Martin Kukučin – a doctor, an author, a Slovak and a Selčanin

 Reason #122: Slovakian author lived here and wrote about life on Brač in 1900

Martin Kukučin is a famous Slovakian author, medical doctor by profession, who lived in Selca 1894-1907 and wrote about the life and the people.


His real name was Matej Bencur. He was born in 1860, in Jasenova, Slovakia. In 1893 he received his medical degree and his friend Marko Didolić, a Selčanin who owned a winery in Prague, talked him into moving to Brač. He moved to Selca in 1894 and became the local GP.

Dr. Bencur took care of all the inhabitants of Selca, Zaseoci, Povlja, Novo Selo and Sumartin. He was popular and well respected. “He tirelessly did the rounds, covering this large area on his donkey, his ‘terrain vehicle’. He not only treated the poor free of charge, but also helped them out by providing means to eat more healthily.” (Jerčić 1985:7)

He was proficient in the Selca dialect. This gave him insight into the customs and the daily lives of the locals.

The good doctor married a local gal, Perica Didolić who was 19 years his junior.


This marriage solidified his ties with Selca. He was very well accepted and considered one of their own by the locals.

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The commemorative plaque on the Selca main square

Even though he published articles in Slovakian papers throughout his stay in Selca, the locals knew him as the good doctor and knew nothing of his literaly double-life. He didn’t brag, obviously.

His famous novel Dom v stráni (Dom u strani) depicts life in Selca at the turn of the century.


And he’s immortalized on a special commemorative 10 Euro Slovak coin, which is pretty cool for a Selčanin ;)

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Jokes about Bračani, part IV

Reason #84: just when you thought there weren’t any more jokes to be proud or embarrassed about…

Two Bračani stood on the pier and dared one another:

“We’ll both jump in and whoever comes up for air first is buying dinner.”

They both drowned.

Source: Marjan U., via his mom ;)

Jokes about Bračani, part III

Reason #49: even more jokes to be proud or embarrassed about

A Bračanin is on his death bed.

Bračanin: Woman, are you there?
Wife: I’m here, I’m here.
Bračanin: Are the kids here, too?
Wife: They’re here.
Bračanin: Then why the hell is the light in the kitchen still on?!

I’m totally with him on this one :D

Jokes about Bračani, part I

Reason #37: take pride in (or be embarrassed about) hearing jokes at the expense of your Bračka stinginess

People of Brač (Bračani) are infamous for their stinginess and are the butt of many jokes on the subject. Here’s one:

“In the Winter, when it gets cold on the island, all the people in the village huddle up around a candle, to keep warm.

And when it gets really, really cold… they even light the candle.”


PS Growing up I used to make fun of my mom for being stingy, but now I notice myself that I think twice before I light that proverbial candle. It’s in the DNA, I guess.