This serial specialist publication celebrates its 58th edition this year, while its publisher, the CHF, is celebrating its 63rd anniversary of activity among the emigrant communities. The past fifteen editions of the Almanac have been edited by Vesna Kukavica, who has pooled 480 associates from twenty-five countries around the world.
The print and electronic versions of the 2014 Croatian Emigrant Almanac were presented at a gala promo held February 13th at the auditorium of the Croatian Heritage Foundation. Many gathered for the event, including Deputy Mayor of Zagreb and art historian Vesna Kusin on behalf of Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić.
Also on hand for the promotion was Ivo Jelušić, Member of Croatian Parliament and president of the CHF board of directors – who addressed the gathered, CHF board of directors member Vlado Puljiz, director for the Croatian congregation abroad Friar Josip Bebić, representatives of the State Office for Croats Abroad Žana Ćorić and Mirjana Vatavuk and many CHF associates and authors of Almanac articles.
Croatian Heritage Foundation director Marin Knezović welcomed the gathered, noting the significance of this CHF serial publication to the contemporary cultural practice of the heterogeneous Croatian communities around the world.
The latest, 2014 edition of the Croatian Emigrant Almanac, with summaries in English and Spanish, offers thirty-four independent contributions on contemporary linguistic and cultural trends from a diverse range of authors of Croatian extraction, active in ten countries around the world. The articles are divided into the thematic sections Signs of the Times, Croatian Philological Horizons, Bridges, A History, Heritage, Spirituality, Science and New Books.
The articles were penned by experts from the universities of Zagreb, Osijek, Vienna, Berlin, Sydney and Toronto, and by eminent publicists of predominantly emigrant background, such as Edi Zelić and Gojko Borić of Germany.
This serial specialist publication celebrates its 58th edition this year, while its publisher, the CHF, is celebrating its 63rd anniversary of activity among the emigrant communities – from Alaska to the Tierra del Fuego, the south of Africa to Australia and New Zealand and the more proximate European neighbourhood. The past fifteen editions of the Almanac, covering some six thousand pages, have been edited by Vesna Kukavica, who has pooled 480 associates from twenty-five countries around the world in this popular CHF serial publication.
Two junior researchers from the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Studies – Dr Marijeta Rajković Iveta, a historian and migration anthropologist, and Marija Galić, a young English language studies expert and recipient of the University of Zagreb rector’s award – offered their analysis of selected articles in the Almanac.
The homeland is currently facing a dramatic wave of emigration of educated people prompted by the growing unemployment numbers, especially from regions from which Croatians have traditionally migrated from in the past. The audience was very interested to hear what Dr Rajković Iveta had to say of the case of Lika-Senj County, which she recently researched in collaboration with Martina Mišetić from Vinkovci, where all of 1,000 elderly households remain of the former population of 11 thousand.
Along with the ethnological study she co-authored with Mišetić, covering a hundred pages and bearing the evocative title The Impacts of Migration on Family Life in the Lovinac Region, Rajković-Iveta speaks of a further two significant articles. She, in particular, lauded the original research paper authored by Walter Vori Lalich of Sydney’s Macquarie University – which in the Almanac tells of the Croatian pioneers of the gold rush in western Australia, where fraternal association was first established among the Croatians of Australia one hundred years ago. She also spoke of contemporary tamburitza music among American Croatians, described in the article by ethnomusicologist Richard March of the University of Wisconsin.
Young English studies specialist Marija Galić, speaking of her paper and the other contributions to the Almanac, noted that her aim was to describe a hitherto uninvestigated segment in the multi-ethnic mosaic of America created by American Croatians such as writers Josip Novakovich and Mary Helen Stefaniak.
“The scale of the wealth of diversity among the world’s cultures, into which the Croatian segment is also interwoven,” continued Galić, “is evident from the articles in this year’s CHF Almanac. I enjoyed reading it, and recommend it to you: the linguistic, Croatian language study and history thematic sections penned by professors and PhD’s such as Dragutin Rosandić, Sanja Vulić, Helena Sablić Tomić, Željka Lovrenčić – who is active in the study of the Hispanic Croatica – Walter V. Lalich and historians Ivan Čizmić and Željko Holjevac. There are fascinating articles by Davor Gjenero, Marin Knezović and Slaven Kale on Croatians in Poland, Grozdana Cvitan and Boris Peić, who discusses Croatian crime novel writers in the Diaspora communities. As I am myself entering the workforce,” noted Marija Galić, “it was with particular interest that I read the paper by Tanja Rudež dedicated to the circulation of leading young researcher like Zagreb natives Iva Tolić-Norrelykke and Bojan Žagrović.”
The programme was moderated by Mirjana Piskulić, who recently returned from Sydney, where she served as general consul at the Croatian embassy in Australia. She also shared her thoughts about this year’s CHF Almanac.
Wrapping up the promotion was Almanac editor Vesna Kukavica, who spoke of the creativity of the CHF’s long time associates and the innovativeness of young publicists, with a great number contributing to this year’s edition of the CHF serial publication.
The event was graced by a musical programme performed by opera singer Antonela Malis.
Text by: Željka Lešić; Photos by: Snježana Radoš