50 Years of Language Declaration Marked Worldwide
One of the most important documents in the history of the Croatian language was published on March 17, 1967 in the weekly magazine Telegram: The Declaration on the name and position of the Croatian literary language. 50 years later, the anniversary of the Declaration was marked worldwide.
The 50th anniversary of the Declaration was marked all around the globe, from South and North America to Australia and of course Croatia. In Australia for example, the Croatian Studies Foundation organized a fundraiser dinner to commemorate this important anniversary.
Luka Budak, a senior lecturer at the Croatian Studies centre at the Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, who has immensely researched the document, who refers to it as one most important sociolinguistic documents of the 20th century says that he sometimes likes to exaggerate a bit but believes that hadn’t the Declaration happened the Croatian language wouldn’t be what it is today. The pressure in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) was enormous and the unitary linguistic issues after the Novi Sad meeting in 1954 were out to create an artificial one-state language that they called Croato-Serbian or Serbo-Croatian, says Budak.
On March 16, 1967, 140 prominent Croatian intellectuals, representing 19 leading cultural and scholarly Croatian institutions, signed and submitted to the Parliament of the Socialist Republic of Croatia and to the Federal Parliament of the SFRY the Declaration on the Name and the Position of the Croatian Literary Language. The Declaration called for the equality of the four standard languages, Croatian, Macedonian, Serbian and Slovenian, and for the unimpeded development and consistent use of the Croatian standard language in schools, public and political forums, media and all broadcasts.
However, Budak feels that the most important message was the knockout of the Novi Sad agreement that had an agenda to, among other things, create one official artificial language which to date has no equal in the world. Budak argues that regardless of the similarity of the two languages it does not mean they are the same language.
Budak, who has throughout his lifetime in Croatia, Canada and Australia been teaching Croatian and promoting the Croatian cause is confident that the Declaration was the major platform for political changes in Croatia.
The Declaration was first rejected and wasn’t taken into consideration until 1974. However, nearly all of the requests were granted and adopted in the new Yugoslav constitution. It remained in effect until the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 90′s. It was then that the Declaration finally received its due recognition and place in the history. Each year, from March 11 – 17, the Days of Croatian Language are marked as a remembrance and anniversary of the Declaration on the Name and the Position of the Croatian Literary Language. In light of this, the Croatian Studies Foundation which is celebrating at total of 20 years of academic work dedicate its Volume 12 of Croatian Studies Review to this historic document.
Franjo Tuđman Airport: ``The Doors to a Modern Croatia?``
Zagreb Airport will put into use its new passenger terminal on Tuesday, with an early morning flight to Dubrovnik. Stretching over 65000 square metres, this enormous reinforced concrete, steel and glass structure boasts 8 air bridges, allowing passengers to step off the aircraft directly into the terminal. The terminal itself has 9 security checkpoints, 30 check-in desks and 23 passport control booths and also has a huge car park. The complex is five times the size of Zagreb’s older airport and has twice its capacity, being able to handle up to 5 million passengers a year now and a further 3 million at some point in the future. The complete investment in the first phase was over 300 million euros and it was designed by a team of architects under the direction of Branko Kincl, Velimir Neidhardt and Jure Radić.
At the official opening ceremony held last Tuesday evening, Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenković observed: ”These are the new gates to Croatia. I am certain the new airport will add to the country’s image. This terminal feels like 21st century Europe. I would like to thank the architects who created this impressive structure, which will serve as the doors to a modern Croatia”.
In the last few years and presumably on the basis of the promise of this new terminal, Zagreb airport has managed to attract 10 new prestigious international airlines, such as KLM, Brussels Airlines, Swiss, Qatar Airways and Emirates, as well as significantly improving its European and regional network. It has also now established direct intercontinental connections with Doha in Qatar and with Toronto in Canada. Zagreb Airport recorded 2.8 million passengers in 2016, which represents an increase of 7% on an annual level and an increase of 20% over the last three years. With the opening of this new terminal, there is no doubt that the ground has been laid for further and faster growth. How that growth will transform Croatian society remains to be seen.