There is a small but very encouraging trend on the island of Hvar – young people who have decided that they want to move from the mainland to the island, establish a life here and contribute to island life in a positive way.
My overall experience of these people is that they are passionate, dedicated and creative, and their determination tends to pay off. If it hard not to be enthused by the infectious personality of Irena Doric, for example, who is coming to the end of her first year of full-time living on Hvar.
I first came into contact with Irena this summer, as she was the organiser of the excellent inaugural Etno Hvar Festival in Humac (see the video report from Hvar TV below). But that is not the only thing that has been occupying Irena during her first year. And if you think that life in winter in boring on Hvar, read Irena’s first blog for Total Hvar below.
Irena kindly invited me on a trip to Brussels next week (read more below), which I can’t make due to other commitments, but it is one more example of her energy and determination to improve things on Hvar. A few more like her…
Thanks for the blog, Irena, as well as this summer’s festival and all the other initiatives you are working on. Have fun in Brussels.
Life after summer? What a silly question!
More precisely, the question that goes on and on for the last year since I moved in Jelsa would be; how do you survive winter on the island?
Surviving???You mean, enjoying?
You have probably heard very often that when you put effort to clear out who you are, things are going in that direction…well that is absolutely true. Go with the flow and all kind o strange things happen
So here I am, a year or so after. Dead? Quite the opposite, I am more alive more than ever. Bored? I have done more good stuff than ever before. Happy? Absolutely, but I admit that has something to do with love. Healthy? Vegetables were never so delicious, and a glass of red Ambroz Plavac after lunch made my thoughts finally stop for that precious afternoon break…
To be honest, a few years ago I would be more on the Tin Ujević ferry on the way to the mainland than here to the island, since youth is all about exploring limits, and here there are quite a few limits to explore in that age. But luckily I am not so young any more. I get to find out all the gooood things in life, and all of them are here, on Hvar.
After seeing quite a lot of a world, gorgeous Jelsa is a natural choice. Pure hedonism made of all the senses. In winter time you can see around those old black&white photos in real time. You can hear youngsters playing on the street and in the mud, spontaneous songs by locals inside a bar, the sound of a direct bura kicking off into every little street in the place, the tenacious morning rooster from the next village, and the village next to that…a voice of a past time that is still present in so few places on Earth.
So, the real question may be: Does the island gives you everything you want? Oh Yes, yes it does.
The thing is, even when it is not so perfect, to put all that lazy energy inside to find the good in something . There are always bad things around, that’s easiest way. When I found a good thing, then all the magic starts to happen. After a while, there are really less and less „bad ones“ around. Or that may not be coincidence…
Talking about coincidence, probably thats the reason why I am travelling to Brussels this
Not just me, 9 more people from Hvar and 20 more people from 8 different Croatian islands! Well, let’s go one step before…in the magical Humac village this year in June the first Etno Hvar Festival took place. There was a lot of time and energy invested to make that magic happen, and it actually came true. People liked it. It meant something. It will stay forever, and it may even happen again.
European Parliament member from Croatia, Davor Škrlec (ORaH) also liked what people from Hvar presented that day in Humac. And that’s why this Monday 10 people from our island who are working on sustainable development will be on the way to Brussels to a conference: European Week of Regions and Cities (Open Days 2015). We will be also part of the conference in the European Parliament “The tradition of suppression of corruption in Croatia”, presented by prof. dr. sc. Željko Radić, dekan, from the Law Faculty in Splt, and doc. dr. sc. Tomislav Galović, from the Philosophy Faculty in Zagreb, and activist Zorislav Antun Petrović.
Representatives of 8 Croatian islands will attend the conference in the European Parliament! Wooow! That is something! But the most important thing in our trip is networking. After this EU excursion, 8 Croatian island will be closer than ever. And we will definitely take our chance and use that opportunity. We need each other. We need to bring up some „good ones“ around so we can make them real.
Etno Hvar festival and Brussels are not the only thing which happened in my first year. Udruga Održivi otok / Sustainable island association found some interesting funds and applied for some of them – and the association has been selected for 2 of them by now. Over the next two months projects supported by Zaklada Kajo Dadić „Naš doprinos zajednici“ and MRRFEU „Potpora otocima“ will result in 2 projects going on around the island and bring 23.000kn that will be spent here on island, during the winter time. The first one is „Hvarski puti“ that will start with a presentation in Vijećnica, Općinski dom, Jelsa 17.10. at 11:00 in the morning. The other one „Mladi za otok, otok za mlade“, will be in Velo Grablje in November, and will get together 15 people from 5 Croatians islands with a goal to create platform of comunication between active associations on Croatian islands.
I think thik this was enough for a first year to give back something to Jelsa for her loveliness, and I cannot wait to give some more. It feels great.
Irena Dorić, Udruga Održivi otok
Born in Split, but raised by Medići village freedom and beauty. Jelsa was love at first sight, at the age 15. About the same age, with the first years of independence, the islands of Dalmatia become my new home, together with music festivals. Education: changing every 10 years. Last one was economist, now I want to get my hands dirty in the kitchen. I fell in love in Jelsa a second time when i found the nicest boy in a world here. Now I want to stay here forever and give my best to keep it interesting day by day.