20 April, 2015
Reflections of times gone by
Croatia is a place of old culture, priceless cultural heritage and a top tourist destination, whose guests are often surprised to see how welcoming and kind their hosts are. Why is that so? Because that part of our tourist offer is much too often neglected.
Modern tourists demand and expect a lot from places they visit, and every tourist country should use that opportunity to create their guests’ opinion on the country in its entirety. First-time visitors usually don’t know what to expect, and their first impression is important. This where the people come in – Mediterraneans, welcoming and friendly intellectuals with behind them centuries of art, culture and science, pioneers of tolerance on all levels, cultured men and women with disdain for hate and violence. A little wine, a little oil, just a bit of salt and pepper, but a lot of honesty, says an old Mediterranean adage. Our photographer Ivo Pervan finds Mediterraneans the most interesting subjects of his work. Tall and strong, beautiful in every way and form – that is how his camera sees them and that is what the artist captures: not just physical beauty, be it classical or modern, but the beauty of spirit (often younger than the body), written with times – not always good – gone by. Past rears its head often in these parts, but no matter the problems behind or ahead of them, Mediterraneans, Croats, are always eager to welcome their guests with a smile on their face, opening their doors to every new friend. In these times of tourist booming internationally, it is sad to see Croatian tourism lag behind and the country held hostage by inapt people in high places. Croatia, a full member of the EU, has almost fully transitioned from socialism into capitalism, but is still struggling with using all the resources and know-how of these modern times to steer itself toward brighter future. Still, there is no negative force powerful enough to destroy what’s best about us: the value of the man. Foreigners who visit Croatia are often fascinated by friendliness of the locals, and great ambassadors of our country, changing our image internationally. There are not many who will not fall for the appeal of privacy and freedom to just walk around among friends in these all-too-public times, many of our guests coming from countries far busier, louder and less peaceful than ours. Always optimistic, Croats, typical Mediterraneans, live for the moment and for the future, ready to face whatever life serves them with a smile. Goethe said there were no presents or kindness to replace one single moment of true joy, and here in Croatia we live by that very motto.