Monday, 4 October 2021

Croatian Quality of Life Panel Held on Vis Island

October 4, 2021 - The level of Croatian quality of life is the interest of Dr. Liljana Kaliterna Lipovčan, and she presented her findings during the "The Quality of Life in Croatia" panel recently held on the island of Vis.

Many people pose questions to themselves about how they might go about living a higher quality of life, on both a Croatian and indeed on a global scale. When it comes to Croatia, the question is looked upon in a higher level through scientific curiosity.

''The Quality of Life in Croatia'' panel made gorgeous Vis the host of the scientific pondering of this particular issue under the organisation of the Ivo Pilar Social research Institute last month.

As TCN wrote earlier, the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute, the leading institution for social sciences, opened its research office on Vis back in late April 2021. Vis is otherwise the most distant Croatian island (from the mainland) with residents, divided by the Adriatic Sea from mainland Croatia by 50 kilometres.

Dr. Ljiljana Kaliterna Lipovčan is otherwise the head of the Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences office on the island of Vis.

''Her research interests include the subjective indicators of quality of life, the psychophysiology of work, and the psychological consequences of aging. She has led several national and international projects: 2007 – 2013 ''Developing national indicators of Quality of Life''; 2002-2006 ''Psychosocial indicators of Quality of Life'', 2008-2010, and was a national coordinator of the ESF-European Social Survey-Round 4.

In 2013-2014 she led the project on the ''3rd European Quality of Life Survey: Reports on trends of Quality of Life in Croatia'' by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions from Dublin,'' reads Kaliterna Lipovčan's biography posted by the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute.

Her interest in Croatian quality of life from a psychological point of view moved away from the eye of the academic and research community and gained public attention.

Followed by Croatia's jump on the World Happiness Report which placed the country as the 23rd happiest country in the world, Kaliterna Lipovčan explained this result. As Gloria.hr reports, Kaliterna Lipovčan stated that Croats realised how important it is to have other people to rely on during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Researchers have shown that Croatian citizens, on average, experience six larger positive events per year. For example, graduation, finding a job, a wedding, childbirth, healing from a disease and a pleasant journey and only two negative ones such as a court hearing, some form of bigger material loss or the contraction of a disease. When we think about daily life, let's try to remember what good things happened yesterday. Did we notice that we managed to get to work on time? that the boss was in a good mood? That there was no crowd in the tram? Probably not. But if there was a crowd in the tram, or the boss was in a bad mood, we'd notice it and we'd tell our friends about it. Let's try to agree with ourselves and start noticing positive events more often, and we'll learn there were more of those than negative ones,'' advised Kaliterna Lipovčan to the readers of Gloria.hr.

The panel was opened by Vis mayor Ivo Radica who expressed his joy for the cooperation between Vis and the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute which went on for years before the opening of an office there. The head of the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute Željko Holjevac also reminded everyone 2021 is the 30th year of the Institute's work.

If you also have an interest in social questions, you can learn more about religion, politics, education & diversity in Croatia on our TC page.

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

Monday, 23 August 2021

Summer Hit: Biševo Blue Cave Boom Sees 30% Increase in Visitors

August 23, 2021 - The Biševo Blue Cave boom was anything but expected this summer, with skippers refusing over 15 inquiries from guests per day!

Tourists on Hvar have gone crazy for the Blue Cave, which has been experiencing a tourist boom in recent weeks. And when they find out that everything is reserved that day or even a few days in advance, they do not hesitate to throw an immoral amount of money at skippers in the hope they'll be able to experience this natural wonder, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

Unfortunately, reservation lists on all excursion speedboats are full days, and some even weeks, in advance.

"And what can I tell you? It is not craziness but madness. Everyone wants to see the cave. Some booked a spot a few weeks before their arrival. They prepared better. There are no boats, no spots; there are so many reservations that you have to wait for days to go. Nobody expected this kind of madness, this surpassed everything, this is more than anything," says Antonija Maljković, a skipper from Hvar who has taken guests for years to tour Komiža, Biševo, and the Blue Cave.

She says that people know how to beg and admits that they offer generous amounts of money to find a seat on the boat - but the law is clear. There can be exactly 12 guests and two crew members in the speedboat, which is why she has to leave many behind on the shore. This summer, everything is up and running at full speed. 

"I have to refuse ten, 15, or more inquiries a day. It's not just like that with me. And you know how many of them came to Hvar and did not manage to board? There is also madness in front of Biševo; already around 8 am, 9 am, the invasion of fast boats from Split, Omiš, Trogir, Makarska, Hvar, Bol, Vis, and Komiža begins. And where are the sailors? Everyone is heading south; everyone is running to find a place in line to not wait for hours. And it is known that at the entrance, considering how many people there are, they wait for four or more hours," Antonija added.

Guests come from all over Europe, and there are many French, British, American, and English tourists. Crowds die down only in the afternoon, after 4 pm. 

"To see that morning scene on the high seas. The speedboats are just rushing there. It's like watching an invasion in which everyone would like to come first," Antonija said, remembering just how poor the season was last year. 

Great interest in visiting the Blue Cave is confirmed by the Nautical Center Komiža, an authorized concessionaire for receiving visitors and conducting visits to the protected natural monument, the Blue Cave in Mezoporat Bay on Biševo Island. Visitors must board one of the boats operated by the center's experienced sailors to enter the cave.

"This year, we are really recording great interest of visitors compared to last year's pandemic year. By July 31 this year, we had achieved 58.45 percent compared to the record tourist year in 2019 and 136 percent compared to last year. Given the overall situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, our expectations of interest and attendance at the Blue Cave for this year were 30 percent higher than the results achieved in 2020. Therefore, we believe that the effects of attendance in July and August are a pleasant surprise for all entities related to tourism activities along the Adriatic," concludes Brigita Fiamengo, director of the Nautical Center Komiža.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Speak through Fear Workshop to be Held on Vis this September

August 4, 2021 - The Speak through Fear workshop will be held on Vis this September. 

If you wish to fight stage fright, if you wish to be able to present yourself or your company or product more convincingly and with a lot more confidence -  and explore beautiful Croatian nature, particularly the island of Vis, now is the time to go for it!

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Two in one, so to speak. The workshop „Speak Through fear“ aimed at enhancing the capabilities of public speaking was developed by life coach Ivana Jozić, in order to help participants to find their own voice and authentic style of expression, through a uniquely individualised approach.

Far away from the busy life in the city, it is easier to connect to yourself and combine enjoying nature and working on yourself with the aid of individual coaching.

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The workshop will take place from 1st – 5th of September, on the enchanting island of Vis nestled in the crystalline waters of the Adriatic Sea, with limited to a small group of 4 to 10 people.

Under the expert guidance and empathetic mentorship of Ivana Jozić, you will be guided every step of the way to discover and unleash Your Voice. Additional healing elements are incorporated, like aromatherapy treatments, concentration & relaxation exercises. Last but not least, excursions and tastings of locally produced food are also part of the whole attractive package.

More at www.villaviscroatia.com and www.speakthroughfear.com

 

Sunday, 27 June 2021

93% More Overnight Stays on Hvar and Tourist Crowds on Croatian Islands Increasing

June 27, 2021 - There are 93% more overnight stays on Hvar than last year and crowds are increasingly forming on some of Dalmatia's most popular islands. 

Although the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) has just made Croatia 'green' on the "COVID map" of Europe, which means that according to the strict criteria of the institution, Croatia is among the safest destinations in the context of the coronavirus epidemic, judging by current tourism figures on islands in Split-Dalmatia County, Croatia has been green for a while, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

Hvar, Brač, and Vis have already been attracting large crowds. Data from the tourist boards of Supetar, Komiža, and Hvar shows a good start to the season, which is expected to be much higher than last year. 

"The city of Hvar is currently recording a 93 percent increase in overnight stays compared to June last year, and 36 percent compared to 2019, before the pandemic. According to the forecasts for July and August, we could be around 65 percent compared to the results from 2019," Petar Razović, director of the Hvar Tourist Board, reports optimistically.

Americans, Germans, and French are the most numerous guests in Hvar, while the locals are growing by about ten percent. With school holidays and intensified actions on offer, there will surely be more.

"With the delta variant, the loss of the British tourists is noticeable, we are at about ten percent compared to 2019, but a change in the regime could lead to a slight increase. Our primary goal is to protect the destination because God forbid the delta variant penetrates Hvar. That is why the new conditions for the arrival of British tourists will certainly be announced, both in the whole of Croatia and on our island," Razović announces.

People of Hvar, he says, tried to be as ready as possible for the season, so a large number of private renters responded to the vaccination campaign of the Ministry of Tourism (vaccination on the island is about 54 percent), and they are ready for boaters whose number already suggests that the season could be successful.

"We are even recording an increase compared to 2019! Hvar is this year's top destination for boaters. They come to us from all over Southeast Europe and the surrounding countries, possibly many Italians. Numerous boaters and shipowners have already announced an increased number of arrivals in the port of Hvar at the beginning of July, which indicates that we will continue with significant growth," said Petar Razović.

If Croatia remains "green," Hvar should still see the influx of car guests from Central Europe.

Apartments in Komiža on the island of Vis are also being filled earlier than usual. Bogoljub Mitraković, the director of the local tourist board, says that such a thing could not be said from a cursory glance at eVisitor, in which only five hundred and a few guests were registered yesterday.

"A decent number of people still do not report guests; the inspectorate is as it is. There are house owners, their friends, people who do not live in Komiža but have some connection with the place; there are apartment owners who do not register guests ... Everything. Unfortunately, that's the way it is," says Mitraković, noting that both Vis and Komiža are currently at 73 percent of overnight stays from June 2019.

And they had a relatively well last season with 60-70 percent of arrivals compared to the year before. However, it could have been even better.

"We still have two ferry lines this month. Last weekend there was a collapse ... On Monday morning, I came to buy a ticket for the ferry at 11 am, and there was only one at 6:30 pm. I don't know why Jadrolinija couldn't start driving three times a day a little earlier. It will be a simpler solution to keep people on hold at the ferry port. The Jadrolinija people are kind, but the lines to Vis already needed to be strengthened. They don't do us any favors like this," Mitraković thinks.

Last year, domestic tourists saved the season for Komiža, and now foreigners are slowly returning.

"Poles, Czechs ..., there are a solid number of sailors. The Blue Cave works well. Prices?! Um, a scoop of ice cream in Komiža is 12 kuna. Restaurants? People had to equip themselves, hire staff, and not everything is great every day. We have about thirty percent of renters who do not live on the island. And the same is now with the owners of an increasing number of restaurants," the director of the Komiža tourist board said.

Last weekend brought a bit more tourist activity than usual in Supetar on Brač, where they also expect a significant increase in the number of guests at the beginning of July. So far, they were mostly domestic, along with those from Hungary, Poland, Germany, and Slovenia.

"Currently, there is a minimal number of arrivals of guests from the United Kingdom, and Norway and Sweden, tourists who were among the most numerous in the pre-pandemic period," says Ivan Cvitanić.

"The announcements we have from hotels, but also the private accommodation sector, are good, and reservations have started in a much larger volume in the last few weeks. So, from today's perspective, it seems that this tourist season will be better than last year's, which, despite the pandemic, was very good in the end," Cvitanić says hopefully. 

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

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Vis Man Takes Documents from Nepalese Workers, Forces Work

June the 23rd, 2021 - A Croatian man stripped some Nepalese workers of their personal documents and forced them to work unpaid after assuring them that they'd be able to live normally and freely after he'd obtained their permits for work. The Vis man will now face punishment for this vile act.

As Morski writes, police officers working for the Organised Crime Service of the Split-Dalmatia Police Department have completed a criminal investigation into a 58-year-old Croatian citizen due to a well-founded suspicion of him having committed the criminal offense of trafficking in human beings under Article 106 paragraph 3 of the Criminal Code.

Namely, the criminal investigation established the existence of a well-founded suspicion that the 58-year-old Vis man had committed the criminal offense of trafficking in human beings to the detriment of four Nepalese citizens, meaning that from December 2020 to June the 20th, 2021, he used their illegal stay and unregulated work status, as well as their poor financial situation, in order to recruit them for unpaid employment.

He didn't pay them money for their work and he kept them living in inappropriate conditions.

He then took them to the island of Vis and exploited them for forced labour, without the payment of monetary compensation, kept them in inappropriate working conditions, in which their health, safety and dignity weren't protected. He also severely restricted their freedom of movement by confiscating their personal documents, misleading them that they would be able to move freely after he obtained a work permit for them with said documents and regulated their stay in Croatia, even though he knew that wasn't on the cards.

After the criminal investigation was completed due to the existence of a well-founded suspicion of committing the above-mentioned criminal offense, the 58-year-old Vis man was handed over to the police.

For more, follow our lifestyle page.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

European Short Story Festival to be held in Zagreb, Hvar and Vis on 6-11 June

ZAGREB, 16 May, 2021 - The 20th European Short Story Festival will be held on June 6-11, and the event will be held both online and live in Zagreb and on the islands of Hvar and Vis.

US authors Paul Auster, Siri Hustvedt, Lydia Davis and Lorrie Moore will discuss this year's festival topic, "Islands", with Croatian authors.

The festival has so far taken place in Osijek, Beli Manastir, Hvar, Zadar, Rijeka, Split, Dubrovnik, Pazin, Varaždin, Šibenik and other cities.

"We are exploring topics that are more relevant than ever - what kinds of isolation are we faced with and how do we overcome separation in a post-pandemic world? Is travel really necessary? Is technology a cure for loneliness or does it contribute to it? Is each one of us an island and what are the new languages the human need for closeness is beginning to express itself in?" reads an announcement of the festival.

In addition to online sessions with the four US authors, the festival will also feature live meetings with a number of regional and domestic authors.

The festival is organised by the Croatian Writers Society, with the help of the Culture and Media Ministry, the Zagreb City Office for Culture and partner cities, as well as a number of cultural institutions and foreign embassies in Croatia.

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

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Thursday, 6 May 2021

Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute: Celebrating 30 Years And New Office on Vis Island

May 6, 2021 - Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute celebrates its 30th birthday in 2021, and they recently opened a branch office on Vis Island.

The end of April saw the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute, named after Ivo Pilar, a researcher and a publicist whose work immensely influenced social and humanistic science scenes in Croatia- open a branch office in the City of Vis on Vis Island.

Head of the Institute dr. Željko Holjevac, the head of the new Center Ljiljana Kaliterna Lipovčan, and Vis mayor Ivo Radica were the speakers at the official opening.

„I'm glad that, after Vern University left Vis, that the academic community is back to the City of Vis, to the Island of Vis, our most distant habituated island. We hope that through the Institute we will be able to use all the benefits of the Institute especially in the demographic development of the city and that we as politician try to take a better direction to put our most distant island on the position it deserves“, said mayor Radica on the opening ceremony.

He added that the negotiations for opening the research centre were practically concluded in five minutes.

Dr. Željko Holjevac stated that the idea of establishing the Centre was years in the making, but the position of science and other problems and crisis blocked the idea from turning to reality. However, Vis was once a very good place for science in Croatia.

„Every two years we hosted a science conference on Mediterranian here on Vis, and it received worldwide attention. From every continent, there was a scientist with interest in Mediterranean attending“, said Holjevac referring to the Mediterranean Islands Conference, whose last event took place on September 2020.

With Zagreb, Split, Osijek, and Rijeka being known as the centers of both science and education, Holjevac added that bringing science to smaller communities is vital for the country.

„When we talk about development, sustainable development, or an island development, that is unimaginable without science. If we want the society of knowledge, we need to bring science closer and not work on the distance“, concluded Holjevac.

The new Centre is located at the address Šetalište Viški Boj 13 next to the Memorial Collection of a famous Croatian writer Ranko Marinković.

30 Years of Ivo Pilar Insitute

As the Institute's website reports, the Institute was established on November 26, 1991. Going through some legal changes which renamed him from the Institute For Applied Social Research of Zagreb Universit to the current name, and also shifting it from the University of Zagreb to the foundation of the Republic of Croatia – the Institute turns 30 years of existence in 2021.
In that honour, the Institute announced to do several actions:

-To publish the first edition of critical translation for the book „South Slavic (Yugoslav) Question“ by Ivo Pilar from 1918.
-Make and publish Pilar's Kaleidoskop of Croatian society.
-Organise themed lectures in branch offices of the Institute.
-Promote projects, scientific and professional activities of employees.
-Organise Sabbatical journeys (pending on epidemiological situation).
-Publish jubilee issue of „Social Research And Pilar“ magazine.
-Visit the grave of dr. Ivo pilar on Mirogoj cemetery (on Pilar's 88th death anniversary on September 3, 2021).
-Organise scientific conference in Vukovar in early November

And last but not least, to have a celebratory meeting on November 26, the exact date of the 30th birthday of the Institute.

If you also have an interest in social questions, you can learn more about religion, politics, education & diversity in Croatia on our TC page.

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

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Fairly Strong Earthquake Registered in the Adriatic

ZAGREB, 30 March, 2021 - A fairly strong earthquake was recorded at 9.35 am in the Adriatic Sea with its epicentre some 60 kilometres south of Vis Island, the Croatian Seismology Service said on Tuesday.

The service reported that the earthquake measured 4.2 on the Richter scale and had an intensity in the epicentre of V-VI degrees on the EMS scale.

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

Friday, 19 February 2021

Magnitude 2.8 Earthquake Rocks Island Vis

ZAGREB, 19 February (Hina) - A 2.8 magnitude earthquake occurred near the island of Vis at 5.23 p.m. on Friday, Croatia's Seismological Survey said.

The epicentre was about 25 kilometres southwest of Vis.

Sunday, 6 December 2020

6 December Nikolinje: Celebration of St Nicholas Day in Croatia

December 6, 2020 – Over much of the Christian world, 6 December is celebrated as St Nicholas Day. Croatia is no exception. Famous as the inspiration for Father Christmas, St Nicholas Day in Croatia is a time of gift-giving and tradition.

Nowadays, Croatian kids get gifts twice in December. Once on Christmas Day and also on 6 December, St Nicholas Day in Croatia (although, in some parts of southern and north-eastern Croatia, the traditional day of gift-giving is St. Lucia's Day - 13th December). On the evening of 5 December, children place their shoes or boots by the window, within easy reach of St Nicholas as he passes. When they wake on 6 December morning, they rush out of bed to see if St Nicholas has visited. If they've been good, their shoes might contain gifts like chocolates and sweets. If they've been bad, the shoes might contain a piece of birch wood or a rod – something with which they should be reprimanded. No youngster is all good or all bad. It's very common for Croatian children to receive both – a lighthearted acknowledgment of their changeable behaviour.

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St Nicholas by Jaroslav Čermák (1831 - 1878)

Saint Nicholas of Myra, also known as Nicholas of Bari, was an early Christian bishop of Greek descent from the maritime city of Myra in modern-day Turkey. He is thought to have lived between 270 – 343 AD, during the time of the Roman Empire. Little written evidence from the time of his life exists about St Nicholas, but he was persistently eulogised in writings and in art after his death and for hundreds of years afterward. There are three sources that mention Nicholas of Myra of Lycia being present in 325 at the First Council of Nicaea, convened by the Christian Roman Emperor Constantine I. Constantine is said to have freed Saint Nicholas from prison after he had been placed there by the preceding Emperor Diocletian.

Many stories about his life have made St Nicholas one of the most popular and celebrated of Christian saints. He is the patron saint of children, coopers, sailors, fishermen, merchants, broadcasters, the falsely accused, students repentant thieves, brewers, pharmacists, archers, pawnbrokers, unmarried people, Russia, Greece, Liverpool, Moscow and Amsterdam and many other places. St Nicholas is one of the most popular names for churches in the Croatian diaspora.

It is the secret giving of gifts that lies at St Nicholas's inspiration for Father Christmas, indeed the name Santa Claus is partially derived from Sinterklaas, Nicholas's name in Dutch. This reputation comes from one of the most consistently repeated tales about Nicholas's life.

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The Three Legends of St Nicholas by Gerard David, painted sometime in the 1450s. The picture shows St Nicholas anonymously leaving dowry money for the sleeping sisters.

It is said that Nicholas heard of a formerly wealthy devout man who had lost his money and could no longer afford dowries for his three daughters. This meant that they would remain unmarried and probably be forced into prostitution. Nicholas decided to help them and went to the house at night. He reached in and anonymously left a purse filled with gold coins, a dowry for the first daughter. After her wedding, Nicholas repeated his secret generosity for the next two sisters. In some tellings, Nicholas was discovered by the girls' father on his third visit and Nicholas told him he must remain silent about the identity of the gift giver. The story is so unique and so often retold, many historians believe that it must stem from some truth.

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St Nicholas Day in Komiza, Vis island © TZ Komiza

As the patron saint of fishermen and sailors, St Nicholas Day in Croatia is marked in some very distinct ways at different points on the coast. In the fishing village of Komiza, on Vis island, when a boat is in line with its Church of St Nicholas, sailors doff their hats, greet the saint, and pray, “Saint Nicholas help us with our voyage and fishing.” His statue is removed from the church on 6 December, St Nicholas Day in Croatia and leads a procession around the village. An old boat is set alight and burned as an offering.

sveti-nikola-baska-voda66.jpgThe statue of St Nicholas in Baska Voda sits next to the harbour. St Nicholas blesses all those who arrive or depart by boat © TZ Baska Voda

In Baška Voda, the impressive statue of Saint Nicholas sits by the waterside in the town centre, looking out to sea, his hand raised as he blesses all who visit and depart from Baška Voda by boat. Town residents gather by the statue on St Nicholas Day in Croatia.

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St Nicholas Day in Stari grad, Hvar Island © Vedran Janic

In Stari Grad on Hvar island, it's the eve of St Nicholas Day in Croatia which is the focus. They burn an old boat that night and, following a Mass for children, adult attendees throw apples down to the children from the choir gallery upstairs.

These days, the gift-giving of St Nicholas Day in Croatia is a token affair, marking tradition. But, in regards specifically to the exchanging of presents, St Nicholas Day in Croatia used to be the main event – Christmas Day was free of gift-giving, reserved as a day to mark the birth of Jesus Christ. Perhaps Christmas was better celebrated in this traditional way? Still, few kids in Croatia will complain about receiving gifts twice in the month of December.

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