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E-magazine | February 2019


Celebrations of Slovenian culture holiday around the world CULTURE

Cleveland »prince of polka« Tony Petkovšek dies SLOVENIANS OUTSIDE SLOVENIA

Slovenian in race for the White House 1








Moja Slovenija



The Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Slovenians Abroad


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Erjavčeva 15, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia





Miha Prapotnik




Celebrations of Slovenian culture holiday around the world



Exhibition »The Path of the Book« opens February 8 is the Slovenian culture holiday, the day when Slovenia remembers the death of its greatest poet France Prešeren. He died 170 years ago but his words are still alive today. It was in the period of Romanticism that Slovenian literature reached one of its peaks, with Prešeren showing it is possible to express the deepest thoughts and feelings in the Slovenian language. The culture holiday, Prešeren Day, was also marked in Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina, on 8 February with the exhibition »The Path of the Book - from Author to Reader«. The travelling exhibition shows the process of the creation of a book by means of brochures and posters designed and published by the Slovenian Book Agency in cooperation with the Reading Association of Slovenia. The exhibition was opened at the National and University Library of Republika Srpska, where the visitors were welcomed by Berislav Blagojević on behalf of the library and by Mladen Bubonjić on behalf of the Triglav association. Students of Slovenian language classes recited poems by Kajetan Kovič, Anja Štefan and Tone Pavček, while sec-


ondary school students and adults concluded the event by singing the seventh stanza of Prešeren's A Toast - the text of the national anthem of Slovenia. In the poem, Prešeren expressed his wish for freedom, equality, brotherhood and mutual respect, which is a message that should be constantly repeated. The visitors heard how the poem sounds in Slovenian, Serbian, English, German and Russian. The exhibition was opened by the guests from Slovenia: the authors of the comic »The Path of the Book from the Author to the Reader« - writer Žiga Gombač and illustrator David Krančan, and Tjaša Urankar, an advisor for reading promotion at the Slovenian Book Agency. The visitors were impressed by the exhibition, especially by the bookworm character in the comic, who encourages young people to read, but they also enjoyed the relaxed chat with the guests.   Barbara Hanuš


Prešeren Day celebrated in Sarajevo To celebrate Slovenian art and culture and the legacy of France Prešeren, the great poet and pride of the Slovenian nation, the Slovenian Association Cankar from Sarajevo hosted on 18 January a cultural event in the Franciscan International Student Centre. There were performances by the choir of the Pavel Turner Cultural and Artistic Association from Fram in Slovenia, sopranos Ajna Hasanbegović and Hana Salihović, who sung arias by Mozart and Rossini, and students of additional Slovenian language and culture classes from Sara-

jevo, with a recital dedicated to Prešeren. Prešeren Day or the Slovenian Culture Holiday is marked in honour of the Slovenian art and the legacy of the nation's greatest poet. It comes on the date of the poet's death (8 February) and is the main celebration of Slovenian art and culture, both in Slovenia and in Slovenian associations around the world.  Slovensko društvo Cankar, Sarajevo


Celebration in Kakanj

Prešeren Day or the Slovenian Culture Holiday was marked in Kakanj, Bosnia-Herzegovina, with an event hosted by the local Slovenian Association of Citizens Jožef Špringer. The event featured recitals and songs, including by young descendants of Slovenians in Kakanj. Especially emotional and touching was the performance of poet Jadranka Matić Zupančič, who lived half of her life in Kakanj, where she finished the 3rd grade of the local secondary school, as the family followed the father who got a job in the town. Slovenia was represented by the mixed choir of the Pavel Turner Cultural and Artistic Association from

Fram. The event was co-organised by the Association for the Promotion of Volunteering from Novo Mesto.nje prostovoljnega dela Novo mesto.


Prešeren Day in Zenica Prešeren Day was also marked in Zenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina, with an event co-hosted by the Slovenian Association of Citizens Encijan and the Association for the Promotion of Volunteering Novo Mesto. They hosted Novo Mesto poet Jadranka Matić Zupančič, who presented her poems and talked with professor Suzana Krvavica about her life. An exhibition of prints made at a workshop of the Novo Mesto unit of the Public Fund for Cultural Activities upon the 650th anniversary of Novo Mesto was opened

at the association's premises with the support of Aida Čorbadžić, an opera singer from Sarajevo.



Slovenian Culture Day in Cividale del Friuli The main Prešeren Day ceremony hosted by Slovenians in Italy took place on 10 February in the former Church of Saint Francis of Assisi in Cividale del Friuli. The cultural evening saw performances by students, former students and professors of the Slovenian Centre for Musical Education Emil Komel and the Glasbena Matica music association, both from Gorizia, who took the audience on a musical journey from the Province of Trieste, past Gorizia to the Udine region. The musical part of the event featured instrumental and vocal pieces written or covered by Slovenian composers from the neighbouring countries. Directed by Romeo Grebenšek, the ceremony also featured poetry readings and dance performances and was addressed by Margherita Trusgnach of the Cultural Association Rečan from Liessa. Lifetime achievement awards for deserving members of the Slovenian minority in Italy were conferred on the occasion by the Council of Slovenian Organisations (SSO)


and the Slovenian Cultural and Economic Association (SKGZ), the main organisers of the event. Slovenians from the Province of Udine celebrate Slovenian Culture Day together with their compatriots from Gorizia and Trieste, as all local dialects, folk songs, music, fairy tales, lullabies and much more are an inseparable part of the Slovenian cultural treasure. This treasure has been cherished through centuries and through hard times, when hostile politics was tearing our language apart, cutting our cultural roots and preventing contact with compatriots, as if we were not Slovenians, but some nameless Slavic tribe which had no right to the written word and education in their native tongue.  Dom



Slovenian culture presented in the Netherlands Several events were held in the Netherlands to mark Slovenian Culture Day, the main one on 2 February in Rijswijk, near The Hague. In addition to compatriots and Dutch friends of Slovenia, the event was also attended by the locals, who got the chance to visit a photo exhibition on Slovenia in the Rijswijk Library for the entire February. The exhibition by landscape photographer Jaka Ivančič was opened by Slovenian Ambassador to the Netherlands Sanja Štiglic.

ica Novosel. Tinkara Muri, a student of a Slovenian language course, explained why and how Slovenians, as one of the rare nations in the world to have a culture holiday, celebrate such a day so distinctly. Her story about poet France Prešeren and his importance for the Slovenian language and national identity was read to the Dutch guests by Keimpe Dijkstra. The youngest students of the European School in The Hague recited songs about the Kekec character and sang songs with other attending children.

This year's celebration of Culture Day brought together all three missions of the Association of Friends of Slovenia in the Netherlands - connecting friends of Slovenia in the Netherlands, promoting Slovenia and presenting the Slovenian tradition to Slovenian youths. Ambassador Štiglic thanked the association for that, especially the local teachers of the Slovenian language for their tireless work.

The Dutch guests were served some quality Slovenian wine and home-made delicacies, which are a constituent part of Slovenian culture. In addition to Slovenians living in the Netherlands, the event hosted by the association with support from the Slovenian Embassy and the Rijswijk Library was also attended by many Dutch, some of whom had already known a thing or two about Slovenia. This time they were very interested to hear stories about how Slovenian culture is celebrated and to whom that sculpture standing in the centre of the capital is dedicated to and why.  Metka Dijkstra - Murko

Tjaša Fajdiga sang the Slovenian national anthem in Slovenian and Dutch, while the ensuing cultural programme was put on by students of Slovenian from The Hague, under the guidance of teachers Neja Morato Štucin and Dan-



Traditional songs in Split connect Slovenia and Dalmatia The Slovenian Cultural Association Triglav from Split marked Prešeren Day, the Slovenian culture holiday, with an event in the Gothic Hall of the Split City Museum on 8 February. It was an evening of art, culture, music and singing performed by two exceptional musicians - bass singer Marijo Krnić and pianist Tonči Tranfić. Speaking with journalist Mirela Meić, Marijo Krnić said after the concert: »Upon an invitation from the Slovenian Cultural Association Triglav from Split, which associates Slovenian Dalmatians or Dalmatian Slovenians, me and by colleague, the pianist Tonči Tranfić, decided to connect Slovenia and Dalmatia with traditional songs and present the wealth of the musical tradition of both nations in order to celebrate Prešeren Day. »The first part of the concert was dedicated to Croatian, Dalmatian music, and the second part to Slovenian music. We decided to pick works inventively covered by renowned composers to provide them with additional beauty. It was the first time that an extensive cycle of folk songs by the famous Croatian composer, conductor, musician and music critic Boris Papandopulo, the author of one of the largest oeuvres in Croatian music, was performed in Split. The 1950 cycle features a total of eleven contrasting love-themed songs. The singer interprets the traditional songs under the author's notation, while the piano gives them a colourful, neo-classicist touch. This successful synthesis of traditional and modern musical expression is a true gem of Papandopulo's oeuvre. »The second part of the programme was a series of eight Slovenian songs, including six traditional ones, whose melodic and textual beauty gained elevated them to the status of folk songs. In this versatile approach to traditional songs inspired with love of one's partner and the home-


land, we gave the popular songs a touch of early and late Romanticism, Impressionism and neo-Classicism. »The biggest reward for the effort is a hall full of beautiful people who enjoy the music together with you,« concluded Krnić.  Vera Hrga, SKD Triglav Split / SVSD



Improving language skills goes to the core of a community's existence Language skills are at the core of the existence of any ethnic community, which is why improving these skills should concern the entire community, said Sergij Pahor, the president of the Association of Slovenian Intellectuals from Trieste, as he explained why the literary competition by the magazine Mladika was established. The competition was held for the 47th time this year, with the awards being on 11 February in the Peterlin Hall in Trieste as part of the traditional celebration of Prešeren Day hosted by the Slovenska Prosveta association and the Association of Slovenian Intellectuals. The competition featured 138 literary works, with the award jury giving the first prize for poetry to Milan Novak, second to Marija Švajncer and third to Aleš Jelenko, while the awards for prose went to Tadeja Krečič Scholten (first), Barbara Zlobec (second) and Gašper Tonin (third). The awards were conferred by Nadia Roncelli, the editor of the publisher Mladika, while excerpts from the award-winning works were read by members of the radio drama group Radio Stage.

addressed by Sergij Pahor, who said that the creators of the competition wanted to revive and promote writing in the areas populated by the Slovenian minority in order to reaffirm their national identity. He also discussed the current situation of Slovenians in Italy, saying that he was not so pessimistic and that the problems, which Slovenians actually created themselves, were not unbridgeable, because they could be solved with good will and some funds. The evening was also an opportunity to present a book featuring 30 selected works from the literary competition between 1973 and 2016, published by Mladika and edited by Evelina Umek. The editor said that the selection featured various stories and life experiences, adding that the competition was an opportunity for every author to test themselves and continue writing.  Ivan Žerjal, Primorski dnevnik

The event, which was opened by the women's choir Barkovlje from Trieste conducted by Aleksandra Pertot, was



Cleveland »prince of polka« Tony Petkovšek dies Tony Petkovšek, the author and long-time editor of Polka Radio, a popular show among Slovenians in Cleveland and the »mascot« of Slovenian music in the US in general, has died in Cleveland, aged 77.

Polkafest in Cleveland, which gathered hundreds of fans of polka from all parts of the US and Canada, a majority of them of Slovenian descent, the first weekend after Thanksgiving.

In 1967, as the co-owner of Kollander Travel, he organised the first polka tour to promote this music genre among Slovenians and non-Slovenians in the US. He co-organised numerous trips for descendants of Slovenian emigrants to Slovenia, while broadcasting his polka show every working day for 50 years. He also edited a Saturday show, which kept running even after he retired.

In 2012, he received the Order of Merit from President Danilo Türk for his »important contribution to the preservation of the Slovenian community in Cleveland«.

In his radio show, he hosted politicians, scientists and athletes, as well as many Slovenian folk musicians, including Lojze Slak and Slavko Avsenik. Petkovšek was active in the Cleveland Polka Hall of Fame, and the biggest event he organised was the annual


Among the Slovenian compatriots in the US, Petkovšek was considered an »ambassador of polka«, while among Americans he was perceived as an ambassador of Slovenia. If the legendary Frankie Yankovich (1915-1998) was called the »king of polka«, then Tony Petkovšek deserved the nickname »prince of polka«.



Slovenian in race for the White House

Amy Klobuchar, the senior US Senator from Minnesota, who is of Slovenian descent, has announced she will run for the Democratic nomination for US president in the 2020 election. Addressing a crowd of supporters in Minneapolis, she announced a political programme which is almost a complete opposite to what President Donald Trump is doing, both at home and internationally. The 58-year-old is the best-known candidate from the Midwest, which was somewhat surprisingly won by Trump in 2016 in his duel with Democrat Hillary Clinton. The current polls suggest that the Democratic Party has the biggest

chances of winning back the lost region with Klobuchar. The politician of Slovenian descent is known and popular in Iowa, where the first electoral events or caucuses of the Democratic Party will be held in 2020. In her native Minnesota, she enjoys a high approval rating, having won the last three Senate races with a comfortable margin. ď € Primorski dnevnik


Barbara Riman on Slovenians in Croatia Intervju, a one-on-one interview show of the public broadcaster Televizija Slovenija, on 10 February hosted Barbara Riman, the president of the Union of Slovenian Associations in Croatia and the head of the Rijeka unit of the Institute for Ethnic Studies. She tried to answer the question why Slovenians in Croatia are, paradoxically, the least known Slovenians from the neighbouring countries in Slovenia. Riman was interviewed by Ksenija Horvat. You can watch the entire interview (in Slovenian) HERE.

Planika 2018 - the newsletter of the association of Slovenians in Zrenjanin The Association of Slovenians Planika from Zrenjanin, Serbia, has summarised its work in 2018 in a newsletter. Last year, the association organised what has become a traditional literary meeting of Slovenian associations in Serbia, participated in the Welcome Home event for the Slovenian diaspora in BreĹžice, and celebrated the most important Slovenian holidays. You can find the newsletter (in Slovenian) HERE



Slovenian heart K

How many Slovenians have visited Slovenian landmarks in Austrian, yet Slovenian Carinthia? Maria Saal (Gospa Sveta)? Prince's Stone? Duke's Chair? IKEA?... How many citizens of Slovenia know that Carinthian Slovenians, with whom they can talk in the Slovenian language, live there?

On the other hand, providers from Slovenia are interested in getting connected with the Austrian, yet Slovenian Carinthia and with Carinthian Slovenians in the Slovenian language. This makes the northern border even more open, as people from Slovenia are visiting and getting connected with Carinthian Slovenians, who in turn strengthen the positive connections with their homeland Slovenia.

Where are Slovenians looking for information about Slovenian landmarks in the Austrian Carintnia in the Slovenian language?

Feel the bilinguality!

Where they can get a list of Slovenian service providers in Austrian, yet Slovenian Carinthia? Which of them speak Slovenian?

Let's get CONNECTED!

This list already exists! All such information needs to be collected, published and regularly updated! This is why we have opened: 1.) a new Facebook page Austrian Corinthia 2.) a new website Austrian Corinthia You can enjoy the sites across the northern Slovenian border and not bother looking them up in the German language.


Meet Carinthian Slovenians!

Profile for Moja slovenija

E-magazine Moja Slovenija February 2019  

E-magazine Moja Slovenija February 2019