Performers from the Mladi Hrvati Folkloric Group.
Image: Jon Augier
Source: Museum Victoria
Over 1,800 people flocked to the Immigration Museum on Sunday 27 June for a very successful Croatian Festival. The weather was kind despite the forecasted showers as visitors were treated to a day of Croatian arts and culture across the entire museum.
Croatian Consul-General Mr Antun Babic opened the festival on the main stage which hosted traditional Croatian dance, music and theatre performances all day. “The high quality of the performances really stood out,” said Acting Immigration Museum Manager Soo Nazih Laouami.
Among the highlights were the 20-person strong LADO Folkloric group from Geelong and a spontaneous dance performance by Hrvatska Zora (Croatian Dawn) Folkloric Group in the sunshine outside the marquee.
Visitors enjoyed steaming cups of coffee and plates of strudel from Preston Market’s Slavonija Deli, and juicy cevapi rolls provided by Hrvatska Zora as they roamed from soccer demonstrations in the side courtyard to a Croatian language crash course and upstairs to a traditional arts and crafts display.
Victoria has enjoyed a long history of migration from Croatia dating from the early 1850s, through periods of conflict in the twentieth century, and including more recent arrivals since the 1990s. It was clear from the crowds at the festival that the Croatian community in Victoria is active, creative and vibrant across multiple generations.
Each year, the Immigration Museum presents three community cultural festivals. Later in 2010, the museum will host a Brazilian Festival on 14 November.