Finding Solace in Sounds of Croatia

in Stories

“You know a lot of people my age are now on medication to feel good.I think there is a better way”

In the middle of Medjugorje, Croatia, there is a huge river with flowers and vineyards in the surroundings and so when I sing about Machamoriya, I am going back to a happy place. I am proud to be Medjugorjian.

I feel very good when I sing old songs. I have tapes and cd’s and I listen to them many times . 
The reality is that life is very difficult there, so all the young went to Germany and Switzerland.

We use to be A communist country. After the last war between Serbia and Croatia in the 90’s there was suppose to be freedom . 
But everything went privatised. A lot of companies got workers, didn’t pay them wages, went bankrupt because there is no control. It’s a beautiful country.

I got hundreds of relatives there. Uncles, aunties, second cousins, and I came from a big family. I still love to go see them.

When the Russian explosion of radiation happened, Croatia had a lot of white dust on the farms and a lot of people have been dying from cancer since. 
It was roughly 20 years ago. There have been lot of illnesses and young people are dying from strokes and heart-attacks.

Me and my late husband were very young and decided to move to Australia.

Now I volunteer here in a Nursing home. I haven’t worked for so many years and all my kids have grown up. 

I have 13 grandchildren and I use to babysit them all. When the first was born I left my job. Now they are all grown up. 

When I do my cleaning and looking after my house what else am I suppose be doing? I’m not going to sit here feeling sorry for myself ! I just fuck off, go get dressed and go somewhere you know. 

It makes my day. I come here in the nursing home and say hello to people, kisses and hugs and then I help feed the old people a little bit. Sometimes I sing songs to to them. Then I go home and I feel good.

The way I see it is that my mum was back home in Croatia in a nursing home and I couldn’t be there for her. She passed away seven years ago. 

I visited her three times when she was there. But I couldn’t go all the time. So I feel guilty about it. 

And now volunteering in the nursing home helps heal those times I could not be there for my mum.

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