THE CROATIANS OF LONDON
The Croatian Herald, Australia No. 963 - 18 April 2003
VIEWPOINT FROM LONDON
by Brian Gallagher
THE CROATIANS OF LONDON
There have been Croatians in the UK for many decades -
the dissident newspaper Nova Hrvatska was published
here - but no substantial community. Over the last few
years that has changed; there are now 2 - 3 thousand
Croatians here. A new community is now forming, largely
in London, and its most important element is the
Croatian Students and Young Professionals Network
(CSYPN). The president is Marko Krznaric, whose hard
work has made him de facto leader of the Croatian
community; he is a real asset to Croatia in Britain.
Your humble correspondent is the Vice President. So
let me tell you something about us.
CSYPN members are in the UK either to work or study,
and a number have permanently settled. Many are
involved in finance, IT and the media. The membership
have roots from all over Croatia, BiH and elsewhere so
it is quite possible that we in London have the most
diverse Croat community anywhere. There are even one
or two Anglo-Croats.
There are also British members, friends of Croatia.
There are a number of Australian Croats here. Indeed,
one, Andrija Zuvela, is a CSYPN committee member.
CSYPN organises many social events, dinners, dances
and simple nights out in the pub. The Croatian
National Day celebration last year was the most
important UK Croat social event of 2002. In the last
couple of weeks we organised a major event, the
'Croatian Big Night Out' which attracted a hundred
We organised a highly successful lecture series on the
Croatian language. Furthermore, we asked Marcus Tanner
to give a talk to coincide with the second edition of
his book on Croatia. The talk and subsequent questions
was hosted by Adrian Chiles, a BBC TV business
correspondent with Croat roots.
CSYPN goes to Croatian events in London such as the
Croatian National Ballet in the Royal Opera House and
more recently the New Life theatre of visually
impaired actors from Zagreb.
A major plank of our activities are in sports; such as
our basketball team. Marko recently organised a
successful squash tournament. A CSYPN group went to
support Goran Ivanisevic at Wimbledon, and CSYPN
members appeared for both Hajduk and Dinamo's games
against Fulham. The aforementioned Andrija Zuvela was
interviewed for the Fulham/Hajduk programme and Adrian
Chiles stepped in for the Dinamo programme.
As can be seen, we do a lot; without us the Croat
community in London would wither. And given we are
based in London, our potential importance and that of
the whole Croat community here should not be
As I say, we have Australian Croats here; so Croats in
Australia - or NZ, or indeed elsewhere! - coming over
to work or study should join us. Full details on our
website at www.csypn.org.uk
© Brian Gallagher
My 'Viewpoint from London' column appears fortnightly
in the Australian 'Croatian Herald' and thereafter at www.croatifocus.com