Learn the 10 Commandments of Dalmatia… and Zagorje

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March 21, 2019 – A little Croatian humour looking at some regional stereotypes – do you know the 10 commandments of Dalmatia and Zagorje?

I heard a joke in the pub in Germany a few years ago that made me laugh out loud.I heard a joke in the pub in Germany a few years ago that made me laugh out loud.

“What is the most precious and rarest liquid in the world?”

“Dalmatian sweat.”

Which leads, of course, to stereotypes – are Dalmatians really lazy?

As I explained in an article on the subject 4 years ago (Are Dalmatians Really Lazy?), some of the hard-working people I have ever met are Dalmatian. As are some of the laziest.

But stereotypes are stereotypes, and they are often best reflected with humour. I realised this morning that in all my 8 years of writing about Dalmatia, I have never published the 10 Dalmatian Commandments. Author unknown and available in various places online, including Romwell.

10 Dalmatian Commandments 

’10 Dalmatinskih Zapovjedi’

1. Covik se rodi umoran i zivi da se odmori.

Man is born exhausted and lives to rest.

2. Jubi posteju svoju ka samoga sebe.

Love thy bed as thyself.

3. Odmaraj se danju da nocu mozes spavati.

Rest during the day that you may sleep well at night.

4. Ne radi, rad ubija.

Do nothing, work kills.

5. Kad vidis nekoga da se odmara, pomozi mu.

When you see someone resting, help them.

6. Ne cini danas ono sto mozes sutra.

Do not do today what you can do tomorrow.

7. Radi manje nego mozes, a ono sto mozes prebaci na drugoga.

Work less than you can, and re-delegate everything you can.

8. U ladu je spas, od odmaranja niko nije umra.

Salvation is in a shade, nobody dies resting.

9. Rad donosi bolest, ne umri mlad.

Work brings infirmity, do not die young.

10. Kad pozelis radit, sidi, pricekaj, vidit ces da ce te proc.

When you feel like working, just wait a bit, it will pass.

author unknown

And it is not just Dalmatia which has its own 10 commandments, as I discovered when I moved north to Varazdin County a couple of years ago, where I learned the Zagorje Commandments. Over a gemist or three, of course.


10 Zagorje Commandments

10 Zagorskih Zapovedi’

1. Tuzi bliznjeg suseda da on ne bi tebe.  

Sue thy nearest neighbor, lest he sue you.

2. Ak’ susedu crkne krava, ti moras ubit dve da bi bil bolji od njega.  

If thy neighbor’s cow dies, kill two of yours that you may outdo him.

3. Sto cesce podvaljuj pajdasu svomu, nek mu se smije cela birtija.  

Whoever cheats his pal, may the whole tavern cheer him.

4. Klet ti je jedina crkva gde se spominjes imena boga svoga uzalud. 

 A curse is the only church where saying your Lord’s name falls on deaf ears.

5. Treniraj s’aki dan sto vise da bi se uspel vise put na dan napit i: otreznit. 

Practice more often every day that you may all the more frequently drink and sober up.

6. Tvoje je vino najboije u celom Zagorju.  YOUR wine is the best in all of Zagorje.

7. Ljubi trseka svoga i kumu Baru ispod njega vise neg samog sebe.  

Love thy vineyard and thy barrel more than thyself.

8. S’aki Zagorec mora bit dobar pajdas, muzikas i trinkas.  

Every Zagorec must be a good buddy, a good singer, and a good drinker.

9. Seti se covek da je Zagorec najpametnejsi na svetu i nema  pametnijeg: od njega.  

Remember that the Zagorec is the smartest in the world and that none are smarter than he is.

10. Nikad nemoj priznat da si Zagorec, jer buju sve odmah znali o tebi.  

Never admit to being a Zagorec, for they will immediately know all about you.

author unknown


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