Edina Bilajac born in Prijedor became a role model and pride of many people, from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Finland.
The Bosnian woman was declared the best in her profession by the Union of Medical Workers of Finland – in other words, she was declared the best nurse.
How did she end up in Finland?
“I was born in Rizvanovići near Prijedor. I spent the best part of my life there, until 1992. The war terrors did not miss me and my family so, as the majority of non-Serb population in Prijedor, we were persecuted. I found my refuge in Finland and I stayed here until this day,” says Edina.
Among dozens of candidates, Edina Bilajac was unanimously declared the best. She also works as a translator for Bosnian, Croatia, Serbian and Montenegrin languages.
“Freedom and possibility to choose to do what we want to is the advantage of the time we live in. My strength is in my family. Regardless of the fact that cousins are spread throughout the world, we regularly contact each other and meet,” says Bilajac.
Although she has been living in Finland for more than two decades, Edina says that her love for BiH is enormous and never-ending, but only becoming more mature.
“In practice, that means it is absolutely fine if I love Finland as my second homeland. As our people would say, excess does not do any harm,” says Bilajac.
What does she say – is it really better out there, outside of BiH?
“Depends on how people judge things. It is subjective. Someone would not replace the view from their balcony for anything in the world. Unfortunately, our country, like other countries in the region, cannot offer much to the ordinary man. Rights of many citizens are endangered and people are not even aware of that.
If you want your children to attend a good school, to feel equal regardless of religious, racial, ethnic, social or sexual affiliation, if you want to be sure that health system will help you, then another country, unfortunately, is better. The price of it is a high tax rate,” says Edina.
Edina adds that very often educated people from BiH are not ready to change professions and attitudes.
“Here they value knowledge, not the training. Here you can be a director or a doctor of sciences, but you are still expected to clean your office if need be,” says Edina Bilajac, the best nurse in Finland.