The Croatian radio show Bar Croata, which broadcasts from Rosario in Argentina, is celebrating its 15th birthday.
Like most shows, Bar Croata had humble beginnings but it has grown over time. Not only do they have a large following all over Argentina and South America, but they have listeners also from the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.
“It all started in 2005 when former Croatia football international and 1998 bronze medal winner Aljoša Asanović and sports journalist Andrija Kačić-Karlin came to our country to present a book they had prepared about Croatian football through the eyes of Aljoša. In the end, three friends wearing Croatian football jerseys, Jure Vuković, Javier Šantić and Ivan Grbac, asked them interesting questions. Two of them, surprised, were given signed books,” Grbac explains.
That was the inspiration for them to do something for Croatia. On December 1 of that year, Bar Croata was born.
“Many friends have come on to tell their family history, Croats recognised in Argentine, South American or Croatian society, also have come through our show. Our dear Veterans (here or through streaming) also. We have correspondents in some countries, for example from Spain, where a friend tells us about Croatian players in La Liga. Today, Jure is not on the show, but Tina Zaric and Carlos Bukovac are part of the team,” Grbac says.
The topics Bar Croata deal with include news from Croatia or the diaspora, history, geography, tourism, culture, customs, politics, current events and a lot of music.
“14 years ago we created symbolic distinctions called “Croatian Identity”- three in bronze, two in silver and one in gold. We have already delivered them to more than 100 people in Argentina or South America, including former President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic when she was visiting Argentina. In our 10th and 15th years we also made Platinum ones which we presented to our friend, Mrs. Branka Bezić-Filipović, for her great contribution to society. She is perhaps better known as a representative of Matica from Split. We are the only entity in Argentina that awards this type of recognition.”
The show’s symbolic kum (Godfather) is Aljoša Asanović and Croatian football has always held a special place.
As a final message, I will tell you that we will always be with our people, carrying Croatian feelings and colours high. Thank you to everyone who was there, to those who were part of the team, and to our dear listeners, that without them we would not have the recognition we have today. And we do this not only for ourselves but for our dear emigrants. Long live Croatia!! Thank you very much, everyone,” Grbac concludes.