NEW YORK, 14 May 2022 – Statehood Day of the Republic of Croatia was celebrated last night in the beautiful ambience of the Croatian restaurant Dubrovnik in New York.
Mrs. Lidija Babić, Consul Gerent, opened the celebrations and wished everyone a warm welcome before Nikica Kopačević, Consul General of the Republic of Croatia in New York, greeted all guests present on behalf of the Consulate General and Consulate staff and referred to the words of the first Croatian President, Dr. Franjo Tuđman, who said that May 30 is Statehood Day of the Republic of Croatia because it is the constitutive creation of a new Croatian democratic Parliament which was the beginning of a new modern democratic Croatia and the long-term dream of many Croats in the homeland as well as those abroad.
He emphasized that this year is also the 30th anniversary of Croatia’s international recognition and thanked all the veterans and their families, especially those who gave their lives in the Homeland War, which is the foundation of the creation of a free Republic of Croatia.
He also pointed out the importance of the unity of Croats in the homeland and Croats in the diaspora. He thanked Croats around the world, Croats in America, and especially Croats in New York who helped create an independent Croatia.
A minute of silence was then observed for all the Croatian veterans who died. Both the American and Croatian anthems were then magnificently sung by Klapa Astoria from New York, accompanied by Viktor Šarić.
Champagne was toasted and all those in attendance, together with the Klapa, sang Bože čuvaj Hrvatsku.
Guests then feasted on Croatian specialties of restaurant Dubrovnik – from Dalmatian pršut, Pag cheese, octopus salad and black risotto, to grilled fish, šporki makaruli, gnocchi, and for dessert, Samobor kremšnite, rožata and palačinke.
Croatian wines were also drunk and Croatian songs were sung until late into the night. Klapa Astoria and Viktor Šarić were joined by Joško Grbac, a member of the Grupa Dalmati from New York and well-known Croatian-American singer-songwriter Tommi Mischell.
Members of the Society for the Preservation of Šibenik’s Cultural Heritage Juraj Dalmatinac were also present with the exhibition Šibenik through the Centuries.
Marina Lambaša, curator of the Šibenik City Museum, members of the Juraj Dalmatinac Society, Jolanda Krnić Zmijanović, and Dena Karađole Radovčić, presented the work of the society on the reconstruction of fortresses and portals in the city center of Šibenik, the Geonucleus project and Juraj magazine and other projects.
“We can proudly say that this was a real fešta, where we once again thanked God with great nostalgia and love, with our priests from the Croatian Church in Manhattan and the Croatian Catholic Mission in Astoria, for our Homeland Croatia which we will always love and help and preserve the Croatian spirit and pass it on to future generations even though we live far from Croatia,” organisers said, before adding.
“For preserving the Croatian identity in New York, we must especially thank the Croatian Radio Club in NY – Glas Slobodne Hrvatske, which has been operating in NY for over fifty years and whose members were present, and one of them Zvonimir Crnogorac who has been on the radio since its inception in 1972.”
More photos from the night below.