With the aim of strengthen ties between Croatia and Croatian communities around the world, 34 participants of Croatian descent between the ages of 18 – 30 are currently on a 16-day cultural and educational immersion tour of Croatia organised by the Croatian government.
The Domovina Birthright Program participants are learning about their Croatian heritage, exploring the beauty and excitement of Croatia, connecting with their Croatian identity and meeting other young Croatians.
Reporting from the tour is Kristiana Banden, one of the inaugural participants.
Day 3 – Đakovo-Osijek-Kopački rit-Vukovar
With participants aged 18-30, many of them students, we had the opportunity to visit two universities. The university of Vukovar and Đakovo. The program’s participants came from America, Australia, Canada, Peru, Argentina and South Africa so it was interesting to compare our own hometown schools to a Croatian university.
University of Vukovar.
In Osijek we visited the university and were split into groups led by professors and students for a tour of the school and town.
After our university tour, we made our way to Đakovo, to visit the most beautiful church, in my opinion, that I have ever seen. Built in the 18th century, it took 7 million bricks, 4 years to build and 12 additional years to decorate. It was absolutely breathtaking!
We were fortunate to have been taken down to the basement to see the tomb, something that is not open to the public.
The Mayor of Đakovo, Marin Mandarić and me.
We were welcomed into City Hall with rakija and refreshments.
Left to right: Kristiana Banđen, Ane Slabić, Augustina Tuzinkievicz and Vincent Jerkovich.
We enjoyed a beautiful lunch at the National Lipizzan Stud Farm Đakovo.
Left to right: Annalee Sekulić, Kristiana Banđen, Ivana Vujeva and Maya Ilijecska.
Enjoyed a tour and private performance by pianist and opera singers in the Croatian National Theatre in Osijek.
You can follow Kristiana on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/kristianabanden/ and #domovina2019 for more footage and insights from the trip.