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Nenad Bach International Newsletter Summer 2021
Nenad Bach: "What started as a tremor, is shaking up the world. Known to a few of us, there are nearly 10 million people diagnosed with Parkinson disease around the world. Parkinson is a neurological condition that affects motor skills and is commonly associated with a hand tremor." The three main goals of PingPongParkinson: 1. To help as many people diagnosed with Parkinson as possible, through ping-pong; 2. To animate the scientific community to look closer into our mission, with clinical trials; 3. To rally efforts to participate in the Paralympic Games. We are not just playing for ourselves but for those 10 million who cannot play.

Epidaurus Festival organized by Ivana Marija Vidovic for the 15th time in the town of Cavtat
Ivana Marija Vidović, Croatian concert pianist and poet (on the photo), is the founder and director of the Epidaurus Festival in Cavtat, a beautiful town south-east of the city of Dubrovnik, where she was born. In 2021, the festival is marking its fifteenth anniversary. We owe her our deep gratitude for great efforts and love, which has connected so many Croatian and foreign artists, especially musicians. The burden of its organization is shared by her mother Franica, as well as by her father, and a small number of faithful colleagues and friends. In 2021, a special guest of the festival will be Radojka Šverko, distinguished Croatian diva.

Toni Kukoc enshrined to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021

Toni Kukoč was, alongside with late Dražen Petrović, the best basketball player that Croatia ever had. Toni, nicknamed Cookie, was often compared with Pink Panther, due to his specific elegance in the basketball game. He was born in the city of Split, one of the most beautiful cities on the Mediterranean, known for outstanding talents like Blanka Vlašić (highjumper), Ivano Balić (handball), Dino Radja (basketball), Branko Cikatić (martial sports), Anthony F. Lucas (Antun Lučić, the Father of Petroleum Engineering), Marko Marulić (the most famous Croatian Renaissance writer), ...

Things that Sarah Cosic eats, drinks and uses everyday, all made in Croatia!

Sarah Ćosić, born in Canada, living in Croatia: After living here for almost a decade, I've grown to love certain products, so I wanted to share a few in case you're visiting (or living in) Croatia. Do you love them too? ... Today we went to visit Baka Jagica and she shared her delicious recipe for Strukli (a classic home cooked dish from the Zagorije region in Croatia). Everything was made from scratch, and Baka Jagica walked us through her famous recipe. Strukli is one of my favorite Croatian dishes and this recipe didn't disappoint!

2021 PingPongParkinson German Open and ITTF Parkinson's World Table Tennis Championships

Nenad Bach's idea of Parkinson's World Table Tennis Championship gathered 21 countries in the city of Berlin, among them Croatia as well. The German Open and the World Championship showed that the competition is steadily growing each year. Nenad Bach and George Chan won gold medal in the doubles, as representatives of the USA. The next World Championship, in October 2022, will be hosted by Croatia, the homeland of Nenad Bach.

Dina Levacic Croatian marathon swimmer
Dina Levačić, Croatian marathon swimmer born in 1996 in the city of Split, is the first Croatian woman to have swam across La Manche (34 km, 2017), in close to 12 hours. She also swam Hernandarias - Parana (88 km, Argentina), Santa Fe (57 km, Argentina, 2014), 2014 the Catalaina Channel (Los Angeles, 34 km, 20217), 20 Manhattan Bridges (46 km, 2017, USA), Molokai Channel (42 km, Hawaii, USA, 2018), Tsugaru Channel (connecting the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, Japan, 2019), etc. She swam her first marathon of 2 km in 2005 at the age of 9, in the town of Omiš near Split.

Dr. Slobodan Lang 1945-2016: "Storm" was humanitarian operation that prevented genocide
Operation "Storm" (August 1995) is the first ever military action that prevented genocide. It prevented genocide in the region of Bihać in the western part Bosnia, where there were at that time about 150,000 thousand people, and where I expected that if the case of Srebrenica happened again, there would have been about at least 12,000 people killed. For that reason I gave specifically asked president Tuđman to take military action. And now I will take a background. I am Jewish, I come from a Holocaust family...

Exhibition of Croatian culture in Korean National Library in Seoul 2021
A very special exhibition called Croatian Traces of Thousand Years, Literature and Cultural Heritage from the Middle Ages to Modern Time was held at The National Library of Korea in its capital Seoul from June 28th until July 25th , 2021. This exhibition presented the Republic of Croatia and its diverse cultural wealth. Ms. Suh Hye-ran, the Director of the National Library of Korea, pointed out in her speech that it was the very first time that the Croatian Glagolitic alphabet came to Korea.The article was prepared by Mrs. Mirna Lipovac, on the photo.

Tin Srbic silver medal for Croatia in gymnastics horizontal bar in Tokyo 2021
Tin Srbić's silver medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021 is the second Olympic medal for Croatian gymnastics after Filip Ude in 2008 in Beijing. It is a huge success of Croatian gymnast, and among greatest in the history of Croatian sports. Tin Srbić is a former world champion in gymnastics horizontal bar from 2019. At the World Challenge Cup, organized in the city of Osijek, Croatia 2021, he won gold medal.

Martin and Valent Sinkovic won men's gold medal in Olympic rowing in Tokyo 2021, Damir Martin bronze

Croatian brothers Martin and Valent Sinković have dominated the men's pair in Olympic rowing, cruising to victory in a race they led from the start. The Croatians were the heavy favorites. This is the third Olympic medal for the Sinkovic brothers, each having been won in a different discipline. In 2012, they won the silver medal in the men's quadruple sculls in London and in 2016 they claimed gold in the men's double sculls in Rio de Janeiro. Croatian rower Damir Martin won bronze medal (in his words, of platinum glitter). This is his third Olympic medal.

Croatia winning both gold and silver medals at 2021 Olympic men's tennis doubles final in Tokyo

Croatia's Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić beat Marin Čilić and Ivan Dodig 6-4 3-6 10-6 in the Olympics men's doubles final to win their first-ever gold medal in tennis. It is for the first time in the pasty 108 years that the doubles representing the same country met in the tennis finals. Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell of New Zealand won the bronze. Croatia already had several olympic tennis medals in previos competitions: 2004 Doubles Bronze - Mario Ančić and Ivan Ljubičić, 1992 Singles Bronze - Goran Ivanišević, 1992 Doubles Bronze - Goran Ivanišević and Goran Prpić.

Matea Jelic of Croatia won taekwondo gold medal at the 2021 Olymic Games in Tokyo
Matea Jelić won the first Croatian olympic gold medal in taekwondo in history. In the finals, in a very tough fight, she defeated the British girl, Lauren Williams. Matea Jelić (of age 23, height 1.83 m) was born in 1997 in the city of Knin, a former Croatian royal city. Her achievement is one of the greatest successes in the history of Croatian sports. She is training in the city of Split, as a member of the Taekwondo Club Marjan. Toni Kanajet, a member of the same club, won a precious bronze medal.

Yoko Nishii's concert in Tokamachi on the occasion of Croatia's participation at 2021 Olympic Games in Japan
On the occasion of the participation of the Republic of Croatia at the 2021 Olympic Games in Japan, Yoko Nishii, Japanese pianist, gave a concert in the city of Tokamachi. The city is marked with Japan Croatia Friendship House, as a special sign of friendship between the two countries. Yoko Nishii is fluent in Croatian language, and she had as many as 50 soloist concerts in 24 Croatian cities.

Croatia 21st among 107 countries at 2021 International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO)
Here are individual results of the members of the IMO math team representing Croatia: Bernard Inkert (gold), Ivan Vojvodić (silver), Krešimir Nežmah (silver), Andrej Čizmarević (bronze), Dorijan Lendvaj (bronze), Jakov Ljubičić (bronze). The leader of the team was Matija Bašić, while Josip Pupić was deputy leader. Young Croatian team has surpassed such mathematical super-powers like India and Japan. Among 27 countries of the European Union, Croatia occupied excellent 6th place. The IMO (Internationl mathematical Olympiad) was organized by Sankt Peterburg in the Russian Federation, but due to the current pandemic, the competition took place at a distance.

Marko Marulic 1450-1524 Croatian Renaissance writer published "Judith" in 1521
Marko Marulić, distinguished Croatian Renaissance writer, wrote his Judita (Judith) in 1501, and published in Venice in 1521 (i.e., 500 years ago), for which he says expressly to be written in the Croatian verses (versi harvatski). Some of his original verses are held in Glasgow (GB). His Judith was translated into English, Hungarian, French, Italian, and some parts into Spanish. Marulic's De institutione bene vivendi, published in 1506, was translated into Italian, German (five editions between 1583 and 1614, all in Koeln, in parts already in 1568), French (7 editions, the first one in 1585), Flemish, Japanese (in Nagasaki, in parts, 1585), Portuguese, and Czech, in altogether 40 editions.

Drago Stambuk: I am inclined to believe that there was a Croatian homeland in ancient Persia
Based on a large number of recently available sources and facts, I am inclined to believe that there was a Croatian homeland in ancient Persia. It was called Harahvati (Greek: Arachosi, or "White India"). ... The ethnonym "Croat" is also of old Iranian origin, whilst the Croatian name zabrana, for ruler, is also an Iranian word. It means "guardian" or "national leader". Not far from Tehran is the city of Kashan where the story of three kings who go to worship the child Jesus in Bethlehem is set. One of the three kings was Gathaspa, Gaspar. He came from nearby Harahvaiti.

NFCA and CFU To Celebrate 30 Plus Years of Croatian Independence on June 26th Celebration Webinar
On Saturday, June 26th at 11:00am eastern, the NFCA will be co-hosting with the Croatian Fraternal Union, a global webinar salute to the founding of the Republic of Croatia's democracy. The NFCA's webinar will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Independence Day and to honor another "Statehood Day" (1990 milestone) and Croatia's successful and historic road to democracy and it's independence achieved especially in the 1990-1991 time frame.

Alex Grossmann 1930-2019 distinguished Croatian-French mathematician a founder of Wavelet Theory
Alex Grossmann (Alexander, Alexandre) was born in the city of Zagreb, where he completed his studies of Physics at the University of Zagreb, and earned his PhD in 1955, at that time employed at the Ruđer Bošković Institute in Croatia's capital. He spent the period between 1955 and 1965 in the USA, working among others at the Insitutute of Advanced Study, Princeton, and at the Courant Insitutue of Mathematics, NY. Since 1965 he was employed at the University of Marseille in France. This Croatian-French mathematician is considered as a father of Wavelet Theory, due to his groundbreaking joint work with French geophysicist Jean Morlet in 1984. He was a thesis advisor to distinguished Belgian physicist and mathematician Ingrid Daubechies.

Frano Kakarigi distinguished Croatian classical double bassist in Granada, Spain
Maestro Frano Kakarigi was born in the city of Dubrovnik, and completed his study of double bass at the Academy of Music of the University of Zagreb, Croatia. He played as a principal bassist with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, and since 1991 with the City Orchestra of Granada, Spain. Besides being a passionate educator, he is known for his rich international collaboration with numerous music institutions and festivals, including in his native Croatia. He has a fruitful collaboration with Croatian pianist Ivana Marija Vidović, who is the founder and director of the Festival Epidaurus in Cavtat.

Marija Vidovic distinguished Croatian soprano singer
An international career of Marija Vidović began with her music education in the city of Varaždin, Croatia. She studied and obtained her master's degree in Vienna and Stuttgart at the University of Music and Arts. One of the world's most famous and respected tenors and pedagogues Prof. Dr.h.c KS. Francisco Araiza was her professor and mentor. She has sung in the world's most important concert halls, the famous Musikverein in Vienna, Gasteig in Munich, the Bellas Artes Opera in Mexico City and the largest international festivals of classical music in North and South America.

Andrej Dujella's monograph Number Theory translated from Croatian
Andrej Dujella, of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, is distinguished Croatian mathematician, expert in Number Theory. His monograph Teorija brojeva, written in Croatian, saw its translation into English in 2021: Number Theory. It is primarily intended for students of mathematics and related faculties who attend courses in number theory and its applications. However, it can also be useful to advanced high school students who are preparing for mathematics competitions in which at all levels, from the school level to international competitions, number theory has a significant role, and for doctoral students and scientists in the fields of number theory, algebra and cryptography.

Happy Easter 2021 to all and to your dearest!

We present Easter customs by Croatian greeting cards from the mid-20th century (Zdenka Sertić - on the photo, Andrija Maurović, Zlatko Šulentić, etc.) to contemporary photos from 2021 (Snježana Božić). A variety of customs refer to Easter eggs, blessing of food, kissing of cross, etc. Most of the cards were provided by HKD Napredak (Croatian Cultural Society Advancement) of Bosnian Croats in Zagreb, as well as by Mrs. Snježana Božić and her father, who are using an interesting technique brought to Croatia by their grand-parents from Slovakia.

Yoko Nishii and Snjezana Bozic connection via Easter Eggs tradition
Yoko Nishii has published two nice videos describing in detail a technique for creating beautiful Easter Eggs, with elements of Croatian and Japanese culture. Her informer was Snježana Božić from Croatia, who learned this decorative art from her father, of Slovak roots (his mother is Marija Galko). Decorations include interlace patterns and Croatian Glagolitic Script, as well as elements of traditional Japanese art. Yoko Nishii had as many as 50 soloist concerts in 24 Croatian cities.

Irena Vrkljan 1930-2021 istaknuta hrvatska književnica u Berlinu
Hrvatska književnica i prevoditeljica Irena Vrkljan, dopisna članica Hrvatske akademije znanosti i umjetnosti (HAZU), preminula je u utorak u Zagrebu u 91. godini, izvijestila je Akademija. Studirala je arheologiju i germanistiku na Filozofskom fakultetu u Zagrebu te režiju na Akademiji za film i televiziju u Berlinu. Bila je urednica televizijske emisije "Portreti i susreti" (1960. - 1971.), za koju je napisala sedamdesetak scenarija. Živjela je i radila u Berlinu kao profesionalna književnica i prevoditeljica, a 2014. vratila se u Zagreb.

Sjecanje na Velu Luku a song by Branko Zuvela Dodo interpreted in Czech translation from Croatian

Branko Žuvela Dodo is the author of Croatian song "Sjećanje na Velu Luku" (Remembering Vela Luka), that almost every Croatian knows. Most of them think that it is a folk song. Vela Luka is a lovely Croatian town on the island of Korčula, where the author of the song was born. It is interesting that there exists a Czech version of the song (Krasne s tebou žit). This version was published on YouTube by late David Byler (on the photo), collaborator of the CROWN, who prepared the accompanying video.

Yoko Nishii's tribute to Dora Pejacevic the greatest Croatian female composer

In March 2021, Japanese pianist Yoko Nishii had a pianist concert interpreting compositions by Dora Pejačević (1885-1923, on the photo), who is the greatest Croatian woman composer in history. Mrs Nishii was playing "at a distance", from her home in Japan in the city of Ise, while her audience was in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Yoko Nishii is fluent in Croatian language. She had as many as 50 soloist concerts in 24 cities throughout Croatia. On 5th March 2021, Yoko Nishii launched a very nice video about Dora Pejačević, based on her own photos from the town of Našice where Dora spent a greater part of her short life.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic praising Luka Modric

Zlatan Ibrahimović is one of the most colorful persons among contemporary football players. Speaking of success of Luka Modrić, he said: ... me and my mother being from Croatia, so I am happy, it's part of the blood... In 2020, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has launched a fundraiser to help fight coronavirus and has called on fellow footballers to help "kick this virus away".

CROATIA HAS CHANGED ME! 15 Things I Started Doing After Moving to Zagreb!
Sarah Cosi: ...I discovered Croatia on one of my trips back in 2007, where I fell in love with the country (and then ended up marrying a local, who is now also my business partner at Royal Croatian Tours). Since we both love exploring and showing people the beauty of Croatia, opening our own agency just came naturally. We think we make an excellent combo, as Ivan is a local Croatian and knows all of the ins and outs of Croatia, while I'm an expat, and do all of the communication with our guests personally. Coming from Canada, I understand what our guests are looking for when planning their trip, and traveling to a foreign country.

Ivana Marija Vidovic a member of the pianist jury at the International competition in Lviv, Ukraine 2021
Ivana Marija Vidović, concert pianist and poet from the city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, participated as a member of the pianist jury at the International Music Competition organized during the Christmas time in Lviv, Ukraine, by the end of 2020. The festival lasted until mid-February 2021. The event was organized at a distance, showing enormous potential of young musicians. For Ivana, it was her second participation in Lviv as a member of the international jury. As many as 2000 young musicians have participated at this international music competition. The city of Lviv has a Middle European touch, as well as Croatia's capital Zagreb.

Titanic shipwreck and 84 Croatian saviors out of 300 on Carpathia ship

The best known shipwreck in history is that of Titanic in 1912. Another ship called Carpathia, connecting Rijeka in Croatia and New York came to its rescue. Eighty four out of 300 members of the crew of Carpathia were of Croatian origin (i.e., nearly one quarter). We now know many more details about them and about the drama of saving the lives of the Titanic passangers. Duration of the corresponding film shot in Croatia's capital Zagreb is 47 min. A Croatian lady Marija Bartowski from the city of Osijek was on Carpathia, and her diary contains many details arround the Titanic shipwreck. On Titanic itself, there were 30 Croatian passangers, out of which 15 perished. All of their names are known.

Miracle from Dubrovnik on the 1049th St Vlaho Festivity 2021
The aim of the article is to show just several details from the city of Dubrovnik during the festivity of Sveti Vlaho (St. Blaise), with a special emphasis on children. The festival is organized each February for more than thosand years - precisely 1049. This event connects all the citizens of Dubrovnik with numerous families from the environing towns and villages in picturesque local very solemn dresses, as well as tourists. Dubrovnik is considered as one of the most beautiful cities on the Mediterranean.

Andro Mikelic 1956-2020 distinguished Croatian mathematician in France

Andro Mikelić's very great scientific talent earned him deserved awards: he was a corresponding member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts since 2014, he received the InterPore Procter and Gamble Award for Porous Media Research in 2012, after being awarded the W. Romberg Guest Professorship of the University of Heidelberg in 2011. He had collaborations with researchers from all over the world: from France, from the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and of course, from his native Croatia.

Ana Vidovic Croatian guitarist daily routines and interviews
Ana Vidovic shares a glimpse into what her normal day with the classical guitar looks like, including why she still practices scales, how she works on repertoire, and more! She also gives advice for aspiring professionals who are just starting a career in music. Also, leading up to filming with Ana Vidovic, she answered various questions you would people to ask a true classical guitar superstar. In this special Q&A, Ana sits down and talks candidly about topics such as stage fright, learning new music, essential travel items, and much more!

PingPongParkinson Virtual Reality Championship April 11, 2021
PingPongParkinson has announced the launch of PingPongParkinson Virtual Reality World Championships slated for April 11, 2021. This year's tournament is the first-ever virtual reality (VR) parkinson's world table tennis championships, coming after Ping Pong Parkinson, alongside the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and International Table Tennis Federation Foundation (ITTF Foundation) partnered in 2019 to host an inaugural world table tennis championship for players with Parkinson's Disease.

Our Lady of the Stone Gate in Croatia's capital Zagreb
The scholarly educational film Our Lady of the Stone Gate in Zagreb, prepared by Dr. Hrvojka Mihanović Salopek, shows the historical veneration of the Mother of God in Zagreb and presents a cultural travelogue through the oldest and most beautiful shrines in Zagreb. The film presents valuable images of Our Lady, as well as statues stored in Zagreb museums. Special attention is paid to rare books and manuscripts preserved in the Metropolitan Library of the Archdiocese of Zagreb, National and University Library and the Museum of the City of Zagreb and to the recitation of old verses.

Miro Gavran's plays BEER and ICECREAM online with English subtitles
Theatre Gavran will put their two hit comedy plays by the Croatian hit playwright Miro Gavran on the digital platform. The plays are ICECREAM and BEER and the recordings will be available on Saturday, March 13th at 8PM, the city of Zagreb local time. BEER is a gentle comedy about a Father and his Son. ICECREAM is a comedy with Mladena Gavran and Ana Vilenica as a mother and her daughter in their most dramatic moments. Humour and emotions are intertwined in this story portraying a relationship of two women, who are so different and so alike at the same time.

Jan De Jong interview for the CROWN
Jan: "Instead of importing tomatoes from the Netherlands into Croatia, I strongly believe that we can build the required infrastructure in Croatia to turn this country into a food exporting nation again. But if we wish to compete with other countries, we need to have the best technology currently on the market. And that is exactly what we plan to build in Croatia through our company - CROP... I focus on putting everything in place to ensure we build value within our business - long term." Jan, you are a bright star on a Croatian horizone. Dobro nam došao

Josip Sersic 1948-2020 expert in Croatian-Austrian connections

Hrvatski centar gradišćanskih Hrvata u Beču poslao je tužnu obavijest o smrti dr. Josipa Seršića u kojoj stoji: „Na Štefanje, 26. prosinca 2020. g. je preminuo dr. Josip Seršić (71), rodom s otoka Krka, a u Beču posebno poznat i cijenjen kao polihistor, jezikoslovac i prije svega stručnjak za noviju povijest gradišćanskih Hrvata. Izuzetno je aktivno i uvijek mjerodavno sudjelovao u društvenom životu hrvatskih zajednica i udruga u Beču. Posebno je bio vezan uz Hrvatski centar, gdje je bio i sudionik znanstvenog simpozija '400 godina Hrvata u Beču' 2009. godine. Pet godina kasnije, 2014. objavio je zajedno s Mihaelom Ellenbogenom iznimno važnu knjigu 'Kroatisches Wien / Hrvatski Beč'.

Poziv Hrvatima u iseljeništvu koji su prikupljali donacije: Neka vaša pomoć trajno ostane zapisana

Nenad Bach, osnivač œCROWN-a (Croatian World Network) pokrenuo je akciju pomoću koje bi pomoć Hrvata iz iseljeništva stradalima u potresu, ali i inače pomoć Hrvata iz iseljeništva Domovini, trajno ostala zapisana, te pomoću koje bi svima bilo vidljivo koliko je tko i iz koje države uplatio. Bach smatra kako je hrvatsko iseljeništvo uvijek pomagalo i pomaže kad je najgore, bezuvjetno, od srca i velikodušno, a za uzvrat nikad nije tražilo ništa.

Petrinja and Sisak between the sounds of the earthquake and of classical music
In this article we provide photos and sounds commemorating the earthquake (6.2 degrees on the Richter scale) that by the end of 2020 struck the areas of the towns of Sisak and Petrinja south of Zagreb. The earthquake was felt as far as Italy and Austria. Both towns have already undergone a very slow and complex process of renovation in the period of two and a half decades after the Serbian agression on Croatia. We intersperse the presentation with photos showing its past and present. On the photo - Sisak Angels.

Elizabeth Peratrovich a native woman in Alaska and civil rights pioneer bearing Croatian second name
Elizabeth Peratrovich (1911-1958) was a native Tlingit woman and civil rights pioneer who, in 1945, was instrumental in getting the Alaska legislature to pass what historians cite as the first anti-discrimination law in America (pre-dating the Civil Rights Act by 19 years). In 1988, the state of Alaska designated Feb. 16 -- the anniversary of the signing of the act -- as a holiday honoring Elizabeth Peratrovich. Her second name of Peratrovich comes from her husband Roy Peratrovich. His father Ivan was born in Croatia on the island of Hvar, and arrived to California in 1860.

GoFundMe Campaign Launched To Assist With Croatian Earthquake Relief Efforts
We are monitoring the situation in Croatia following the devastating earthquake that struck near the towns of Petrinja and Sisak, and caused major damage and loss of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who died and are injured, all those impacted, as well as with the first responders and volunteers who continue their search and rescue operations. As global Croatian organizations, we stand united with our homeland. We call on all of our members and friends to join us.

Croatian female handball team winning bronze medal at EURO 2020 in Denmark
Near the end of Anno Domini 2020, Croatian Female Handball representation brought us a fantastic gift from Denmark, by winning bronze medal in the semifinals against the host country. Congratulations to the whole team for their efforts, as well as to the trainer and all the accompanying persons. The is the greatest success of Croatian female handball sport in history. On the photo Tea Pijević, amazing Croatian goalkeeper. Furthermore, Croatian medal is the greatest surprise of the tournament.

Croatia shining in 2020

I am sure that many of you, like me, have lived about ten lifetimes this year, the most chaotic, stressful, unpredictable and scary perhaps ever. But we are still here, hanging on, and hoping for better things. But 2020 was not such a disaster for everyone. In fact, if you take a step back from all the doom and gloom and try and look on the brighter side of life, there is an awful lot of positivity to celebrate, especially if you are Croatian. In an effort to balance the understandable depressive posts on the web, here is an ode of recognition to 25 things which made Croatia shine in the pandemic year of 2020. On the photo, an amazing cat-like Croatian island.

Branka Musulin 1917-1975 distinguished Croatian pianist

Branka Musulin, fantastic Croatian pianist, completed the Academy of Music of the University of Zagreb at the age of 19. She spent most of her pianistic life in Germany, and played under the baton of Hans Mueller-Kray, Willem Mengelberg, Hermann Abendroth, Franz Konwitschny, Karl Boehm, Georg Solti and Sergiu Celibidache. She had numerous pianist concerts throughout Europe, especially in her native Croatia and in Germany, as well as in Japan. Since 1958, she lectured at the Hochschule fuer Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt am Main, first as Dozent and then as Professor. She should not be forgotten!

Maxo Vanka film to be made | American Sistine Chapel
Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka has the following mission: to conserve and protect for permanent public exhibition the nationally recognized Maxo Vanka Murals within St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in Pittsburgh, enabling the immigrant artist's "gift to America" to serve as an enduring catalyst for community engagement and education, inspire social and cultural dialogue, celebrate diversity, and forge connections through reflections on the extraordinary American experience. Murals by Maxo Vanka are not just Croatian cultural heritage. Unique. One and only. The planned film should have been done 50 years ago.

MIRET ecological sneakers made with 97% natural materials
Hrvoje and Domagoj Boljar, from the town of Duga Resa near the city of Karlovac, Croatia: "We are industry insiders who have inherited a factory from our father in our 20s. We have manufactured sneakers for some of the most famous high-end brands in the world. We realised that the footwear industry is horrible to the environment. So we set out to use our manufacturing experience to really redesign shoes from bottom up and make them compatible with nature. Step into durable and comfy unisex sneakers and leave no toxic legacy to the next generations that will walk the Earth."

Marina Jurica singing meteorologist lead commentator for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 2019
Marina Jurica graduated from UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) with two degrees: one in Meteorology and the other in Opera Performance. She is persuing both of her passions. She worked in Orlando, Florida, before becoming chief meteorologist at CBS47 in 2016. She was the first female chief meteorologist in the USA, and is still one of the few female chiefs. She appeared as professional opera singer in the Canadian tour of "Les Miserables" and debuted her own show "Seasons of Love" on Broadway in 2018. Her father is from the island of Lastovo, and mother from the city of Opatija, both in Croatia: "I am a first generation American, my ENTIRE family is Croatian. Growing up in a Croatian home and French immersion school, I became tri-lingual quickly.". On the photo, Marina Jurica is with her son John.

Steve Rukavina behind the story about Joe Biden President-Elect of the USA

On the photo from 2010, Steve Rukavina with Joe Biden, who was back then vicepresident of the USA, now President -Elect of the USA. Steve Rukavina has Croatian roots, and he visited the land of his parents 19 times. He is very active in the NFCACF (National Federation of Croatian Americans, Cultural Foundation), as well as in fostering closer ties between Croatia and the USA. NFCA has organized more than 250 meetings with the USA Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with American diplomats. On Nov. 2020, Steve Rukavina gave an interview to Croatian journal Večernji list.

Artur R. Bagdasarov wrote a new monograph: Croatian Language - a View from Russia

Artur R. Bagdasarov, an Armenian scholar living in Moscow, expert in Croatian language, has published a new monograph: Hrvatski jezik. Pogled iz Rusije (Croatian Language - a View from Russia), Moscow 2020, 388 pp. The book is intended primarily for Russian readers willing to learn more about Croatian language. The book can be useful to anybody, from experts to amateurs. Dr. Bagdasarov is a recipient of a prestigious INA Award for his activities in popularizing Croatian culture internationally. Furthermore, he is an author of numerous articles published in various Croatian journals.

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