ZAGREB, Oct 11 (Hina) – The Croatian National Theatre (HNK) in Zagreb has recently become a popular place for outdoor gatherings, where people gather every weekend, especially after midnight when many bars close due to coronavirus measures.
Mass outdoor parties have been taking place in Republic of Croatia Square, where the HNK building stands since May when epidemiological measures were relaxed, and about 500 people gathered there last weekend as well.
Even after midnight when, according to epidemiological measures, all social life and entertainment in the city should stop, young people gather in groups, drink alcohol and listen to different genres of music.
Next to one of several speakers is 19-year-old Antonio, and asked why he is there, he told Hina that he currently has nowhere else to be.
HNK and social gathering
Sociologist Dino Vukusic from the Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences commented on the diversity of young people gathering in front of the HNK building.
According to him, the HNK is not a new place of gathering, but this particular HNK was created during the pandemic. He thinks it is interesting that these spontaneous gatherings still persist.
There are many different people there now — some belong to subcultures that have gathered outside the HNK before, and there also those who will, once night clubs reopen, go to night clubs, Vukusic said, adding that they are a very heterogeneous group of people.
The music and the style of the HNK gatherings are driven by the hedonism of young people and they are a cry for spending free time in a hedonistic way at a time like this, he said.
Residents request protection
The noise, mess and urinating that take place on green areas around the HNK have been disturbing the residents of Republic of Croatia Square, and they are calling for some protection despite the fact that there are only about ten of them.
One of the residents, Melita Kovacevic, who often cannot fall asleep because of the noise, told Hina that in the last few months, she and her neighbours had been reporting everything to the police.
Zagreb police told Hina that from May 1 to September 30, they intervened about 50 times around the HNK following reports of possible disturbing of the peace. However, they have filed misdemeanor charges against only six people.
The Cistoca city sanitation company told Hina that their employees had been intensively cleaning the HNK location and they had asked those gathering there to use bins to dispose of their litter, although there are just a few smaller bins around the square.