Eight topical sections in the Almanac offer thirty-two articles that delve into very diverse material concerning the Croatian communities in overseas countries and the European neighbourhood.
This year’s CHF Almanac was presented on the 11th of February by CHF director Marin Knezović MSc, Željko Holjevac DSc, Marijeta Rajković Iveta Dsc, ethnologist of Croatian extraction from Argentina Paola Gadže and editor Vesna Kukavica. The presentation was moderated by the head of the CHF department of emigrant heritage Ljerka Galic.
The 2015 Croatian Emigrant Almanac includes thirty-two articles divided into eight topical sections, with summaries in Spanish and English spanning thirty countries and four continents. The traditional topical sections Signs of the Times, Croatian Philological Horizons, Bridges, A History, Heritage, Spirituality, Science and New Books delve into very diverse material concerning the Croatian communities in overseas countries and in our European neighbourhood.
At the focus of the interest of the Almanac this year is the Croatian emigrant community in Buenos Aires and Rosario, discussing migrant experiences in both directions brilliantly treated by two of the presenters of this year’s Almanac, Marijeta Rajković Iveta and Paola Gadže. The previously unknown suffering of Croatians during the Australian gold rush is described by Walter F. Lalich, the German epilogue to the leaden times of the former Yugoslavia by Gojko Borić, and the emigrant stigma of our people in South Australian by Vesna Drapac. An overview of last year’s culture events in the homeland, with a portrait of writer Irena Vrkljan was penned by Helena Sablić Tomić. The State Office for Croats Abroad, the central national authority in Croatia for relations with Croatians living outside our borders, was presented by Milan Bošnjak and Žana Ćorić, and the 3rd Croatian World Games, a project of the Croatian World Congress, by Ivana Rora. Tomislav Žigmanov is undisputed in his knowledge of the chief cultural trends in the contemporary Croatian community in Vojvodina. Lidija Cvikić, Lada Kanajet Šimić and Tamara Turza Bogdan authored an article on the System of Extra-national Schools of America and Canada (Croatian Schools of America and Canada, HIŠAK-CSAC). Denis Derk writes of the prose of Neda Miranda Blažević Krietzman of the USA, while the Amsterdam vignettes of poet Sanja Percela are discussed by Sanja Vulić. Hispanic studies expert Željka Lovrenčić writes of Chilean theatre writer, director and actor Domingo Mihovilovic Rajcevic Tessier, while Luka Budak, director of Croatian Studies at Macquarie University, offers insight into Australia’s Croatian Studies Foundation (1984). Marijan Lipovac writes of writer, linguist and politician Ivan Mažuranić (1814–1890) and Estela Banov writes of Ante Tresić Pavičić’s Across the Atlantic to the Pacific / The Lives of Croatians in North America – Travelogue, Aesthetic, Economic and Political Observations. The 1915 national conference in Chicago is the subject of the article penned by Ivan Čizmić. Tihomir Telišman offers us excerpts from the 120-year history of the Croatian Fraternal Union. Iva Buljan writes of the legacy of publicist Karlo Mirth. Vinko Grubišić, a professor of the first chair of Croatian language and culture studies at Canada’s Waterloo University writes of his friendship and collaboration with Vinko Nikolić, a writer and the editor of the Croatian Review. In his article Janko Herak collects new lexicographic contributions on top Croatian scientists in the emigrant communities. In the New Books section of the Almanac Željko Holjevac discusses Vesna Drapac’s Constructing Yugoslavia: A Transnational History, while Vesna Kukavica looks at Robert Hajszan’s Concerning Gradišće Croatian Pannonia, published by the CHF. Editor Vesna Kukavica has thus far edited sixteen volumes of the CHF Almanac, covering 6,440 pages and including the work of 512 authors. The 2015 Almanac includes thirty-five authors, including the above mentioned and Božo Skoko, Davor Gjenero, Marina Gabelica, Antonija Zaradija Kiš, Dražen Klinčić, Ivan Golub, Marin Ivanović and Tanja Rudež.
Addressing the gathered at the presentation, editor Vesna Kukavica noted that she finds the research and articles very encouraging as a virtual trip from Alaska to the Tierra del Fuego, the south of Africa to Australia and New Zealand. The Almanac, says Kukavica, is packed with the fascinating life stories of Croatian emigrants and returnees. At the core of each of the articles, she notes, through the individual fates of people, two phenomena are reflected: the contemporary mobility of Croatian citizens on the one hand, and the migrant practices of the 21st century – of scientists, artists and ordinary migrant workers – on the other. Particular attention in the selection of culture and spiritual content from the homeland is focused on the digitalisation of Croatian cultural heritage, which can be searched online, Croatian literature for children available on the new media and the internet and language technologies.
Text by: Diana Šimurina Šoufek; Photos by: Snježana Radoš