It’s always good to start with a joke (in Croatian: šala), right? But, when you speak to Croats, or hear them passionately talk about their favorite football club or beloved national team, their coffee (time) or how was the weather yesterday, weather conditions today or the weather forecast for tomorrow, there is nothing funny about that. Only serious stuff. But, always with a dose of sarcasm that is an essential part of a CRO survival kit.
Nogomet… football clubs and the national team
Croatians live, breathe and love football (in Croatian: nogomet)… cheering for the Croatian national football team or their beloved football club. There’s no calm or middle situation when it comes to Croatians, sports and balls especially. Feelings go from happy, ecstatical and overwhelmed when the team/club is winning to sadness, despair and disappointment when the things don’t go so well. Indifference or something similar doesn’t exist, but the general support is there all the time and that’s something football fans in Croatia really never joke about.
Kava… coffee (time)
Everybody has, or better to say… makes time for coffee (in Croatian: kava) a few times a day, because there is nothing to joke about when it comes to moments for relaxing, laying back, throwing a few gossips and sipping your freshly brewed cup of black coffee. Well, sometimes the beverage is the original black coffee, sometimes with milk (warm or cold), cream or whipped cream, then with or without sugar; long or short version… you name it and you’ll find it in an endless number of Croatian coffee shops, bars and cafes. From all of this you can see why coffee culture is strong and taken seriously in Croatia, so there’s never anything ‘coffee themed’ to joke about, or to say no when you are invited for a coffee break during the day… In the end, an invitation like: Idemo na kavu? (in English: Want to go for a coffee?) can often mean ending up drinking rakija or beer (in Crotian: pivo) on a much longer break. And you don’t want to say no to that, believe me.
Vrijeme… weather forecast/conditions
Once you experience Croatian strong northern wind called bura you get the evidence why Croatians just love to talk about the weather (conditions and forecasts) and take them very seriously. Well, when you plan traveling along the curvy and breathtaking beauty that is an Adriatic coastal road you have to take weather forecast that includes bura… seriously. Vrijeme (in English: weather) is always a topic, no matter if it’s a casual conversation or holiday plans, past events, weekend barbecue, famous Croatian weddings, maybe aching bones or neck pain… the weather has an important role in every story! Or complain about it, because it’s very “unusual” that it’s cold in the winter and hot during the summer.
What would you say, are there any other topics that Croatians never joke about?
Featured image (on top): Welcoming home Croatian national soccer team in 2018 by Nikola Turin