Croatian Cultural Association
Hrvatsko kulturno društvo u Gradišću HKD
The Croatian Cultural Association in Burgenland (HKD) has as its main vision "To be able to live the Croatian identity in Austria - with equal rights, equal opportunities and without fear" and is thus committed to the preservation, protection and consolidation of the Croatian ethnic group in Burgenland, Vienna, Slovakia and Hungary. The association has been active since 1929 and joined FUEN in 1958.
The activities of the HKD and the various Croatian associations are numerous: publishing books, an online dictionary, organising events, concerts, lectures, competitions in singing and reciting for children and young people, language weeks, publishing CDs, children's books, and above all its own homepage. Every year the association organises the Croatian ball in Vienna.
The ancestors of the Burgenland Croatian minority in Austria came to the former western Hungary from various parts of Croatia in the course of the 16th and 17th centuries. As a result of the displacement of borders through the peace treaties after the First World War, the territory of the Burgenland Croats was divided and they are now resident in Austria, Hungary as well as Slovakia and in the Czech Republic. The Croats live in villages scattered throughout the province of Burgenland. In the interwar period, many Burgenland Croats settled in Vienna and still form part of the ethnic group. The number of members in Burgenland, Vienna, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic is estimated at 50,000 to 60,000.
In Austria they are recognised as an ethnic group, but they do not have their own political representation. Article 7 of the State Treaty of Vienna, 1955, guarantees the rights of the ethnic group.
The biggest challenge today is the strong assimilation. Weekly published media of the ethnic group are Hrvatske Novine as well as the church newspaper Glasnik, there are also periodicals such as Glasilo (by HKD), which are published four times a year. The Austrian Radio broadcasts 42 minutes daily and Dobar dan Hrvati in Croatian every Sunday. In addition, there is a TV programme on a private station. The Burgenland Croats - Gradišćanski Hrvati - differ from each other in language and customs. Linguistically, they are divided into two groups: "Čakavci" and "Štokavci" - after the question word "was", which is translated as "ča" or "što" depending on the group. The language of the Burgenland Croats has been standardised and differs from the modern standard language spoken in Croatia.
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