Travel

Samoans Play Balote on Top of Hvar as Klapa Samoana Stuns Hvarcienda

By 16 July 2019

July 16, 2019 - Klapa Samoana, the Dalmatian sensations from the Pacific, entertained about 300 guests at Hvarcienda, on the top of Croatia's premier island. It was quite a show.  

So authentic, and yet so authentic. 

Unique and unforgettable for sure, as two outstanding products met with no neighbours to disturb for an evening of music, food, wine, nature, dancing and fun. 

And boy - how did the main stars perform. 

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The concept of a Dalmatian klapa group from the Pacific island of Samoa might sound pretty far out, but Klapa Samoana won the hears of Croatians all over the globe last year during the World Cup, as their klapa singing went viral. 

If you don't know the story, it all started with a Croatian music teacher in Auckland and a school trip to Croatia in 2008. Rather than repeat the story for those who know it, you can learn more in the video below. 

 

A great story. And so when I heard that they would be performing on Hvar - more specifically at Hacienda on the very top of the island - I knew that we had to go. Hvarcienda is a new concept for 2019, an organic oasis of gorgeousness offering 'food with views'. Although I hadn't tried the food yet, if it was anything like the views... The ultimate chill zone, with literally no neighbours for miles, Hvarcienda hosts a range of cool events, from yoga to immortelle harvesting workshops. It was time to pay a first visit. 

We weren't the only ones who were excited. Here are the Klapa Samoana founding brothers on top of Hvar the day before the concert. 

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We arrived about 20:00, just in time for sunset.  

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A truly divine part of the planet.  

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And, for the hikers, some pointers on the important mountain peaks in the world, with Hvar's very own peak of Sv. Nikola looking achievable at 621m above sea level, or 'very close'. 

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The recently harvested field of immortelle. It must look glorious in yellow.  

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A natural and safe paradise for all the family. So much space, so much nature, so much The Mediterranean as It Once Was.  

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When we arrived, the guys were playing balote *see lead photo), the latest incursion into Dalmatian culture since their World Cup success.  The main man, Christian, was very approachable and was impressed that my brother-in-law had visited Samoa - twice! He had never heard of a Croatian who had been to his country twice. 

A quick change from the casual balote t-shirt and shorts, and the boys were ready for action. 

Samoa meets Dalmatia. Just stunning. There were a LOT more people than expected, and a truly memorable performance. I had expected Klapa Samoana to have a range of songs they had learned and just to sing those, but it quickly became apparent that the initial World Cup success had started something much bigger. Their knowledge of Croatian culture (and language) was impressive, as was their understanding of the regions of Croatia. They had a song for each, asking if there was anyone from Istria, Zagorje, Slavonia - then producing a song for each. 

Much more than a concert, it was an evening of song and a narrative of the developing love affair of Samoans for Croatia. 

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And all the while, Hvarcienda was providing culinary support.  

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The menu was small but delicious and healthy.  

But that was not the end of the evening, for this was a sunset to sunrise party. With no neighbours to disturb, Hvarcienda guests were free to express themselves and party. Klapa Samoana gave way to the tunes from DJ Occko, and after the lively Samoan warmup, the crowd was ready to dance. 

I disappeared with Christian to his room to record an interview, which I had planned to add to this article. But he was SO interesting and covered so many topics, one of which could be really interesting for Croatian tourism, that I will cover that in a separate article in a couple of days. 

An amazing night. High-quality Croatian tourism, with content, content, content. 

You can follow the Klapa Samona story on Facebook.

Hvarcienda is a true hidden gem. Here is how to find it.  

To learn more about the island, check out the Total Croatia Hvar in a Page guide

 

 

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