A wooden signpost was installed indicating the distances to the largest cities in the world that are homes to communities of people hailing from the town of Blato on the Adriatic island of Korčula. A similar signpost was installed concurrently in the Brazilian city of São Paulo at the premises of the Society of the Friends of Dalmatia.
International Museum Day was celebrated in Blato in mid May at an event organised by the Blatski Fižul Culture Institution, the Barilo ethnographic collection and the Tourism Board of the Municipality of Blato. The event programme, running from the 18th to 24th of May, opened with the installation of a wooden signpost indicating the distances to the largest cities in the world that are homes to communities of people hailing from the town of Blato on the Adriatic island of Korčula.
A similar signpost was installed concurrently in the Brazilian city of São Paulo at the premises of the Sociedade Amigos da Dalmatia (Society of the Friends of Dalmatia). Participants of both events – in Blato and São Paulo – had the opportunity of watching the celebrations in both locations via a video wall. It’s all part of the continuation of The Land of Tears is Mysterious event, the importance of which has been recognised by the Split and Dubrovnik branch offices of the Croatian Heritage Foundation – the event was promoted last year at the Dubrovnik branch office.
The programme opened with a presentation on behalf of the organisers by Ivana Sardelić of the Blatski Fižul Culture Institution, Maja Šeparović of the Tourism Board of the Municipality of Blato and Katia Gavranich Camargo of the Sociedade Amigos da Dalmatia. The event was declared officially open by the mayor of the Municipality of Blato Ante Šeparović, who joined Croatian Heritage Foundation representative Branka Bezić Filipović in greeting the gathered.
Modern communication technology saw the event also feature an opening address direct from São Paulo by Katia Gavranich Camargo, Fanny Gavranich Camargo, president of the board of the Sociedade Amigos da Dalmatia, Fatima Stanić Milat, head of the culture department, and Milan Puh, a Croatian language teacher. A letter was read by Katia Gavranich Camargo in which the Croatian ambassador to Brazil greeted the event participants.
The culture section of the programme featured the dancers of the Viteško Udruženje Kumpanija (Kumpanija Society of Knights) and the Klapa Koraja and Klapa Prinčipese women’s a cappella ensembles.
The event participants in Blato and São Paulo exchanged greetings at the close of the official event opening.
“The walls of museums are now disappearing, as are the borders that separate us,” said Katia Gavranich Camargo. “We are creating routes that lead us to Blato and to the communities hailing from Blato around the world. Our ancestors are surely delighted and present in spirit at this moment. Their history is retold with pride, love and respect. That is why this is one of the ways in which we return to our native land, so dear to them. It is to us, their descendants, to preserve these memories and to preserve our Dalmatian identity. To remember is to live,” Gavranich Camargo concluded.
Joining the heads of the Split and Dubrovnik branch offices of the Croatian Heritage Foundation, Branka Bezić Filipović and Maja Mozara respectively, at the installation of the signpost at the municipal park in Blato was the president of the Croatian-Australian Society of Split Tanja Blažević. A reception was hosted by Blato mayor Ante Šeparović the following day.
Text by: Maja Mozara & Ivana Sardelić