Welcome addresses were followed by performances featuring: the Novo Mesto Croatian Culture Association, the Međimurje Croatian Culture Society of Ljubljana, the Komušina Croatian Culture & Arts Society of Škofja Loka, the Međimurje Folklore Ensemble of Ljubljana, the Klapa Dalmari vocal ensemble of the Croatian Culture Society of Maribor, the Istra Croatian Culture Society of Piran, the Međimurje Croatian Culture Society of Velenje, the Pomurje Croatian Culture Society of Lendava and the Ljubljana Croatian Society of Ljubljana.

The 7th Croatian Culture Parliament, an event organised by the Federation of Croatian Associations in Slovenia, was held in the Slovenian town of Novo Mesto on the 19th of May. This year’s incarnation of the event was hosted by the Croatian Culture Association of Novo Mesto and held under the joint patronage of Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and Slovenian President Borut Pahor. This important event aims to showcase the Croatian ethnic identity as an integral part of the societal life of Slovenia, a country neighbouring Croatia.
The programme of this year’s culture parliament opened at St Nicholas church where the Roman Catholic Eucharist was celebrated on the occasion of the 7th Croatian Culture Parliament in Slovenia. Dr Tomislav Markić, the national director of the pastoral office for Croatians abroad, celebrated the mass.
Municipality of Novo Mesto mayor Gregor Macedoni hosted a reception for the representatives of the Croatian associations and guests from Croatia.
The highlight of the event was the closing ceremony staged at the Leon Štukelj Sports Arena, featuring performances by Croatian associations from across Slovenia; from Novo Mesto, Lendava, Maribor, Velenje, Ljubljana and Škofja Loka to Piran.
The programme opened with the Croatian and Slovenian national anthems as performed by the Mezzo vocal ensemble. Welcome addresses were followed by performances featuring: the Novo Mesto Croatian Culture Association, the Međimurje Croatian Culture Society of Ljubljana, the Komušina Croatian Culture & Arts Society of Škofja Loka, the Međimurje Folklore Ensemble of Ljubljana, the Klapa Dalmari vocal ensemble of the Croatian Culture Society of Maribor, the Istra Croatian Culture Society of Piran, the Međimurje Croatian Culture Society of Velenje, the Pomurje Croatian Culture Society of Lendava and the Ljubljana Croatian Society of Ljubljana.
On hand to welcome everyone to the event were Zdravka Bušić, the state secretary at the Croatian foreign and European affairs ministry, Božo Ljubić, the head of Croatian Parliament’s committee on Croatians abroad, and Vesna Terzić, the Croatian ambassador to Slovenia, representing the Croatian president.
Also on hand for the culture parliament were representatives of the State Office for Croats Abroad: the special advisor on Croatian minority communities abroad Milan Bošnjak and Rajna Stević; and representatives of the Croatian Heritage Foundation: the foundation’s secretary Diana Mašala Perković and the head of the emigrant heritage department Ljerka Galic.
The event programme closed with certificates of appreciation for the participating associations followed by a formal party for the hosts and guests.
Along with the musical segment, the event, held in the frame of Croatian Week, also included an art exhibition at the Miran Jarc Public Library on the 17th of May, an exhibition of handicrafts and a literary evening featuring members of the arts and literary sections.

By: Diana Mašala Perković