Croats (IPA: kroʊæt, kroʊɑt; Croatian: Hrvati) are a nation and South Slavic ethnic group mostly living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and nearby countries. There are around 4 million Croats living inside Croatia and up to 4.5 million throughout the rest of the world. Responding to political, social and economic pressure, many Croats have migrated throughout the world, and established a notable Croatian diaspora. Large Croat communities exists in the United States, Chile, Argentina, Germany, Austria, Australia, Peru, Canada, Hungary, Serbia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Croats are noted for their culture, which has been influenced by a number of other neighboring cultures through the ages. The strongest influences came from Central Europe and the Mediterranean where, at the same time, Croats have made their own contribution. The Croats are predominantly Catholic with minor groups of Muslims, Protestants, Orthodox, Jews and non-religious atheists and agnostics. Their language is Croatian.
Croatian dance traditionally refers to a series of folk-dances, the most common being the Kolo. Croatian dance varies by region, and can be found throughout the various regions of Croatia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Serbia, Hungary, and Romania. The traditional kolo is a circle dance, where dancers follow each other around the circle, is relatively simple in form and widespread throughout other Slavic countries. Due to immigration, Croatian folk dance groups are prevalent throughout the diaspora, most notably the United States, Canada, Australia, and Germany.
Music is a very important part of Croatian folk dance, with of the most common instruments used are the tamburica, lijerica, jedinka, šargija, gusle, bagpipe, and accordion. Today, kolo is danced at weddings, baptisms, holidays such as Easter, and ethnic festivals.