It is the most famous of the traditional Dalmatian klapa (a cappella) singing festivals in Croatia, and this year the contest will have some rather exotic guests. Klapa Samoana, a group of Samoans all the way from New Zealand, are to perform at the 47th Omis Festival in the town most famous for the UNESCO inscribed art.
Austin Malietoa Brown,Fredderick Lewis, Taka Vuni, Kulu li Vaa, Geoffrey Ioane, Easton Malietoa Brown, Christian Malietoa Brown and Tui Kennar arrived in Omis after performing around Croatia earlier this month with the Kralj Tomislav folklore group from Auckland, and Maori cultural group Te Ihi Connections, where they amazed crowds by belting out a number of traditional Dalmatian hits such as “Vilo Moja”.
The Pacific Islanders, who like the Dalmatians have a strong connection to music, say that the chords they use in their music are similar, but the Croatian language is a bit more difficult. “There are a lot of similarities. I know when a lot of us are passionate when we sing our Pacific music, the same with Croatians, so in that sense we are able to adapt to it,” said Ioane.