Poverty and chaos in the country forced small offenders to take off new shoes when they go to school during the nineties. Children are undressing on their own today, and not due to poverty but (mostly fake) wealth - to prove that their shirts and sweatshirts are expensive originals. Because if the clothes aren't branded, the child isn't cool.
This problematic practice increasingly happens in elementary schools all around Serbia. In their desire to be accepted and to be "In" they are falling under the influence that everything they are wearing has to be branded. They set those demands among themselves, the child that comes from a wealthy family usually humiliates its peers, who don't wear such expensive clothes, and thus, they value less.
And children, who grew up in the materialistic world like ours, accept those rules and they become obsessed with brands, which prices often don't fit the budget of their parents.
PUPILS IN SERBIA DON'T WANT SHOES UNDER 20.000 DINARS
When they come with something new, children have to show that it is an expensive original.
- You take your clothes off and you show the label. You say how much it was. The more the better. No one will say that you are a loser if you don't wear shoes cheaper than 20.000 dinars (170 euros). They made me take off my sweatshirt to show the label. To say where I bought it - one of the students of an elementary school in Pancevo told our reporter.
The problems and criteria that children give to one another often break on the backs of the parents. Mothers and fathers are buying, they don't even know where they got the money. Just to keep their kids cool so they don't feel cast away from their peers. The entire wage often goes away for one pair of shoes.
- I work in a shop where the shoes cost 16.000 dinars and more. Many pupils buy here, they avoid shoes that are under 20.000 dinars. The models that are around 36.000 dinars are bought the most. They are bought by parents who have wages 1.000 euros and those who work for 300. Many of them are buying them on credit, so I know that their wages are small - said one seller from Subotica.
THEY SUPPORT YOUNG AMERICANS
It all reminds of American movies where rich kids throw away the money of their parents. It can be seen that the Serbian children are supporting then in the fact that they use the American accent when they say the names of the brands, they use their slang, and the value of their clothes is expressed in dollars.
Even the domestic entertainers found their place in this trend. There are channels on Youtube which describe what they wear and how much it costs. Of course, in dollars, and then they give the marks for expensive shoes.
- I don't like 95s, all of the small kids of Belgrade wear that - one girl comments on the shoes which are 200 dollars, while the rest are walking behind her, trying to look as important as possible.
PSYCHOLOGIST: Parents are playing a part in this
In a poor society like ours, throwing off the money and brands is just a paradox. Experts claim that parents play a major role in this, and many of them are trying to make their children into status symbols.
- We want to make them happy, we are looking for shortcuts and instant solutions, forgetting about our task to make our children capable of life, offering them, among other things, family value system. Sports and music - because we love them and we want to enjoy doing something like that and not by making money from talents, active content which will enable children to accomplish results while nurturing intrinsic motivation, without nurturing a fake feeling of security through imposed standards - said Darka Krsmanovic, the psychotherapist.
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