Motherland / by Ante Badzim


Croatia is home away from home. Since my first visit at the age of 2, I have been back more times than I can remember.

Visiting Croatia stirs up many memories of reconnecting with family, crystal clear waters, donkey rides, prosciutto, more prosciutto and my fondest memory in life is being in the village with my grandma and auntie for a year at the age of 5.

My Baba and Tetka were my second mums who fed me endlessly and didn’t cut my hair. I forgot how to speak english and came home chubby with long curls. I also gained a nickname ‘porky’.

Here I am back in the motherland. I have so many emotions that some I am unable to describe. This visit is a special one as I spend the next few weeks alone with my mum and dad.

My parents left Croatia in 1967 in search for a new home for the family and life they dreamt of. Their journey to Australia started when they went to Austria to watch an ice skating show as part of a group tour. They were joined by my uncle and his wife and while in Austria they all seized the opportunity and fled.

After spending 2 months in a Vienna camp they were granted the opportunity to call Canada or Australia home. The rest is history.

Proud of my Croatian heritage, proud of Croatia and proud of my parents.