main
side
curve
  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Social "International Interview" Thread--All Are Welcome!

Discussion in 'FanForce Community' started by Pensivia, Jun 20, 2016.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Great idea for a thread Pensivia =D= Sign me up, I'm from Greece.

    Darth Nihilon I'm a big fan of your country! I did part of my university studies in Paris (in a previous life) and just this year I spent 5 months there for work again. It's such an extraordinary city; now that I'm back home Athens feels sooooo "province" in comparison -- but then the weather here is much nicer :p

    Revyl Ren I visited Luxembourg briefly back when I was a student in France and it is indeed a lovely country, and very interesting too in that it has similarities with all its neighbours and yet has a distinct flavour of its own. Would you say that Luxembourgers consider yourselves culturally closer to the Germans or to the French (or both, or none)?
     
    Darth Nihilon, Pensivia and panta1978 like this.
  2. Skiara

    Skiara ~• RSA FFC •~ star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Your country is so very beautiful and is having so many different sights. It's fantastic. Btw at that bridge, I think, I was standing and making pics myself like so many other tourists do. If one gets the changes, it's a great place to make city holiday (or how is it called in English?)!!
     
    Pensivia and Revyl Ren like this.
  3. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Welcome, Chyntuck! Great to have you:) . I also was wondering about the same thing you asked Revyl (whether Luxembourgers consider themselves closer to German culture, French culture, or both/neither).

    So it's been about a week, which means that we'll start the next interview soon (after Revyl replies to Chyntuck's question and if anyone else has some last questions for Revyl). Looking at the order of people who volunteered on the first page, I believe that our next interviewee will be Evening Star from Croatia. So everybody "stay tuned" for that to get rolling here in the next couple of days or so!

    Also Skiara... about your question about the term "city holiday"...I can't think of an exact term in American English that we have like that. There is the term "day trip" that we use for when you are taking a short trip by car to someplace in your region (say less than three hours or so away), but not staying overnight there and just returning to your home in the same day. But that doesn't necessarily imply that someone would be going to a city (you could plan a "day trip" to a nature park), so I don't think we have that term. What is the German term you are thinking of? (something like "Stadt-Urlaub" or something? just a guess:p )
     
  4. Revyl Ren

    Revyl Ren Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 12, 2015
    It all depends. Most people will tell you they don't like the "Prussians" (our catch-all name for Germans) , probably because of their repeated invasions, yet those same people have no problem watching german TV channels.
    Others love eating french cuisine and lifestyle, yet bitch and moan about all the french commuters. It all depends, really.

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
     
  5. Skiara

    Skiara ~• RSA FFC •~ star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Pensivia, my problem is that I can't think of the right term in German as well when I write (and think) in English. It's a mess. [face_blush] So, I guess weekend trip for visiting a city is the right term in English. But... wait... Städte trip is it in German. Finally. :p City trip maybe then?

    Revyl Ren, not linking Germans... *sniff* *is sad now*
    (no, not really, I think I know what you mean and that it's historical meant)
     
    Dagobahsystem and Pensivia like this.
  6. Revyl Ren

    Revyl Ren Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Don't worry, I've lived for 8 years in Freiburg im Breisgau. I've nothing against you guys. ;)


    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
     
    Skiara likes this.
  7. Darth Nihilon

    Darth Nihilon Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Jun 5, 2016

    This is very cool! Is it ok to ask what studies you did while in Paris? :) I have always wanted to visit Greece, but have not been able to!
     
    Chyntuck likes this.
  8. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Darth Nihilon I "studied" law in Assas -- first as an Erasmus student in 1994-1995, then a couple of years later again for my master's degree. The quotation marks on "studied" are there to indicate that, especially during my first stay in Paris, I did a lot of being in Paris and not much studying law :p
     
  9. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Hey, everyone...I will be away from the boards for the rest of this week. So we'll start the next interview round with Evening Star sometime this weekend. See you then, and thanks!
     
    Skiara likes this.
  10. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Update: I'm back! Sorry for the delay but it's taken me a bit longer to get back into my regular routine...

    I have PM'ed the questions to our next interviewee, Evening Star from Croatia

    So as soon as she's had a chance to answer, we'll continue with our next round!

    In the meantime, here are a couple of maps showing Croatia's location...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Ewok Poet and panta1978 like this.
  11. Sepra

    Sepra Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 14, 2016
    During the time I lived outside the US there was a marketing campaign for travelers about Croatia with a great tag line, "The Mediterranean as it once was" and I found the pictures in particular delightful. I am so interested in this country!
     
  12. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    While we're waiting for the next round to begin, I wanted to take this opportunity to express my condolences and sorrow to Darth Nihilon for the recent terrible attack in Nice. Words can't really cover it, of course.:(:(:( I sincerely hope that you and your loved ones are ok.[:D]
     
  13. Evening Star

    Evening Star Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Yes, that was an old tag line. The current one is "Croatia, full of life" which was mocked on Twitter and other social media last year when it was introduced because of our high unemployment rates, recession, external debt and other problems we've had over the last five years or so.
     
    Violent Violet Menace and Gamiel like this.
  14. Evening Star

    Evening Star Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Whew! Here we go. I present you Croatia in four little questions and answers. :D


    1) Tell us about a favorite place you like to go in Croatia and why it's one of your favorites.

    My favorite place in Croatia, aside from the capital and my home town of Zagreb, is called Zadar. It's a Mediterranean town situated on the Adriatic coast and considered one of the most beautiful towns in my country. I went there for the first time during my school trip back in 2001. I’ve been in love with it ever since and keep coming back every year.

    In the past it was an ancient Roman town (at the time called Iadera) and the remains of Forum Romanum can still be seen right next to probably the most famous landmark in Zadar (and one of the most famous in Croatia), the church of St. Donatus (9th century).
    This is my own pic of the church with some of the remains of the Roman forum.

    [​IMG]

    That's also the place where you can see most of the tourists taking photos, but another popular tourist spot, and for a reason, is the city coast with its famous sea organ where waves and wind hitting the underwater construction create unusual sounds. You can't really see it, but you can sit on it and listen to those sounds which after some time make you feel relaxed and sleepy. I know this from personal experience. :p The sounds are louder when the waves are higher.

    [​IMG]

    The reason why Zadar is my favorite has to do mostly with its rich and long history occupying each stone you set your foot on. I won’t bother you with history here as that would take too much time, and you can read more about it on other sites if you like. :) The architecture of the historical Old Town (situated in part of the town simply called Peninsula or Poluotok in Croatian) is simply gorgeous. For me, Zadar is always beautiful, but especially in the summer when clear blue skies make its monuments look divinely white. Whether it’s the narrow Mediterranean streets, old houses and squares, its marina or people selling local products, Zadar is incredibly charming, warm and welcoming. It was in fact elected Best European Destination 2016 by online voters. :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Another thing which I love about Zadar and which must not be missed if you’re visiting is the sunset. The great Alfred Hitchcock was there and said “the most beautiful sunset can be seen and experienced in Zadar”. And he was right. The best place to watch it is, of course, by the sea organ. That way you can savor the nature by listening to the sea and enjoying the warmth of the summer sun.
    There are better pics but I wanted to share my own again. :p

    [​IMG]


    2) What is the local cuisine of Croatia like?

    I’m obviously biased, but it’s great. :p Its main characteristic is diversity. For example, if you’re in the North, you can eat food similar to Central European cuisine with lots of dishes made from pork (and different types of sausages such as kulen in the region of Slavonia) and stews made from different vegetables (which I personally enjoy making). Very popular dishes are sarma (sauerkraut rolls filled with minced pork and rice), punjena paprika (pepper stuffed with minced meat), mlinci (a type of flatbread usually served with roast turkey) and a dessert from the region of Zagorje called štrukli.
    Our beer produced in the Northern regions is pretty good too. :D

    If you’re in the South, you’ll eat more seafood and lamb (similar to Italy or Greece), use olive oil and spices and drink wine from the regions of Dalmatia and Istria. There are also dishes from the neighboring Bosnia (which are among my favorite actually), brought to this part of Europe from present day Turkey during the Ottoman conquests (15th-18th century), such as burek, ćevapi and a dessert called baklava (none of those names can be translated, obviously :p). They are all extremely popular here. Also very popular are pies (or pite in Croatian) which are different from American pies and made with meat, cheese, potatoes, cabbage, chard...

    Some of our products are protected by either the EU or the UN, such as the aforementioned kulen, but also the Dalmatian prosciutto, olive oil, cheese (the most famous one is from the island of Pag), sauerkraut and a dish called poljički soparnik.

    I'll let you google some of the food and perhaps try making it by yourself. :D


    3) What do you think are some common perceptions (and/or _mis_perceptions) that people outside Croatia have about the country? What are your thoughts about those perceptions/misperceptions?

    Well, I’ve heard stories about people thinking we don’t have electricity or that there’s a war going on here. Also, from what I know people in other European countries think we’re conservative, which is somewhat true (not about me personally though). Other than that I don’t think people actually know much about us. I guess we’re just too small. :p But what they do know and are right about is we’re a small nation but with great sportsmen and women excelling in football/soccer, handball, tennis, skiing…:D

    People always have prejudices about things they know nothing about. I surely like to break some of those about my country. However, I’ve heard nothing but positive experiences from people who decided to visit Croatia for the first time. What they are most delighted with is - our food. :p

    I’ll tell you one thing which is true about us though. We complain. A lot. Every day, everywhere and about everything, from prices to current weather, but mostly about politics. :p


    Bonus question: What is a particular time period of Croatian history that you find interesting and why?

    As a historian/history teacher, I find it hard to choose just one time period so it’ll have to be two. :p

    First, the middle ages, a period when the Slavs settled here in 7th century and established first Croatian states or duchies two centuries later, and when Croatian rulers formed the Kingdom of Croatia and founded first Slavic towns.

    Second is the early modern period (roughly 1500-1800), the one I studied and which is my favorite in general. During those three centuries Croatia was a part of the Habsburg Monarchy along with present day Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, etc. The period was marked by continual wars against the Ottoman Empire, but it also saw the blossom of Croatian culture, arts and sciences.

    I find both periods particularly interesting because it’s impossible to study them without including the regional and European context and therefore diplomatic relations with other countries in times of both peace and war. And Croatian history saw lots of both.
     
    Ewok Poet, Gamiel, Sepra and 8 others like this.
  15. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Wow, Evening Star...fantastic post! Thank your your in-depth responses and the awesome pictures!

    I'll post a few of my initial comments now, but there's a lot to chew on in your answers so this won't be my only post in response!

    First, I am really intrigued by the "sea organ" you mentioned. I think I'm going to have to see if maybe there's a video of that on YouTube...it sounds _amazing_ from your description. And distinctive--I've never heard of something like that before!

    The food all sounds really good too, both Northern and Southern varieties. When I was a kid, we had a family friend from Czechoslovakia (this was the 1980s before the end of the Soviet bloc) and some of the dishes he made sounded somewhat similar to some of the Northern dishes you described. I do know "baklava" as a lot of Greek/Mediterranean restaurants here have that. (And yes, it is delicious!!!)

    I'm always curious about relative country size...how long would it take to drive or go by train starting in the southern tip of Croatia all the way up to Slovenia?

    Edit: Also, how many languages do you speak yourself? And what is the language instruction program like there? Is there a lot of mandatory foreign language instruction from the early years in school on (and if so, what languages are required for all school children)? I see from the English language Wik page that: "Croatian is the official language of Croatia, and became the 24th official language of the European Union upon its accession in 2013.[190][191] Minority languages are in official use in local government units where more than a third of population consists of national minorities or where local legislation defines so. Those languages are Czech, Hungarian,Italian, Ruthenian, Serbian and Slovakian."

    Ok I also just found this:
    "A 2011 survey revealed that 78% of Croatians claim knowledge of at least one foreign language.[197] According to a survey ordered by the European Commission in 2005, 49% of Croatians speak English as the second language, 34% speak German, and 14% speak Italian. French and Russian are spoken by 4% each, and 2% of Croatians speak Spanish. A substantial proportion of Slovenes (59%) have a certain level of knowledge of Croatian.[198]"

    Further random observation: I love the sound of city names like "Zagreb" and "Zadar" (they also sound kinda "Star Wars-y" to my ear :cool:)
     
  16. Evening Star

    Evening Star Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Thanks so much! I'm glad you liked it. And I'd be glad to answer any questions you'll have. :D

    I totally forgot to post a youtube video of the sea organ although I planned it. I gotta say it sounds way better when you're there, of course. :p



    Yep, the food in former Czechoslovakia is similar to our. Also, in Austria and Hungary. It's because of our historical ties. We all lived in the same state from 1527 to 1918. :D

    Also, I want a baklava now. :p

    I didn't know this, so I used Google maps to calculate. It would take 6 hours and 38 minutes by car. But if you start in the southern tip of Croatia and travel to the easternmost town of Ilok in Slavonia, it would take about twice longer, unless you were traveling through Bosnia and Herzegovina. Croatia is weirdly shaped. :p

    I speak English and French. I understand some German, Italian and Spanish, but can't speak much any of them. I learned English from the age of 10 to 18, but today kids learn it from the age of 7 which is first grade of elementary school. One foreign language is mandatory (English or German), but kids can choose to learn another from fifth grade (if they were learning English, they choose German and vice versa). Other languages are not that popular although some schools offer French, Italian and Spanish.
    And Slovenes do understand Croatian a lot, but we, or at least I, don't understand a single word in Slovenian. :p

    Really? I'm glad to hear that. :D Some other city names would probably sound even more "exotic" to you. :p
     
  17. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    oh wow, Evening Star , even considering the fact that, as you say, it would sound way better in person, that vid of the sea organ is so :cool: ! I can imagine it being a very "magical" place to visit and just let the beautiful sights and sounds "wash" over you. ..
     
    Evening Star likes this.
  18. panta1978

    panta1978 Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2016
    The sea organ is absolutely gorgeous!!! I didn't know it, but when I visit Croatia - because I'm definitely going to - I'll certainly put it among the thing I can't miss!
    Zadar is also fascinating, judging from the pics you've linked it's a really quaint place, worth a visit!
     
    Pensivia and Evening Star like this.
  19. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    That's an interesting quote about Zadar from Alfred Hitchcock. I wonder if he was just there to visit or if he was filming something for one of his movies?

    Evening Star
     
  20. Evening Star

    Evening Star Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 18, 2015
    He was just visiting, I think. That was in 1964.

    I hope you will enjoy your visit, whenever you decide to come. :)
     
    Ewok Poet and Pensivia like this.
  21. Darth Nihilon

    Darth Nihilon Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Jun 5, 2016
    Thank you so much Pensivia. I do not live near there and neither does anyone I know. I am so thankful. But my heart hurts badly for those in the attack and those who know them.

    I am so very busy right now, but I hope this week I will be able to read this post and come back with some questions!
     
    Evening Star and Pensivia like this.
  22. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Evening Star It seems that all the peoples of the Balkans are obsessed about food :p

    Can you tell us about the main feasts/celebrations you have in Croatia and any specific foods that are served on the occasion? =P~
     
    Ewok Poet, Evening Star and Pensivia like this.
  23. Twinnie

    Twinnie Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 5, 2001
    Waw, EveningStar, that sea organ is amazing... The pictures you posted are very beautiful, what you wrote is really interesting...
    ... Now I have to convince my boyfriend to visit one more country!

    Just a question though: you mention that "kids can choose to learn another from fifth grade": how old are they in 5th grade, and does it mean they give up the first foreign language to learn the other, or do they get to study both at once?

    Very good thread idea Pensivia!
     
    Pensivia and Evening Star like this.
  24. Evening Star

    Evening Star Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 18, 2015
    YES, we enjoy food like no other thing. :p

    The biggest feasts are prepared for Christmas and Easter. Traditionally, Christmas Eve is a fasting day so the most popular food is fish, usually cod, but my mom prefers preparing sardines. On Christmas day traditional food is roast turkey with "mlinci", a type of flatbread that I mentioned in my first post, and they look like this:

    [​IMG]

    On New Year's day we prepare sarma, which is originally a Hungarian dish made from minced meat and rice and rolled in sauerkraut. Sarma is served with mashed potatoes and looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    Our Easter table looks pretty much like in this photo; Easter eggs, ham, onions, radish.

    [​IMG]


    Merci! :) And yes, convince your boyfriend right now. :D

    Our kids are 11 years old in 5th grade and they learn both languages at once from that age. In most cases they start with English in 1st grade while German comes four years later.
     
  25. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    I'm also interested in that period of European history, particularly the 17th and 18th centuries, though my familiarity is more limited to England and France during that time. I'm especially interested in cultural history in general (literature, art and music history, etc.). Is there an example or two (a particular work and/or a particular cultural figure) from Croatia's cultural/artistic history from that period you can point me to? (If I know a name or two, I can look them up to find out more detailed info, of course). Thanks!

    Also...those pics above make my mouth water=P~:p
     
    Ewok Poet, Dagobahsystem and Twinnie like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.