The latest issue of Matica magazine offers some one hundred illustrations and a broad range of articles on ethnic Croatian communities abroad, all set against the backdrop of the current pandemic trepidation associated with SARS-CoV-2, and the earthquake in Zagreb
The number 4 issue of Matica magazine in 2020 brings Easter greetings, with Luka and Darko Mihelj hearkening back to some of the endemic Croatian plants associated with customs in the time of Easter that older readers will remember from their childhood. This issue, spanning some seventy pages, focuses on the latest news from the State Office for Croats Abroad and the consequences of the recent earthquake in the City of Zagreb and Zagreb County, in particular its impact on natural and cultural points of interest. We also look at Pašman, one of a group of islands off the coast of Zadar. We also look at the extraordinary thoughts and real connections of Peter Radovich Jr (51), the most successful New Yorker of Croatian roots in the world of sports television—crowned by a whopping thirty-seven Emmy awards. He, wife Nancy, and their three sons recharge their batteries for at least four weeks every summer in the village of Neviđane on the island of Pašman where his parents were born. Using the account he has with social networking provider Twitter he has been sending and receiving messages these days to and from Zlatko Dalić and the Sinković brothers concerning news of the earthquake and its outcome, and with his childhood friend Alan Medić, who heads the Epidemiological Service at the Institute of Public Health in Zadar, about the extent of contagion in the United States of America, in the southern Croatian region of Dalmatia and in our broader European neighbourhood.
Along with messages of encouragement and bringing people together from Croatian Heritage Foundation director Mijo Marić and State Secretary at the Central State Office for Croats Abroad Zvonko Milas in light of the ongoing global SARS-CoV-2 fears, we also bring the latest news concerning the Croatian Heritage Foundation’s culture and education programmes and future Croatian language and culture courses. We also look at the extent of the worldwide SARS-CoV-2 alarm in Spain, where more recent Croatian migrants work and live alongside our small previously established expatriate community in this southern European country. Also featured in the content-rich April issue are stories from global health history: Ivo Lučić writes of critical solutions provided by Croatians, including the creation of the first-ever quarantine in the world in Dubrovnik.
We highlight the key events of Croatia’s six-month tenure at the rudder of the EU Council, with the focus now on health and economic solidarity among the twenty-seven member states, as well as the care of all citizens across the European Union, including a repatriation action plan this March that saw many of our fellow Europeans, among them over one thousand Croatian nationals, travelling abroad, return safely to their countries of origin; from students studying abroad under the Erasmus programme, to business people visiting non-EU countries.
There is an excellent report on a new trilingual portal set up by Zagreb’s Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies focused on the topic of migration (Demos-Migrant) that categorises Internet sources of data on migration topics. And while you are searching the Internet why not take a look at our article on the new jezik.hr portal of Zagreb’s Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics, marking the close of Croatian Language Month (21 February to 17 March). It provides on the Internet important manuals and online sources. During the current distance learning episode this will help pupils in the homeland and those otherwise attending Croatian language instruction abroad to get the information they need to learn Croatian grammar and spelling.
From emigrant history, and also on the occasion of Croatian Language Month, we look at the contributions made by ethnic Croatian scholars abroad in terms of the Declaration on the Name and Status of Standard Croatian, and an analysis of the roles of the then members of the Croatian Heritage Foundation executive committee, including the then director and celebrated Zagreb mayor Većeslav Holjevac, historian and later Croatian president Franjo Tuđman and renowned writer Miroslav Krleža.
News from Rijeka, one of the 2020 European capitals of culture, includes the story of Baltazar City, created on the basis of the vistas of this northern Adriatic port city at the foothills of Mount Učka and the legendary animated professor Baltazar character created by the Zagreb school of animation in the 1960s. Professor Baltazar is an ideal character for the current zeitgeist, providing assistance to his fellow citizens, promoting peace and open-mindedness, friendship and goodwill.
There is an excellent article about architect Radovan Tajder. A long-time resident of Vienna in neighbouring Austria, he recently received the Viktor Kovačić lifetime achievement award presented by the Croatian Association of Architects. Tajder has joined the ranks of philanthropes among Croatians living abroad, having given to the Museum of Arts and Crafts in his native Zagreb a number of his works and architectural memorabilia.
A breath of environmentalism from our beautiful homeland comes through a documentary motion picture dedicated to World Water Day and renewable sources of energy. Anniversaries include those of the birth and death of world-renowned violinist, philanthrope and leading activist among ethnic Croatians in the United States of America Zlatko Baloković, and of the theatre house in Šibenik (incorporated one hundred and fifty years ago), the creative people of which sixty years ago created the oldest international festival of theatre for children in this part of Europe.
This issue also looks at a diverse selection of translations of Croatian books from top contemporary writers across a broad range of genres, including an extensive review of linguist Mario Grčević’s Ime ‘Hrvat’ u etnogenezi južnih Slavena (“The Name ‘Croat’ in the Ethnogenesis of the South Slavs”). This three-hundred-page monograph is divided into six chapters discussing the alpine Croatians, Croatians and Islam, Croatians and Orthodox Christianity, on Serbian interpretations, the Dubrovnik Republic and on the Boka Kotorska region.
Along with the news of a revitalisation of the ethnic culture scene among Chileans of Croatian extraction, this issue also reports on a worthy exhibition of Croatian modern painters in Budapest, the capital of neighbouring Hungary, as part of culture activities during Croatia’s six-month stint holding the presidency of the Council of the European Union.
In our section on ethnic Croatian members of the Roman Catholic church and their missions abroad in this issue university professor Gojko Bežovan writes of the laudable golden jubilee of the Croatian Catholic Mission in London and its bilingual magazine Most/The Bridge, now in its thirteenth year.
The Crorama and sport news sections offer a mosaic of events related to humanitarian activities associated with two crises, the global SARS-CoV-2 scare and the local earthquake that hit the Croatian capital of Zagreb and the broader area. The Zagreb office responsible for emergency situations has reported that the earthquake (the last time a quake of this intensity hit was 140 years ago) caused various levels of damage to 26,197 buildings, of that figure 9,642 are family houses.
Also contributing to this month’s packed issue are our regular columnists, in alphabetical order: Šimun Šito Ćorić, Darko Mihelj, Marin Knezović, Marjana Kremer, Vesna Kukavica, Davor Schopf, Nino Sorić and Sanja Vulić.
This issue includes some one hundred illustrations and concise summaries of all the articles in English. Matica magazine, now in its sixty-ninth year, is guided by its chief editor Ljerka Galic.
By: Vesna Kukavica
Follow this link to download the latest issue of Matica magazine.
4 In Focus: News from the Government’s State Office for Croats Abroad
6 Earthquake in Zagreb
12 Croatians in Spain
14 The first quarantine in history
16 Croatia at the helm of the EU’s Council
18 The Declaration on the Croatian language
21 Migration portal
24 Rijeka 2020 European capital of culture: Baltazar City
26 Architect Radovan Tajder
30 The history of Pašman island
41 The Pašman folklore festival
42 Škraping on Pašman
44 World Water Day
46 Renewable sources of energy
48 Šibenik theatre house marks anniversary
50 New books
52 A new release from Mario Grčević
54 Croatians in Chile
57 Budapest exhibition
58 The Croatian Catholic Mission in London
66 Sports news
11 Global Croatia
22 The Sociological Puzzle
28 Croatian Musicians
33 Croatia’s Endemic Flora and Fauna
37 Cues in Communication
38 The Adriatic Islands
60 Click: Going Home