Slovenian a Bit Differently: A summer school

Slovenian a Bit Differently is a summer school that the Slovenian Emigrant Association has been organizing since 2016. Because of the two-year COVID-19 break, this is the sixth edition of the summer school in general and the fourth edition to be held in Murska Sobota. The activities will take place at the headquarters of our partner, the Centre for School and Outdoor Education in Murska Sobota. This year, participants from four countries attended the summer school, namely from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Germany.

Teaching the Slovenian language were Katarina Rebič, who taught the beginner group, and Lea Brečič Lehner, who took over the intermediate group. Spicing things up with art classes was Natalija Veselič Martinjak. Aside from Slovenian language classes, drawing and sculpting, the participants also got a chance to experience Prekmurje, see the Mura river, visit the Lušt greenhouse, the Passero chocolate factory and the Expano adventure park. In fact, they experienced so much, they all agreed to meet again next year.


Marija Ahačič Pollak: People can make home anywhere, but they can only have one homeland

Marija Ahačič Pollak is a woman of charisma and many talents. She is a singer, a pianist, choir director, composer, journalist and editor who makes an impression anywhere she goes. First and foremost, however, she is a proud Slovenian who – despite living in Canada – has never forgotten her roots. She dedicates all her free time to Slovenia and everything related to it without expecting any payment for her efforts. Whenever she sings her favorite song “Murke”, the audience is left speechless. Each and every time. Not many can make a song “theirs” quite the way she does.

This summer, Ahačič Pollak is visiting Slovenia with the Plamen vocal group, which she heads as the Art Director. Before their concert at the Slovenian Philharmonic Hall, she gave an interview for the readers of Rodna gruda, explaining what life is like being torn between Slovenia and Canada, talking about the most important milestones, about “Murke”, the Plamen vocal group and many other things.


Compatriots around the globe know best how strong love for homeland can be

As is the case each year, the end of the first week of July was marked by Slovenian compatriots from around the globe. This year, the Welcome Home event was held in Vipava, and the program was organized by the Emigrant Society Slovenia in the World in cooperation with the Slovenian Emigrant Association, Slovenian World Congress and Rafael’s Society. The event was made possible by the Government’s Office for Slovenians Abroad.

Slovenians who live within the Slovenian national borders have a lot to learn about patriotism and national consciousness from their compatriots scattered across the globe. This proved to be true yet again in the Vipava Valley, which this year turned into the center of the world for a couple of days.

At the press conference that took place before the event, Matej Arčon, the Minister for Slovenians abroad, claimed, “The Government’s Office for Slovenians Abroad is proud to welcome you to this year’s Welcome Home event, which was organized by four remarkable organizations taking care of Slovenians around the world. It is important for Slovenians, Slovenian communities abroad and organizations to network, spark new connections and maintain ties to the Slovenian homeland.” As he explained in his address at the pan-Slovenian gathering at the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, which officially opened the event, Slovenia is one of the countries that are the most involved in maintaining communication with its compatriots across the globe.


The Gorizia region: A land by the emerald river Soča under the summits of the Julian Alps

Measuring 2,325 km2, the Gorizia Statistical Region is nearly as large as the Central Slovenia Statistical Region. Nevertheless, it has nearly five times less inhabitants, making it one of the most scarcely populated regions in Slovenia.

The Gorizia region runs along the Italian border to the west of Slovenia. Among its most notable natural landmarks are the Julian Alps, the Soča river and the highly fertile Vipava Valley. Its largest urban area is Nova Gorica.

Statistically speaking, the inhabitants of the Gorizia region are generally older and less educated than the national average, but they are among the most satisfied with their quality of life. As a wine-growing region, the Gorizia region is a highly popular choice among tourists, who are attracted by its diverse landscape, countless vineyards, the emerald waters of the Soča River, inviting mountains and hospitable people.

Aside from Nova Gorica, the most frequented places in the Gorizia region, which comprises 13 municipalities, are Goriška Brda, Tolmin, Bovec, Idrija, Ajdovščina in Cerkno.


Mushroom minestrone

With the ever-increasing tempo of our lives, we tend to forget about hot pots. But the fact is that they have always been an important element of every Slovenian family’s cuisine. It is a healthy meal that housewives typically prepare for the main course, which is often accompanied by a homemade dessert.

The mushroom foraging season is officially open. As it is quite abundant, se decided to share with you the recipe for mushroom minestrone, which we were given by Vesna Šen Slabe, a housewife from the Notranjska region.

Sauté onions on some olive oil and add diced carrots and potatoes. Then add one grated potato, which will thicken up the stew. Add some fresh sliced portobello mushrooms – if you don’t have fresh ones, you can also use frozen or dried ones.

Sauté all the ingredients, adding salt, thyme, some leeks and a bay leaf. Cover everything with water and cook for half an hour. If you like, you can also add some cooking cream to taste and serve the strew with a pinch of parsley.

Bon Appétit!


July marked by traffic jams and storms

July is the first true summer month, when more or less everyone is already vacationing. Typically, it is marked by congestions and traffic jams in the direction of both the Littoral and  the Gorenjska regions. Sadly, this July, nature showcased its raw power to us and warned us once again that we are not to treat it so carelessly. In the first week of August, Slovenia was struck by the worst floods in the Slovenian history.

Kristijan Radikovič