The event was opened with a welcome speech delivered by the school’s principal Anna Gojtan. On hand were Croatian Ambassador Gordan Grlić Radman, first secretary at our embassy in Hungary Berislav Živković and, from Split, Branka Bezić Filipović and Ingrid Poljanić.
Budapest is home to HOŠIG, a centre that combines a Croatian-language kindergarten, elementary school, gymnasium and dormitory and that last year celebrated its 20th anniversary. The institution was established seventy years ago as a South Slavic and then Croatian-Serbian centre.
Since 1993 it has operated as an independent Croatian school and is fully integrated into the Hungarian education system. That year also saw the gala opening of the building that is now home to the school at Nos. 1 to 3 Kantorne Setany street.
HOŠIG continues to be a place that works to preserve and nurture the cultural heritage of Croatians in Hungary. Even people who are not of Croatian ethnicity are interested in enrolment in this school to learn the Croatian language and our culture. The school, which nurtures a family setting and friendly relationships with schools in Croatia, organises visits by its pupils to Croatia.
On November 17th the Week of Croatian Culture kicked off at HOŠIG. The event was opened with a welcome speech delivered by the school’s principal Anna Gojtan. On hand were Croatian Ambassador Gordan Grlić Radman, first secretary at our embassy in Hungary Berislav Živković and, from Split, Branka Bezić Filipović and Ingrid Poljanić.
The school orchestra, the Tamburica dance ensemble, the choir and reciters performed at the gala opening. This was followed by the opening of the “100 Years of Duje Balavac” documentary exhibition, brought here from Split for the occasion by the Split branch office of the CHF. The exhibition’s author Ingrid Poljanić, head of culture events at the Marko Marulić municipal library in Split, spoke of the beginnings of Duje Balavac, the first satirical magazine in the city of Split. The day also saw a quiz featuring teams of pupils with their teachers on the topics of history, religion and the ethnology of the Croatians in Hungary.
The Week of Croatian Culture featured a programme of many events. Besides the guests from Split there were also guests coming from the Marija Jambrišak girl’s dormitory from Zagreb with their folklore programme. Also appearing were pupils from the villages Dušnok and Serdahel, and football (soccer) players Mateo Pavlović and Tomislav Havojić. The guest of the journalism workshop is Croatian Radio reporter Bernadeta Blažetin. Stage actress Petra Grišnik will speak of her acting career. The MOL oil company will give a presentation on energy cooperation and structures in the oil industry. Participants will learn singing in Croatian; there will be a junior and senior disco evening and recitals of Croatian poetry.
At the premiere of “Vremeplov” (“The Time Machine”) from the HOŠIG literary and dance workshop the guest of the gala programme will be Miklos Soltesz, state secretary for religious, ethnic, civil and social relations at the Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities.
The programme also features a competition in the narration of short stories and the HOŠIG Seeks a Star singing competition that we are all looking forward to. DJs will present Croatian pop and folk music and there will be an opportunity to sample Croatian culinary specialities from “grandma’s kitchen”.
The Week wraps up November 21st when the pupils will begin preparations for the end of the first semester and the coming Christmas holidays.
Text by: Branka Bezić Filipović