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We Are Now a Nation

We Are Now a Nation: Croats Between 'Home and Homeland'

  • Book Info
    We Are Now a Nation
    Book Description:

    The first book-length examination of North American Croatian diaspora responses to war and independence,We are Now a Nationhighlights the contradictions and paradoxes of contemporary debates about identity, politics, and place.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8512-3
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. Figures
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-x)
  5. Croatian Political Parties
    (pp. xi-2)
  6. Introduction: On the Meaning(s) of Hrvatstvo – Croatness
    (pp. 3-29)

    As happened at the beginning of the twentieth century, transformations in Europe in the 1990s led many to rethink notions of nation, nationality, and ethnicity. The emergence of supranational institutions and structures, perhaps most spectacularly exemplified by the evolution of the European Union, caused many to anticipate the demise of the nation state as we have known it. Yet, contrary to its eclipse, we have witnessed the spectacular revival and rebirth of the national idea in Europe defined by boundedness and homogeneity, perhaps most strikingly evidenced through the drama that began to unfold in Eastern Europe in 1989 with the...

  7. Chapter 1 Locating Croatia in Diaspora
    (pp. 30-54)

    In the winter of 1992, while walking through the student centre of the university where I teach, I noticed a large group of students gathered around one of the many student club information tables. The commotion began with an altercation between Croat and Serb students over the war in the former Yugoslavia. Accusations and name-calling – Četnik and Ustaša – began to fly and it wasn’t long before a shouting match ensued. At that point, campus security was called in and order was restored, for the moment. This incident was repeated on several occasions on campus between 1991 and 1995. The passion...

  8. Chapter 2 ‘The War Made Me Croatian’: Independence, War, and Identity
    (pp. 55-86)

    The above comment was made by a Canadian-born woman (age 35) during an interview in the spring of 1995. It is striking not because of its novelty. Many Toronto Croats have made similar proclamations. But, underlying this woman’s defiantly patriotic tone was a sense of newly found commitment and urgency. Although neither she nor her family had suffered any personal losses during the Homeland War, it did awaken memories and feelings of suffering, victimization, and helplessness. One man I interviewed became very emotional during our discussion and stated that ‘holocaust is happening before our eyes, and here we can do...

  9. Chapter 3 ‘We Are Not Fascists!’ – Toronto Croats and the Making of Croatia and Croats
    (pp. 87-107)

    The Homeland War in Croatia has had a profound effect on Toronto Croats’ identifications, relations, desires, and representations. But the reverse also needs consideration. What impact have these diasporia dynamics on the emergence and development of the fledgling Croatian state? Many Croats in the diaspora were deeply affected by the tragedies that unfolded and took active roles in fundraising, lobbying, and raising awareness about Croatia. Croats in the United States, Germany, Australia, and other countries, many of whom had shared similar emigration and settlement challenges, all experienced similar feelings of guilt, loss, and pain, and a similar desire to help...

  10. Chapter 4 Ten Years Later: Siting Croatness and Home
    (pp. 108-139)

    ‘The romanticism of becoming a state is accomplished – now what?’ This comment was made to me in 2002 by a Toronto Croat, and it exemplifies the mood and tone of many of the Croats with whom I spoke a decade after Croatia became an independent country. The urgency and anxiety felt by Toronto Croats was palpable during the early 1990s. But now Croats are experiencing the best and the worst that admission to the ranks of statehood offers, not least among which is coming to terms with the changes in their legal, political, economic, and social status and circumstances. Amid...

  11. Chapter 5 ‘Going Home’: From Longing to Belonging
    (pp. 140-163)

    Very different in tone, these two comments, obtained during interviews conducted in 2003 with returnees living in Zagreb – the first from a 43-year-old woman who returned to Croatia after twenty years in Canada and the second from a 33-year-old Canadian-born man who resettled in Croatia in 1995 – hint at the complexity of the sentiments and conditions that contribute to the decision to return to the homeland and, most importantly, what follows upon such return. Concepts and practices of ‘home’ and ‘return’ continue to be significant for establishing, reinforcing, or disrupting Croatian perceptions and experiences of belonging. Since 1990, diaspora Croats...

  12. Conclusion: Croats at a Crossroads
    (pp. 164-174)

    When the Yom Kippur War broke out in 1973, I was fifteen years old and committed to enlisting in the Israeli Army, as my mother had done in the 1940s. My resolve was firm. My birthplace was Canada, but my homeland – Israel – was at war. Everything I had learned about my mother’s family history, including her role in the struggle for the independence of Israel, destined me, I felt, for a defining role in Israel’s future. What I had known, experienced, and felt seemed to culminate in the compelling, indeed intoxicating, prospect of not only makingaliyah, but also of...

  13. Appendix A In the Field
    (pp. 175-180)
  14. Appendix B Notes on the Croatian Language and Its Pronunciation
    (pp. 181-182)
  15. Notes
    (pp. 183-198)
  16. References
    (pp. 199-220)
  17. Index
    (pp. 221-224)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 225-226)