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A Separate Part

By Jane Wiseman


is a beautiful country and during my visit there I was pleasantly surprised to find a minimal amount of transnational influence. Although the entire country could easily be characterized as rather isolated from surrounding influence, I would say that Dubrovnik especially has the vernacular side to it that I have rarely encountered in a city. From the small “OldTown” section of town to the main port area, I saw, almost exclusively, the vernacular Croatia rather than a transnational space.
Perhaps this is because Croatia is still recovering from the war in 1991 and the people are more interested in sustaining their livelihood rather than investing in extraneous items (such as designer clothes). It was a nice change of pace to be in a place that thrives on tourism, and yet doesn’t require the huge billboards and ads that I found in many of the other big cities we visited during our voyage. Although, as a visitor to Croatia, the lack of advertisements was simply a positive aspect of my visit, I tried to look beyond the obvious as think about why Croatia has such a lack of transnational influence. Perhaps the war itself, resulting in deaths and emotional destruction of the Croatian population, has deterred the country from readily accepting transnational influence of other countries. Other countries that had a hand in the war against Croatia. In Irena Plekic’s article “Fear, Death, and Resistance” she talks about what influences people who have been affected by war. This relates to how the people of Croatia are simply trying to maintain their standard of living and are not preoccupied with transnational frivolity.
                Although I was able to visit Croatia because of a transnational voyage of discovery and Croatia does have a huge tourism market, the country has somehow managed to stay relatively unaffected by transnational influences. The Croatians have been able to keep their vernacular identity separate from transnational influences, even those that they count on the keep their economy going. Croatia is definitely on the transnational map, however it has managed to keep itself fairly separate from the transnational aspects that one encounters in most cities.

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