President Milanović in Sinj: Alka is, Above All, Our Tradition
Accompanied by his wife and First Lady Dr. Sanja Musić Milanović, the President of the Republic of Croatia Zoran Milanović attended today the 305th Sinjska Alka [Alka of Sinj], a centuries-old traditional event of the Sinj region, which was held this year under the auspices of the President of the Republic.
Prior to the tournament, President Milanović attended a reception where Stipe Jukić, Head of the Alka Knights Society, presented the President with a brass alka in gratitude for his patronage of this year’s event. The President then watched the competition at the racecourse.
After the end of the 305th Sinjska Alka and once Ivo Zorica was proclaimed the winner, President Milanović addressed the spectators – residents of Sinj and other guests.
“At this time five years ago, in 2015, when I had the honour and good fortune to open the Alkar Palace as the then Prime Minister of Croatia, I thought it would be my last official connection to the Alka. Again, all my life, for fifty-three years, I cannot escape nor am I running away from the Alka. All of life somehow revolves around that chivalric tournament that can perhaps only be fully understood by people who are from this region. I come from Zagreb, but I am from here through my father Stipe who is from Sinj, from Glavice,” said the President of the Republic.
He recalled his first Sinjska Alka experience, from 1971, when the Alka was marked by the joyful, charged ambience of the [cultural and political movement] Croatian Spring. “Sinjska Alka is a symbol. It is also UNESCO-protected, but the Alka is, above all, our tradition. Challenging years are ahead of us, important years, and the Alka is here to stay among those of us who watch and feel her, and who in some way whisper together with her,” President Milanović concluded.
PHOTO: Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia / Dario Andrišek