Holy Family Primary School in Bell Park, Geelong , Australia celebrated a Croatian-Italian day where the students of this school spent a day dedicated to Croatian and Italian traditions, culture and customs.
Holy Family Primary School, Bell Park Geelong is the only mainstream school abroad that has the Croatian Language integrated into the curriculum since 1978. The school has 176 students of Croatian descent. The Croatian Language is taught from Prep class to Year 6.
The Central State Office for Croats Abroad of the Republic of Croatia co-finances the Croatian Language programme at Holy Family Primary School contributing HRK 60,000
Every year the school organizes a Croatian-Italian day for all students of the school.
The Croatian and Italian customs were the theme of this Croatian-Italian day, where children, parents and teachers, with the help of valuable members of the Croatian and Italian communities, had the opportunity to learn something new.
The day began with songs and dances from all the regions of Croatia. The students were entertained by Mr. Micahel Pinjuh, a former student of Holy Family Primary School, and today a well-known accordion player and singer in the Croatian community in Australia.
Miss Sara Klanfar engaded the students with traditional Croatian games. Miss Sara Klanfar, a teacher from the Republic of Croatia has been in Victoria for four years as part of the “Teacher Assistant Program” at the Victorian School of Languages in Melbourne and Holy Family Primary School, Geelong.
Fritule were prepared by Mrs. Mimi Šimunić and Mrs. Julie Marinović. Students were showed how to make the fritule and enjoyed tasting them. The students were also given the recipe so that their families can make this delicious sweet.
Of course, the day could not pass without a popular soccer activity, where the students learnt that Croatia and Italy are well known in soccer and that each nation has produced many world-famous football players.
Bocce is always a popular workshop and the children learnt how to play this sport which is popular both in Croatia and Italy.
Who is Hlapić? This question was answered by Mrs.Terry Phillips and Mrs. Marina Jeličić. The students learnt who the Hlapić was, who wrote the story, and then they had to be shoemakers themselves and create their own shoes.
We haven’t forgotten the licitar hearts either, a symbol of Croatian cultural heritage.
Ties were an attraction. All students first learned why Croatia is the homeland of TIES, and then designed their own ties.
The students also learnt about the Croatian inventors. They learnt that the first parachute was designed and tested by Faust Vrančić. The students were challenged to create their own parachute using nylon and jute thread to which they tied a piece of candy and tested their invention.
The Vespa was a sensation, the children could sit on a Vespa, be photographed and then create an art work included this scooter visiting popular cultural monuments of Italy. Students also purchased and tasted Gelati.
Another popular activity was learning the cultural importance of coffee in Italy and Croatia. The students viewed coffee making process using a percolator. This was followed by an art activity.
Mrs. Slađana Devčić enriched the Croatian and Italian day with Croatian traditional dances. The children were thought steps to a traditional Croatian dance.
The day certainly could not begin without all the children coming to school dressed in Croatian and Italian spirit. So that football shirts, caps, scarves and jerseys replaced school uniforms.
And how would the day be if there were no Croatian and Italian dishes prepared for the teachers by the hard-working mothers and grandmothers and Croatian and Italian language teachers?
The food was donated by these families: Weselowski, Wijesuriya, Vasilevski, Čičak, Glagolja, Grgic, Rebis, Šimović, Skoko, Scopacasa, Kovzan, Jurić, Singh, Hau, Henderson, Hobbs, Jeličić, Ljubičić, Embanecido, Ecobido, Duraj, Daglas, Jukić, Deak, Alex, Aguliar, Carević, Mackie,Trupković, Picone, Owen, Haase, Nocevski, Matijević, Uppill, Madjerić, Kump, Attard, Dragičević, Benkotić, Kufner and Preiato.
Organisers said: Thank you to all these families, because this would not be possible without generous people like you. Many thanks to the Croatian Community Centre Geelong and the Croatian Cultural Association Kardinal Alojzije Stepinac Geelong for donating food for the teachers and all the members of the Croatian and Italian community who were workshop leaders. To all the activity leaders who came to school and spent a whole day teaching children about the traditions of Croatia and Italy a big Thank you. They are: Miss Madisson and Chelsea Daniel, Mr. and Mrs. Manganelli, Lucas Špehar, Jesse Knežević, Karl Leban, Tomi Šimić, Noah Skotnica, Mrs. Lily Radojević, Ms. Jadra Kolić, Mrs. Ivana Dragičević, Mrs. Kufner and Mrs. Kralj,
The day was organized by Grace Daniel and Katica Perinac, teachers of Croatian and Italian at Holy Family Primary School and was a fantastic day dedicated to Croatian and Italian culture and tradition.