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First Croatian Club Formed in China

Croatians in China form a club (photo credit: crish.net)

Croatians in China form a club (photo credit: crish.net)

For generations Croatians have formed community clubs around the world in their adopted lands…

Clubs where the Croatian diaspora meet up, socialise and keep connected can be found in the likes of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and now China.

A group of around 50 Croatians living in China, in Shanghai to be precise, have decided to form a Croatian association.

The Croatian population living in China today does not fit the typical profile of communities in the U.S, Canada, South America or Australia, where Croatians have settled for generations and have successful built communities and clubs. According to statistics from the Embassy, there are only around 300 Croatians living in China, mostly professionals and students, with around 100 in the Shanghai area. It is estimated however that the number could well be higher, and the new Croatian club hopes to connect all those living there.

“This is not something new. It has taken a long time however to happen. Us (Croatians) living in this region, and there are not many of us, traditionally act as individuals and for all of us everything is unknown. For this reason, networking is key,” Ivica Žumbar told Hina.

The first informal meeting of the club took place last autumn thanks to an initiative from Žumbar. Around 20 Croatians living in Shanghai turned up that day and it has grown since. The association now has recognition from the Croatian Embassy and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in China.

Croatian community in China

Croatian community in China

“Before the Chinese New Year we made important steps in order to establish a solid foundation, but after the holidays and the beginning of spring, we will start with serious work,” said Marina Kramer.

The association’s website –Hrvatske inicijative Šangaj – Croatian Initiative Shanghai – has the latest news and goings on from the Croatian community in China.

“We’re not exclusive, not at all! We will try to get other expats living in China involved. New forms of communication that can help us should be utilised,” Žumbar said, adding that the last community event held 10 days ago had the biggest turn out so far – around 50 Croatians living in Shanghai and the surrounding area.

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