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Interview: Australian-Croat Natalie Franćeska author of ‘My Grandma is Like the Sea’

Natalie Franćeska is an Australian-Croat who recently published a children’s book called My Grandma is Like the Sea

Natalie Franćeska recently published My Grandma is Like the Sea

Natalie Franćeska is an Australian-Croat who recently published a children’s book called My Grandma is Like the Sea, which pays tribute to her Croatian grandmothers and her summers spent along the Dalmatian coast. 

Both of Natalie’s late grandmothers were from the island of Korčula and left the island with their children to establish a new way of life in Sydney, Australia.

Natalie in Croatia

Both families planned on returning back to the motherland after a few years. This did not eventuate as soon as they had planned, but their love for their place of birth never faded. Although, her paternal grandparents moved back to Croatia in the early 1980s.

“The husbands already having arrived some time prior in order to work. My paternal Baba Ćeska arrived in Sydney in 1967 upon travelling on the ship Angelina Lauro. I remember the song she’d recite from her travels on the vessel, ‘Angelina la regina del mare, l’acqua stella…’ Roughly translated as ‘Angelina you are the queen of the ocean, sparkling water…’ My maternal Baba Vjeka arrived in Sydney in 1971,” Natalie recalls.

Natalie Franćeska is an Australian-Croat

Natalie Franćeska

My Grandma is Like the Sea follows a little girl and her grandmother who explore the sea and share unconditional love. 

Natalie was a guest this week on the All Things Croatia podcast. She chats with host Stanko Zovak about her cultural and familial inspirations for the book as well as her popular feature in Croatia Week, ‘20 Teachings and Words of Wisdom from my Grandmothers’. 

Natalie Franćeska is an Australian-Croat

Natalie’s dad, his mother (Baba Ćeska) and brother on the Angelina Lauro ship to Australia in 1967

We also learn about her blog, Nala’s Den, where she shares resources and inspiration to help families along the parenting journey. And also stay tuned to hear what Croatian basketball legend Dino Rađa thinks of her book.

You can listen to the episode by pressing the play button below.

Link purchase My Grandma is Like the Sea book internationally – https://nalasden.com/shop-international/

Link to purchase My Grandma is Like the Sea book in Australia – https://nalasden.com/shop-australia/
 
Follow Natalie on Instagram – @nataliefranceska
 
 

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