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Monday, 5 April 2010

Traditional Croatian Folk Costumes & Agriculture....Who Says They Have To Be Boring?







 Being a farmer never looked so good and popular.





I came across this site in Croatia a long time ago. It's the internet site of seljaci.org. ("seljaci" is plural form of "seljak" and pronounced "sel-yatzi/sel-yak", a seljak in Croatian simply means a farmer//country dweller/peasant or just anyone living in rural areas and not in the city). Anyway, the site deals with agricultural topics in Croatia, i.e: farming, tractors, gardening, crops, weather forecasts, farming trends and technology, health, pesticides, fertilizers, all that kind of agricultural stuff. Things that if you are not employed in the agricultural sector or a farmer, would probably seem at first very dry and boring. (because most people just want to stuff their cakeholes with the burgers, fries and things stuffed with mushrooms, bacon and cheese etc, they don't usually care or know about how it got on their paper plate or wrapped in their waxed paper). But au contraire, it doesn't have to be that way it seems....

.....After all, personally speaking and being that my parents were born and raised in the country, I was privy to many stories and first hand happenings from my parents' and relatives'  time growing up in the country. Believe me, it was not so boring or uneventful or ho-hum as perhaps thought. They may have not spent time hanging around coffee shops, malls or just driving around and around or sitting around watching stupid sitcoms with a fresh 7-11 slurpee..., but they spent their spare time doing much more interesting and hmmmm?..."satisfying" fun and interesting things. You know, after the corn shucking, chicken feeding, cow milking etc. After all, they lived in the country and not in a monastery or convent, they weren't Amish or Mennonite either, they also had access to some of the best homemade Croatian rakija/šljivovica/vino (whiskeys/brandy/wines etc) which they also helped make from scratch and better than many store bought bottles. It wasn't farming or farm chores 24 hours a day, and they could drink more than just milk and water all the time.




"I'll have some butter on my freshly shucked corn please", you can visit the Official website HERE.




The article explains that the people at the website have for the past few years now held photo competitions where every year a calendar is produced and a new "Miss" is chosen for the year. (Djevojka godina). The photos are of very good looking females from the area, and even from other parts of Croatia who are interested in being chosen as the next "Miss of the Year". The photos show them doing mundane kinds of tasks, tasks that maybe your parents or grandparents may have had to do when they were younger.




 This is just some annoying poser in a corn on the cob costume. He won't be in the calendar, I promise.




Former Croatian and European boxing Champion and Golden Gloves winner Željko Mavrović, is a spokesperson for the agriculture industry these days, and has taken a keen interest in the future of Croatian agricultural issues because he knows that they don't get the respect and funding that the agriculture sector deserves. He understands that farmers/farming and agriculture play a very big and important part in a country's' economy, culture and future. After all, where do you think those fruits and vegetables on your plate come from? They don't come from the frozen-peas and carrots fairy or out of the ground already pre-packaged with a sale sticker and price tag on it. And of course pork chops and steaks don't fall from the sky already wrapped in cellophane or pre-cut into patties, well they might, but I highly doubt it. Which sort of reminds me of some of the time I spent on the farm when in Croatia as a kid, I'll tell you there's nothing like real freshly slaughtered and then fried chicken or the freshly roasted pork dishes, the fresh and I mean fresh eggs, cheeses and milk too, and fresh baked breads also that's for sure, there's no preservatives, artificial flavouring and colours, additives or chemicals so it's just pure good ol' carnivorous omnivore satisfaction. (I also saw my first ever real live snake on that farm, that story can be read HERE)




9 out 10 people and Željko agree, corn and freshly milled flour breads are good for you and Ana Morin is hot.



Like I said and just fyi, Željko Mavrović was the Croatian and European boxing Champion and a Golden Gloves winner as well as a vegetarian for many years while boxing, so he ought to know when it comes to corn, vegetables and the importance of farming.



The new 2007 "Miss" Ana Morin. (photo gallery: www.seljaci.org)




Željko has also started his own business in the agriculture sector- "Eko-Centar Mavrović" and produces his own line of eco-friendly food. The website is in Croatian and if you are interested, you can read more about what Željko and the gang are up to these days, as well as find out more information just in case you are interested in being in the calendar or as the next "Djevojka" of the year. That pretty well sums it up.




When shucking corn, it's very important to have a good grip. (This farming folk costume scene looks way better than lots of stuff I've seen over the years that's for sure)



Behind the scenes from before the photo shoot for the 2007 calendar, because before the photo shoot glory and fame begins the participants, who are mainly city residents, have to show that they know their way around a farm. (because you have to show you know the difference between a cow and a pig, how to feed chickens, ride a tractor, use a pitchfork, milk a cow and gut a pig etc). You are now free to run to the grocery store and go buy some corn and vegetables but remember they didn't fall from the sky already canned and packaged.





Official website: www.seljaci.org

Related: www.facebook.com/seljaci

www.jutarnji.hr

www.monitor.hr

www.index.hr

www.virovitica.net

www.sisak.info

www.vrt.com.hr

www.advance.hr

dalje.com




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