July 12, 2019 – As previously reported on TCN, the first Domovina Birthright Program is taking place in Croatia at the moment, an initiative between the American Croatian Association of Professionals, and the Croatian Government.
The idea of the program is to take the young adults of Croatian descent (ages 18 – 30), who wish to learn about their heritage, explore Croatia, connect with their Croatian identity and meet other young Croatian adults on an amazing trip to Croatia.
Kristiana Banđen is one of the 34 initial participants in the program, and she has kindly agreed to document her journey as she explores the country of her heritage. Over to Kristiana:for Day 3:
So far, this trip has been truly amazing!
This is my first time in the Slavonian region and it was absolutely breathtaking.
Croatians are known for being hospitable and the warm welcome and hospitality of everyone we have met in Slavonia has been beyond expectation. We are being treated like royalty.
During our 3 day stay our lodging was in the student dorms, each room had bedding for two, small kitchen, and private washroom in the room. Our days are long with a start time of 7:30 am and ongoing until midnight.
Day 3, again did not disappoint we visited the University of Vukovar before making our way to Đakovo.
In Đakovo we were greeted by the Mayor Marin Mandarić who joined us in a tour of the cathedral and walked us over to City Hall where we were welcomed with refreshments. The cathedral left us all in awe. The amazing history, character and artwork was magnificent. We were fortunate to have been taken down to the basement to view the tombs, which is not open to the public.
We enjoyed another amazing meal at National Lipizzan Stud Farm Đakovo along with domaći kolači. An amazing venue for weddings and events. Not to mention, the horses were beautiful!
Our day continued to the University of Osijek where our group was divided to smaller groups, to have a private tour of the university and town. So far, it has been really great to have opportunities to speak to locals, giving many of us the opportunity to practice our Croatian and make connections. Our group leaders joined us for a private tour and performance in the Croatian National Theatre in Osijek accompanied with more vino of course!
My favourite part of our third day of our trip was our evening dinner. Enjoyed in a beautiful property in Osijek, we were able to savour in our meal with the sounds of Mario Zbiljski playing tamburica joined with a group of musicians playing the cello and small guitars.
Follow #domovina2019 and @kristianabanden @kikibann for more insights.
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