The Calm After The Croatian Media Storm

This is usually a blog about “Tackling Mommyhood”, but I’m going to derail again today and talk about something not related to mommyhood. Why, you ask?

Because this happened: http://www.tportal.hr/vijesti/svijet/293845/Americka-Hrvatica-s-obitelji-pobjegla-iz-pradomovine.html

…. and this: http://www.index.hr/black/clanak/crna-slika-korumpirane-i-siromasne-hrvatske-quotto-je-bijedno-to-je-neljudski-to-je-neciviliziranoquot/707415.aspx

…. and this: http://www.jutarnji.hr/-hrvatska-je-predivna-ali-cijela-odise-korupcijom—ispovijest-majke-troje-djece-koja-se-odlucila-vratiti-u-ameriku/1134728/

…. and this: http://www.vecernji.hr/hrvatska/evo-zasto-je-americka-hrvatica-pobjegla-iz-domovine-u-sad-631184

…. and the list can go on….

In case you don’t speak Croatian, let me break it down for you. Several major Croatian news sites decided to translate my blog post, Why I Choose Life In America and publish it on their respective front pages two weeks ago. The posts went viral on Facebook; people discussed it on their personal blogs; some news portals in neighboring countries even decided to post it on their news sites. As a blog writer, one would think that I was probably bursting with joy (the traffic to this site the past two weeks has been off the charts). However, instead of popping open a bottle of Moet, I wanted to make like an ostrich and bury my head in the sand.

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For every person who applauded my bravery for bringing the truth of the state of the nation to light, there was someone else who was enraged that I would “defame” and “shame” Croatia in the “international community” the way that I did. After reading all the overwhelming comments and combing through the hundreds of private messages, I feel the need to write this follow up post to clarify a few things.

First, it was never my intention for my little post on my little personal blog to become national news in another country. I am just a person who was simply sharing my thoughts and emotions of the moment, and I did not expect my thoughts and emotions to spread like a wild fire and evoke such disappointment, anger and hatred from some people.

That being said, I am not sorry for what I wrote. I stand behind every word. I am sorry, though, if someone was offended by my perception of the truth. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, though – that is a human being’s basic right. You have to understand that although my heritage is Croatian, I was born and raised in America, where citizens are not vilified for expressing their opinions about the government, the people, and the way of life. We are not taught to be quiet and accept the negative doings of our government, our people and our society. In fact, the opposite is true – we are actually encouraged to discuss such topics because without discussion, change would never take place.

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The Croatian media discuss the corruption and lackluster economy in Croatia on a daily basis. Why, then, am I not allowed to do so? I am someone who lived that corruption and who lived that lackluster economy for five years. If anyone has a right to talk about those things, it is me! I don’t understand why someone would be offended about me talking about my experiences and my view of the truth, especially if most of us can agree that this is the truth that we all hold to be true! My post would not have been front page news if it was not the truth.

To be clear: I have never said that I don’t love Croatia – I just don’t love the way Croatia operates. For instance, in that now infamous post when I discussed corruption and bribery, I did not state that every doctor or every policeman or every professor takes bribes in Croatia. No one can make such an absolute statement. I was simply stating that it DOES happen, much more often than it should and much more often than it does in a country like America where such bribery is practically unheard of.

I still love the Croatian culture, the beauty of the land, and the hopes of what could be that encompass you when you are swimming in the gorgeous waters under the intoxicating sun. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I do know that Croatia has a long way to go in order to get to where it needs to be. Most, if not everyone, can agree with that statement. I do have my opinions on how Croatia can get to where it needs to be, and I hope to share that in another post soon. In the meantime, for the things that we cannot agree on, we will just have to agree to disagree.

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” – Albert Einsten

 

20 thoughts on “The Calm After The Croatian Media Storm

  1. Mario

    No one said you were not allowed to discuss corruption or the politics in Croatia.
    I really don’t know why you wasted your time with writing three paragraphs about that?
    You did not state “every police officer” or “every professor” but it definitely came over like that to most people.

    It makes you look very American & narrow minded if you say “I am used to state my opinion in America about the politics/goverment”. With that statement, you make Croatia look like Russia, people are allowed (and they also do) to discuss topics about government/politics.
    And that’s your general problem about writing…

    Maybe you should stick to your “Mommy stories” because you are not capable to write about a political/economical situation of a country. It just seems that you completely blame Croatia for not making it here.

    Talking negatively about Croatia’s economical & social situation and coming from a country like America makes you look pretty stupid. Seriously, you should also write a post about how bad the system in America (especially the social system – people without health insurance, crime, huge poverty, government shutdown etc.). Source: I used to live in south FL

    I think with the statement at the end of your last post “god bless America” you made a fool of yourself and gave yourself an image of an narrow minded American typicall “Texas-Yiiihaa” person.

    You should have learned from your previous “media shit storm” you earned (with reason), but apparently you didn’t.

    Reply
    1. TK

      Hey Mario, if you have such an opposing view then why are you still trolling her blog? Blogs sometimes have opinions we don’t agree with and when that happens I don’t read them.

      You’re never going to agree that’s she’s right anymore than she’s ever going to agree that she’s wrong in her opinion. Get over it.

      Reply
    2. Tackling Mommyhood Post author

      Oh Mario, you just don’t get it, do you?

      For the record, I did have it “made” in Croatia (at least by Croatian standards). That is insignificant, though, because regardless of my personal situation, what I wrote is a general reflection of the way of life that affects everyone from Prime Minister Milanovic to those in the Roma communities. It is unwise to assume that someone would write those words because they couldn’t figure out how to “make it work” in Croatia. Croatia’s tycoon Todoric or Minister Linic could have written what I wrote, and it would still stand true.

      Reply
  2. Natasha

    I think it was very brave of you to write about Croatia and I saw nothing wrong with your post. Infact I resonated with it. I grew up in many different places and two of them were Nigeria and India where bribery is rife. In many ways it makes life easier, you could get things done faster and the way you wanted. But I’d still choose to live in a country that doesn’t run like that. And that’s okay too. What happened to freedom of speech and all that? I think you should continue being your open honest self, whatever it is about. I’m sure if you came across some injustice in America, you’d write your views on that as well. The sad fact is that not everyone wants to hear the truth about the country they love and live in (even if it is infact all the things you said).

    Reply
    1. Branko Lovrek

      Natasha, first class post, I agree with you 100%! And I am fed up with some of my CRO compatriots constantly preaching about how Mila is wrong.

      Grow up, people, and face the reality in Croatia! The country is ruined, and we, the people allowed that to happen.

      Reply
      1. natasham

        Thanks Branko. People do need to start being realistic and doing something about it. It’s like that comic (circulating on facebook recently) where you see everyone littering and then wandering why their country is so dirty!?

        Reply
  3. Marina

    Mario – if you are really trying to make a viable point and argue the opposite i.e desiring Mila to better present her point based on facts (as we all see that is what you are trying to say), you cannot contradict yourself! You are seeming to be exactly what you are perceiving Mila to be calling her statements or even her “very American” or “narrow minded” ….or your “yihaa” moments making judgments on people from Texas, etc….all future comments you post will lose meaning.

    Reply
  4. Jure

    Mila, I don’t know what else to say but great job letting it all out.Problem is that many Croatians don’t say what is really going on. Why? Probably because they are the ones who are using the system to get ahead. I have no idea how many registered politicians there are in Croatia without any college. Yet, they are the ones pulling all the strings. Unlike you I am not blaming the govt, I am blaming people just like that guy above Mario. Extremely close minded and judgmental. You see for Croatians it is funny when a moron is sent to speak in euro parliament like Ingrid A. and don’t know a word of english. So how can someone expect to see Croatia as country in a serious manner.

    Many Croatians, myself included have red Mila’s post and I don’t see where she would be wrong. Don’t think for a second all of us overseas are not thinking one day to come back to Croatia. But at this time and with politics that are governing there, there is no hope. Unfortunately, in this entire bad situation we will be ok here in the US, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Canada, etc. but the folks at home are in hardship.

    Rest assured Mario and others that almost all of us living overseas as Croatians share her opinion. It is just that nobody ever bothers to write about it because there is no use or any change. All you get is negativity and “I am the best in the world” attitude from the locals. Well, I am 100% Croatians and I can tell you that as a nations we have much to learn. There are 4.5 mil Croats in Croatia and about 3.5 mil living outside Croatia – so maybe you should hear Mila’s voice and let it sink in. We all know what is going on and we do want change because our families still live there. In all reality, we are the people that teach others about Croatia and its beauty. We are the ones who will ultimately recommend and bring new business to Croatia and help it grow.

    I would like to say that I miss Croatia and all its beauty. I love it because it is my country and where I grew up. But as far as politics and a hardcore dumbos that never saw the world further that 10km from where they were born – it is tough to explain. In fact, we should not explain it – just move from their path because you CAN’T fix stupid. Pretty soon it will go in desperation mode (probably already there), and it will not go back quickly. All the people that mean anything or have brains are out of there already.

    I don’t really mind some people talking negatively about US. That is a given, it is hard here as well but you can make ti if you really have knowledge and know how. As far as people like Mario talking about Texas (narrow minded American typicall “Texas-Yiiihaa” person). Texas can teach you many things about government, nice friendly people and the way of life. That exact part what you don’t see or allowing yourself to see. As far as me personally, I think Texas is the best place in the world to live and I am saying that based on policies and opportunities that are provided for you on a local government level.

    So to conclude this long comment with given fact. Croatia as a country is losing people like myself and others on a daily basis. By that I don’t mean we don’t love the country anymore, I mean in a way that interest is not there anymore. Because of people named above, for us there is no valuable asset to invest in over long run if the situation is like this. Some of us here that work for major corporations recommend Croatia as a country, but follow up is always there after. “Croatia is a great country to visit, but not like it used to be – it is corrupt now!” So from my perspective, Mila is right and if you are close minded and “know it all” give her all negativity you want through blog (that is why article is written), but if you understand her and other alike that live overseas as Croatians – you should be worried because it is OUR true voice. And I know most of you guys are great, it is just a rotten few bad apples. Unfortunately, those apples are running the country.

    Reply
  5. Antonija Burazer

    Dear Mila, it’s nice to read this text. This conclusion was missing in your last blog .. It’s nice to know that you still love us! We look forward to you whenever you choose to come here, even just for a visit! :)

    Reply
  6. ratko

    In Croatia we also call this freedom of speech. We are commenting on her comments. And her article was posted in 3 major daily newspapers here in Croatia. So there you go with “why can’t I discuss topics about goverment.

    With my 7500kn (incl osiguranje not like many Americans) and my own apartment I am having a good life. And no I am not a criminal! Not EVERYTHING & EVERYONE IS RUINED in Croatia – like you said.

    Don’t blame the people that wrote that negative comments on your last post, blame your writing for that.

    Reply
    1. to ratko

      Heh, ratko, you can’t resist telling more about you and your success?! Gee, we in HR should crown you as a next president. I am sure you’ll volunteer your services for free in Hr so ppl can get to know you better before you take on this role. That would top your career so you can become the UN president. Than the planet Earth will be too small for you.

      Reply
  7. Matt

    Mila, I stumbled upon your original blog post by accident and I have to say the comments have kept me entertained for some time now. I find it absolutely puzzling that this was a major news story in Croatia and even more puzzled by how much outrage your comments caused. You must have hit one serious nerve there. Imagine if we got bent out of shape every time someone said something negative about America :) Anyway, I just saw this follow up post and I have to say that you pretty much summed up what I’ve been trying to explain to people on the other comment board. In either case, if you are now officially banned from Croatia and can’t go vacation there you’re welcome to Massachusetts. Cape is pretty nice too :)

    Reply
    1. Amanda

      @ratko:
      It is not about you, nor about your salary, dear man… It is not everything about you. Not many people earn your level salary.
      Go to the north, to the south, to Zagora and see how many uneducated and unemployed people live in Croatia, with no ambition, no initiative and no will to change for better. Poor standard of living, poor general culture, poorly educated… Taking money from their partents

      Not everything and everyone is ruined, but a lot is, indeed.
      And we have just our great Croatian people to thank for it – actually ourselves…Not Americans to blame..
      And certanly not Mila.

      And just to resume:
      for info: Croatia has 30% lower success rate in curing cancer – comparing to USA; talking about poor American`s health care system…

      I have a feeling that many Croats have been watching too many Michael Moore`s documentaries and never actually visited USA, never got out of their village, never, ever even met a single American person, not to mention actually living there for a while. To get the real taste of the USA.
      But they have no problem in judgung them and their lifestyle, at all.

      Reply
  8. anita

    Good job ,girl!!And I cant understand why ppl get upset in one way in the other way is they don’t want t change and I think it is easier to look thru pink glasses …and you didn’t even go far with this, it is amazing how in Cro ppl get killed in car crashes everyday an no one gets punished ugh I have some really good stories that can make me cry and mad ad sad…you are amazing writer this was you opinion and if someone doesn’t like it oh well they don’t have to read

    Reply
  9. Sara

    A kaj nisi rekla kakvo imas osiguranje i koliko ima miliona gladnih u americi. I live in the US as well and let me tell you one thing… let it burn in hell. Maybe a mommy like you does not hang around certain people here in the states. Trust me when i say corruption is everywhere just a little more sophisticated. You spent 5 years of your life in Croatia and where exactly did you study politics? In your kitchen while you made a tuna sandwich? Give me a fucking break. Pick up a book and learn a thing or two about a country you call your heritage. You are NOT a Croatian and never will. be.

    Reply
    1. Sara, sara, sara...

      Jesus, or Isuse. Dao Bog da se takvi kao ti nikad ne vrate…Thank God you and the rest like you never go back to where they come from…No more words to spend…

      Reply
    2. Mia

      You’re a sad person Sara. If you don’t like the US and you think it should “burn in hell” then leave. Who is stopping you? Did someone force you to live here? Who made you so high and mighty? The author simply shared her opinion based on HER experience in Croatia. She didn’t insult you or anyone else personally and with that alone she has way more class than you will ever come close to having.

      Reply
  10. covik u Chicagu

    I was one of the people who heard about this article through the Croatian media. Croats complain about their country, so it’s no big deal for you to criticize it as well. My view is that the media in Croatia consciously promotes apathy and negativity in order to keep the circle going. Just look at how people have been branded fascists by the media for voting down gay marriage! The progressive media everywhere, not just in Croatia, promotes degeneracy and de-nationalization of all European nations and is constantly on the lookout for ammunition to support its agenda. So when a US-born, Croatian girl blogs about why she doesn’t want to live in Croatia, it gives the vultures something on which to feed.
    On the flip-side, a friend of mine who is also US-born but now lives in Croatia with his three kids was home for Thanksgiving. He feels the opposite of you and doesn’t want his kids raised in the US for various reasons. I can guarantee you if someone wrote an article from his point of view you would never hear about it in Croatian news because it’s not in line with the agenda. I think this is why you received so many negative comments. With that said, good luck and Sretan Bozic.

    Reply

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