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Saveta Dubak Tomović

Life of kids in Croatia

The war of independence between Croatian Catholic Christians and Serbian Orthodox Christians in 1995 has led to a gruesome and scarring effect on the entire population of the Croats and the Serbs. Its effects are visible to date.

Serbian and Croatian kids don’t go to class together. Even though they attend the same schools, their classes are held at different times of the day. So much so that Croatian kids are being prevented from both meeting and interacting with Serbian kids. Croatia’s official school policy states that all lessons should be taught in two different languages, and both Latin and Cyrillic alphabets be used.

Back in the times, politicians agreed upon preserving the rights and protecting the cultural minority of the Serbians, but both Croat and Serb kids see things differently.

Though the Croatian government has been making little effort to preserve the rights of minority Serbs in parts of the nation, still both communities see each other with betrayal and react with hostility or ignore each other, leaving the same impact on kids as well.

Lack of dialogue between the two has affected Serbian kids in Croatia to such an extent that they are actually being treated as belonging to a minority group and often looked down on or with hatred.

From being discriminated against at school to being treated differently in public places, Serbian kids are facing a hard time mingling with Croatian kids, though it seems to be a hard task to achieve on the radar and a far cry from an ideal worldly situation. Being separated based on their ethnicity, Croatian kids get more preference over Serbian kids while being in school, and kids also choose to do things separately. The whole situation is a consequence of the peaceful reintegration of the eastern part of Croatia, which formally ended in 1998.

This segregation makes Serbian kids feel deeply distanced and different from Croatian kids. So much so that some Serbs even prefer not to attend two classes in two different shifts while being at the school.

Both the institutions and people work for themselves. But being the minority has changed the Serbs to be discriminated against by Croats.


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