Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Applicants From 16 Countries Shortlisted For Croatian Language Scholarship

 ZAGREB, 21 July, 2021 - The Central State Office for Croats Abroad has shortlisted 168 candidates from 16 countries for scholarships to learn the Croatian language in the 2021/2022 academic year in the four biggest cities in Croatia.

A total of 340 applications were received with 255 being eligible.

Most of the applications received were from South American countries - Chile (45), Argentina (37), Bolivia (25), Peru (19) and one each from Ecuador, Italy, Lebanon, Cuba, Canada, Belgium and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The scholarship includes the tuition fee, subsidised meals and a monthly allowance of HRK 400 (€53) for accommodation in a student dormitory or a private apartment, which is paid to all students who successfully complete the semester.

Most of the candidates have said they want to study in Zagreb (125) and Split (30), and ten have applied for Rijeka and only two for Osijek.

The scholarships are available to persons of Croatian descent, their spouses, friends who nurture the Croatian identity and promote Croatia's culture. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a secondary school education and reside abroad or not have lived in Croatia for more than three years.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

President Zoran Milanović Says Outvoting Croats in BiH Will "Come to an End"

ZAGREB, 13 July, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović on Tuesday said that outvoting Croats in elections for the collective presidency and parliament in Bosnia and Herzegovina will come to an end and that Bosniak politicians are to blame for the "misfortune in BiH".

The Bosniak member of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Presidency, Šefik Džaferović, said on Monday that Croatian pesident  was behaving like "a rude guest in someone else's house." Milanović is on a working visit to BiH and stopped in Vitez and Mostar, but not the capital of Sarajevo. Džaferović insisted that Milanović only came to BiH to cause problems and incidents.

"No, no. They are the cause of political instability, nervousness and misfortune in BiH. They are doing exactly what Haris Silajdžić warned about, 15 years ago when he said 'if you continue like that, you will make the Croats abhor this country that is their homeland'," Milanović told reporters in Livno.

Commenting on Džaferović's statement that he needn't come if he was going to behave like that, Milanović said that he was a guest in BiH to those people who welcomed him." "My hosts are the democratic authorities and the Franciscans," said Milanović.

During the three-day working visit to BiH, Milanović visited the towns mainly populated by Croats:  Vitez, Mostar, Ljubuški, Tomislavgrad and Livno. He visited the local Franciscan monasteries and said that the biggest gratitude for preserving the Croatian heritage went to the local friars.

Milanović said that the biggest problem is the outvoting of Croats and imposing Željko Komšić as the Croat member of the tripartite presidency who was voted in with Bosniak votes as well as attempts to achieve the same thing in the upper house - the House of People's in the country's parliament.

"The seats designated for Croats in the House of Peoples are being taken by people who aren't Croats or are lying that they are and they are elected by another ethnic group. That is the same template as in the presidency. The same story. And that has to come to an end," he underscored.

Asked why then he attended an SDP BiH election rally in 2010 and supported Komšić, Milanović said he was "tricked." That isn't a change in policy but rather a policy of maturing and realising someone's false nature. I haven't changed, but they are despicable," said Milanović.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute Expanding Scientific Cooperation in Sarajevo (BiH)

July 2, 2021 - Dedication to researching and developing the field of social sciences sees the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute expanding scientific cooperation once again after Željko Holjevac's visit to Sarajevo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute, active as always, continues to expand its cooperation on scientifically explain social issues (symbolically noted as 2021 marks 30 years of the Institute).

As reported on their official website, Institute headmaster dr. Željko Holjevac visited Sarajevo, the capital city of the neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina, from June 21-23.

The main story of that visit was a signed bilateral cooperation agreement between the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute and the Sarajevo Catholic Faculty. The agreement was signed by Holjevac and Faculty dean dr. Darko Tomašević.

Additionally, Holjevac was at the reception with Vrhbosanski's vice bishop Vinko Puljić.

„They talked about possible shared projects that would be adjusted to the tradition, culture and developing needs of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina“, informed Ivo pilar social research Institute.

Croatian Cultural Society Napredak (progress) also met with Holjevac. Napredak soon celebrates 120 years of work and was founded at the start of the 20th century when the famous Croatian social scientist Pilar was active in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Napredak plans various manifestations for their big anniversary, and dr. Holjevac discussed the possible cooperation in organizing an international scientific symposium regarding the identity of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Ivo Pilar Institute working in full speed

This sort of cooperation in regards to researching the Croatian diaspora in the neighboring country where the Croatian historical role and present is significant is nothing new for the Ivo Pilar Social research Institute.

As TCN reported earlier in May, the Institute, along with scientific partners, organized a conference “Identity of Boka Kotorska Croatians“, and the three-day event gathered crucial scientific institutes in Croatia to the town of Tivat in the Bay of Croatian Saints in Montenegro.

Scientists from the Institute were also active this year as they participated at European Conference For Social Work Research (ECSWR), International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF) Conference, and also by presenting a book on Croatian Mountain Rescue Service in Gospić, or by presenting book Cultural Identity of Vukovar – Contribution to Investigating Heritage and Successors“ – to list some of the activities TCN reported on throughout 2021.

As 2021 marks the 30th year anniversary of the Ivo Pilar Institute, apart from the aforementioned actions (to which we can include nurturing relations with scientific colleagues in Slovakia or opening a new research office on Vis Island), several more goals were envisioned by the end of the year: to publish the first edition of critical translation for the book „South Slavic (Yugoslav) Question“ by Ivo Pilar from 1918, and to make and publish Pilar's Kaleidoskop of Croatian society.

With the active academic dynamic demonstrated by the Institute, there is no doubt there is enough quality and capacity to achieve these goals. It is only a matter of time in such a busy and productive schedule.

Learn more about Croatian Diaspora on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 14 June 2021

National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation and Croatian Fraternal Union To Celebrate Thirty Years of Croatian Independence

June the 14th, 2021 - This article was co-written by Steve Rukavina and Anna Maria Sicenica, NFCACF Board Members.

On Saturday, June the 26th at 11:00am Eastern time, the NFCA will be co-hosting with the Croatian Fraternal Union, a global webinar salute to the founding of the Republic of Croatia's democracy. The NFCA’s webinar will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Independence Day and the honoring of another “Statehood Day” (1990 milestone) and Croatia’s successful and historic road to democracy and its independence achieved especially in the 1990-1991 time frame.

Please let us invite you to a virtual celebration to mark thirty plus years of Croatian Independence (Croatian: Dan Državnosti), filled with traditional Croatian music and notable speakers. This event, as stated, will be held on June the 26th via a webinar to benefit the Special Olympics organization in Croatia!

Register Now for the 30th Anniversary of Croatia's Independence Celebration Webinar

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We will also commemorate this momentous day with keynote speeches by Kolinda Grabar Kitarović, the former President of the Republic of Croatia, and Peter Galbraith, the first  U.S. Ambassador to Croatia. We are honored to feature co-headliners like these two very prominent diplomats and principals whose leadership to assist Croatia's developing democracy was so instrumental at critical junctures over the past thirty years.

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Independence Day festivities will include a live singing performance from Dubrovnik. Petar Sambrailo (left) and Marijo Anđelić (right), are well-known 1st and 2nd tenors in the Croatian Klapa world. Both have performed with the group Klapa Kaše, who have won many awards at Klapa festivals throughout Croatia.   

Finally, athletes from the Croatian Showshoeing Special Olympic Team (which qualified for the Russian Special Olympics World Winter Games in 2022) will talk to us about their sport and their achievements. Founded back in 1992, the Special Olympics in Croatia has forty affiliated chapters all over the country and brings 16 sports to over 1,300 Croatians. The organization's mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities to develop physical fitness and to find joy in the participation of sports. Croatia's Special Olympics organization has been led by Executive Director, Franjo Horvat and associate Sladjana Tatic for over twenty years.

The NFCA has four primary sponsorship tiers from $100 Bronze to $250 Silver from the $500 Gold to the $1,000 for the Platinum level. Of course, donations of any amount are welcome and encouraged! 100% of the sponsorship proceeds and earmarked funds raised during this event will go to Croatia's Special Olympics organization. The NFCA is very proud to be a major sponsor and partner of this truly incredible organization. For inquiries about donations, please contact Steve Rukavina at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We hope you will join us for a wonderful seventy-five-minute event full of Croatian music, culture, and history on June 26th from the comforts of your home whether you're in Croatia, anywhere globally or here in the USA!  

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Identity of Boka Kotorska Croatians - Scientific Conference by Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute

May 12, 2021 - Earlier in May, Boka Kotorska, in the town of Tivat in Montenegro, was the host of the scientific conference "Identity of Boka Kotorska Croatians" which will introduce changes in Croatian education.

Croatia has a big diaspora, no secrets there, but its worldwide spread makes you miss the region.

In Boka Kotorska, in Montenegro, Croatia's first neighbor on the southern border after Dubrovnik, not only is there a huge population of Croatians, but they also have a significant cultural impact on the area. So significant it even calls for social science to step in.

As Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute reported on its website, May 6 to 9 saw the conference “Identity of Boka Kotorska Croatians“. The three-day conference gathered crucial scientific institutes in Croatia to the town of Tivat in the Bay of Croatian Saints. Headed with Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute, Croatian Catholic University, Croatian Studies Faculty, Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics as well as Institute for Historical Sciences in Zadar attended the conference while Croatian ministries of European, and Foreign Affairs, Science and Education, Culture, and Media, as well as Croatian Central State Office for Croatians Outside of the Republic of Croatia, founded the event.

„The scientific conference went well as well as signing conclusions with recommendations that that knowledge on Bokelj Croatians we learned on this conference enter the Croatian national curriculum in important subjects. These conclusions are the crown of our efforts to launch this conference in public, not just in an academical way, but to massively popularize to ensure long-term benefits for Bokelj Croatians as for every educated citizen of Croatia and Montenegro“, said Dr. Željko Holjevac, head of the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute.

Conference conclusions suggest additions to the curriculum documents on key definitions of Croatian National Identity to make space for Croatians outside Croatia, including Boka Kotorska Croatians. Identity features and creativity of Bokelj Croatians in Croatian education, and the book „Boka Kotorska - the Bay of the Saints and Croatian Culture“, by Vanda Babić to be the mandatory literature for tourist guides in Montenegro.
Final meetings at the conference, as well as sailing with a „Katica“ ship through Boka Kotorska Bay, Saw the participation of Boris Bastijančić, the advisor and representative of the Montenegro president and representer of Croatian parliament and MP, Zdravka Bušić, and others.

„I'm glad to be at this scientific conference, and I want to thank everyone's effort for something like this to happen in Boka Kotorska. I would especially like to thank students that took part in this and gave their part as young people who love the truth of Boka, the place of saints. This is a message that we too need to do something to mark this time with love, hope, and faith“, said the Kotorska bishop, mons. Ivan Štironja.

Some Croatians live outside of Croatia, but maybe you would want to live in Croatia. Learn more about living in Croatia on our TC page

For more about the Croatian Diaspora, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Zvonko Milas: "Serbian Croats Receiving More and More Threats"

ZAGREB, 25 March, 2021 - The head of the Central State Office for Croats Abroad on Thursday told the parliament that after the "shameful" decision of the Subotica city's authorities to give a status of an official language to the Bunjevci vernacular, local Croats in Serbia had been receiving more and more threats.

In the wake of the discussions about that wrong and shameful decision by the Subotica City Council, which were also soon followed by the propaganda film "Dara iz Jasenovca",  more and more threats were made against ethnic Croats, notably ethnic Croat leaders in Serbia, Zvonko Milas told the Sabor, while presenting the 2019 report on the implementation of the strategy pertaining to Croat communities outside Croatia.

He also warned that the Subotica decision on the Bunjevci vernacular was against the Croatia-Serbia bilateral agreement on the respective ethnic minorities and that it also led to the further fragmentation of the ethnic Croat community in Vojvodina and Serbia.

Milas said that Croatia would do its utmost to make sure that Slovenia can grant a status of ethnic minority to local Croats.

The community has more than 50,000 members, Milas said adding that Slovenia does not recognise any ethnic rights of those Croats.

For more about the Croatian Diaspora follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 6 March 2021

Minority Leaders Push for Introducing Croatian as Official Language in Vojvodina

ZAGREB, 6 March, 2021 - The Croatian National Council (HNV) leader Jasna Vojnić has sent a proposal to Serbia's President Aleksandar Vučić that the language of the ethnic Croatian minority should be recognised as an official language in the whole territory of the northern province of Vojvodina.

The HNV web portal reported on Friday evening about this initiative launched by the leadership of ethnic Croats in Serbia in response to the plans of the local authorities in the northern Vojvodina city of Subotica to approve the official use of the Bunjevački vernacular spoken by members of a local community who identify themselves as non-Croat Bunjevci.

Under the current law, local government units must grant the official use of an ethnic minority's language and script if that minority accounts for at least 15% of the local population. According to the 2011 census, 13,553 citizens, or 9.57% of Subotica residents, identify themselves as Bunjevci.

Despite the fact that the size of the Bunjevci community did not reach the 15% share in the population requirement and despite the fact that this vernacular does not have a status of a language according to linguistic standards, Subotica Mayor Stevan Bakić of Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić's Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) moved a proposal to amend the city's statute to introduce the Bunjevac dialect and script as an official language.

The HNV leader Vojnić says that being encouraged by this example of such positive discrimination which is applied in the case of the Bunjevci community, the Croatian community "is looking forward to future initiatives of local office-holders to help minorities to exercise similar rights in settlements where ethnic Croats live."

In this context she recalls that in the city of Sombor, Croats make up 8.39% of the local population, and  in the municipalities of Apatin and Bač 10.42% and 8.39% respectively. Therefore, following the precedent of the positive discrimination towards Subotica non-Croat Bunjevci, Vojnić expects Serbia's authorities to apply such positive discrimination rules in the whole of Vojvodina towards ethnic Croats.

Another ethnic Croat leader Tomislav Žigmanov recently warned that the relevant Slavic or comparative linguistics literature does not call the Bunjevac dialect a language.

Croatia's Ambassador to Serbia, Hidajet Biščević, has said in an interview with Hrvatska Riječ that the initiative fort the recognition of the Bunjevci vernacular as an official language is legally unfounded and that it also contains undesirable negative political and social consequences for the interests of the Croat ethnic minority in Serbia.

The diplomat also said that the initiative is contrary to the agreement between Croatia and Serbia on the mutual protection of ethnic minorities.

In the meantime Croatia's Foreign and European Affairs Ministry sent a protest note through its embassy.

"The Bunjevci dialect is not a language. It belongs to the new Stokavian-Ikavian dialect, it is one of the dialects of the Croatian language. The Bunjevci people in Hungary are also a sub-ethnic group who call their language Croatian," Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said at  news conference last Thursday, explaining the reasons for the protest note.

Around 16,000 Bunjevci who deny their Croatian origins live in the north of the Bačka region. They are represented by the Bunjevci National Council, whose leaders are close to the  Vučić's SNS party.

The remaining majority of the Bunjevci, including the leadership of the Vojvodina Croats, formally identify themselves as Bunjevci Croats.

In the 2011 census, nearly 58,000 people in Serbia identified themselves as Croats.

Saturday, 26 September 2020

Final Criteria Met: Croatians Don't Need A Visa For The USA From 2021

September 26, 2020 - A 20-year-old diplomatic and business stumbling block has finally been resolved - Croatians don't need a visa for the USA from 2021

With a considerable amount of the country's diaspora living in English-speaking countries, the issue of visa requirement to enter the USA has been of significant interest to Croatians for years. Discussions have been ongoing since the late 1990s, complicated by the fact Croatian passports can be issued in a different country altogether - Bosnia and Herzegovina. But now, the wait is finally over - Croatians don't need a visa for the USA from 2021.

As detailed in Total Croatia News on 7th September, the final hurdle for the removal of visa requirements was the issuing of 2000 further visas before the end of this month. Sources inside the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs have revealed this criterion has now been met and thus the annual level of rejected applications will be less than 3%. This was the bar set by the USA to the Croatian state.

Meeting this figure was complicated by the decrease in travel due to the ongoing pandemic. Therefore, with full disclosure to their American counterparts, sections of the Croatian government set about orchestrating the required number of applications. They enlisted the help of the Croatian business community and members within it who were sure to submit successful applications.

Next Friday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will arrive in Croatia. Final details for the abolition of visas will be discussed between his accompanying team and that of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman and Minister of Defense Mario Banožić, who will meet him in Dubrovnik. The official announcement that Croatians don't need a visa for the USA from 2021 could potentially come as soon as the end of the US Secretary of State's visit.

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Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Interview with Ruza Studer Babic: Croatian Diaspora Also Wants Croatia 2.0

June 20 - In addition to strong support from parties from across the political spectrum, the Glas Poduzetnika Association received clear support of the Diaspora's new list, led by Ruza Studer Babic. Josip Hrgetic, one of the founders and the director of the conference Meeting G2 for Croatians from the Diaspora, intended for all business people who wish to connect their homeland and the expatriated Croatia better, is also on the list led by Ruza Studer Babic.

The conference has taken place for five years already, and Ruza was the regular guest. The impression from these conferences is that Croats living in the Diaspora think in a very entrepreneurial way, having the same values which the Glas Poduzetnika Association points out in their postulates. For these reasons we also wanted to do a short interview with Ruza:

How did you come up with creating a new list that will offer an option in the electoral division for the Diaspora?

Emigrants, returnees, and immigrants face many problems and are often left on their own in these situations. I have been actively engaged in issues and challenges of emigration for the last seven years. Many ex-pat congresses and conferences I participated in and met many expatriates signal that many are ready to invest in their homeland. All this, along with the ineffectiveness of political structures concerning emigration, is the reason why we started a list, the goal of which is to reach the emigrants and encourage them to go to polls.

You very quickly agreed with the UGP Pledge that we also sent to all the critical parties, how much does it match your goals?

The UGP overview is similar to our reasoning and goals. The fact that our list includes people who came from emigration to Croatia or Bosnia and Herzegovina says that we have people who have chosen their homeland. They recognized the obstacles that hinder new investors and can, with their experience, be of great help to new investors. We want to launch an entrepreneurship incubator for expatriates, wherewith the support of the state, and together with entrepreneurs, we would initiate economic projects through which they would gain access to foreign markets. We would stimulate the foreign investors to invest and the expatriated entrepreneurs' return and create work opportunities in the homeland. As an example, we would keep young people in the country.

You managed to gather Croatians from all parts of the world. What is the one thing that unites you, and do you think this will increase your chances of entering the parliament?

Keeping in mind that we did not have much time, the ex-pats' readiness to be a part of this is admirable. The love for the country unites us, and we all have the same goal — to stimulate the return of ex-pats, to top the trend of emigration, and to encourage foreign investors to invest in Croatia.

How are Croatian media treating this initiative so far?

Upon sending a press release to all the media, we received four responses expressing the willingness to donate space for our initiative. For major media, such initiatives do not seem to be of interest.

To read more breaking news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 
Monday, 20 January 2020

American Croat Creates App Which Bridges Dating and Fertility Industries

As Novac/Tena Sarcevic writes on the 19th of January, 2020, it was back in 2011 when Ivan Fatovic, an American Croat sat down for dinner with a few of his female friends in New York. They hadn't seen each other for a long time, so they had plenty to talk about. Warm friendly smiles, jokes and laughs over a bottle of wine. The conversation started off as it usually does, about what has happened to anyone since the last time they saw each other, how their families are, what's new at work, etc.

Then, his female friends, back then all single and around the age of 35, began to talk about love and relationships in the manner of the hit American show "Sex and the City".

Each of them had an aspiration to become a mother one day, and they were all aware that if they wanted to fulfill their wish, they didn't have long left to do it because of their ticking biological clocks. All of the women were beautiful and successful, but they just couldn't find the man they wanted to have a baby with.

They were looking for the real deal, in real life as well as through various dating apps. Tinder, Bumble, OK Cupid, they'd tried them all. But it seemed to them that the men on these apps were only interested in a bit of fun and nothing serious or further than that.

"These apps are more appropriate for people in their twenties," concluded one of Ivan's friends, who felt particularly frustrated about her relationship status.

''After three drinks, I've started telling guys that in the next five years I want to have three children. I don't care that people don't want to hear that on the first date,'' said one of the women. She was persistent in her position that it was better to express such wishes at the beginning than to wait for months, or even years, and then realise that the other party doesn't even want the same.

''Ivan, I don't care, I'm going to find someone who feels the same way I do,'' she told him. He jokingly replied that she didn't need Tinder but the Date and Disseminate app, to which everyone laughed.

''Is there anything like that out there? That's not a bad idea at all, I'd join such a network immediately,'' a friend told him. And that is where the idea of ​​an application to be used exclusively by women who are ready to bring their offspring into the world without waiting around for Mr. Right was born. A year after that meeting with his friends, Ivan Fatovic, an American Croat, launched a website and the Modamily app.

It defines its platform as a kind of bridge between the dating and fertility industries. What people have in common is that everyone using the app is ready to start a family, and by using the app, they are looking for people to start a family with, as well as working out the methods by which they will do so.

''Modamily can help people start a family by getting them into a relationship and then they simply decide on the next step, but we also help them out if they've opted for one of the alternative options. We educate them about freezing their eggs, testing their genes, helping them find a surrogate mother, a sperm donor or an egg donor. And they may also opt for so-called co-parenting, an option where you find a best friend you decide to have a child with. The latter case is particularly popular with some friends, one of whom is gay. This is where the ''Will and Grace'' moment comes into it,'' the 44-year-old American Croat explained. He currently resides in Los Angeles and has been living exclusively from this business for eight years now.

Modamily, which is available worldwide, is a far cry from the classic dating app. When signing up, you not only answer basic questions about your own sexual and romantic preferences, but also address more complex topics, such as your attitudes toward child-rearing or religion.

''The app asks you how important religion is to you, whether you want to bring up your child in the spirit of the religion you grew up with, whether see your child attending public or private school, whether you want to live with the potential person with whom you have a child or you want them to live nearby, who is going to pay for what, how you'd like childcare to look, etc. These are important questions that many women in their forties don't want to ask the guy they're dating, because they don't want them to think they're being attacked, but they still want to know,'' explained Ivan Fatovic.

Registration on the app is free. Before you can meet someone, you first have to like each other, and if that happens, you have 24 hours to report to the other party. After one day goes by, you can't see the people who liked you unless you pay a 30 US dollar monthly subscription.

''A subscription lets you see everyone who liked you, but it also has some other benefits. For example, you might get more search filters. You can search for single women between the ages of 30 and 40 who live within 100 kilometres of you for example, and if you pay for a subscription you can search for multiple criteria; for example, to see who is Catholic, who is of a certain race, who went to Harvard and earns a certain amount of money annually,'' explained Ivan Fatovic, who is Modamily's only full-time employee.

This application is quite progressive when considering the options it offers, such as the aforementioned co-parenting. That's why, as the American Croat added, it was targeted by Rush Limbaugh, a conservative and host of talk shows and radio shows and, among other things, a friend of Donald Trump.

"He said we were demolishing the American family institution," Ivan Fatovic recalled. But other reactions have been almost positive from the very start, and he wholeheartedly disagrees with Limbaugh's criticism.

''We don't lead people to make any type of decision, nor do we claim that it's best have a child without being married. Nor do we claim that people need to be married in order to have a child. We just offer alternative options, we help people see all their options. Nobody is going to meet someone via the app and make a baby next week. People get to know each other, become best friends, trust each other, and decide for themselves what they want to do. And I believe that at least half of the straight people who find themselves on the app do indeed develop a classic romantic relationship,'' explained Ivan Fatovic.

''I've seen situations where parents have been fiercely quarreling and hating each other for years after their divorce. This is where the child finds themselves stuck in the middle and suffers the most. But I also know of cases where former partners have remained friends and are jointly caring for the child. Modamily is very useful for finding people whose views you agree with so it reduces the chances of misunderstandings. To more traditional people, this may still be unusual, but I believe that young people understand it. More and more people want to have children, but they don't necessarily see themselves with one person for their entire lives. Maybe the person you want children with is different from the one you will grow old with,'' added this innovative American Croat.

''In addition to classic relationships, it happens that people are looking for a sperm donor or an egg donor. These can be straight couples who have fertility problems or, for example, lesbian couples who need a sperm donor. So, they want to be parents themselves, they don't need that third party, but they want to get to know her, or maybe they believe the child will want to know who their biological parent is before the age of 18. Then they sometimes suggest that the biological parent should still be involved in the life of the child, but more through a role more akin to that of an aunt or uncle than to the parent,'' Ivan Fatovic noted.

His app is used by about 25,000 people around the world, and he estimates that about one hundred babies were born owing to it. 67 percent of the members are women, one-third of whom are under 35 and the rest older. The men using the app are a little older, on average, between the ages of 30 and 40, but there are those who, in their 60s, have decided they would like a child.

About 65 percent of the this American Croat's app's users are from the US and Canada, and the rest are from around the world.

''We are strong in Britain, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Australia, with several thousand users in each of these countries. There are only a few in Croatia, but I believe the number will grow over time,'' noted the American Croat, adding that he adores Croatia.

His mother is from the island of Korcula and his dad is from the City of Zadar and he goes to Split every summer because they have an apartment on Znjan. His parents met in America, so he was born in New York, but he attended elementary school in Dubrovnik because they moved there briefly. Therefore, his Croatian is very fluent. At one time he often came to Zagreb, too.

''It seems to me that Croats, unlike Americans, are less obsessed with work, they're people who know how to take a break and enjoy the great things life has to offer,'' he says when asked about the character of Croats, adding that he is sorry that many great young minds often they leave the country for work elsewhere. Croats and Americans, he believes, have certain cultural similarities.

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