.

On May 29, 1991, as inter-ethnic relations in Yugoslavia were growing tenser, Red Star defeated French team Olympique de Marseille to win the European Cup – the first Yugoslav team to do so. As the winners of the European Cup, Red Star Belgrade earned a place in the Intercontinental Cup, which was held at the Tokyo National Stadium. Exultant fans coined the phrase to glorify their team's upcoming adventure.

On December 8, Red Star won the Intercontinental Cup, defeating Chilean team Colo-Colo. By that time, the tension that had underlain the European Cup match had ignited into the Yugoslav Wars, with a short-lived war in Slovenia, and a full-scale war in Croatia. In this context, the phrase's associations with Serbian victory made it particularly appealing to nationalists and militarists.

Graffiti containing the message in Vojvodina, Central Serbia, as well as in Republika Srpska and other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina.[1][2][3] Such graffiti was also seen in Kosovo during the Kosovo War.[4] In the Kosovo village of Lozica, the local Albanian population was claiming that the graffiti "Srbija do Tokija" was written by Serbian military forces during the destruction of the village.[5]

During 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, phrase was expanded. "Srbija do Tokija, al' preko Milvokija", meaning "Serbia to Tokyo, but over Milwaukee", in order to show disagreement with USA's role during 1999 bombing. After the bombardment ended, phrase extension was abandoned.[6]

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