Serbia is celebrating Statehood and Army day. Today’s celebrations mark two dates and events from the past. One of them is 15. February in 1804 when the uprising against the Turks, led by Djordje Petrović Karadjordje, began in Orašaca and the other one is the same 15. February but in 1835 when country’s Constitution was adopted. Serbia is very proud on those dates which coincide with the religious holiday Sretenje – or that’s just my impression since those days are made to be national days and “the whole Serbia doesn’t work” on that occasion. The 15. February replaced once widely known 29. Novemebr (abolished as a national holiday in 2002).
The 15 of February was declared as the Statehood day in July 2001. President Tadić has laid a wreath on the occasion of Statehood day on the Unknown Soldier Monument in Avala. On that occasion the President wrote: “For Serbia, that is big in its acts (works) and its people.”
Bearing in mind the importance of those dates which we’re celebrating today – the fact that the Turks stayed in these Serbian lands for half of a century after the First Uprising and that famous Sretenje’s Constitution actually had never been applied – I’ll write just a few sentences about these events.
Sretenje’s Constitution was written by the Serbs but that Constitution as I already said had never been put in use. The first constitution that actually was used is the so called Turkish Constitution imposed or given by the Sultan to “the inhabitants of his province Serbia” in 1838 – five years after the First Serbian Uprising. Constitutionalism, as a Serb’s matter exists since 19. June 1869 when Great National Assembly adopted co called Namesnički or Trojički Ustav. So, speaking in facts, constitutionalism in Serbia doesn’t have 175 years old tradition nor Serbia state exist for 200 years since Serbia became independent state, de facto, in 1867 and de jure at the Congress of Berlin 1878 and the last date is the only thing that is important to celebrate.