July 28, 2019 – Did you know that there are many similarities between Dalmatia and Samoa, and that there are plans to build a Polynesian village in Croatia?
One of the nicest evenings of this crazy summer so far (and there have been many of them) was on the top of the island of Hvar for a performance of Samoan singing sensations, Klapa Samoana at the wonderful Hvarcienda.
I guess in my head I had this image of some Samoan guys in New Zealand who recorded a viral YouTube video singing Dalmatian klapa during the World Cup, and they had been dining out on the experience ever since.
I could not have been more wrong.
One of the things that really impressed me about the boys from Samoa is how hard they are working on developing their cultural links – and language – with Croatia, and how they are also working hard to expand their singing repertoire with regional songs from all over Croatia.
And the love for Croatia, and particularly Dalmatia, is real. In fact, Samoa is rather like Dalmatia in many ways, according to Christian Malietoa Brown, one of the two brothers driving the Klapa Samoana engine.
(A more relaxed performance at Dvor Dubokovic in Pitve the following evening)
Christian kindly agreed to give me an interview after the Hacienda performance, and it was a lot more in-depth than I had been planning. The similarities between Samoa and Dalmatia included landscape, laganini lifestyle, strong Catholic traditions, emigration and remittances, the different traditions and songs of each village, and more.
(Not every Samoan gets the chance to sing Proud Mary with The Professor)
And the more he talked, the more interesting he became. Another plan to strengthen the multicultural ties between Croatia and Samoa is to try to find partners to build a Polynesian village in Croatia. It would be an additional attraction for Croatian tourism, be a window to showcase Samoan culture and traditions in Europe, and one more strengthening of cultural ties between the two countries. Apparently, I learned afterwards, there used to be a Polynesian village in Primosten during the times of former Yugoslavia.
Rather than me keep talking, why not listen to Christian and his plans in the video below? For the latest from Klapa Samoana, why not follow them on Facebook?