Following the address by delegate and Catholic minister Komadina the members of the panel of judges Srebrenka Šeravić and Iva Cvetko presented gold medals to the representatives of the ensembles. Ms Šeravić presented the delegate with a letter of thanks from the Croatian Heritage Foundation to the Croatian Pastoral Office in Frankfurt on the occasion of the 25th Croatian Folklore Festival in Germany.
The 25th incarnation of the traditional Croatian Folklore Festival was staged on the 23rd of April at the Martinsee culture and sports centre in Heusenstamm near Offenbach am Main. The event was organised by the Croatian Pastoral Office in Frankfurt am Main.
The festival featured performances by nineteen senior folklore ensembles from Croatian Catholic Missions (CCM), Croatian Catholic Parishes (CCP) and Croatian Catholic Communities (CCC) across Germany. A Catholic mass was celebrated to open the festival led by Mato Valjan, the permanent deacon at the Croatian Catholic Mission in Giessen. The mass included singing and prayers led by the youth group of the Croatian Catholic Parish in Frankfurt and from the Croatian Catholic Mission in Offenbach, accompanied on keyboards by Ivan and Tomislav Orlović, all under the leadership of Zvonko Orlović, the lay pastor at the CCM in Offenbach. Following the celebration of the Catholic mass the homeland was greeted with the national anthem accompanied by the Crveno lišće tamburitza ensemble.
The gathered were greeted by the Croatian general consul in Frankfurt Vladimir Duvnjak, the vice consul at the general consulate of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Frankfurt Dragan Bagarić and the mayor of Heusenstamm Halil Öztas. They all expressed their joy at seeing so many young people at the festival and wished them great success.
Also at the festival was Slovenian researcher Roman Leljak, known for his discovery of the Barbara Pit near Huda Jama, the site of one of the worst World War II atrocities committed against Croatian and other nationals, and professor Josip Jurčević, a member of the Croatian Bishops’ Conference and the Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina for Croatian Martyrology and the author of numerous books on Croatian war crime victims.
The festival was declared officially open, with a warm welcome to all the gathered from the organisers, by the delegate for the Croatian faithful in Germany, the Catholic minister Ivica Komadina. There were many other ordained ministers at the festival accompanying the folklore groups from their missions, parishes and communities, and pastoral associates, nuns and lay persons, the heads of the various ensembles, parents and Croatian heritage enthusiasts.
The panel of judges included Vidoslav Bagur, an eminent Croatian folklore researcher and expert advisor to the International Folklore Review in Zagreb; Srebrenka Šeravić, the head of the Croatian Heritage Foundation’s department for culture; and Iva Cvetko, an expert folklore ensemble leader with the Croatian Society of Folklore Choreographers and Leaders.
The members of the folklore ensembles performed songs and dances from various Croatian regions in which the wealth of Croatian traditional culture is nurtured.
The folklore ensemble CCP Frankfurt am Main performed the songs and dances of the Banovina region (Čijam, čijam perje). CCM Offenbach am Main performed the Primošten round dance, while the folklore ensemble CCP Main-Taunus/Hochtaunus performed the songs and dances of the Posavina region in Croatia. CCM Duisburg performed the Lika region round dance (Aj‘ u kolo, jedno do drugoga), while CCC Reutlingen performed the songs and customs of the Baranja region and the folklore ensemble CCC Filderstadt the songs and dances of Herzegovina (Sitan kamen do kamena). CCM Essen performed the songs and dances of the Posavina region in Croatia (I ja jesam posavačko dijete), while the folklore ensemble CCM Nürnberg performed the songs and dances of the Baranja region, and the folklore ensemble CCC Esslingen the songs and dances of Bunjevo Croats (Kolo na Dove). The folklore ensemble CCM Gelsenkirchen performed the songs and dances of the Moslavina region (Igram, pjevam, do zore), the folklore ensemble CCM Wiesbaden performed the songs and dances of the Slavonia region, CCM Hannover the songs and dances of Bilogora (Ajte cure u kolo igrati). CCM Wuppertal performed the carnival customs of Baranjsko Petrovo Selo (Petaračke lipe buše), CCP München performed the songs and dances of the Brodska Posavina region (Savo vodo, pozdravi mi dragog), CCM Berlin performed the songs and dances of Herzegovina, and the folklore ensemble of CCM Darmstadt the songs and dances of the Slavonia region. CCM Mannheim-Mosbach performed the songs and dances of Bilogora (Zasp’o Janko pod jablanom), while CCC Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt performed the songs and dances of Bizovac (Širite se, široki rukavi) and CCM Mainz the songs and dances of the Međimurje region (Međimurska pisana Nedelja).
In closing the gathered were addressed by Catholic delegate and priest Komadina, who thanked all the participants and guests and the Vuko family for their hospitality. The members of the panel of judges Srebrenka Šeravić and Iva Cvetko presented gold medals to the ensemble representatives. For his part delegate Komadina presented the members of the panel of judges and the programme moderator Kristina Kovačević with symbolic gifts for the occasion. The members of the panel of judges also offered their personal advice to the leaders of the ensembles concerning their performances. The concert programme at the close of the festival featured tamburitza ensembles from the Croatian Catholic Missions and Communities of Germany.
See the photo gallery at: fenix-magazin.de
Text and photos by: Adolf Polegubić