Nostalgic rally begins to mark Tito's birthday

08:16, May 18, 2010      

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A nostalgic journey began in the Croatian port town of Umag on Monday, as about 20 supporters gathered in front of the "Tito" caf to reenact the rally that once marked the former Yugoslav president's birthday and was the focus of national celebration.

According to the Serbian news agency Beta, the rally will take a symbolic baton from Umag, through Croatia and to Serbia, where it will be placed on Josip Broz Tito's grave at the "House of Flowers" on May 25, Tito's birthday.

During Tito's lifetime, the baton would have been carried by thousands of runners, crisscrossing the country to eventually arrive at a grand reception where it would be presented to the former leader in person, before a full stadium in Belgrade, televised nationally. Tito's birthday officially coincided with the annual youth day, a state holiday.

This year's rally, marking the 30 anniversary of Tito's death, will be less grand in scale. Stefica Srica-Zic, the president of the organization "Tito's Republic", will drive an old Mercedes to Tito's birthplace in Kumrovec, Croatia, before continuing on the route.

Source: Xinhua

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