Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Up with Geography: Croatia

Country Name:




European continent. Croatia outlined in dark ink
& shaded.

A close-up of Croatia & its neighbors. I included the island
of Brac so you'll have an idea what the headline is talking about.

Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro

Water Borders:
Adriatic Sea

Total Area:
21,851 square miles

Five Largest Cities:
Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek, Zadar

Famous Geographical Point:
Plitvice Lakes National Park

Famous Person:
Leopold Ruzicka, 1939 recipient of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry*

Book Set In/About:
Cafe Europa: Life After Communism by Slavenka Drakulic

In this series of short essays by journalist and noted author Drakulic, she explores life in Eastern Europe after the fall of Communism.

Movie Set In/About:
"Tito i ja (Tito and Me)" (1992), directed by Goran Markovic

Set in Yugoslavia during the 1950s (Croatia was a part of Yugoslavia at that time), a young boy innocently admires the president, Josip Broz Tito (who had an oppressive regime), bringing him into conflict with the adults around him.

Headline of the Day:
"Finally! A Helicopter Service for Croatia Based on Brac for 2017" in Total Croatia News.

*For the Balkans, where ethnicity is complex and important, choosing a famous Croat was a thornier issue than I anticipated. For example, Nikola Tesla was born and raised in what is now Croatia, but, so far as I can tell, isn't considered Croat because his family was Serbian. Similarly, the composer Joseph Haydn is (controversially apparently) considered Croat even though he was born and raised in Austria. Typically, I like to choose someone who was born and raised to adulthood in that country. Mr. Ruzicka was ethnically Croat AND born there, but may have left before the age of 18 (Wikipedia was unclear on that matter). I decided to go with him anyway.


Patricia said...

Oh, those tricky Balkins!

Side note: four guys from Stanford walked by in khaki pants (except for one who was wearing red pants) fancy polos and navy jackets. Golf team maybe? Lacrosse? They were very blond and BMOC looking, but not in a football way.

I continue to marvel at the countries that are smaller than mid-size states in the US, yet have all sorts of very firm regional/national preferences etc. What if we had such srong feelings about people from Montana? Or Montana had it's own currency?

balyien said...

It's really hard for me to wrap my mind around this ethnicity thing in the Balkans. As an outsider, they all look very similar to me. I don't mean to downplay it. I think it's just difficult for this white American mutt to understand. It would be interesting to have a conversation with someone from the Balkans about it.

Re: Stanford guys. Debate team, perhaps?