Residents of the islands of Unije and Susak with celebrate their eighth and thirtieth, respectively, Emigrants’ Days. Both events are dedicated to their fellow islanders living around the world. The event is organised by the local hosts and the Rijeka branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation.

Residents of the island of Unije staged their eighth annual Emigrants’ Day, dedicated to their fellow islanders now living around the world. The event included activities for children, sporting events, an evening folk festival and much more.
The event is organised by the Rijeka branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation, the Local Council for Unije, the City of Mali Lošinj, the Tourism Board of Mali Lošinj, the Slow food Unije+ association and the Obala naših unuka (Shores of Our Grandchildren) association and opened on the evening ahead of Emigrants’ Day. Some thirty children took part in an art workshop, organised by the Shores of Our Grandchildren association and under the mentorship of students of the Art Academy of Rijeka. The evening saw the very popular ring-tilting event on the waterfront – the Unije version featured ten competitor pairs riding/pushing wheelbarrows.
Emigrants’ Day, the 18th of July, saw an all day programme, kicking off with the 15th annual cross country race that saw sixty-five children competing in four age categories
The afternoon hours saw a futsal match featuring two children’s sides, the NK Unije and Mi smo pobjeda teams. The sporting events were followed in the evening by short speeches from the head of the Rijeka branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation Dean Miculinić on behalf of the event organisers, followed by the president of the Local Council for Unije Robert Nikolić. The formal greetings were followed by the Edi Flego & Comp band – residents of Unije and visiting tourists wrapped up yet another successful Island of Unije Emigrants’ Day with singing and dancing.
Emigrants’ Day on the island of Susak
Emigrants’ Day on the island of Susak is slated for the 26th of July, with a lavish event programme lined up for visitors, including sporting competitions, presentations and sampling of islander products, exhibitions, a folklore and entertainment programme and a performance by the Klapa Intrade a cappella band.
The event is organised by the Rijeka branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation, the City of Mali Lošinj (the Local Council for Susak) and the Tourism Board of Mali Lošinj for the last Sunday in July, which this year falls on the 26th. The traditional Island of Susak Emigrants’ Day event, now in its jubilee 30th incarnation will open with a Catholic mass at the parish church of St Nicholas at 10:00 in the morning. The mass and socialising on the square in front of the church will be followed by the opening of an ethnographic exhibition featuring implements and folk costumes at the Emigrants’ Club and the presentation of the Nek lumin ne zgori project, which aims to preserve islander heritage.
The late afternoon will see sporting events for children, a futsal tournament and a volleyball tournament for adults. The programme will continue in the evening with a presentation and sampling of islander products in the courtyard of the school at 6 o’clock in the afternoon.
The evening, from 8 o’clock on, will feature performances by folklore ensembles sporting the lavish Susak folk costumes and dancing the traditional dances. Emigrants’ Day will wrap up with a performance by the Klapa Intrade, followed by a performance by Zumba dancers and a concert featuring the Eureka band.
Text and photos by: Dean Miculinić