Here’s a question: do you have a habit of attending cultural events (cinema, theatre, museum, gallery, historical site, live performances) at least once a year?
Going to see a film or an exhibition doesn’t sound like a burdening task, right? Not according to 63% of Croats, who make it through a whole year without attending a single event or manifestation in the cultural domain. A survey carried out by Eurostat shows Croatia placed at the bottom of the EU list when it comes to culture, as only 36.6% of surveyed Croats stated they participate in cultural activities at least once a year, reported Novi list on September 18, 2017.
The EU average is twice as big as that percentage in Croatia. Out of 23 surveyed nations, the only ones ranking below Croats are Bulgarians (28.6%) and Macedonians (23.9%). At the top of the list are Iceland with 90% of culture-loving citizens, followed by more than 80% of the population in Switzerland, Denmark and Finland, and more than 70% in the Czech Republic, Germany, France and Luxembourg.
When you take a look at the survey, it turns out Croats care the least about museums, exhibitions or historical sites, as such places get an annual visit from only 19.2% of surveyed Croats. We are followed by Romanians (18.3%), Greeks (16.9%) and Bulgarians (14.6%). Such cultural destinations are visited by two thirds of the population in Sweden, similar as in Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland. More than 50% of citizens visit museums at least once a year in Luxembourg, Great Britain, France and the Czech Republic.
The listed results match the research report published by the Sociology Department at the University of Zadar last year, one that showed more than half of Croatian high school students don’t care about certain aspects of culture whatsoever. Once of the authors of the Croatian research project, Krešimir Krolo Ph.D., stated it’s hard to compare two types of data as they don’t focus on the same age group of participants. However, he confirmed their research pointed to certain possible explanations for embarrassingly poor cultural habits in Croats.
“Such results can be explained by multiple factors. The first is that we don’t have the same economic power as most European countries that are more developed. The second reason is the infrastructure – while bigger Croatian cities have a strong concentration of cultural events, the same is not the case in smaller towns. The third reason has to do with our regard for the importance of culture and cultural activities. We’ve been witnessing a regressive political stance lately, one that resulted in a view of existing cultural activities as inappropriate in the context of a desirable ideology. For example, theatre has been a subject of many discussions and heated political debates recently, and the public was sent a message that a certain type of theatre plays stands in opposition to the ‘national code’, making it too inappropriate to be seen. It’s a sort of enclosure in a simplified version of a cultural identity, one that manifests through results like these”, said Krolo.