IN MEMORIAM – Last farewell to čič’ Mata

On Monday, May 16th, 2022 in Gorjani was the last farewell of Matija Pavić – our čič’ Mata. A large number of people who knew and respected him gathered and in this symbolic way saw off and greeted this great man.

Members of KUD « Tena » accompanied him with a song he loved so much and special words about him and what remains behind him in Tena.

Last farewell in full:

Ivan Mažuranić said:

„Nije visok tko na visu stoji,

Nit je velik tko na visu stoji,

Nit je velik tko se velik rodi,

Već je visok tko u nizu stoji,

I visinom nadmaša visine,

A velik je tko se malen rodi,

Al kad pane, golem grob mu treba.“

It is difficult to describe in words all the greatness of this exceptional, unique and unrepeatable person who carried folklore in his heart from birth, who truly lived and loved Slavonian song. There are rare examples of such great people who stay young in spirit and who get under our skin forever. Our čič’ Mata lived this Slavonian life with all his lungs, with all his heart and soul, he loved his plain and his Slavonian fields, his Gorjani, but most of all a wide Slavonian song and fellowship.

Mata, you were and will remain a great Slavonian soul. And everyone who knew you felt that love, kindness and cordiality with which you radiated at every step. You were a wonderful person full of love, knowledge and respect for others, a person who was fulfilled by ordinary, small things. You loved to sing, especially about Slavonia, you always carried it in your heart and on all your travels with us you proudly wore your « šokačka reklja » and hat on your head. Oh, how did you know how to sing – do you remember how you just performed « Peče čiča rakiju » in a modern version (you rapped verses) and thus got the audience on their feet or how you broke your tongue to learn a Chinese song? And our departures and preparations in Sunger, where we became even closer and created indelible memories (when you told us after a happy gathering: « Everything is clear to me, that they are young and sometimes a little unrestrained, but to sit on the cold concrete, that isn’t clear to me? ”) Oh Mata, Mata…

And your sense of humor? Oh, how you used to tease us: on a tour in Spain when you sold the guys the trick that with a passport number you can withdraw money at an ATM? Do you remember how you used to joke and say that your hips were worn out with us in Germany, so you have to change them? How were you late in Poland with a few members and showed up in a carriage so you wouldn’t get yellow cards? And every time you would smile so cunningly, you know what I mean: that childish smile of yours that used to get into a man’s heart so much… and you said: I’m glad to be with you…

Oh my Mata, I am sure that everyone who is present here today has some memory of you. Just look at how many people have come to see you off today – only great people like you can get that! It was an honor to know you as a man and a friend, and to grow up with you, absorb your knowledge and spend moments with you today that are invaluable, they are proof of the beauty of your soul and existence.

Endless thank you for all the wonderful memories we created together. With song and dance, immeasurable goodness, unconditional love, purity and incorruptibility like a little boy running into his mother’s lap… rush into the arms of the One who gave you to us, into the arms of the heavenly mother and the choir of angels who can’t wait for you to sing with full lungs and to the song to thunder loudly, the wide and flat Slavonian one that you loved the most. We are sure that you will be the best voice and the brightest star and that you will brighten their days as you do for us every day!

Let us take a deep breath, close our eyes for a moment and bring back the images that will bind us to him forever because… Man does not disappear when he is no more, he simply continues to live with us in our works and songs. And whenever the song « Vesela je Šokadija » is heard, we will also hear Mata’s voice that will remind us that it is still present in us, it will embrace us with it like the sun of the Slavonian plain. And although today we have to say goodbye to him, the verses « I kad umrem, pjevat’ će Slavonija » never resonate louder and louder. Sing Slavonia! Sing as loudly as you can for this great man who was known not only by Slavonians, but by the whole of Croatia, even those outside its borders.

Mata, Slavonia will never forget you!

Rest in the peace of God!