The latest edition of the CHF yearbook was presented by director Mijo Marić, Božo Skoko, Marijeta Rajković Iveta and the Almanac’s editor Vesna Kukavica.
This year’s Croatian Emigrant Almanac was promoted on the 7th of February at the Croatian Heritage Foundation headquarters in Zagreb. The latest issue of the CHF yearbook was presented by director Mijo Marić, Božo Skoko PhD, Marijeta Rajković Iveta PhD and editor Vesna Kukavica, with Lada Kanajet Šimić ably taking the role of event moderator.
The Almanac, with summaries in English and Spanish, includes eight thematic sections—Signs Of The Times, Croatian Philological Horizons, Heritage, Bridges, A History, Spirituality, Science and New Books. The 448-page edition of this serial publication features thirty-one essays, with a digital version on the Internet that, in its 63rd year, is now a 28 000-page digital repository in its own right. The presenters noted that the focus of the articles in this volume is on the interactive impact of digital media among our communities abroad and the challenges posed by the current exodus of young people out of the country.
Participating in the presentation and offering their thoughts at the event were state secretary Zvonko Milas and the chair of the parliamentary committee on Croatians abroad Božo Ljubić. Also on hand were representatives of the prime minister and of the deputy prime ministers, aids and representatives of the ministers for the science & education and culture portfolios, and Members of Parliament. Joining the many CHF associates and authors of this year’s Almanac were representatives of our universities, the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the State Office for Croats Abroad, the City of Zagreb, the Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography, the National and University Library, the Croatian State Archives, the Ivo Pilar Institute and the chair and members of the CHF board of directors.
Speaking of the yearbook, director Marić noted that for the past 63 years—since 1955—the CHF’s trilingual Almanac has bridged the culture and research communities in our homeland and diaspora, and thanked all of the contributing authors and associates. Presenters Skoko and Rajković-Iveta also offered their thoughts on this issue of the long-standing and always current CHF publication, competently edited for the past nineteen years by Vesna Kukavica. In short, the thematic sections of the latest CHF yearbook have once again delivered the expected excellent level of fascinating and encouraging articles. In the Signs Of The Times section Božo Skoko writes of the silver jubilee of modern Croatian diplomacy, while Irina Starčević Stančić and Cvijeta Kraus discuss the Croatian Encyclopaedia—from print to digital edition. In Croatian Philological Horizons Pavao Jerolimov and Lada Kanajet Šimić summarise a quarter century of the Little School of Croatian Language and Culture, while Vladan Čutura discusses the outlook for Croatian language schoolroom instruction in neighbouring Serbia. Also on the topic of education Lucija Šarčević writes of Croatian language instruction in Germany and Milan Bošnjak discusses the status of Croatian studies at German universities. In the Bridges section authors Dejanović and Rajković-Iveta discuss the ongoing wave of young people emigrating from the homeland, while Lalich writes of departures and returns on the Croatia–Australia route. Paula Gadže looks at the role of the media in preserving the identity of Croatians in Argentina, while Krunoslav Malenica introduces readers to the oeuvre of Chilean writer Pepita Turina. The same section also includes jurist Mirjan Damaška’s excellent sketch for a self-portrait, Dubravko Barač’s rhapsody of painter Nada Sesar Raffay and Tihomir Nuić’s homeland narrative of Swiss Croatians. The CHF’s Matica magazine journalist Naida Šehović writes of the traditional CHF forum of Croatian minorities.
In the A History section Stan Granic writes of Zvonimir Perak, a prominent activist in the Croatian community of Waterloo, Rajka Bućin looks at the history of the former emigration commission in Zagreb, and Ivan Čizmić delves into the life and times of Većeslav Holjevac. In the Spirituality section Boris Vulić weighs the integration potential of Generation Y missions, while in the Heritage section Vinko Grubišić offers his view of the impact of the watershed Declaration on the Croatian language in the Americas. In the same section Marijan Lipovac appraises the Croatian Academy of Science and Arts’ Foundation and emigrant philanthropy in general. In the Science section Tanja Rudež writes of innovative researcher Dražen Prelec and of Željka Fuchs, a native of Zagreb now in the United States of America studying what makes hurricanes tick. Vesna Kukavica offers an overview of the global network of researchers of Croatian extraction. The New Books section offers the excellent literary appraisals of Helena Sablić Tomić, Boris Beck and Marijan Lipovac.
The presenters noted that the diverse material encapsulated in the latest edition of the Almanac offers relevant observations on the achievements of artists and researchers in the diaspora communities scattered across some twenty countries. The authors—leading publicists all, active at prestigious universities and hubs of cultural activity both in the country and abroad—offer competent assessments of the impact of the traditional and modern, old and new media, among the emigrant communities. The presenters, editors, event guests and—we are confident—the future readership will all agree that they have succeeded wonderfully in this.
In her closing words Almanac editor Kukavica thanked the contributing authors, promoters and associates, emphasising that this impressive edition is imbued with the creative energies of all generations of CHF staffers and associates, adding that the content was also created by innovative publicists of the new generation, people like Lalich and Barač, Lucija Šarčević and Vladan Čutura … Our yearbook has, to the delight of its proud creators, confidently stepped into the digital age.
By: Diana Šimurina-Šoufek; Photography: Snježana Radoš