Most students’ interim packing list don’t include a DSLR, microphone, tripod, and batteries, but I welcomed this weight in my backpack as I traveled 6,000 miles to Croatia. Upon our arrival in Zagreb, I was enchanted by its unique charm. Every structure – be it soviet apartments, cathedrals, ancient ruins, or alleyways – was rich with history, legend, or superstition. I focused my camera on these sights, hoping to capture at least a fraction of their magnificence.
On our first morning in Zagreb, the capital city, we visited the ‘green market’ – less as tourists and more as people-watchers. The outdoor market, full of fresh local produce, appeared to be essential to everyday life, despite existing in the center of the bustling urban environment. It reminded me of Singapore’s wet markets, except the sellers either knew the farmers or had grown the produce themselves. Thus, the market felt personal, like it was a community.
When Croatia joined the EU in 2013, one issue was the people’s desire to maintain these markets despite the EU’s rigid laws on hygiene and food distribution. Thankfully, the Croats managed to keep these markets, which prove them to be crucial to their culture and national identity. I had the privilege of interviewing Vicencia, our bubbly local tour guide, about these markets, and you can watch the video below.