TUZLA, February 1 (FENA) – President of the Croat Cultural Society Napredak, Nikola Čiča believes that the four national and cultural societies, HKD “Napredak”, the Bosniak Community of Culture “Preporod”, the Serb Educational and Cultural Society “Prosvjeta” and the Jewish Cultural, Educational and Humanitarian society “La Benevolencija”, which significantly contribute to the cultural life of BiH, should be viewed separately from all other non-governmental organizations.
He pointed out that these are organizations that have existed for more than 120 years in BiH, and that of all cultural institutions in BiH, except for the National Museum, which is celebrating its 133rd birthday, there are no older institutions in this area.
“For that reason, cooperation with those organizations is very important to us, but it is also important for us that through legal regulations these four organizations are recognized as institutions because in the Dayton Peace Agreement we are definitely listed as institutions of importance for the people of BiH. We often forget that, however, if we consider the Dayton PA to be fundamental for our constitution, then the authorities must recognize us in that way as well,” Čiča told FENA.
He believes that through cultural activities, they can offer a lot more to one another at any given time and that as established organizations and cultural institutions in BiH, they should be distinguished from the other NGOs.
“We have launched a number of joint projects in Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Tuzla, Mostar and Zenica, and in this way we plan to show a desire for a common and better life in this country. It is very important for us to be recognized through legislation as a distinguished segment, in order to show that we are socially responsible organizations. We invest all the money we receive for the purpose of raising the level of culture in BiH,” Čiča emphasized.
Last year, he added, they established significant cooperation with the Bosniak Cultural Community ‘Preporod’, and raised the level of understanding and joint work to a much higher level, as evidenced by the concert at the Sarajevo City Hall held in June.
Also, Napredak planned to organize a series of symposia last year, including “The State and Perspective of the Croatian Language in BiH” in Sarajevo and a symposium on the work of HKD Napredak in Zagreb, but due to circumstances and the ban on movement due to the pandemic, they failed to implement these projects.
We are now presenting the Sarajevo headquarters of Napredak in Tuzla, and the complete program of the Napredak Days event contains six events and programs, which the branches of that cultural society realized in the past year.
Čiča underlined that after quite some time, they started a branch in Banja Luka, which has been doing great for the last two years and has had several important events in recent months, such as book presentations and concerts.
“We are trying to raise the level of cultural life in every city in BiH and in that way contribute at least a little to the fact that culture unites people,” said Čiča.
In the former Yugoslavia, Čiča added, HNK Napredak has in its ownership more than 500 real estate units but emphasizes that they have managed to return a negligible number of them due to difficulties with the Restitution Law.