Carli’s Cultural Connections: Okanagan Croatian Club

The club is trying to get new members

The Okanagan Croatian Club is making a transition to entice younger generations to its club. Kate Sarac, who is originally from Croatia, is 29 and becoming club president.

Sarac is hoping to start a kolo group in the Okanagan, to bring a younger generation into Croatian culture. She spoke with the Kelowna Capital News about her involvement with the club and why it’s important to continue the culture for younger generations as part of Carli’s Cultural Connections.

Q: Why is it important for you to take over the club as a young adult?

A: I used to live in Croatia so a lot of my memories are watching young adults going into town squares dressed up with full makeup and hair and they would dance. It was always something that I loved. I thought it was beautiful. It’s always such a neat part of our culture. When I moved back to Canada, my parents started a kolo group in Ontario, that’s what I used to do on May long weekends.

It was a great time to spend with family and friends and keep the culture alive because it is something that isn’t as prevalent now. If we can keep these beautiful interactive pieces of our history more readily available and in the public eye, it’s a cool part of our culture I’d like to show the rest of the world.

Q: Why is dancing such a big part of Croatian culture?

A: That’s what we used to do in our pastime. There were lots of villages and (close-knit) communities that didn’t have access to resources, they were very poor, so they would spend their free time sewing and weaving these intricate outfits and they would go to villages and would each bring their own dance and style. If you go all over Croatia each different region has a style of nosnje, so it was almost a competition to see who could make the most elaborate ones.

It’s a show of competition but it was a lot of fun, it’s something that’s been a tradition in our culture for generations.

Q: How can people get involved with the club?

A: You don’t have to be Croatian to join. Our current president isn’t actually Croatian. We’re doing a lot of hip, fun things. This weekend we’re actually doing a Mother’s Day BBQ at Sarsons Beach Park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. We’re going to be having lamb that we’ve roasted and potato salad and the kids from the language class will be doing a presentation in Croatian.

You can search for the Okanagan Croatian Club on Facebook, where events are all posted. If you are part of our club, which is $20 to join, you can join our language classes for free which we hold every other week.

We have wonderful songs and dances and food and wine and travel opportunities.

Every two weeks, the Capital News will feature different cultures as part of a video segment that highlights different cultures in the Okanagan. To watch Sarac’s feature online, visit kelownacapnews.com. To get involved, email Carli at carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Grass fire reported near Traders Cove

West Kelowna - Emergency crews are responding to reports of a grass fire today

Okanagan Lake levels rising

The lake hit full pool today

Lake Country residents to meet with district to discuss public beaches

Carr’s Landing residents are invited to provide feedback to the district

Kelowna residents enjoy May Days parade

The 59th annual May Days celebration takes place this weekend

Big-time Kelowna band to rock Ponderosa

Yukon Blonde is touring Canada

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Olympic gold medallist returns to Summerland

Justin Kripps brought his gold medal to Summerland Secondary Thursday

Searchers for Vancouver Island father turn focus to Cowichan River

Cowichan SAR joined by many other SAR groups, volunteers now determined to find missing man

Vacationers urged to check for stowaway bats that could carry deadly disease

‘White-nose syndrome’ has killed millions of bats in North America, but hasn’t arrived in B.C. yet

Are B.C.’s gas prices enough to keep you from travelling May long weekend?

Gas prices in B.C. ranging from 125 cents per litre to more than 150 cents

Most Read