Monday, 20 March 2023

Heart of Croatia: Beautiful Poetry by Katarina Bučić

 March 20, 2023 - A first for TCN - a new correspondent focusing on poetry. Please welcome Katarina Bučić, contribor 189 for TCN, with some of the most beautiful words. 

 Katarina Bučić is a writer and poet born and raised in Toronto, Canada by first generation Croatian immigrant. She has now returned to the motherland and is living in Zadar, Croatia. Katarina has a long history in creative arts and has a specific passion for poetry. She has taken part in many creative projects and with her recent move to Croatia, her love for her new home has inspired her most recent poetry project, The Heart of Croatia.

“The Heart of Croatia is guided by my experience of moving from the Western culture of Canada to the deeply historic and magical Croatia. This country has given me a second life.Her beauty overwhelms me, her history devastates me, and her abundance inspires me. Join me in my tribute to this country I now call home and in the evolution of my experiences, and my immersion in her magnificence.”



The sun is hot on our faces

our skin becoming kissed

The sound of birds, dogs and children

I pinch myself to be sure I exist

A woman is singing

she plucks the strings of her guitar

The old man in the hat watches her

as he smokes his cigar

These walls have history

many tales of victories and defeat

My daughter dances on its ruins

My son explores the cobblestone in his bare feet

A castle that was fit for kings and queens

is surely fit for me

Zadar as the backdrop of our story

the cleansing from the deep blue sea

My heart belongs to this city

my family breathes its air

Wouldn't have it any other way

God has answered my prayer.

- Katarina Bučić


A mere 6 years ago my husband and myself visited Croatia together for the first time. His family being from the Zadar region, we planned on spending most of our time there. The two months we spent in Zadar would change the direction of our lives forever. The vitality we felt sparked a feeling in us we had not yet felt living in Canada. We knew once we returned to Canada from our trip that we would long for that same feeling and knew that Canada, as great as she is, could not provide that for us.

We spent years living our lives as a young family trying to survive in a Western world dreaming about that summer we spent in Croatia. We held onto so much nostalgia that when our daughter was born, we named her Zara, the former name of the city of Zadar. Little did we know that life would unfold in such a way that our Zara would be raised in Zadar. That I would give birth to our second child here and ironically, we also give birth to a second opportunity at life for ourselves.

Here we are, after 2 years of living in this beautiful country, thankful for our opportunity to move here. Every time our eyes meet the coastline, we take in a deep breath of that salt filled air. Every time we walk within the old city walls, we feel honor to walk in such ancient streets. Every time we awake and think of our lives here in magical Croatia, we have to pinch ourselves to be sure it isn't a dream, and if it really is all just a dream, please don't wake me up.

- Katarina Bučić


The Secret Gem



Old and new,

new and old

When does it begin

this story begging to be told

Ancient history

three millennia of war

Many lost in battle

hear their cries roar

This land

must have been mystical

For such men to die

for reasons mythical

Protected by God

driven by its people

In the midst of a hay stack

they have found the magic needle

Hrvatska, the secret gem

sought by many

Bearing the fruits of life

envy of its plenty

Ruin upon ruin

we climb its history

Taking for granted

all of her mystery

Who lay that stone

underneath your feet?

Do you have any idea of his gains,

of his absolute defeats?

Blood, sweat and tears

birthed these cities

No lack of story

endless synchronicities

Every man and woman

and child bind

Brought something here

left something behind

So, when you walk upon the stone

do not take for granted

Something new to you

is something deeply enchanted

Their energy lingers

those who built, those who defended

And those who carried on

far beyond comprehended.

- Katarina Bučić


When you visit Croatia as a tourist it is easy to get wrapped up in all the awe. At which beach will you swim today? Where are you going to wine and dine this evening? Are there any cool shows happening tonight? Only when I began to live like a local in Croatia did I really begin to become aware of my surroundings.

Every time I walk through an old city, I think about its history, all of the people who have shared these same streets with me. Who is the man who worked his hands to the bone chipping away at the stone that create these cobblestone streets? These walls that we now take photos along were built to protect, to keep its people in and its enemies out. These ports that we use as docking points to take us on scuba-diving excursions and island tours were once battle zones and for transport of goods to keep its people alive.

It is a very interesting perspective to keep in mind when exploring these historical places. Everything has been catered to the tourist’s convenience and experience, but all this architecture served a very different purpose at one point and not very long ago, might I add. When I explore Croatia, I am reminded why this secret gem was sought after for millennia. This is a country built out of love and purpose. Croatia recognizes its beauty and knows it is undoubtably magical. It is up to us to hold that same knowing and remember where she began and support where she is headed.

- Katarina Bučić





There is a little town along the sea

her beauty, she calls to me

The narrow streets lead me to her

she calls me softly, a sweet whisperer

The road breaks open and the view stuns me

a fishing town bordered by palm trees

The town wakes early, It’s people stroll the streets

stopping along the way to greet everyone they meet

Friendly chatter fills the air

in the moment, not thinking of elsewhere

Men carry their rods and undock their boats

women going to church in their fur coats

The smell of salt consumes the air, thick and tasteful

The cobblestone handled with care, never wasteful

The sun begins to shine, early risers already done their chores

Children’s voices heard as they bust through the doors

Families swinging in the parks, friends filling the cafés

Soaking in the sun, laughing away their days

This town has a place in my heart, I visit her often

when I’m feeling hard, I go to her to soften

She is full because of the people who consume her

they care for her with love and never misuse her

Surrounded by love she welcomes all wanderers

and fears not any conquerers

For she has stood strong for longer than you and I comprehend

a secret hidden just around the bend

The small city along the sea

her beauty, forever calls to me.

- Katarina Bučić


Neighboring the village I live in is the beautiful and quaint town of Sukošan. It is the closest town to us that is along the sea so naturally we visit her often. We spent many summers swimming on her beaches, drinking coffees in her cafes and strolling her streets at night. There are just some places that have a certain energy, a certain vibration that feels just right. For me, Sukošan is one of those places. The air is rich in salt, the locals are friendly, and the water is a healing hue of blue. My husband and I often say ”It's always sunny in Sukošan” because that is truly how it feels every time we are there. The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing and time stands still.

- Katarina Bučić

 You can follow the fabulous work of Katarina on her website.

And if you want to hear Katarina recite her poetry, you can do so here in the video below, right after hearing her returnee story.


Monday, 20 March 2023

EURO 2024 Qualifiers: Croatia Gathers in Split, Dalić Talks Team Status ahead of Wales

March 20, 2023 - The Croatia national team gathers today in Split. Coach Zlatko Dalić announced the start of the EURO 2024 qualifiers.

Croatia opens the qualifiers on March 25 at home against Wales in Split, and three days later, they visit Bursa near Turkey.

"It's nice to get together after three months and wait for the new national team games. We have achieved magnificent results in the five and a half years of my mandate. It is much more than the set goals, and we are unaware of what we have done. In addition to what we have done, I have the energy, strength, and motivation to continue with the national team, together with the players, staff, and fans. Our goal, every goal, must be to qualify for a major competition that is realistic, and everything else is a success. New competitions are ahead of us; I have a motive. In addition to the results we must achieve, we need to change generations. We have potential and quality. I am aware that we have raised the bar, and the expectations are high, but we have to reduce it to reality, be calm and go game by game. Expectations need to be justified, and we have the quality to do so," said Zlatko Dalić to open the press conference. 

He referred to the upcoming European Championship in 2024, which will be played in Germany, so many Croatia fans can be expected.

"A big competition awaits us, but we must qualify for the European Championship first. We have quality, but we must be careful and concentrate on avoiding making mistakes. It would be a big competition for us because it is in Germany, and there would be many of our fans, so it would be a big challenge. I was in Germany in 2006, in Berlin. There have never been more Croatia fans at one game," Dalić said.

Croatia is in Group D with Wales, Armenia, Turkey, and Latvia, and the two best teams will secure direct placement in the final tournament, which will be held in the summer of 2024 in Germany.

The coach claimed Croatia has never been stronger and more complete than it was in Russia.

"And now we have quality; we must put together the best possible team. We have better results at the World Cup than the Euros. We have quality, youth, and players coming up, but they can't do anything without the more experienced players. This is creating a new generation, and we must prepare for the future," said Dalić.

He commented on the current form of the players.

"We had many problems after the World Cup, but now the players are slowly returning. Brozović and Kovačić did not play for a long time, and neither did Kramarić. Now we will have five days together to try to do the best we can. The situation with the players may not be the best, but it can change, as we already know how to do," Dalić said.

Dalić once again repeated that expectations were raised very high, but one should be realistic. Finally, he commented on the condition of the players, including Bruno Petković, who was injured yesterday.

"Today, we will know the whole situation. Everyone should come. We have problems with the arrival of players, and some will not arrive due to force majeure. Petković had an MRI. He has an injury but will come, so we'll see. Ivušić is ill; he will not make it to training. Today we will have a lot of worries and discussions, but tomorrow we will be able to say more specifically," Dalić said.

He said that Luka Modrić's performance at the European Championship depends only on him and that he did not expect that he would be the coach for so long.

He also commented on the return of Torcida to the stadium for the Croatia matches.

"I constantly point out that the Croatia national team is a place of gathering and togetherness, which is what we strive for and work on. I'm glad to hear about the return of Torcida. We want the Boys, Kohorta, and Armada to come too. This is Croatia. This is our country, and we must support it. Everyone is welcome. It will be a great support for us. While I'm here, we will gather all Croats and fans," Dalić said.

After the Nations League in June, Croatia will continue their qualificationss with double programs in September (Latvia, Armenia), October (Turkey, Wales), and November (Latvia, Armenia).

"We are the favorites, but we must qualify for the European Championship and be serious. It can be tricky; initially, we have two of our competitors. Turkey is coming back, playing in their stadium, and has a motive. Croatia is a motivation for everyone because we are third in the world. If we are not serious, we will have problems," Dalić said.

He asserted that the tactics would not change much, and against Wales, we should beware of counters and semi-counters. He said it was important not to lose in Turkey and to win against Wales.

Dalić spoke about the selection of attackers and offensive players he has available, and first of all, about Marko Livaja, who will play at "his" Poljud.

"Marko Livaja is playing well, scored 17 goals, and is the top scorer in the league. Poljud is his, and he is at home. He feels very good there. He gave a lot to the national team, he scored a goal in Qatar, and I expect a lot from him," said Dalić and added:

"The position of striker and the right wing was withdrawn in Qatar. When I spoke about having strikers from HNL, you criticized me as if I did not appreciate and respect them. No, I appreciate and respect them. I meant to say they don't play at a certain level every weekend. A striker from Morocco or Davies from Canada plays against strong opponents weekly, but the same cannot be said for our strikers. They need more stimulation. We have quality. We mixed players in rush hour and on the right wing. We played Kramarić, Petković, Livaja... Pašalić or Vlašić on the wing. I'm not inclined to do that, but I don't have a permanent solution. I thought Brekalo would play in Fiorentina, but it didn't happen. We need a speedster. Everyone would play on the left with us, and we didn't have a strong one on the right, so we called Špikić, and he is our potential in the future. We called Musa, so now there's Beljo, then Ljubičić, then Šimić. We have to find another striker before the Euros. I did not write off Budimir because he is not good, but I want to see some other players. I invited Beljo and Musa to see them. We have solutions for the right wing," Dalić said.

Mislav Oršić is not playing for Southampton...

"I feel sorry for Orša, he is not part of the club, but I don't want to lose him. I said that about Vlašić before. He is not fit now, but I want to give him a chance to try to come back. If he doesn't constantly play in his club, he won't be able to play for the national team either," Dalić said.

Finally, he praised Josip Stanišić for his performances with Bayern and the national team.

Source: HRT

Monday, 20 March 2023

Developing Love-Hate Relationship with Quintessentially Croatian Skill of “Getting By”

March 20, 2023 - Swapping life in New Zealand for Croatia brings some changes. We are delighted to welcome Silvia Vidovic to TCN, writing contributor number 188 since we started 8 years ago. If you would like to contribute a piece about the Croatia where you are, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Writing.

As a little girl growing up in New Zealand, the one thing I remember most is the taste of freedom. Bare feet, wild, sandy beaches, tramping through lush silver fern forests, driving for kilometres without anything or anyone in sight....and sheep, lots of them! School was a very relaxed affair, and also often included sheep - visiting sheep farms was a ritual that almost had a religious significance, and sometimes the sheep even came to us. We had no homework, no grades and spent a lot of time doing practical things - sailing, swimming, tying knots and lighting fires. Another ritual was pitching tents in the school lawn and having a sleepover together as a form of community bonding - first the parents held a sausage sizzle, and then, when it got dark, we sang songs around the campfire while our teacher played guitar. As a gifted child, I highly appreciated the free-flowing, casual structure of the New Zealand school system. It further stimulated my natural curiosity by allowing me to do my own thing, and I spent a lot of time alone, lying on the pillows in the reading corner, leafing through books and daydreaming away. The possibilities offered by the new technology that had just been invented - the internet - almost drove me mad with excitement. Just thinking about how many books could fit onto one tiny CD was enough to make me sigh in reverent, nearly pious awe, let alone imagining all the knowledge that was now at my fingertips!

And then I came to Croatia. Gone were the bare feet, the free-form classes that seemed to be changing every second, the endless sitting on floors and lawns. Suddenly, I found myself behind a rickety, ancient-looking wooden desk which looked exactly like the one I had seen at a museum in Auckland, where they had set up a model of a classroom from the Victorian era. Then they showed me the library, and I was genuinely confused and asked them to show me where the real library was, as it looked like yet another exhibit from a museum. Instead of just carrying a lunchbox and change of clothes in by school bag, as I was used to, suddenly I found myself lugging a bunch of books with names that sounded as heavy as they felt on my poor back. Udžbenik. Vježbenica. They were massive and forbidding, like a piano falling down the stairs, and they were full of boring, dry sentences that we had to learn by heart if we wanted to pass the constant tests that we were given. Soon, I realised that rote learning was the order of the day here in this strange new land, and I didn’t like it one bit. I wanted creativity, exploration and freedom, the thrill of the pursuit of knowledge, but there was none of that in my new school. And so my hitherto unquenchable thirst for knowledge started to wilt and wither, and a new skill started developing in its place - the quintessentially Croatian skill of “snalaziti se” - getting by.

In my case, that meant doing the absolute bare minimum, in order to preserve my energy for pursuits I deemed worthwhile. As a child, I had grown up with an unwavering faith in the system, and a sense of fairness and justice was inculcated deep in my bones - any type of cheating was unfathomable to me. Yet, very soon, I learnt to set aside my inhibitions in order to copy homework, cheat on tests...anything that was necessary to get by. I got through secondary school and university without barely touching a book, relying on charm, wit, natural intelligence and this new, seductive skill of getting by. Soon I observed that a similar slipperiness pervaded many aspects of Croatian life - everyone always seemed to be looking out for number one, and how to cheat the system in their favour. Now, since then I have turned into a Croatian patriot of sorts - I have developed a deep affection for the country that seemed so rigid and museum-like at first, and can’t imagine living anywhere else - but this is an aspect I still haven’t come completely to terms with. I have developed a healthy distrust of the system and learnt to get by when it is necessary to save my own soul, but this pervasive mentality of “screw the system before it screws you” is something that still makes me feel uneasy.

Many times, I found myself in situations where I would put in extra effort to rectify something in a business situation that wasn’t my responsibility at all. And then I would regularly be met by surprise - “Why, it’s not your job, what do you care?”. But, how can I not care if we’re all part of the same team, and our success depends on each other and the work we do? Again, this “getting by” mentality, mixed with the vestiges of socialism - I’ll just do the bare minimum, what I am paid for and not one lipa (or cent) more, and the rest is none of my concern, even if it affects me directly. I find it funny how Croatia is often collectivist in a tribal, nationalistic sense, in “counting blood cells”, as they often say - yet, on the other hand, it is often lacking in other, healthier forms of collectivism. For example, the one where we say - “OK, we’re all in this together and we depend on each other to succeed, so let’s see what we can do to make all of our lives better”. Naturally, this is a mentality that can’t easily take hold in a country where corruption and bribery are expected in almost every affair, and thus it is a natural instinct to just shrug in resignation and try to grab your own piece of the pie. Perhaps this would be the greatest mentality shift in Croatia, one that would revolutionise all areas of life - a transition from “getting by” to “getting (it) together”. A patriotism that is not about football, war veterans and waving chequered flags, but a patriotism rooted in working together for a shared cause and towards a better future, so that all of us that have found ourselves within the boundaries of this dragon-shaped land may benefit - not just those that were the quickest at “getting by”. This oh-so-quintesentially Croatian predilection for “getting by” is both a blessing and a curse, something I have come to love and hate in equal parts. Sometimes, it is good to cut corners and not trust the system - to save your own skin (and nerves!), if nothing. However, other times, it is the weight around the ankle limiting the growth of a country that has the potential for so much more.

Monday, 20 March 2023

Fine Imposed for Attempt to Bring Meat, Cigarettes Across Croatian Border

March the 20th, 2023 - A fine of 1650 euros has been issued by the authorities to an individual for attempting to bring 7.5 kg of dried meat and 34 packets of cigarettes across the Croatian border at Stara Gradiska.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, despite Croatia having joined the borderless, passport free Schengen zone on the first day of 2023, there are still very clear rules about what can and cannot be transferred across the borders of the European Union (EU).

One good example would be the transfer of fresh meat, dried meat and dairy products, as well as fruits and vegetables, all of which is very strictly prohibited. Despite this, plenty of people either don't know or simply don't bother to look at or adhere to these rules, and if they're caught, they need to pay hefty fines, as reported by GP Maljevac.

At the Croatian border, more specifically at the Stara Gradiska border crossing, one passenger wanted to transport 7.5 kilograms of dried meat and 34 packs of cigarettes from Bosnia and Herzegovina, a neighbouring non-EEA/EU, non Schengen zone country, into the Republic of Croatia.

None of the aforementioned products were declared to the customs officer as they should have been, meaning that everything was confiscated from the individual in question, and they also had to pay a hefty fine of 1,650 euros.

If the fine isn't paid on time, it will be replaced by imprisonment. The import of up to 20 kg of fish, shellfish and fish products, up to 2 kg of milk powder for babies, baby food and special needs food, up to 2 kg of pet food, up to 2 kg of other food such as honey, live shellfish and snails and up to 125 grams of caviar or other products of protected species are allowed to be transported across the Croatian border. Two packs of cigarettes and one litre of alcohol are also allowed.

For more, check out our dedicated news section.

Monday, 20 March 2023

Consultant Reveals The Biggest Grey Zone in Croatian Tourism

March the 20th, 2023 - What's the biggest grey zone in Croatian tourism? A consultant for private accommodation reveals more as illegal rental properties are still very much ''a thing'' across the country despite crackdowns over more recent years.

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Croatia isn't yet moving in the direction of new taxation placed on private accommodation facilities, although it will strengthen the control of illegal rentals within the framework of an initiative that is still being developed at the level of the European Union (EU). In the meantime, a new analysis of that accommodation segment is currently expected, which the Institute for Tourism is preparing for the Croatian Tourist Board (CNTB).

The analysis will be finished in May and will be the basis for new branding and promotion of private accommodation,'' explained CNTB director Kristjan Stanicic at the Family Accommodation Forum held on Saturday in Zagreb, organised by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) and the CNTB.

Current figures say that more than 106,000 households are engaged in renting to tourists, and more than 600,000 beds have been registered. This accounts for about 60 percent of the total accommodation in Croatian tourism. Private accommodation/household facilities enjoyed 47 million overnight stays last year, slightly less than half of the total number of overnight stays realised in the country. At the same time, this is the segment of accommodation that has the shortest season, with just 15 percent annual occupancy.

"For as long as there aren't enough hotels in Croatia, in which we're two to three times behind the rest of our competition across the Mediterranean, family/private accommodation will play a very important role in the whole Croatian tourism offer,'' said HGK's Vice President for Agriculture and Tourism, Dragan Kovacevic, pointing out that it would be important to classify the offer of accommodation within the Croatian tourism offer, to divide things up in a better way.

"Renting is not only unfair competition to private and other registered accommodation, but also puts additional pressure on communal and other infrastructure, without the benefits paid by the households that are doing this," says Kovacevic.

Monika Udovicic from the Ministry of Tourism pointed out that the Tourism Strategy until the year 2030 foresees the modernisation of the categorisation of all tourist accommodation, including private accommodation. Admittedly, only 25 private landlords applied for the tender from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPOO), which shows the extremely low interest of this sector in entering into more serious entrepreneurial waters.

Private accommodation consultant Nedo Pinezic pointed out that for most renters this is their second income, and they pay tax on their first income because they are either employed somewhere or have their own businesses. With other income from their properties and their property rights, we have a form of income where housing is also concerned, and when we talk about tax reform, this whole group is affected.

''We want to see what sort of direction this is going to go in,'' said Pinezic, warning that there should be better regulations for non-commercial accommodation with around 300,000 facilities where owners and their families and friends occasionally stay, without paying for each night, and fees paid by those who are registered to rent to tourists.

For more, check out our news section.

Monday, 20 March 2023

Exploring The Croatian Language - The Southwestern Istrian Dialect

March the 20th, 2023 - While you will likely have heard of Istrian, or the Istrian dialect, unless you're into linguistics, you may know less about the dialects and subdialects within that scope. Have you ever heard of the southwestern Istrian dialect? 

We've explored many of the dialects, subdialects and indeed languages in their own right as some linguists consider them to be which are spoken across modern Croatia. From the Dubrovnik subdialect (Ragusan) in the extreme south of Dalmatia to Northwestern Kajkavian in areas like Zagorje, the ways in which people speak in this country deviate from what we know as standard Croatian language enormously. That goes without even mentioning much about old DalmatianZaratin, once widely spoken in and around Zadar, Istriot, or Istro-Venetian.

Istria is known even today for being part of Croatia that has seen enormous change, and many different groups and ethnicities pass through and live on the peninsula. It's far from just the influence of Italian and the former Venetian Empire which reigns strong in this region of Croatia. For a quick linguistic example, in Istria alone, we have Istriot, Istro-Venetian, Istro-Romanian, and the extinct Istrian-Albanian. That's far from all. In this article, we'll delve a little deeper into the southwestern Istrian dialect, which is part of the much wider category of Chakavian.

A brief history of the southwestern Istrian dialect

As stated above, the southwestern Istrian dialect belongs to the group of dialects called Chakavian and contains both Chakavian and Shtokavian features. Despite this, it is generally considered to be the most widespread Chakavian dialect in all of Istria, originating not from any Italian influence, but from the dialects spoken much further south, down in the Dalmatian-Herzegovian region. If you want to get a little more complicated, this dialect is part of the Chakavian-Shtokavian/Shtokavian-Chakavian/Stakavian-Chakavian Ikavian dialect(s). A mouthful, I know, but much like with most other dialects and subdialects, linguists have butted heads in the past when it comes to proper classification.

Because of this mix of both Shtokavian and Chakavian features, most experts believe that the origins of the southwestern Istrian dialect can be traced back to what most other dialects spoken across Istria resulted from - migration. The aforementioned Dalmatian-Herzegovian influence likely draws its origins from the arrival of Dalmatian settlers from the wider Makarska area (Central Dalmatia) in Istria back during the sixteenth century. 

These people primarily spoke in a Shtokavian-Ikavian dialect which still had its own Chakavian features. When more Dalmatian settlers arrived on the peninsula from a little further north in Dalmatia, more specifically from the wider Zadar and Sibenik areas, the elements of Chakavian were even further enhanced. 

Why did Dalmatian settlers move to Istria?

If you're anything even close to a history buff, you'll probably have guessed the reason for this migration - the Ottomans. The Ottoman Empire and its marauding Turks were the reason for mass migration of many different ethnicities during this period of history and indeed beyond it. It wasn't just that empire that mixed things up, however, with the then extremely powerful Venice also moving different ethnicities to Istria as the decades passed owing to Istria's dwindling native population. This is the primary reason for the emergence of the now extinct Istrian-Albanian language, for example, as ethnic Albanians also settled there.

As time rolled on, different ways of speaking emerged, and people who primarily spoke Novoshtokavian dialects arrived in Istria, having themselves come from the wider Sibenik and Zadar regions. This gave rise to the southwestern Istrian dialect as it is known and accepted today, and it is considered by many in the field of linguistics to be a post-migration dialect. The overall result of this turbulent period in history is that today, in that dialect, Chakavian features mostly prevail everywhere except in the area of the extreme south of Istria, all the way down to Premantura and its immediate surroundings.

Where can I hear the southwestern Istrian dialect spoken today?

In modern times, the southwestern Istrian dialect is spoken upwards from the extreme south of the region, along the west coast of the Istrian peninsula all the way to the mouth of the Mirna river.

Heading east, the dialect encompasses the areas of Kringa, Muntrilj, Kanfanar, Sv. Petar u Sumi and Sv. Ivan, along the west bank of the Rasa river to Barban (not to be confused with Barbana in Italy!), then it encompasses the areas of Rakalj, Marcana, Muntic, Valtura, Liznjan, Sisan, Medulin and the southern part of Jadreski. The southwestern Istrian dialect can also be heard in several other small villages and hamlets.


For more on the Croatian language, including the histories of various dialects, subdialects and extinct languages, as well as learning how to swear in Croatian, make sure to keep up with our lifestyle section. An article on language is published every Monday.

Monday, 20 March 2023

SuperSport HNL 26th Round: Dinamo Captain Ademi and Osijek Captain Škorić Say Goodbye to HNL

March 20, 2023 - The SuperSport HNL 26th round was played from March 17 to 19. This round saw Osijek take only one point against Šibenik, while Hajduk took 3 points at Poljud, and Dinamo celebrated against Rijeka at Maksimir. It was an emotional 26th round as Osijek captain Mile Škorić and Dinamo captain Arjan Ademi said goodbye to the Croatian league and will continue their careers in China. 

Varaždin - Gorica (2-1)

Varaždin and Gorica opened the 26th round on Friday, March 17, in Varaždin in front of 1585 fans. 

After a scoreless first half, Varaždin took the lead in the 53rd minute when Brodić scored for 1-0. Mitrović equalized in the 74th minute for 1-1. Brodić found the net again in the 87th minute for the final 2-1. Varaždin had 56% possession, eight total attempts, and three on target, while Gorica had 12 total attempts and five on target. 


Varaždin is in 4th place with 36 points, while Gorica is in last place with 16. Varaždin plays Lokomotiva next and Gorica meets Dinamo. 

Osijek - Šibenik (0-0)

Osijek and Šibenik met on Saturday, March 18, at City Garden Stadium in front of 2321 fans. 

The match went without goals though the result could have ended differently had Caktaš not missed a penalty in the 71st minute. Osijek held 60% possession with 17 total attempts. Long-time Osijek captain Mile Škorić played his last game and will continue his career in China. Škorić played 333 games for Osijek since 2013. 


Osijek is in 3rd place with 37 points, while Šibenik is in 9th with 24. Osijek meets Rijeka next, and Šibenik meets Hajduk. 

Hajduk - Slaven Belupo (1-0)

Hajduk and Belupo met on Saturday, March 18, at Poljud Stadium in front of 14,005 fans. 

The only goal of the match came in the 72nd minute when Mikanović nailed the back of the net from outside the box for the Hajduk win. Hajduk held 63% possession with nine attempts, 3 of which were on target. 


Hajduk remains in 2nd place with 50 points, while Belupo is in 7th with 33. Hajduk meets Šibenik in the next round, and Belupo plays Istra 1961. 

Istra 1961 - Lokomotiva (0-0)

Istra and Lokomotiva met on Sunday, March 19, in Pula in front of 1419 fans. 

This match ended without goals. Istra had 46% possession compared to Lokomotiva's 54%. Istra had seven total attempts to Lokomotiva's 13. 


Istra is in 5th place with 35 points, while Lokomotiva is in 8th with 32. Istra plays Belupo next, and Lokomotiva meets Varaždin. 

Dinamo - Rijeka (1-0)

Dinamo and Rijeka closed the 26th round on Sunday, March 19, at Maksimir Stadium.

The first half went without goals, but Ristovski found the back of the net in the 67th minute for 1-0. Dinamo had 58% possession and 13 total attempts, while Rijeka had 12. This was Dinamo captain Arijan Ademi's last match after 13 years with the club. He thus became Dinamo's most trophy-winning player in history, with 21 trophies total - 11 Croatian championship titles, six Cups, and four Super Cups. He played 373 games for the club, with 42 goals and 31 assists


Dinamo is in first place with 59 points, while Rijeka is in 6th with 34. Dinamo meets Gorica next, and Rijeka plays Osijek. 

The SuperSport HNL will resume on March 31st as we take an international break to kick off the European qualifiers for EURO 2024. Croatia meets Wales this weekend at Poljud and is training in Split all week. 

You can check out the HNL table HERE

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 19 March 2023

A Welsh Telephone Box & English Pub in Eastern Croatia

March 19, 2023 - Croatia is a land of stories - meet one of the more unusual ones, a British corner of eastern Croatia in the latest from the Fat Vlogger. 

What is the most random thing you have seen in your time in Croatia?

On my first visit to Vinkovci a few years ago, claimed as the oldest continuously inhabited town in Europe, stood something totally bizarre. 

A red British telephone box. 

How the hell did it get there, and why?

And so began a rather fascinating journey and one of the most unusual stories of my time in Croatia.

Which featured a very contented Yorkshireman from Leeds, who had been living in Vinkovci for over 30 years after coming to volunteer during the war in 1991. 

To find out why there is a Welsh telephone box in the middle of Vinkovci and an English pub in a field in the middle of nowhere in eastern Croatia, check out the latest from the Fat Vlogger. Premiering at 19:53 tonight. 


You can subscribe to the Paul Bradbury Croatia Expert YouTube channel here.

What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.






Sunday, 19 March 2023

Croatia Has Everything for 12-Month Tourism, Can Be Mediterranean Tourist Leader

March 19, 2023 - Can Croatia become a 12-month Mediterranean tourist leader? That and many other thought-provoking topics at this year's 3T Tourism, Travel and  Tech conference, reports Cimerfraj.   

The annual 3T conference was held with a number of experts and conclusions: AI cannot replace humans, Croatia can still be a leader in realizing the maximum sustainability of tourism in the Mediterranean, and the offer for year-round tourism is not at all questionable.

On Wednesday, March 15, 2023, the 3T - Tourism, Travel & Tech conference was held. On that chilly morning at the dawn of another spring, conference visitors came to Zagreb's Kaptol Center for a solid dose of optimism.

The conference that combines tourism and technology, without which tourism in its modern scale would not exist, brought together experts from various areas of the tourism and IT sectors and delivered current views on trends and forecasts in business to those gathered at its 6th physical and online edition.

The 3T conference was announced as a discussion on the possibilities of using AI in tourism, and this motif ran through almost all the presentations, with a common conclusion - AI will never replace humans

The response of Zoran Pejović, a consultant from Lošinj, made us think about how reliable artificial intelligence (AI) is.

Igor Marušić, product manager of Hrvatski Telekom, established that artificial intelligence can be a significant factor in solving the problem of labor shortage, in his presentation on Chatbots in the hotel industry.

Marušić emphasizes that the point is not the implementation of AI in business, which would result in the dismissal of workers, but that such technology can be programmed to solve simpler tasks and inquiries of guests, whereby people can focus and concentrate on solving more complex problems in business

This is precisely why Marušić sees the development of artificial intelligence as a great opportunity to fill unpopular jobs, which no one wants, along with the growth of the quality of tourist products.

Total sustainability is impossible
Sustainable tourism in Croatia is far from being fully realized, but it is still more than empty talk, is the conclusion of the presentation by Robert Sedlar, an expert whose company Interzero deals with the issue of waste disposal.

Transport is the biggest polluter in tourism - Robert Sedlar

Sustainability is the thread that connected almost all the presentations. There was more talk about the hotel's sustainable business than family accommodation, which accounts for over 50% of overnight stays. That is why we now know that Croatia has 1199 hotels, of which only 26 are green.

We also know that luxury tourism is no longer characterized only by the consumption of expensive and exclusive material goods, but today's luxury is the enjoyment of the unique features that abound in Croatia, like every tourist country. This type of offer is in the best position to fulfill almost all sustainable principles and achieve what we want from tourism - fewer guests and burden on local communities, with maximum income.

The participants of the panel discussion on the sustainability of luxury, moderated by the conference director Oleg Maštruko, concluded that 100% sustainability is an impossible mission, but that does not mean that we should not even try to achieve the goals of complete sustainability of tourism. The morning part of the conference ended with an interesting question by tourist journalist and blogger Anja Mutić from the audience: "Why is there so much talk about sustainable tourism, isn't it time to focus on regenerative tourism?".

From motoring to the potential of year-round tourism
The afternoon part of the conference was less about theory and more about practical examples.

No one in Croatia had previously done an expert study of the socio-economic impacts of a tourist event on local communities. The first such analysis "Socio-economic impacts of WRC Rally Croatia 2022 on the area of Central Croatia", prepared in cooperation with the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb, was presented by Marin Frčko, one of the key people from the WRC Rally Croatia organization.

Marin Frčko on the impact of WRC Rally Croatia on the quality of life of locals

In 2022, this world-renowned sports event brought Croatian tourism an income of 105 million euros. Its full potential could be unlocked only this year, because last year's result was largely influenced by the release of pandemic measures and the escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian war. This year's edition, without a doubt, we expect great results from April 20 to 23.

"The question is why Croatia has too few such global events, especially in the pre- and post-season, although I don't like those terms, I prefer to think about the year-round offer of domestic tourism," Frčko pointed out, noting that such events are followed by millions of fans around the world.

The WRC is among the TOP 20 sports events in the world. Unlike others, such as the world football championship, this and similar manifestations do not need the construction of a stadium, the existing infrastructure is used, so their organization should be among the projects of national interest in terms of the development of year-round tourism.

Did you know that, in addition to Croatia Airlines, we have another airline? Few visitors knew this, until they met Stjepan Bedić, pilot and director of ETF (Enjoy Your Flight) Airways. Launching an airplane startup during a pandemic is more than a challenge, but today ETF flies and covers the logistical problems of numerous partners with its planes.

One of the most convincing ambassadors of Croatian tourism - Paul Bradbury probably knows the cultural heritage of Croatia's gastronomy better than the average Croat. He will convince everyone that Croatia has everything a tourist could want for an unforgettable stay at any time of the year, but it's best if he tells you about it himself...


Sunday, 19 March 2023

Ivica Puljak: We See What Croatia Can Be Like With HDZ in Opposition

March 19, 2023 - I am not political at all, but I do like to support great ideas, such as yesterday's Dangerous Ideas 2 conference in Zagreb, which was opened by Split Mayor Ivica Puljak. You can view the entire conference on the embedded YouTube video below. 

If anyone is interested in my presentation, The Vukovar Card, a New Deal for Eastern Croatia, it starts at 07:30 and last 10 minutes. 

Below a translation of from the Croatian media about the event.

"We gather open-minded people who are not afraid to test both dangerous and best ideas. Positive selection is not afraid of competition or communication of its own ideas. That's the kind of Croatia we want and that's the kind of Croatia we will build," said the President of the Centar Party, Ivica Puljak, at the conference.

The big conference of the Center "Dangerous ideas 2 - All the good things you always wanted for Croatia, but no one dared to implement", gathered a number of experts in Zagreb on Saturday who presented ideas for the future of Croatia.

According to the President of Centar Ivica Puljkak, at these gatherings we see what Croatia can be like once HDZ is in opposition. "Croatia is in this state today because it is ruled by negative selection, and negative selection is afraid of every dangerous, good and realistic idea. When the best wins in public tenders, there is no place for those who win just because they have a party card," said Puljak, adding that clientelism, nepotism and corruption are afraid of any idea that changes the current situation.


"Old politicians are afraid of any reform. That's why we gather open-minded people who are not afraid to test both dangerous and best ideas. Positive selection is not afraid of competition or communication of its own ideas. That's the kind of Croatia we want and that's the kind of Croatia we will build," concluded the President of Centar.

"Can ideas really be dangerous? Or is it actually more dangerous to be without ideas? Through a series of stupid mistakes and as a result of unimaginably disgusting corruption, we lost INA. Are we going to allow that instead of energy independence, solar power plants on the roofs of our citizens and entrepreneurs, instead of energy exporters, instead of a stronger and more stable economy and secure democracy, we become dependent on energy, and then in every other way?" asked REGEA director Julije Domac, emphasizing that Croatia can and must do much more and better.

"All of us should be part of the changes we wish for and influence politics with our own involvement and ideas, because only then can it become a reflection of what we want as a society," said Domac.


According to entrepreneur Dražen Oreščanin, Croatia is speeding into reverse in fifth gear. "Instead of the public administration providing a framework for the development of innovation and entrepreneurship through systematic reforms and digitization, it has been fighting for decades so that nothing changes and to maintain and increase its power, influence and privileges," he warned. As he emphasized, people who do not want to go backwards but forward, should be given the environment and conditions to progress and prosper, because together with them, the whole society will prosper.

The gathering was attended by Ivica Puljak, Paul Bradbury, Julije Domac, Mihovil Škarica, Marlena Bogdanović, Dražen Oreščanin, Frano Barbir, Vinko Filipić, Ivan Mrvoš, Jasna Karačić, Branko Zemunik, Majda Milevoj Klapčić, Hrvoje Čupić, Tvrtko Jakovina, Natalia Zielinska, Dijana Grgić, Ružica Božić Cerovac and Vesna Coufal Jaić.

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