Croatian Festival in Buenos Aires

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Mala škola iz Središta Sv. Nikola Tavelić

Performing on the stage erected on the Avenue De Mayo were the Proljeće folklore dance ensemble, the Little School, the Valovi women’s klapa band, the Zrinski group and Tango HR from San Justo, Vjetar i More from Comodoro Rivadavia, soprano Greta Ciklić of Cordoba and the Jorgovan ensemble of Dock Sud.

This is the third consecutive year in which the City of Buenos Aires has provided the Croatian community with the opportunity to showcase its culture, music, folklore, dance and cuisine on the city’s main square.

The B.A. Celebrates Croatia event took place on November 3rd, from noon to 6 o’clock in the afternoon, on the Avenue De Mayo where a large stage has been erected. At noon a police orchestra played the Argentinean and Croatian national anthems, with a large, delighted, audience joining in.

In his welcome speech a city representative spoke of the positive impact the Croatian community has had on the development of Argentina, saying how happy he was to see the descendants of Croatians from various Argentinean regions. Minister plenipotentiary from the foreign affairs ministry Duška Paravić also spoke, lauding the many years of dedicated work of Croatian emigrants in preserving their culture, language and customs over many generations.

The event was organised by the Croatian Inter-Association Committee in Argentina, with the coordination of the Direccion de Relaciones Institucionales of the government of the City of Buenos Aires and the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia. On hand were Croatian Ambassador H.E. Željko Belaj, minister plenipotentiary Duška Paravić, Lic. Julio Croci representing the City of Buenos Aires and spiritual director Fra Jozo Peranić.

The president of the Croatian Inter-Association Committee in Argentina greeted and thanked all the gathered for their work in organising this event under the leadership of Dr Jelena Nadinić.

The venue also featured a number of stalls offering typical Croatian dishes; there were various souvenirs to purchase and a tourism promotion featuring Croatia and Međugorje.

It was wonderful to see so many young and older people in Croatian shirts, folk costume, many second and third generation Croatians and Argentineans delighted with the event.

The event opened with a performance by the Croatian Secondary School and University Student Association, the Proljeće folklore dance ensemble, active in the fold of the Catholic Centre of St Nikola Tavelić. It was an excellent performance of Slavonian dances under the leadership of Nataša Duić. Also performing from the Centre, lead by Fra Josip Peranić, where the youngest members from the Little School. They performed dances and songs under the leadership of Ljilja Vlaho and Marija Dujmović and delighted everyone on hand.

Two folklore groups, the Zrinski and Tango HR ensembles, from the San Justo quarter of Buenos Aires also gave performances. The Zrinski ensemble was founded fifty years ago by Zagreb native Jasna Muller Terrazas and is now led by her son Guillermo Terrazas. They offered the audience many dances and a potpourri of Croatian songs. The Tango HR dance group performed excellent tangos.
The Valovi women’s klapa band sang a set of numbers, including the tune Cetina. The largest of the folklore ensembles on hand, the twenty-five dancers of the Vjetar i More folklore ensemble from Comodoro Rivadavia in the deep south of Argentina, performed seven dances under the leadership of Norma Cajal. The group has been active for eighteen years.

Talented and experienced soprano Greta Ciklić represented the Croatian Civic Centre of the city of Cordoba with her renditions of the best-known Croatian melodies.

The Jorgovan folklore ensemble of Dock Sud, founded sixty years ago, sang a medley of popular and old melodies.

The event also featured a surprise – a performance by the Klapa Kastav band from the town of Kastav in Istria. They came to Buenos Aires to participate in an international festival staged in the city and their performance captivated everyone in the audience.

Text by: Vjera Bulat; Photos by: Stella Hubmayer

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