Teachers Institute


Stephanie Remembers Croatia

Stephanie talks about her life in Croatia and how she first was exposed to egg decoration.Stephanie Lemke-Vuljanic came to the United States in 1972. She grew up in a small village of about 120 people in an extremely improverished part of Croatia. She says that she has no memory of colors in her childhood. Her village was devastated after World War II, and many men died in the war. The women in the village were always depressed and dressed in black.

Stephanie remembers always being hungry. She told us how finding a carrot in the field in the spring was a big event. Spring represented a real time of celebration for her, more food and getting to go barefoot.

So, Easter was very special in Croatia. Her mother had five children, and each got an egg for Easter. There was always a big village celebration, with a bonfire. All the churches in nearby villages would ring their bells at the same time. It was very exciting. Then the children would go home and Stephanie's mother would give each a hard boiled egg. She would ask each to choose a color of silk thread and quickly decorate each egg.

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