Balkans

RORY: You should get married in Italy.
LORELAI: All the way from home, same topic. There’s tons of stuff going on in the world. Big stuff.
RORY: Like?
LORELAI: Balkans.
RORY: That was ages ago. Read a paper.

Lorelai is referring to the Yugoslav Wars, a series of ethnically-based wars and insurgencies that took place in the Balkans, those countries in and around the Balkan Peninsula in Eastern Europe – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovinia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, and Turkey.

Lorelai may be referring specifically to to the Kosovo War, which went from 1998-1999 – hence Rory saying that it was ages ago (two years ago from the time of this episode). Insurgencies in the area continued longer, and there was still armed conflict in Macedonia in 2001 when this episode aired, not ending until August, so possibly Rory has not kept up with international events either, or doesn’t think of Macedonia as part of the Balkans.

It’s interesting that Lorelai immediately mentions a war during the conversation about her marriage proposal; a possible sign of things to come. This parallels Rory mentioning the war in Lebanon just before she broke up with Dean.

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