Saturday August 4, 2012
Musical tribute to Croatia
IT WAS a unique way to celebrate Croatia’s Independence Day in Kuala Lumpur.
Instead of the usual reception to fete guests, the Croatian Embassy hosted an event to remember at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre recently.
The stage was set for a concert aptly titled “Beautiful Croatia”, to reflect on a country of striking natural beauty with a stunning Adriatic coastline.
Specially flown in all the way from Zagreb to entertain the packed concert hall was Ana Rucner, who mesmerised the audience with the electric cello.
Croatian Ambassador Zeljko Bosnjak stood taller that evening as he addressed the audience at the start of the event, which also commemorated the “20th anniversary of Croatia-Malaysia diplomatic relations.”
There were touching moments when he talked about the Croation War of Independence from 1991 to 1995 (the Serb-controlled Yugoslav People’s Army ended its combat operations in Croatia by 1992), and the support given by Malaysia to the cause.
“I am very thankful to the Government and people of Malaysia for supporting my country during that period,’’ he said.
Bosnjak drew applause when he spoke about the progress achieved by his country of 4.4 million people over the last 20 years and Croatia’s impending entry into the European Union (EU).
“We have more than fulfilled all the criteria needed to be accepted into the EU.
“In terms of our relations with Malaysia, we are working to improve the trade statistics and I am pleased to say that there are many opportunities that await,’’ he added.
Bosnjak then introduced Rucner as a compatriot and also “ambassador of Croatia”, an artist whose promotion of Croatia through her music around the world has been outstanding.
Rucner, possessing unique style and creative repertoire, certainly captivated the audience with her combination of classical and modern music.
Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Joseph Entulu Anak Belaun was the special guest.
The others included Deputy Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum, and former Kuala Lumpur mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail and his wife Puan Sri Norkhayati Hashim.
The memorable evening ended with Bosnjak and his wife Ivana hosting a cocktail reception for guests.