23RD JUNE – 31 JULY 2021

When the scientific and cultural public realized that cultural heritage which is not tangible or monumental in nature should also be accentuated, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted a convention to better preserve and safeguard traditional values that can be called intangible cultural heritage. This is the living culture that has been passed on through generations to this day and is considered important for the recognition of individuals and communities who, with their ingenuity and art, contribute to the creativity, and with it, the diversity and richness of cultural heritage. The obligation to implement the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage with international recognition falls on member countries who decide for themselves how to implement and register intangible cultural assets. Croatian Ministry of Culture founded the Committee for Intangible Cultural Heritage, thus starting a new movement to raise the awareness among local communities and the bearers of specific knowledge, craft, art, beliefs, and cultural and social practices to register them and thus revive them where necessary and encourage their transfer onto future generations. Thanks to previous good experiences of conservators, experts and scientists dealing with researching, documenting, processing and interpreting traditional culture that today is not limited to the subject of research, but also analyses the way of life and the selection of current cultural identity symbols, Croatia is well recognized in international circles for early, successful and proactive work on the implementation of the UNESCO Convention. Apart from numerous internationally recognized intangible assets on UNESCO’s lists of heritage in need of urgent protection, representative heritage and heritage with good safeguarding practices, the Ministry of Culture and Media also registers natural and cultural heritage in its own Register of Cultural Assets. The list consists of almost 200 intangible cultural assets. After more than a decade, the Zagreb International Folklore Festival once again aims to promote the subject of intangible culture as living heritage and, in the context of the pandemic, strives to attract attention to the heritage bearers and encourage a stronger safeguarding process, also trying to emphasize the values that might not have been in the public eye, although they fully deserve it. Croatia’s efforts on international implementation of the Convention are still considerable. Until 2010, when the 44th International Folklore Festival presented intangible cultural heritage, Croatia had 10 cultural assets registered on the UNESCO Representative List (Festivity of St. Blaise, procession Za križen (“following the cross”) on the island of Hvar, Spring procession of Ljelje/Kraljice (Queens) from Gorjani, carnival bell ringers’ pageant from the Kastav area, two-part singing and playing in the Istrian scale, lacemaking in Croatia, traditional manufacturing of children’s wooden toys in Hrvatsko Zagorje and gingerbread craft from Northern Croatia, and the knights’ tournament Sinjska Alka) and one on the List of Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding (ojkanje singing). Afterwards, other assets were included on the list: nijemo kolo – silent circle dance of Dalmatian Hinterland and bećarac singing and playing (2011), klapa multipart singing (2012), popevka folk songs from Međimurje (2018), two multinational nominations – Mediterranean diet (2013) together with Cyprus, Spain, Greece, Italy, Morocco and the art of dry stone walling (2018) with Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland. The Batana Ecomuseum of Rovinj is listed in the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices (2016). There are some other applicants for the inclusion on UNESCO’s lists.

These include the Festivity of Saint Tryphon and the Kolo (chain dance) of St. Tryphon, traditions of Croats from the Bay of Kotor who live in the Republic of Croatia; the international candidacy for Lipizzan horse breeding tradition, Tocati – traditional sports and games, and for falconry that following its first recognition gathers 23 countries after United Arab Emirates. Along with seventeen internationally recognized intangible cultural elements and almost two hundred goods on the national list, it is important to mention that
Croatia’s activities in safeguarding intangible heritage are particularly focused on registering and safeguarding as many local vernaculars as possible, which help transfer the traditions through generations and represent the rich diversity of Croatian language and its three dialects – chakavian, kajkavian and shtokavian. Local vernaculars make up the entirety of Croatian linguistic identity, which is recognized as the golden ča-kaj-što formula for Croatian language. A total of twentytwo vernaculars have been included in the register for now. This especially includes minority vernaculars – Istro-Romanian and Zadar-Arbanasi. The community activity on preserving and popularizing local vernaculars is mostly present in kindergartens, schools and cultural associations and the result is a number of published dictionaries, collections of poetry and other writings, as well as numerous workshops that transfer the knowledge to younger generations, which is the most important transfer for the preservation of a language. During the last decade, twenty-two traditional customs, thirty folklore music, dance and/or cultural assets, two oral traditions, four social or knights’ games, twenty arts of traditional cuisine (half from continental Croatia and the other half from the wider context of Mediterranean diet) have been included in the Register of Cultural Goods of the Republic of Croatia. A large portion of those assets, forty-eight of them, is related to traditional crafts ranging from embroidery and lace making through children’s toys, nativity sets and jewelry making, gourd painting, Easter eggs decorating, making of traditional costumes, jewelry, instruments, fishery, goldsmithing, pottery to dry walling, quicklime making or building various vessels. The Register includes another fifteen traditional crafts, as well as traditions related to the Varaždin city guard called Purgari, the toponyms of Sveta Marija, as well as the skill of reading, writing and printing the Glagolitic script. As is passed on through tradition, and confirmed in expert studies, the UNESCO Convention and applicable laws, the inheritors of intangible culture are its bearers, they are the ones that keep it alive and transfer it to new generations, and are therefore the most important for its production. These are individuals, families or groups from communities whose representatives gather in cultural NGOs. Since they lovingly inherited the tradition, they most often equally lovingly transfer this tradition to new generations, adapting it as a living matter to the modern life. There are other actors that are involved in the process as well – city folklore groups and Lado, the national professional folk dance and music ensemble which perform traditional music, dances, customs, games in an adapted, stylised, artistic form wearing traditional costumes and accompanied by instruments.

They are not the immediate bearers of local heritage, but rather its promotors in different levels. The aesthetics of those performances can be very different from the aesthetics of heritage bearers. Public and media interpretation is also sometimes different from the interpretation of the local community, occasionally resulting in paradoxical cases of politicising, for example, the ojkače from Banovina or law suites because of different interpretations of verses in a bećarac or the purpose of safeguarding a heritage in light of modern-day laws and human rights protection. It is therefore immensely important that cultural and scientific sectors work together, since critical scientific considerations of culture offer good answers to the creation of heritage. Examples of successful contremporary production include the ethnographic museums of Dubrovnik, Pazin, Split and Zagreb, as well as a number of other city or regional museums and cultural organisations, such as culture centers and heritage interpretation centers (e.g. the Banovina Heritage Interpretation Center in Petrinja). The Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Media, organised a travelling exhibition Croatian Intangible Cultural Heritage Registered on UNESCO’s Lists. Since 2011, the exhibition has visited nine museums in Croatia (Split, Lepoglava, Varaždin, Zagreb, Opatija, Jelsa, Dubrovnik, Sinj and Pula) and eleven countries of Europe, Asia, and North America (including multiple cities and museums in some countries): Northern Macedonia, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, China, Montenegro, Poland (4), Lithuania (10), France, Turkmenistan, and Canada (2). With its selection of themes, tradition bearer groups and ensembles from abroad, the International Folklore Festival is also one of the promotors of intangible culture, which has earned the status of a nationally important festival. It mostly gathers amateur groups, it is important for networking and promoting cultural diversity, inclusion politics, social cohesion, identity, multiculturalism, and intercultural dialogue. This is why the performances of Slavonian Queens Ljelje, the ojkan and circle dance with the kuterevka tamburitza from Lika, gunjci from Pazin, popevke folk songs from Međimurje, the mornarski bal from the island of Murter, ganga singing, Slavonian sang circle dances, bagpipes and bećarac, the linđo poskočica circle dance of the Dubrovnik Primorje, the bitinada of Rovinj and the didi from Kamešnica, as well as traditional urban songs and reveilles accompanied by farkašica tamburitzas and filipovčice from Komletinci, ojkanje and circle dances from the Dalmatian Hinterland, Slavonia, and Moslavina will enrich us with their beauty and atmosphere and instill hope that there will never be a lack of true bearers of tradition.

Dr. sc. Tvrtko Zebec, umjetnički ravnatelj


Sudionici iz Hrvatske

Babina Greda, “Šokadija Babina Greda”, Udruga za promicanje i očuvanje šokačke baštine, Muška pjevačka skupina Babogredci, Brodsko-posavska županija
Donja Dubrava, KUD „Seljačka sloga Donja Dubrava“, Međimurska županija
Gljev, Karnevalska udruga „Didi s Kamešnice“, Splitsko-dalmatinska županija
Gorjani, KUD „Gorjanac“, Osječko-baranjska županija
Gornja Jelenska, KUD „Jelenčanka“, Sisačko-moslavačka županija
Jezera, otok Murter, KUD „Koledišće“, Šibensko-kninska županija
Komletinci, KUD „Filipovčice“, Vukovarsko-srijemska županija
Markuševec, HKUD „Prigorec“, Grad Zagreb
Mirlović Zagora, KUU „Zvona Zagore“, Šibensko-kninska županija
Novi Perkovci, KUD „Perkovčani“, Osječko-baranjska županija
Nuštar, HSKPD „Seljačka sloga“, Vukovarsko-srijemska županija
Osojnik, KUD „Sv. Juraj Osojnik“, Dubrovačko-neretvanska županija
Pazin, Folklorno društvo „Pazin“, Istarska županija
Rokovci i Andrijaševci, KUD „Slavko Janković“, Vukovarsko-srijemska županija
Rovinj, Comunita degli Italiani / Zajednica Talijana Pino Budicin, Società artistico-culturale / Kulturno-umjetničko društvo “Marco Garbin”, Istarska županija
Semeljci, KUD „Lipa“, Osječko-baranjska županija
Široka Kula, HKUD „Široka Kula“, Ličko-senjska županija
Vrbje, KUD „Vrbje“, Brodsko-posavska županija

Hrvati izvan Hrvatske

Bosna i Hercegovina, Mostar, HKUD „Goranci“, Goranci

Pučko kazalište

Prelog, Kazališna scena Kalmana Mesarića

Sudionici iz inozemstva

Češka Republika, Studénka, Tamburašský soubor „Brač“
Sjeverna Makedonija, Istibanja, Folklorni ansambl „Kitka“

Sudionici programa Farkašijada

Češka Republika, Studénka, Tamburašský soubor “Brač”
Nova Rača, KUU „Ivan vitez Trnski“, Bjelovarsko-bilogorska županija
Ogulin, KUD „Klek“, Karlovačka županija
Zagreb, Rizničari tamburaške baštine, Grad Zagreb

Sudionici koncerta grkokatoličkog pučkog pjevanja Tebe pojem, Gospodi

Križevci, Pjevači križevačke katedrale Presvete Trojice, Križevačka eparhija, Koprivničko-križevačka županija
Lipovljani, Zbor Župe Bezgrešnog začeća sv. Ane / KPD Ukrajinaca „Karpati“, Sisačko-moslavačka županija
Zagreb, Ćirilo-Metodov kor, Grad Zagreb

Predstavljanje umijeća upisanih i registar kulturnih dobara Republike Hrvtaske

Baranjsko Petrovo Selo, Pavo Franjin, Osječko-baranjska županija
Bistra, Ekomuzej Bistra i KUD „Bistra“, Zagrebačka županija
Gajić, Eva Balatinac i Eva Kostolić, Osječko-baranjska županija
Hrvatski Čuntić, KUD „Čuntićanka“ i Veronika Filipec, Sisačko-moslavačka županija
Jezera, KUD „Koledišće“, Šibensko-kninska županija
Ozalj, KUD „Ključ“, Karlovačka županija
Topolje, Jela Bokšić Nikolić, Osječko-baranjska županija