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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Get away from billboards and neon advertising

Reason #94: miles and miles of billboard-less space

One of my absolute favorite things about living on an island like Brač, after having lived in cities all my life: there is hardly any advertising, especially no billboards and neons.

Look to the north…

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Look to the south…

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All clear.

OK, some can be seen in a few of the bigger places on the island, especially in and around Supetar. And a few more will pop up during the summer, targeting thousands of tourists who visit the island in July and August. But that’s still nothing.

But some people might miss the sight of big city advertising. Some people might get super annoyed at the kinds of alternative sights Brač has to offer… Such as…

Bob Squarepants & friends balloon fest. Really annoying, all those happy faces…

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Pizza place advertising. For a pizzeria that hasn’t been open in years. So that’s annoying…

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Street name plates in stone. If you don’t like stone, it’s really annoying…

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Art at the side of the road in Novo Selo. Really annoying, as all art should be closed inside galleries…

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Mess behind a mechanic’s in Radonja, plus, trash container advertising. Really ugly annoying. Everything in the world should be tidy and neat…

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UPDATE: I checked yesterday, this particular mess has been cleaned up. So, that’s annoying. But there’s definitely other messes out there, don’t worry.

Same goes for this old Fićo (Fiat 600). Rally old and annoying…

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This cageball sign written by hand. Cost nothing probably. That’s annoying…

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My uncle’s socks in fresh air and sunshine. Annoying…

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This hand painted sign advertising a restaurant in Povlja. How annoyingly adorable and unique…

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Some joker mocking poor cows. Annoying when someone has a sense of humor…

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This guy’s selling home made vine in Postira. With a home made sign for it. How annoying…

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Annoying cyclists who are amused by their own shadow…

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Bags of olives waiting to be taken to the press. Annoying stuff. Olives should be seen only properly packaged in jars with fancy stickers on them…

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Trees in meadows. No advertising anywhere. How annoying…

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Donkeys. Just standing there. Not advertising anything. Probably annoyed because of it…

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So, there. If you think you’ll miss looking at billboards while stuck in a traffic jam and inhaling exhaust fumes on your way to work, you definitely shouldn’t move to Brač ;)

 

Donkeys

Reason #47: there are still a few donkeys around and they’re cute

Some locals still have donkeys and use them for carrying stuff to and from the fields, olive groves, etc.

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This guy was soooo cute I wanted to pet him, but I was told they can bite you. I’m going to test that warning another time, when there’s a doctor near by :)

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Cool photo above by vankufer. Thanks, buddy!

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Another one by vankufer

There are also mules (cross between a donkey and a horse) here on Brač, but I can’t tell them apart yet. Some of these could be mules, I don’t know.