After the war in parts of rural everyone has become more religious, especially the elderly and war veterans. Slavonia was a warzone, especially Eastern Slavonia so war monuments are for people never to forget. I see where you find the humor in joking but you’re in Eastern Slavonia bud, probably the most conservative part of Croatia full of people that have been traumatized by that war. I know so many people in Slavonia that have PTSD and its quite disturbing. To this day anything Serbian is not welcome there and the Serbs that remain are tolerated but with plenty of tension (I’m sure you heard about the cyrillic controversy in Vukovar). Its still sensitive there and I suspect it will be so for a while longer. I know exactly your accent. When I don’t have such a heavy American accent my ‘cleaner’ Croatian comes out as Slavonski (Dakovo area to be exact).