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National Geographic Traveller about Istrian music, dance and history

The renowned National Geographic Traveller, in its May issue of the British edition, published a major feature on the rich cultural heritage of Istria. This comprehensive article highlights various aspects of Istrian culture, including the unique features of Istrian folk music, dance, language, and history.

Author Daniel Stables is particularly impressed by how the local people still actively preserve traditions and customs, deeming them crucial for the identity and future of the region: “Despite, or perhaps because of, the changing political climate, Istria has developed vibrant, proudly preserved cultural traditions in music, dance, and languages. These are precisely what I came to explore.”

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age-old traditions are securing locals' futures

Stables stayed in Istria in September last year, accompanied by photographer Mateja Vrckovic, whose photographs enriched the eight-page feature.

The introduction is dedicated to Pula and its rich history, with a special emphasis on Roman heritage and the amphitheatre. The feature then continues with a story about Brijuni National Park, once the summer residence of Tito.

Through conversations with local people, Stables explored the motivation for preserving old customs and emphasized their role in connecting with the past. He also described the efforts of folk groups and musicians to pass traditions on to younger generations. Istrian music, in particular, captured his attention, and the renowned ethnomusicologist Dario Marušić introduced him to some terms of the Istrian melos.

A visit to Vodnjan, to the Ecomuseum Istrian de Dignan, and the Folklore Society of the Italian Community preceded his trip to Rovinj. This visit coincided with the celebration of the feast of Saint Euphemia and the batana (traditional boat) regatta. The author of the article thus had the opportunity, as he says, to experience Istrian culture at its most vibrant moment.

Through stories about festivals, regattas, and other events, he showcased the liveliness and vitality of Istrian culture and how it is transmitted and nurtured through generations despite changes in the political and social climate. 

National Geographic offers a wealth of content in both digital and print formats. The online portal provides a broad range of articles and photographs, along with videos and interactive content that explore various topics, all accessible through the website or mobile apps. Meanwhile, the print edition continues to captivate with deeply researched articles, spectacular photographs, and reportages focused on exploring the world and conserving nature.

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