By: John Morovich
Traditions are those actions that we habitually perform. Traditions are those things we learn from our elders by handing down of age old stories, customs, information, history, songs, food preparation, or hand crafts we learn from our elders.
Traditions can be as simple as baking a cookie from a tattered hand-written recipe, planting wheat berries at Christmastime or they can be as grand as spit roasting a whole lamb on a special occasion.
After four generations of Croatian Americans born here in the Puget Sound Region, many traditions have been maintained, but unfortunately many have been forever lost in their original context.
This can be partially attributed to overwhelming wish to assimilate in to American life, and due to the lack of critical mass in order to perform some of the traditions. For those reasons, most what exists, with some exceptions, survives in individual homes.
One of the main goals of CroatiaFest is to bring to light and preserve many of those traditions with the hope that attendees can take away the inspiration to renew a family tradition or start a new one.
Since Croatia’s entrance to the European Union, several traditions have been nominated and added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Some of those traditions are still maintained in the Pacific Northwest, others are very obscure. At CroatiaFest 2014 attendees will be able to see and hear some of these traditions performed and you’ll be able to learn more about these traditions with lectures, demonstrations, multi-media presentations and workshops including Dalmatian Klapa Singing, Ojkanje Singing, the song form Becarac and Licko Prelo, a traditional gathering in Lika, and a demonstration of the art of bobbin lace making from an expert artist and designer.
CroatiaFest would like you to share your family Croatian tradition! Perhaps it is a specially prepared dish, or something beautifully simple. We will have an area where you can document your family tradition no matter how big or small and hope that you can share your tradition with other CroatiaFest attendees.
We would also like to hear about a tradition that you observed as a child, but may not be practiced any longer. We ask that you email us at email@example.com with a description of your tradition
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