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    Is it rather a “Mitteleuropa” country or a “Balkan” country?

    What is Croatian culture rather like?



    Both, as you go through Croatia you can see both, as you interact with people you can see both mentalities, even if interacting with one person.



    This question reminds me the debate whether Cyprus is Europe or Asia. :) 

    The first thing which comes to my mind is Balkans, but then I realise it is not that simple.



    South Slavic Balkan nation 



    Rightful bulgarian clay.



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    >See this article
    >An obvious answer immediately springs to mind.
    >Check the comments above.
    >I’ve been here already.
    >Life repeats itself.



    i would point out as most important three cultural and one political component: balkan, central europe, mediterran + post(socialism). they all participate (not all to same extent and in same matters) in overall mentality that we could call “south slavic” or “yugoslavian”. and what that mentality denotes, the best way to understand is if you look at numbers and data about things like gdp per capita, average sallary, demographic trends, corruption and nepotism index, real estate posession, healthcare, employmnet/unemployment ratio, trust to public state and law institutions etc. and then compare them to western.

    unfortunatelly, i think two most edgy components are prevalent, balkan + postsocialism, just like at all other south european nations, and that is the reason why southeastern europe is peripheral part of europe in any sense.

    that means that our main goal should be transition to western, liberal, free market economy and general state of mind. as we can see, it’s quite difficult and long-term process so, if you ask me, it would be unrealistc to expect any major step forward. there’re always groups in society who enjoy benefits of status quo and therfore tend to keep or, in better option, accept slow, gradual changes (for many too slow and those emigrate to west).

    i would say this: balkan has many advantages compared to average life in west, it is actually nice place to live – but there’s “no room” for everyone.



    >that means that our main goal should be transition to western, liberal, free market economy and general state of mind

    Go pull a horse by its tail. If it kicks you in the nads it should put you in the general state of mind of a western European.



    i don’t understand



    @aaaaa I think most modern Western Europeans would just say “thank you horse” :)



    I’m saying the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.



    It’s tough for us Croats ( especially for you guys living over there) to fully adjust to a western democracy. You haven’t really experienced one in the past ( 50 years of communism, and before that corrupt foreign monarchies, and now a rough transition into a free market for which no one was really prepared). Countries that work as western democracies have an established history of western liberalism ( I mean classical liberalism, not modern socialist-leaning liberalism). In theory the EU is supposed to help with the transition but there is quite the power disparity ( at least economically) between industrial powerhouses like Germany and tiny post war Croatia, to expect to be treated as equals is a bit naive. 

    The main connection that Croats have to the West is the Roman Catholic faith. Being RCs meant that we were always in the orbit of the West even if not fully part of it at times. We have a history of being interlocked with countries that were western or western leaning ( Austria and Hungary in the past) the same is true for Slovenes but not so much for our eastern and southern neighbors. But the West these days isn’t connected through the churches anymore. The division started with the Protestant reformation in western Europe and continues via modern liberalism which is mildly hostile to Christianity( especially traditional Christianity like the Roman Catholic Church) and discourages it promoting a more secular society. 

    As for the answer to the main question I’d say Croatia is somewhere in between what is considered western or central European culture and “Balkan” culture. Our mentality is still largely  “Balkan” as Croats are generally not as liberal as Slovenes but there is a noticeable effort to refine the “Balkaness” , smooth out the edges, and within Croatian culture there is an appreciation for the West not seen in most other “Balkan” cultures.  Western liberal Europeans will always look at us with suspicion as if we have a temper that can ignite at anytime while Balkan neighbors will look at us with caution and curiosity wondering if we are really ‘part of the family.’ Strange place to be, in the middle. 

    Also, if you simply drive through Croatia and some of the countries surrounding it you’ll almost immediately notice a difference between Croatia and our Balkan neighbors in terms of sophisticated infrastructure and cleanliness.  ( especially if you compare Bosnia to Croatia) 



    “Mitteleuropa” and “Südeuropa” more then “Balkan” I think.

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