Home' Hrvatski Vjesnik-The Croatian Herald : 3rd February 2016 Contents THE NEW GENERATION │ Wednesday 3rd of February 2016
NEWS AND VIEWS 1717
by Slavica Habjanović
What’s holding us back?
That is the question I’ve
been pondering with
quite some intensity over
the past few months – what
is it that’s holding Croatia
back? Why are we not what
we could be – socially, econo-
mically, morally? Why is the
country immersed in a deep
depression, why are our yo-
ung people moving away in
droves? What is happening
beneath the surface?
Sure, there are many,
many deep-rooted issues
that have got us to where we
are today, as a country and as
a society. Wars, occupation,
colonialization, an increasin-
gly smaller territory, waves
of emigration...It’s just a ne-
ver-ending cycle of reasons.
But – that’s the past. What
I’m really interested in is why
countries that have had simi-
lar pasts are doing better in
some ways. What is it that’s
holding us back from star-
ting to change these negative
We have relative freedom
from occupiers, we have be-
autiful nature and resources,
we have a booming tourism
sector and some really smart
people working across many
different industries (still –
thankfully they haven’t all
left). Our people are gene-
rally nice and like to help
each other when necessary.
They’re sociable, they’re not
hostile. When I take a step
analysis of what is going on –
it’s quite apparent that there
is huge disharmony within
our country and lots and lots
of internal politics. All of this
is energy wasted. Just think
of the recent elections in Cro-
atia, the inability to form a
government and everything
that has happened since tho-
I’m not going to get into the
nitty gritty of those events.
Although I know some of you
will disagree with me and
say that by not stopping the
opposing side in the political
game, we’re doing the coun-
try greater harm. But I beli-
eve this: although Croatians
are fantastic at pulling toge-
ther (mostly) when there is
a big national crisis, in times
of peace when the really hard
work needs to be done, we
break down into groups and
disagree among ourselves.
When I was little, my fa-
ther would often say to me
that harmony (‘sloga’) was
the most important thing in
a relationship, home or coun-
try. And it’s only recently that
I’ve fully understood this. Wi-
thout this harmony, you can’t
move forward. You can’t bu-
ild. Even if you don’t agree on
everything, if you have some
sort of harmony, you won’t
be wasting energy on trying
to bring the other side down,
rather you’ll be putting your
energy into something pro-
ductive. Finding ways to solve
Sure, you can argue that
Australian politics is a joke
and the amount of internal
fighting is second to none
(at least Croatia’s state). And
that’s true. But Australia’s
starting point is very diffe-
rent, and while it is surely
costing the country, it can’t be
measured with where Croa-
tia is at this point.
Our disharmony is causing
a huge lack of direction, a
huge lack of pointed energy,
impetus for change. It’s cau-
sing good ideas to be sabota-
ged and our best minds and
hard workers to be looking
elsewhere, often in despera-
tion because they don’t see
the light at the end of the
tunnel. And this disharmony
is not just at a political level,
it’s riddled all our public in-
stitutions and many private
enterprises too. Many call it
the cancer of our society.
When will our country
wake up and put these issues
behind it, and start to work
on what is really important
– creating a happier, healthi-
er Croatia that gives its citi-
zens what they deserve and
creates and environment for
them to give back to her? It’s
all of our duty to do that, be-
cause until that happens, the
cycle will just keep repeating
We have already run a number
of interesting stories about
foreigners who have made
Croatia home. This week, meet Sara who
now resides in Split – and has been the-
re for the past four years. Find out what
she is enjoying about her new home and
what tips she has with a slightly diffe-
rent perspective for those contempla-
ting a move.
Name: Sara Dyson
Country of origin: Texas,
What brought you to Split?
I came here on holiday 5-ish years
ago and really liked it. It was beautiful,
easy-going and inexpensive. I was free-
lancing so had the flexibility to up and
What was the most difficult thing
about the shift?
The lack of Asian food and a restau-
How do you make your living in
Primarily web development for small
businesses, both in Croatia and abroad.
I’ve also partnered with a couple of lo-
cals on a Game of Thrones Tour, plus a
few other tourism side projects. The re-
source site Expat in Croatia is me too. I
like to keep busy.
3 Favourite things about Split?
1. The sea
2. The old city during winter. I love si-
tting in Peristil and being the only one
3. The pazars. My morning routine of
shopping for produce, bread and meat is
one of my great pleasures.
3 things you would like to change
1. A better and more diverse restau-
2. Litter on the beaches.
3. It’d be nice if the bus system was
more reliable. Or hell, replace them with
Favourite Croatian food?
Pasticada with gnocchi. Hands down.
Favourite place to eat?
A local’s home.
To Je To Caffe Bar
Favourite place to chill out/relax?
Mala Kavana on Znjan Beach. You can
sit less than 2 metres from the water
and just watch the tide roll in.
Croatia - a Winter Wonderland
THE NEW GENERATION │ Wednesday 3rd of February 2016
Foreigners who made Croatia home:
meet Sara in Split
Favourite place outside of Split to
visit in Croatia?
Northern Istria. Every visit is an obs-
cene eating contest.
How are you going with the langu-
Eeeek. Slowly but surely. Taking le-
ssons now, which is definitely helping.
I live outside the city centre in a non-
touristy neighborhood where nobody
speaks English to me. While sometimes
it induces a panic attack when running
errands, my Croatian has improved dra-
stically since moving to this area.
Biggest cultural difference between
Croatia and your home country?
Life isn’t all about work here.
Is there anything that makes you
Food. While I love Croatian food, I
miss Texas barbecue and Tex Mex. I can
make it here, but it’s just not the same.
Do you see yourself staying in Cro-
Yup, absolutely. It’s home now.
Any tips for anyone looking at ma-
king a move?
Have patience and slow down, ot-
herwise you’ll hate it here. Nothing will
happen the way you expect it to. Everyt-
hing has its own pace and that pace will
never be emergent.
‘Huda Jama: Strogo Čuvana Tajna’ needs funding to bring the docu-
drama to realisation. This importance of bringing this story to light is
vital in an effort to further expose the mass killings and the horrors
of Tito and his communist regime.
To that end The Croatian Herald is seeking and accepting donati-
ons from anyone who wants to assist with production of the film.
Donations can be sent via Cheque payable to “The Croatian He-
rald” (Please mark the back of the cheque with your name along
with “Huda Jama) Donation” as reference so that we can track all do-
PO Box 109,
Clifton Hill, Vic 3068
Donations can also be sent via Direct Deposit as follows:
Account Name: The Croatian Herald
ACC: 1021 6609
Reference: HJAMA(Along with your surname)
“HUDA JAMA” DONATION APPEAL
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