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E-magazine | September 2017


More than 1,500 join 29th Pilgrimage of Three Slovenias SLOVENIANS OUTSIDE SLOVENIA

Summer in Bazovica NEWS

»A strong minority bank is being born« 1









Moja Slovenija



The Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Slovenians Abroad


+386 1 230 80 00




Erjavčeva 15, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia





Marjan Cukrov




Slovenian Cultural Association Gorski Kotar celebrated 10 years at the end of July The members of the Trbuhovica Association and the Gorski Kotar Agricultural and Educational Association organised a celebration and a social event on 22 July. The celebrations started in the morning with a hike around the village of Prezid, along the Trbuhovica recreational trail. A lunch was also organised for the hikers. A celebratory session of the association was held in the afternoon, followed by a cultural programme with guests from the France Prešeren Cultural and Artistic Association from Vojnik and a performance by two students who take supplementary classes of Slovenian, Matija Ožbolt and Nives Žagar. The president of the Gorski Kotar Slovenian Cultural Association Damijan Malnar delivered the keynote speech in which he presented the activities of the association. The ceremony featured high-profile guests from Slovenia and Croatia, including Minister for Slovenians Abroad Gorazd Žmavc, Slovenian Ambassador to Croatia Smiljana Knez and the president of the Croatian Chamber of Economy-County Chamber Rijeka Vidoje Vujić. Also attending were representatives of Slovenian cultural associations in Croatia and other guests, who commended the work and effort of the association.


Cultural worker Vilijem Černo from Benečija dies Cultural worker and political activist Viljem Černo from Benečija died on Saturday in his native Lusevera. On 24 July 2017, he would have be celebrating his 80th birthday. Writing about him is a rewarding and at the same time demanding task, because it means summarising the post-war history of the cultural and political movement of Slovenians in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, in which Černo was a protagonist, said journalist Jole Namor on Monday on Černo's birthday, which he unfortunately did not live to see. Černo was one of the first children from Benečija who attended Slovenian schools in Gorizia at the initiative of the Democratic Front of Slovenians, for which his family was under tremendous pressure. He was even rejected Holy Communion from the local parish priest because he was considered a communist. The truth is that he was educated by nuns and lived in an environment where prayer and attendance of religious services was mandatory. It seemed that a »Berlin Wall« was standing between the Gorizia and Udine dioceses. He was still a student when he co-founded in 1955 the Ivan Trinko cultural association, of which he was the first secretary and later president. It was exactly fifty years ago that he initiated the establishment of the Centre for Cultural Studies and he should be credited for artefacts from the local farm life having been collected in Lusevera and saved from a devastating earthquake. This collection grew into an ethnographic museum, which is now a witness of the past, and which is becoming an

increasingly attractive tourist destination in the Torre Valley. A great Slovenian and a noble man has died.  Primorski dnevnik

MORE The magazine Novi Matajur has published the last interview with him. You can read it here.

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Mission of SKA continues The Slovenian Cultural Action (SKA), the main cultural organisation of Slovenian immigrants in Argentina, has been active since 1954. It has a new governing board as of this year, and we talked with its president Damjan Ahlin. All compatriots around the world, especially those who were the closest to her, were surprised at the end of last to hears the news of Katica Cukjati's death. She was an important cultural worker, one of the pillars of the Slovenian community in Argentina and the president of the Slovenian Cultural Action (SKA). She maintained contact with Slovenian cultural workers around the world; since its inception on 20 February 1954 the SKA has been connecting Slovenian cultural workers who had to emigrate after the Second World War - this is why she was ostracised by the authorities in Slovenia after the Second World War. The founders and first representatives, including Zorko Simčič, Tine Debeljak, Ruda Jurčec and Ladislav Lenček, held high posts in the cultural elite. The SKA has always represented a wide cultural spectrum, with an emphasis on the quality of works. This is a great challenge for the new leadership given that younger cultural workers do not speak Slovenian that well.

The departure of Katica Cukjati was a major turning point in the activity of the SKA, which elected a new leadership in May ( ssd/24177/): Damijan Ahlin was elected president, Monsignor Jure Rode vice-president, Teodora Geržinič secretary, Marjana Pirc treasurer, and Tone Mizerit editor-in-chief of the Meddobje magazine. Heads of individual sections were also elected: Vinko Rode will head the literary section, Andrejka Dolinar the fine arts section; Franci Cukjati the theology section, Veronika Kremžar the history section, and Tone Mizerit and Damijan Ahlin the socio-political section.  Radio Ognjišče  Matjaž Merljak

MORE Radio Ognjišče.

Damjan Ahlin.


Regional fine arts workshop Slovenians in Tuzla 2017

Artists gathered for the 4th fine arts workshop upon the invitation of the association of Slovenians from Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Europe Now union of Slovenian associations in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Government Office for Slovenians Abroad and the City of Tuzla also supported the meeting. The workshop took place at a beautiful location in the city centre, in the Peace Flame House near the famous Pannonica complex of artificial salt lakes. This year, the workshop featured 17 artists - academic and amateur painters from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Canada and Slovenia. The participants were: Nada Pia Bajlo - Zadar, Croatia; Dragan Gačnik - Zenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Irena Hribar Schmidt - Ottawa, Canada; Ismet Hodžić - Maribor, Slovenia; Melada Huseinagić - Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Radmila Jeremić Ćurčin - Belgrade, Serbia; Borka Jokić - Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina, mentor of the workshop; Ivan Kosmos - Split, Croatia; Marijana Gregl - Bi-


// KULTURA kar, Sremski Karlovci, Serbia; Stanka Novković - Zagreb, Croatia; Zvonko Ostojić - Kakanj, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Tatjana Ratković Bosnić - Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Jelena Šehović - Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Nura Šehović - Sarajevo; Bosnia-Herzegovina, Zlatko Šehović - Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Metoda Turk Šmarješke Toplice, Slovenia and Vlatko Zimmer - Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Young artists also participated in the workshop A fine arts workshop for children was also held as part of the event. Six primary school children from Tuzla were in close contact with the older artists, they watched them create and learned from them under the professional guidance of the mentor, painter Borka Jokić. Their paintings were also presented at the final exhibition.

All participants have been active painters for a long time. They presented their works in numerous exhibitions and participated in many fine arts workshops.

The Slovenčice women's choir of the Slovenian Association Tuzla performed at the exhibition opening, presenting to Tuzla residents, guests and participants of the workshop a piece of the rich treasury of Slovenian songs, conducted by professor Lejla Mulaosmanović and supported by Mirela Ibrahimović Mehanović on the accordion. The exhibition was opened by Tuzla Mayor Jasmin Imamović.

The workshop took place between 14 and 20 August. Numerous residents of Tuzla visited the artists to see them create and to see their works. The workshop was held in a very good atmosphere and, according to the organisers, served its purpose of spreading artistic creation and exchanging experience between artists of Slovenian descent from Bosnia-Herzegovina and elsewhere. Each painter made two paintings, with the workshop resulting in 34 new paintings with a variety of motifs and techniques. The group work was the main inspiration for all. All paintings were presented at an exhibition at the end of the workshop.

Participants of the workshop left Tuzla happy, full of impressions and new experiences. They agreed to meet again next year. The organisers are pleased and they are getting closer to the goal of making the workshop a traditional cultural event which would connect Slovenians in Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the region and the world.  Dragica Tešić, predsednica Slovenske skupnosti Tuzla  Ljubiša Tešić



Summer in Bazovica The Summer in Bazovica project was organised by the Slovenian Minority Organisation in Croatia and the EU Korak association for development of civil society in a bid to acquaint the youngest with Slovenian language, culture, customs and tradition. It also aimed to remind their parents and grandparents about their Slovenian roots, which are being frequently forgotten today, as well as to present the activities of the Slovenian minority in Croatia.   Sandra Grudenić


// SLOVENIANS OUTSIDE SLOVENIA The whole-day summer sport and creative week for the youngest ones was successfully organised between 24 and 28 July 2017 at the Slovenian Cultural Centre Bazovica in Rijeka. It was attended by 13 children aged 5 to 9. Two delightful volunteers, Tadeja and Patrik from Murska Sobota, helped us carry out the programme. The program consisted of five segments: introductory day, sport day, health food day and cultural day. The children learned by drawing, writing, playing and conversing without feeling any pressure. The participants were bilingual during the entire day, speaking Slovenian and Croatian, while repeating things several times in Slovenian. Every morning started with stretching exercises in the playground. After breakfast, the children were drawing, making posters about sports, transport, sea and animals, getting acquainted with colours, shapes and learning Slovenian words. They learned how to introduce themselves and say something about themselves. They played with didactic toys. In the afternoon, they rested, with the youngest ones sleeping, watching the films Kekec and Sreča na vrvici (Hang on, Doggy!) or reading fairy tales in Slovenian. They also learned to sing Kekec's song, to make Kekec's hat and props for a theatre show.

marble cake and apple pie. The children had individual presentations on stage and then sang Kekec's song together. They also received small presents. The parents said that the children were happy to go to the Slovenian Cultural Centre Bazovica every morning. The participants went their own ways with the hope that they will meet again next year. The parents also expressed interest in the »proper« learning of Slovenian in the form of courses. The Summer in Bazovica summer programme for children was financially supported by the Government Office for Slovenians Abroad and the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County.

On the last day, women from the Bazovica folk dance association visited to present folk costumes and various dances. The children were very impressed. At the end of the performance, parents, grandparents and all others were invited to treat themselves to potica,


Sheltered workshop should again go international Florijan sheltered workshop in Globasnica/Globasnitz. The workshop is expected to again welcome users from Slovenia in the future. Project suspended despite agreement Five years ago the Carinthian Caritas launched the Florijan sheltered workshop in Globasnica. It became the first example of international regional cooperation in the field of care for people with mental or physical disabilities. The workshop offers cognitive and adequate employment to adults with multiple disabilities, and there is room for 24 people. The project partner from Slovenia was the centre for training, work and protection of persons with mental and physical disabilities in Črna na Koroškem. Clients from Carinthia and Slovenia started creating and learning together, and respect each other. Despite a written agreement between Carinthia and Slovenia, financing soon became a problem and Slovenia stopped paying its share, and users from Črna na Koroškem were not able to come to Globasnica any more. Vuk: »Both sides want to find a solution« State Secretary Martina Vuk paid a working visit to Carinthia in early August. She also visited the Florijan


sheltered workshop in Globasnica in a bid to make the project cross-border again, as it used to be. Prettner: »We are conducting intensive negotiations« Deputy Governor of Carinthia and Regional Minister for Social and Health Affairs Beate Prettner (SPÖ) welcomed the efforts for the Florijan sheltered workshop in Globasnica to be revived as a joint project of Carinthia and Slovenia. Solution expected by the end of the year The Florijan sheltered workshop is also expected to host in the future users from Črna na Koroškem, and it is expected to become international again at the beginning of 2018. State Secretary Martina Vuk visited Carinthia on invitation from Regional Minister for Social and Health Affairs Beate Prettner. The purpose of the visit was to see in practice how adults with mental or physical disabilities as well as older people are treated in Carinthia. Vuk is primarily interested in long-term care in Austria and also visited the retirement home in Ferlach.  SVSD RTV Slovenija 



More than 1,500 join 29th Pilgrimage of Three Slovenias The 29th Pilgrimage of Three Slovenias took place on Monte Santo di Lussari above Tarvisio on a sunny Sunday on 7 August, bringing together more than 1,500 people. The pilgrimage was organised by Rafaelova družba, an organisation promoting Slovenian and Catholic values among Slovenian expatriates, and the Association of Slovenian Diaspora Priests in Europe. The sermon was delivered by Ljubljana Archbishop Stanislav Zore and a lecture was held by jurist and political scientist Andrej Fink. The president of the Association of Slovenian Diaspora Priests in Europe, Monsignor Janez Pucelj, highlighted in particular the importance of the pan-Slovenian pilgrimage to the Church of Santa Maria In Excelsis, which is adorned with frescos by the Slovenian artist Tone Kralj.   Jurij Paljk/STA


// NEWS In a lecture entitled Hope in Eternal Slovenia, the keynote speaker Andrej Fink, who has recently moved to Slovenia from Argentina, pointed to the importance of gatherings on Monte Santo di Lussari, as »today we meet each other as more recognised people, because we are a sovereign, internationally recognised country«. He said that all three Slovenias - the home country, the Slovenian minorities in neighbouring countries and Slovenians in the rest of the world - must be one, »because it is known that in the home country Slovenia, there is often no understanding either at the government level or the level of people for what is going on among Slovenians who are just an hour's drive away from Ljubljana behind the northern or western border.« He also said that the long decades of »official domestic single-mindedness made the international borders become internal borders within the nation«. Things have changed for the better since 1991, he said, but added that »Slovenians in the home country still live too peacefully in their little and beautiful garden, oblivious to how rewarding it is to get connected with compatriots who live just across the former border«. He said that Slovenians were closely connected with their home country despite being scattered around the entire world, because »we have always been looking for inspiration in the Slovenian spiritual world«. He thinks that the past has to be reconnected with the present, which is future-oriented. »If Slovenia as it is today is not to our liking, it is our task to finally change it,« he said. He concluded by saying that Slovenians had gathered on Monte Santo di Lussari »in the spirit of loyal Slo-

veneness, once called Višarje Sloveneness, and in the spirit of genuine Europeanness! Let the triple Slovenia be an adequate and comfortable roof and shelter for all of us, wherever we may live«. After a greeting from the rector of the pilgrimage church on Monte Santo di Lussari, Peter Lah, the Ljubljana archbishop gave a sermon together with diaspora priests, saying that »we have gathered on Monte Santo di Lussari with open hearts and open ears so that Jesus can convert us«. He called on all believers to unify and transform their lives, to make a deep reflection, and to live Sloveneness, Christianity, Slovenian language and culture in full. »Slovenians will thus live everywhere from the same roots, in all three Slovenias, we will not be closed into homeliness, we will grow by meeting each other, we will enrich and ennoble each other, we will bring back from Monte Santo di Lussari only the best to the world, so that we enrich and ennoble others with goodness and nobility of the heart. There is room for all Slovenian people under the cloak of the Višarje Mother of God!,« he said. The clarinet quarter of the Ljubljana Veterans Brass Band played the Slovenian and European anthems, while the mixed choir Zarja sang during the sermon. Among the numerous renowned persons who attended the pilgrimage, the Government Office for Slovenians Abroad was represented by Zvone Žigon, while Member of the European Parliament Lojze Peterle, a frequent participant of the pilgrimage, told the STA that he wished that »all three Slovenias live a full life in the future and that we have to do everything for them to live!«.


»A strong minority bank is being born«

Extraordinary general meetings of the Doberdob and Sovodnje Cooperative Bank (ZB Doberdob in Sovodnje) and the Kras Cooperative Bank (ZKB) were held on Friday, 1 September, and Sunday, 3 September, in the Gorizia Culture Centre and the hall of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) under the Obelisk, at which members decided on the merger of the two banks. The leaderships of both banks expect this move to improve the operations and help pursue the current goals and enable the banks to face the challenges better. The newly-merged Slovenian bank will still be a medium-sized institution on the regional scale, but size does not matter, what matters is being efficient on the market. The chairmen of the banks' management boards, Adriano Kovačič (ZKB) and Robert Devetta (ZB Doberdob in Sovodnje), who revealed their expectations ahead of the general meetings for the newspaper Primorski dnevnik, are convinced about this. Adriano Kovačič: »Our two Slovenian cooperative banks have decided for a strategic merger, which does not have short-term, it primarily has medium- and long-term goals. What is the most important is that we will create a stronger and more solid bank. Together we will be able to better develop our activities on the territory of the Trieste and Gorizia provinces and face new chal-


lenges better: we must not forget all the changes dictated by the monetary policy of the European Central Bank, or the technological changes which have profoundly changed our habits. This is why I think that together we will attain higher and more ambitious goals faster than the cooperatives would have separately.« Robert Devetta: »This merger is also a result of the change on the entire market, and because the situation on the market is changing bank strategies have to be adjusted. What we expect from this merger is that we will be able to better pursue the goals we have pursued so far - providing quality service to our customers. We need to bear in mind that we are a cooperative and that our goal is not mere profit, we can also help develop cultural and sport activities in the area where we operate. Of course, the merger is an extraordinary operation which required an additional effort and also brings inconveniences, but history proves that there are more positive consequences than inconveniences, because both us and ZKB already have one merger behind us.«  Primorske novice  Bumbaca


Argentine Slovenian Andres Vombergar a new member of Olimpija football club The 22-year-old Andres Vombergar has so far played for Argentinian clubs (River Plate, Club Atletico Ituzaingo, Fenix de Pilar, Los Andes), and is now coming to Olimpija, partly because he wanted to get to know the homeland of his ancestors. »I'm very happy. Olimpija was my only wish, I didn't think about other offers at all. I'm happy that this story has ended and that I can say I'm an Olimpija player,« said Vombergar, who will wear number 29 on his Olimpija Ljubljana jersey.  STA  NK Olimpija

Notice from the National Electoral Commission on procedures for voting from abroad On the e-Administration portal, the National Electoral Commission (DVK) has established a new information system, e-Notifications for voters in a bid to simplify the procedure of sending notifications to voters. The following voters can send notifications through the e-Notification system related to the elections for the president of Slovenia, which will be held on 22 October 2017: 1. Voters with permanent residence in Slovenia who will be abroad on the day of the elections can inform the DVK through the e-Notification system that they would like to vote by mail from abroad (if they have temporary residence abroad) or that they would like to vote at a Slovenian diplomatic or consular office with a polling station. 2. Voters with permanent residence abroad who will be in Slovenia on the day of the elections can inform the DVK through the e-Notification system that they would like to vote outside the area of their permanent residence or at the OMNIA polling station in Slovenia. The information system e-Notification is included in the existing framework of the e-Administration portal and provides for the electronic receipt of applications and electronic processing of received applications. Applications can be filed in two ways: - Electronically with a qualified digital certificate - Electronically without a digital certificate The e-Notification system has a virtual assistant. By asking questions, the programme guides a voter through the procedures which suit their needs and circumstances and which displays a list of activities a voter must perform.


Scholarships for Slovenians in neighbouring and other countries for the 2017/2018 academic year On 29 August 2017, the Public Scholarship, Development, Disability and Maintenance Fund published a public call for applications ( wp-content/uploads/2017/08/234-javni-razpis-slovenci-v-zamejstvu-in-po-svetu.pdf) for scholarships for studying in the Republic of Slovenia. The call is open to Slovenians in neighbouring and other countries and applies to the 2017/2018 academic year. The subject of the open call is the extension of existing or awarding of new scholarships to Slovenians in neighbouring and other countries for first- and second-degree studies for state-approved degrees in the Republic of Slovenia.

The basic scholarship is EUR 150 a month for those who have already been awarded a scholarship and who continue their studies in a higher grade, and EUR 200 for students who will be enrolled in the first or second year and who do not have a scholarship yet. Individuals may be eligible for additional bonuses. A total of EUR 275,000 is available for the programme. Applicants must submit their applications to the Public Scholarship, Development, Disability and Maintenance Fund until 30 September 2017. MORE You can find additional information HERE.

16th competition for student works on Slovenians in neighbouring and other countries The Government Office for Slovenians Abroad has published the 16th competition for diploma, master's and doctoral theses on the topic of Slovenians in neighbouring and other countries. A total of 281 theses applied for the previous, 15th prize competitions, with 92 of them (including from Argentina, Germany, Serbia, Switzerland etc., while most of them came from Italy and Austria) receiving prizes.

VEÄŒ The call for applications for the 16th competition, which expires on 1 December, is available a HERE. More information dr. Zvone Ĺ˝igon (zvone.zigon@gov. si)


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E-magazine Moja Slovenija September 2017  

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