During the working visit to the Federative Republic of Brazil, the President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović met with representatives of the Croatian community and presented Awards of Recognition of the Republic of Croatia to the associations “Croatia Sacra Paulistana” and “Society of Friends of Dalmatia”.
“Brazil is the last country that I am visiting during my visit to South America, which I have chosen to visit primarily because of the many Croatian emigrants who were looking for a better life and came to this vast continent, some of them settling in Brazil“, said President Grabar-Kitarović addressing representatives of the Croatian community in the Croatian club “Croatia Sacra Paulistana” in São Paulo.
She noted many similarities in the mindset of Brazilians and Croats, mentioning their loyalty towards family and home, belonging to the Catholic faith, as well as their passion and temperament. As an important link, she also included, among other things, the love of football, the most important pastime in the world. “I believe that many of you were overwhelmed with emotions when Brazil and Croatia opened the 2014 World Cup in soccer,” she said.
“We are proud of our accomplishments, we are proud of our athletes, scientists, and artists, as well as every success of our emigrants worldwide”, said the President. Noting that the Croatian Olympic Gold Medallist, Ratko Rudić had recently been the coach of the Brazilian National Water Polo Team and that Croatia’s Olympic Bronze Medallist, Aco Petrović, is the new coach of the Brazilian National Basketball Team since last year.
“Croats are recognized in their communities as hardworking and valuable people that are entrepreneurial and loyal to their families and national values. I am always very proud to hear how much our people are praised abroad, I am often told how much the Croatian community is an example of excellent organization and the bearer of positive values in every society” said President Grabar-Kitarović.
For the outstanding contribution to the promotion of Croatian heritage, language, education, culture and folklore, and special successes in humanitarian work and the preservation of Croatian identity in the Federative Republic of Brazil, the President of the Republic of Croatia awarded the Charter of the Republic of Croatia to the following associations: CROATIAN DALMATIAN – CROATIAN FAMILY SOCIETY NOW AND THE CROATIAN SOCIETY OF CROATIA SACRED PAULISTAN – SACRED.
During the presentation of the Charter, President Grabar-Kitarović thanked the Croatian associations for preserving Croatian cultural identity and handing it down to their children by nurturing Croatian folk songs and dances, and thus sharing rich Croatian traditions and culture with their Brazilian friends.