The Split branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation, in collaboration with the Marko Marulić municipal library organised the fifth annual Chilean Independence Day celebration on September 18th.

Inspired by the many returnees from Chile living in the city, the Split branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation, in collaboration with the Marko Marulić municipal library organised the fifth annual Chilean Independence Day celebration on September 18th.
This year’s event, joined by Bol Elementary School and publisher Naklada Bošković, was dedicated to Chilean writers of Croatian extraction, which the latest estimate puts at about 250, some of whom have recently received prestigious awards.
Patricia Štambuk Mayorga has become a corresponding member of the Chilean Language Academy, Antonio Scarmeta Vraničić won the national prize and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Rajmund Kupareo, who received his academic title posthumously, is being celebrated.
Bruna Perić and Nina Šodan, pupils of Split’s Bol Elementary School read the poetry of Ramon Diaz Eterović, Antonio Rendić Ivanović, Antonio Scarmeta Vraničić and Andres Morales Milohnić, who’s grandmother Ljubica Roje was a native of Split. One of the poems was read in Spanish by Daniela Miličević – born in Punta Arenas she is now a secondary school pupil in Split.
The event closed with the screening of a documentary film about Pepita Turina prepared by Branka Bezić Filipović, the head of the Split branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation. Pepita Turina left a deep impression in Chilean-Croatian literature, was the founder of an experimental theatre house at the Universidad de Chile and of a book society and has won numerous awards for her literary achievements.
Publisher Naklada Bošković has released many translations of this valuable literature, which visitors had an opportunity to see and browse.
Joining friends of Chile and Croatian returnees living in the city of Split and its environs at the celebration were Chilean-Croatians visiting Split, like Marcela and Fernando Miličević, an entrepreneur from Magallanes province, Jasna Tudor, wife of the late physician and great friend of Split Petar Tudor, and many others.
The Republic of Chile is celebrating the 204th anniversary of its independence and Croatians have made a massive contribution to the development of this distant country. Chilean President Ricardo Lagos Escobar expressed his personal sentiments in this regard when he unveiled a memorial plaque to Croatian emigrants in the town of Škrip on the island of Brač. It is no wonder that Chile was the first South American country to recognise Croatian independence.

Text by: Branka Bezić Filipović