Saturday, 20 July 2019

Croatia's Foreign Worker Debate: Catholic Church Brings Lovely Foreign Priest to Hvar

July 20, 2019 - The Croatian tourism industry is ever more dependent on foreign workers. So too, it seems, is the Croatian Catholic Church on Hvar. 

Croatia's demographic crisis continues, and it is being keenly felt on the Adriatic coast, where many of the traditional seasonal workers have taken advantage of the freedom of movement with EU entry and found permanent jobs in countries such as Ireland and Germany. 

So how to fill the gap? 

Bringing in cheaper foreign labour from places such as the Philippines is one suggestion that has been put forward. The issue of importing foreign workers into Croatia is a very tricky one, for a number of reasons. Firstly, there are those who will say the jobs should be for Croatians, and Croatian tourism businesses should pay a fair wage. In both cases, I agree 100% with the sentiment, but the salaries are not high enough, contracts long enough, or conditions good enough for them to stay. And so there is a need to find foreign workers or totally rethink the whole tourism approach. 


The other reason this topic is sensitive is cultural. Croatians have fought hard to protect their identity and to establish their independent state, and they are understandably protective of their heritage and Croatian-ness. Which I complete support. I am sometimes a little envious of the national pride one sees on display here, especially when I have spent most of my career as an aid worker apologising to the people for the actions of my fellow countrymen in previous generations. 

I come from a very multi-cultural country (albeit with less and less culture these days) - England. Having immigrants and people descended from immigrants is the only way we could win the recent cricket World Cup. That diversity is in my genes in a way that it isn't with many Croatians, whose roots are much more homogenous. All good. 

My mother was born and grew up in rural Ireland. She told me of the time she saw a black person for the first time, as a 16-year-old on the streets of Dublin. She stared. Everyone stared. 

There are many aspects - not all - of Croatia today which are similar to the Ireland of 60 years ago. And if you talk to the 10,000 plus Croatian who now call Ireland home, I think you will hear that a little diversity never hurt anyone. 

But my inbox is fruity enough without me going deeper into the topic - and I am fully aware of how well received my thoughts on the subject would be as a (insert abusive adjectives of your choice) Brit. 

So instead, I want to tell you about a REALLY lovely story of Croatia resorting to foreign help to solve a labour shortage. 

And the shortage was in the Croatian Catholic Church, which did not have enough native priests for their parishes on Hvar. 

And that is how Don Robert Bartoszek came to be the first Polish priest on Hvar. And not only a very popular priest, but one who is also enhancing Hvar's tourism offer by also holding masses in Polish for Polish tourists.

He has also made an immense contribution to his local community. Rather than me butcher her words, here is Vivian Grisogono with the whole story on her Eco Hvar website


Thursday, 18 July 2019

By Popular Demand in Pitve: Klapa Samoana at Dvor Dubokovic Tonight

July 18, 2019 - After their fantastic performance of top of the island at Hvarcienda, Samoan singing sensations will perform in Pitve tonight at Dvor Dubokovic.

What happens when you have a friend on Hvar who was born in New Zealand, has his own restaurants, and then hears that the world's only Samoan Dalmatian klapa group performed on Hvar, and your friend missed it?

Get them to perform again, of course!

Quick post, as I just got word from Professor Frank John Dubokovich, Guardian of the Hvar Dialects, that his Dvor Dubokovic restaurant in Pitve will host Klapa Samoana this evening, with the concert starting at 20:00. 


There are shots taken from the unforgettable night at Hvarcienda, which you can read about in more detail here

I really enjoyed meeting the boys from Samoa, and I was really impressed by their efforts to learn Croatian culture and language, but have they gone a step too far this time?

Who knows how the evening will progress, with The Professor internationally famous for his outstanding Hvar dialect language lessons. Here he is, demonstrating how to speak Croatian using only vowels. Klapa Samoana, are you ready for the challenge?

You can contact Dvor Dubokovic via Facebook.



Thursday, 27 June 2019

Property of the Week: Building Plot with Hvar Out View in Pitve

June 27, 2019 - Looking to build a dream home on a paradise island? Pitve on Hvar is the subject of Trgostan's latest Property of the Week.

It is the sunniest island in Europe and often features in lists of the top 10 most beautiful islands of the world. Hvar is also the island with the most UNESCO heritage in the world, and the place where organised tourism in Europe began way back in 1868. 

Long before that - about 2,000 years ago, the village of Pitve was founded, the oldest village on Hvar. Tucked up in the hills away from the pirates, Pitve was the reason that settlement of Jelsa was founded on the coast some 1300 years later. 

And if you want to know why Pitve was chosen as the first village all those years ago, all you have to do is head to the village and take in the views for yourself. 

Or, better still, buy a dream piece of building land and create your home there. This week's Property of the Week offers views, heritage and more view, views, views.  


A plot of 1.572 m2 in a beautiful location in the village of Pitve on the north-west side of the island, at app 4 km from Jelsa and sea, of which 528 sqm is in the building zone (the rest is non building), with a spectacular view over the village toward Jelsa and sea, water connection on the plot, electricity nearby, public car access.

For more information, photos, price and to organise a viewing, visit the Trgostan listing.

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Friday, 2 February 2018

Konoba Dvor Duboković

Friday, 20 May 2016

25 Reasons to Visit Jelsa in 2016: 18. Pitve

One of the oldest settlements on the island, probably dating back to the Illyrians, beautiful old stone houses, hidden alleys and the most beautiful view on the Hvar Channel, Jelsa, Vrboska, Brač island up to Makarska and Biokovo, our reason number 18 - Pitve.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

The Pitve-Zavala Tunel to be Closed Tomorrow

According to the announcement of the Jelsa Mayor Nikša Peronja published at the Žveljarin FB page, from the period of April 7 until April 18, 2016, the Pitve-Zavala Tunnel will be closed due to much needed maintenance works.

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