It really is different when your country is small and nobody outside of your broader extended family understands your language.
Then: Song from Yugoslavia. “History as anthology” per reader Each Pond Gone’s apt reflection. Now: anthem-rock from the band Zaprešić Boys. There is no one vocalist. It’s team cadence.
“Igraj moja Hrvatska“ (Play, my Croatia). Eastern Europe bedazzles people who live in points-west because it shows what normal life looks like. This video shows boys and girls outside of an apartment complex twenty years ago, and then as adults in the present year, getting ready for the big game. God, who works in mysterious ways, had shielded one half of Europe with the Iron Curtain.
“U porazu i pobjedi“ (In defeat and in victory). Choral power in every verse and chorus. The video is the antidote to anyone in Eastern Europe who still wants to leave everything and go west. Fool’s gold.
“Srce Vaterno” (Fiery Heart). Sing the chorus out loud when Croatia wins the World Cup:
Bijelo-crvena polja hrvatska / The white-red Croatian colors
Na dresu sjete me da ja volim te / On the jersey remind me that I love you
Igrajte za nju, Našu voljenu / Play for her, our beloved
Nek jače kuca to srce vatreno / Beat harder, the fiery heart
And the lighter side of Balkan sounds as you get ready for the game; the young and the old, the traditional and the modern, all in one voice: Hrvatska!