I always have been feeling Croatian. Mom and Dad were Croatian and my older sister has been born there. One hundred percent of my blood is Croatian and my first language is Croatian. I went to school in Spain when I was five knowing nothing about the language. I had to learn from scratch. Everything was strange and uneasy for me.
My Spanish friends took my feelings for Croatia as an offense. I had to be like them. They told me I was a snob that only wanted to make me different from the others. In those years there were no immigrants in my city we were the only ones. This was before the phenomenon of the mass immigration of our days.
So I stopped talking about my origins (which were obvious in my name and surname) and I only vented my soul in my poems and at home with my parents.
I felt that my house was my homeland because we were exiled and we could not go back to our land to visit our relatives. My parents would go to jail, persecuted how they were by the communists.
I thought I have the right to feel Croatian although I was living in Spain, and I didn’t understand the annoyance of my friends. I love Spain because it is the land that gave us a home away from our home and welcomes us as one of their own. But that not change the fact that I still feel I’m Croatian.
In the background picture the st. Mark’s Church in Zagreb