The description of the word “pomalo” cannot be found in any Croatian dictionary, as it is proper Dalmatian dialect.Literally, “pomalo” means to take it easy, to relax, no stress, but also slowly, slow down, no worries….
The most common use of the word “pomalo” in Dalmatia is when greeting each other; as you are walking and passing acquaintances or friends, you just raise your hand or move your head and say “pomalo”. The same applies when leaving a bar or a group of friends or family…
An even better explanation of the true meaning of ”pomalo” is that it represents the coastal and island lifestyle and the general state of mind of the Dalmatians.
“Pomalo” is a Dalmatian and Mediterranean invention (like the siesta in Spain),
nevertheless similar effects (lifestyle) can definitely be also seen elsewhere. How about the Mexican sitting under the porch with his sombrero over his eyes?
He is in the same state of bliss as our island farmer leaning against the stone wall when he feels like doing nothing, and you can help him simply by leaving him alone.
Due to long and very hot summer days when you don’t feel like doing much, it is quite common to have a “power nap” after lunch as this is the time of the day when the sun is the strongest and doctors recommend to take it easy between 1 and 4 p.m. Dalmatian call this “ubiti oko” or “fjaka”, which means “to rest one’s eyes” or to have a “siesta”.
We could say that this is the ultimate blissful state when the human’s body functions slow down and get into a specific state of mind…
You do lose all sense of time, you walk slowly in the shade, you act slowly and even think and talk slowly…
Coffee drinking – the famous ritual along the Dalmatian coast, which lasts for minimum 35-40 minutes. This is just enough time to relax and get into the “pomalo” mood. It can last for more than 2 hours.
Lunches and dinners – during our bike and adventure tours one of our biggest tasks is to communicate and coordinate between our group and the restaurant! When Dalmatians go for lunch or dinner in a restaurant, it will last for at least 2 hours, usually even longer. It starts slowly with an aperitif… Most of our groups want to eat quickly and leave, not because they are not happy, but because they are used to a fast lifestyle…
And then concerned restaurant owners ask uswhat was wrong with the food, what was wrong with the service…. But nothing was wrong!
So the word “pomalo” slowly becomes a synonym for the
laidback Dalmatian island lifestyle!
It is not the easiest to keep this tradition alive, but we at Meridien Ten try our best to slow down our guests when being in Croatia, to move them away from their tablets, smart phones, emails so they can relax, enjoy and experience the world! So,