February 17, 2020 – There are SO many obscure traditional Dalmatian games that are local to individual villages that are slowly dying out. So why not revive and celebrate them with the Traditional Dalmatian Games Olympics? Get involved!
Almost 8 years ago, a new wine festival in an inland village on Hvar was announced. It was to be a celebration of the local Bogdanusa grape variety, as well as different aspects of culture of the village of Svirce.
Among the attractions was a game called Zoga Falo, a traditional game played mostly in Svirce, as well as occasionally in the villages of Vrisnik and Velo Grablje and one or two villages on Brac.
In ten years of living on Hvar, I had never heard of it. And neither had most locals I asked about it. What a fantastic idea to revive some of the traditions of the island I thought, and when we found a 90-year-old Zoga Falo player in the village who was able to relate his sporting experiences in his youth, it was the icing on the cake of a great idea. You can learn more about zoga falo and the atmosphere on an unforgettable evening in Svirce in the Hvar TV report below.
Time passed, and as I got to know Dalmatia better, so too I learned all about some of the unique Dalmatian games that were played in various parts of the region. Many were particular to just one village, and many were slowly dying out as the new generation prefers gadgets to the traditional Dalmatian games of their grandparents’ generation.
And then, last November, in glorious sunshine on a truly special day, Trogir launched its fabulous new branding, Marked by Masters. It was an outstanding day, bringing the very best of Dalmatia and its traditions to life.
Among the many cool things that unforgettable day in Trogir was the sight of Trogir’s young children playing traditional Dalmatian games in the streets and squares of that exquisite old town and UNESCO World Heritage Site (this one is called trilja, and it the basis of the new Trogir logo).
Tourism is in danger of losing its authenticity, and I personally think that if we can put the community back into tourism as it was just 15 years ago, everyone would benefit, as I wrote recently. What if we could revive and celebrate all these traditional Dalmatian games and bring them into one place for locals and tourists, learn about and compete in?
Why not have the Olympics of Traditional Dalmatian Games?
Walking around Trogir, I could imagine an event with locals and tourists competing in different Dalmatian games on different squares, bringing the whole town to life in a celebration of the region’s heritage. And it would be a great opportunity to get the older generation involved.
Over lunch that day, I got chatting to a lovely couple dressed in traditional Dalmatian clothing. They had been married for almost 60 years and spoke with enthusiasm about Trogir in their childhood and the games they used to play. It got me thinking – if we could get the older generation involved with their memories, experiences, photographs etc. how much richer would the event be? And where better to hold such an event than Trogir.
I decided to post on Facebook, asking people to contribute any traditional Dalmatian games that they could remember from their village. The list so far is a little disorganised, but is a good basis. Not all of them can be turned into competitive sports, but certainly some can.
Are there any more? Send us some info (and which village/town it is played) to [email protected] Subject Games, and let’s see what else is out there and if we can organise a great alternative Olympics.
If you are interested in helping us take this idea forward, please contact me.
GURANJE KOLA OD BARILA
OBRUČ NA KLIN
Papagalo koja ura ze
NA GUZE & MALE BRANKE
Koja je ura
Že Crna Marica jen’, dva, tri!
Na slije (sličice)
Balun o’ ruke