“It is an honor to introduce myself as Mrs. Croatia World 2021. I am beyond excited to represent Croatia in the Mrs. World pageant this year,” says Shawna Bošković, who next month marks her one year anniversary living in Croatia.
Shawna relocated from San Francisco in California to Dubrovnik back in February of 2020, just before the first lockdown.
“It was a decision I had made with my husband. My husband is born and raised in Croatia. I was so excited to make the move but also scared as Croatia and the United States have a lot of cultural differences. Not long after I got here the coronavirus pandemic hit the world and we went into lockdown,” she recalls.
Although the situation back then was unexpected and difficult, Shawna was able to spend time in a more empty Dubrovnik learning all about her new home.
“I never thought I would see an empty Stradun or walk the walls alone. I was fully immersed and able to take it all in. I started a new job teaching English to children at the Dubrovnik school of language. During this time I found the Croatian people to be some of the most amazing people I had ever met including the school owners Tomislav and Sandra and their wonderful kids. The wonderful Croatian people are always willing to help and very relaxed and carefree. I like to say the people here really enjoy their life. They don’t simply live to work as we sometimes find ourselves doing in the US, they work to live and the results of this show in life. And that’s what Croatia is, full of life. I found my forever home here and I can’t wait to start a family and raise my children in such an amazing wholesome place,” Shawna says.
Shawna is currently working at the Zarkovica dog shelter in Dubrovnik where they work hard to house animals and find their forever homes.
“Without a tourist season, people to walk the animals and low funds, it has been a very hard year for them. I am trying to bring awareness of their wonderful work,” Shawna says, adding that she is also trying to do her bit to help following last month’s earthquake in Petrinja.
“I am doing everything I can to help the people affected. Our wonderful communities here are getting many resources to them and I’m happy to help and donate. Its a great time to access your own personal need and give to others. Something as simple as a winter coat not being used can make all the difference right now. As a native Californian, seeing the earthquake devastation hits close to home. I would love to assist them in getting whatever they need, even if it’s just raising the awareness globally.”
Shawna will have an opportunity to raise awareness when she represents Croatia at the Mrs. World 2021 pageant in Sri Lanka in May.
“Because of the pandemic the competition was held online. I was interviewed and asked why me? would I want to represent Croatia? why do I think I’m the best to do this? I think I had an advantage seeing Croatia from an outsiders viewpoint and then someone fully immersed in the culture. I am so eager to show the world my Croatia and the Croatia they may not know. I think the world sees Croatia as small and a tourist destination, but it is so much more than that I am eager to share the talents of its people. The judges saw this too and I was crowned Mrs. Croatia World,” explains Shawna.
The pageant is the largest Mrs. pageant in the world and showcases married women.
“I love this because it shows you are not defined by a single or married status and a women can be so much when she is also a wife. It is a wonderful opportunity to find myself and where I fit into Croatia and when the Mrs. World pageant presented itself I thought it would be an amazing opportunity for me to get involved in my community and showcase the wonderful place and people of Croatia.”
Shawna is also working with Croatian companies and designers and is looking forward to showcase their talents on the world stage.
“This part I am very excited about. I am working with an amazing young designer from Dubrovnik, named Tena Filicic. She is doing all my work for the upcoming pageant to represent Croatia. I look forward to showcasing her Croatian designs on a world stage,” says Shawna.
The winner of Mrs. World 2021 will see her country host the pageant in 2022.
“I think that would be amazing and I would love to bring a world showcase to Croatia. Croatia has become so much more than a home to me and holds a special place in my heart that I want the world to see. I will never be able to thank all the people I have met enough for the kindness they have shown me in an otherwise vert difficult year. I am honored to represent our wonderful country,” Shawna concludes.
More details about Mrs. World 2021 and the contestants here.