In Mosonmagyarovar the delegation took part in the celebration of Croatian Day where CHF director Marić opened the Value of Gradišće Croatians in Hungary exhibition at the UFM Arena.

Croatian Heritage Foundation director Mijo Marić made a two-day official visit to Hungary at the invitation of Croatian general consul in Pécs Vesna Haluga.
On Friday the 17th of November CHF director Marić visited the Croatian community in Pécs in the frame of a visit programme to the Croatian general consul in Pécs and the Croatian community in the area covered by the consulate. The visit to the general consulate was hosted by general consul Haluga, who received the CHF delegation, made up of director Marić, the head of the culture department Snježana Jurišić and the head of the director’s office Lana Šaš. Haluga presented the work and activities of the general consulate and the most common issues facing the indigenous Croatian minority in Hungary.

That day also saw an official reception and meeting at the office of the Croatian national self-administration in Pécs. The event was hosted by the president of the Croatian national self-administration assembly Ivan Gugan, who presented the work and activities of the self-administration to the CHF delegation, underscoring the issues they face and the support they seek from the CHF and other relevant Croatian institutions in their resolution. Also on the agenda was the status of the indigenous Croatian minority in Hungary and cooperation with the country of origin. The participants of the meeting included representatives of the Croatian community, the media and institutions that work under the wing of the Croatian national self-administration, including the president of the Federation of Croatians in Hungary and the Croatian spokesman in Hungarian parliament Mišo Hepp, reporters with the Croatian language programmes of the Hungarian MTVA (Media Services and Support Trust Fund) Branka Pavić Blažetin (the chief editor of the Croatica Media Centre) and Timea Šakan-Škrlin (the editor for ethnic programmes), the director of the Hungarian Croatian Institute of Sciences Stjepan Blažetin and the head of the Croatian national self-administration office and president of the Somogy County Croatian self-administration Jozo Solga.

CHF director Marić greeted the gathered on behalf of his delegation and congratulated it on its many years of work and efforts in preserving the Croatian ethnic, cultural and national identity and presented the Croatian Heritage Foundation and expressed his readiness to support and cooperate on a number of issues. The head of the CHF culture department greeted the gathered and presented the points of contact and opportunities of the department in strengthening culture ties with the homeland.

After the meeting a visit was made to OC Miroslav Krleža for a ceremony of the 35th anniversary of the Croatian Club and August Šenoa Women’s Choir, opened by CHF director Mijo Marić.

On the second day of the visit, the 18th of November, the delegation visited Mosonmagyarovar for a celebration of Croatian Day. The event opened with a holy mass in the Gradišće Croatian dialect at the Church of Our Queen the Virgin Mary and St Gotthard celebrated by diocesan advisor Monsignor Ferenc Benković. After the mass the CHF delegation took part in the opening of the Value of Gradišće Croatians in Hungary exhibition at the UFM Arena, also opened with a speech by CHF director Marić.

The celebration included an awards ceremony and a culture programme celebrating Croatian pride (Gizdav sam da sam Hrvat) featuring the participation of Croatian culture associations, choirs and tamburitza ensembles from the Gradišće region. Joining the CHF delegation at the event was a delegation of the State Office for Croats Abroad led by the deputy state secretary at the institution Ivana Perkušić. Also on hand were the Croatian ambassador to Hungary Mladen Andrlić and other leading figures in the political and cultural life of the Croatian community in Hungary. 

By: Snježana Jurišić