Why Split?: Five Interesting Foreigners Discuss Why they Chose Split as their Home

Daniela Rogulj

As part of the program for Flower of Split, five foreigners discussed why they chose the city of Diocletian for their permanent address.

Flower of Split kicked off this week in celebration of the women of Split. Last night’s program hosted five fabulous foreign women at the Split City Museum to discuss essentially, why Split?

Tania Blažević from Australia, Elsie Angeles Novaković from the Philippines, Maude Lasić Favreu from France, Yulia Umnova Kelam from Russia, and Alenna Lepetić Škifić from the US were the focus of the second evening of the event which is organized by the Association “Naš kvart”. The moderator of the event was Ilija Radić, and the Australian Women’s Choir opened the gathering with song.

Under the theme “Splitske furešte” (Foreigners of Split) and in the stunning setting of the Split City Museum, the discussion began with the question “why Split?”. While some of the women are tied to Croatian heritage, others were not, and each story held its own promising tale of why they would not want to be anywhere else.  

While everyone agreed that they were impressed by the sea, the culture, nature, the historical heritage, the family aspect, and how warm and open the people are, there were other perks to living here many of us may take for granted….

For instance, Tania Blažević was reminded of her life in Australia and how she would travel hundreds of kilometers just to get to work each day. 

Alenna Lepetić Škifić from the US was in awe at how safe the city is, and how children can walk to school at such a young age without the need to worry, much unlike in the United States.

Yulia Umnova Kelam had no problem replacing the biting cold in Moscow with the much warmer climate of Split and is proud that her children speak with the proper Split dialect. She also praised the gastronomy of the city and said that she enjoys fish and seafood often.

Others, such as Maude Lasić Favre, knew nothing about Split before she came here other than that her mother had heard of the popular football club Hajduk. She has been in the city 13 years, has found love and is here to stay. Her Croatian is nearly perfect, too.

Elsie Angeles Novaković from the Philippines said she would use the words “kava” and “friendship” to describe Split – and that one of her first coffee dates with friends lasted hours! After finding love in Split much like Lasić Favre, Novaković teaches dance and is a humanitarian raising awareness for Down syndrome. To the enjoyment of the crowd, Novaković was asked questions in English, and surprised everyone with speaking in Croatian – bravo!

So, what were some of the hardest adjustments to Split?

“Bura!” and “The language was really hard to learn!” were some of the downsides, although we think the majority of people here would agree – the Bura can be a little harsh. Blažević from Australia had to trade bare feet for slippers after she shocked the town one day with her naked feet, and Škifić still proudly wears sandals in the spring, despite the constant looks of disbelief on the Riva.

All in all, this group of women unanimously decided that Split was the place for them. And while we see so many people fleeing from Croatia in hope of something better, it’s certainly special to see those that have traveled to Split from near and far to make a better life for themselves in what we know as the most beautiful city in the world.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment