Highlights – July 2008

An interview – Dr. Zvone Žigon: »I try to work unitedly«

Consul general from Cleveland Dr. Zvone Žigon is distinguished for the diligence, the assiduity and the enthusiasm and his fair knowledge of the situation for the Slovenes abroad. His professional career and also his numerous successfully accomplished projects prove all these. The two of these projects- The Center for the Slovene studies and The Slovene museum – have just been opened. The Center, which is situated at Cleveland State university, will unite the lectorship of Slovene language and the »Slovene studies« on the grouds of the cooperation with the various Universities. The Museum, open on the 22th June, will also embrace the receiving and informative Center, the ethnologic and guest exhibitions and the Archives. Dr. Zvone Žigon believes especially in the Museum as a new heart of the Slovene entity here. Cleveland is well known as the city where the biggest community of the Slovenes and their descendants lives out of the Slovene borders. Some people estimate, that 80 000 or even 100 000 Slovene settlers live there, but this is very relatively. It is much more important fact , how much the Sloevene entity is actually present here. Mr. Žigon emphasizes, that the Slovene entity is here wery much alive, although the assimilation was wery strong.

The topic of the month: Let`s learn Slovene!

As to the fact, that Slovenia as far as her number of residents are concerned, belongs to minor countries, we could make inferences, that also the Slovene language belongs to the languages with humble number of the speakers. But the fact is , that the Slovene language doesn`t belong to the »least world languges«. Regarding the number of the speakers only 5 % of all languges on the world have more than 2 millions of speakers- and the Slovene is among them. Inspite of Slovene proportional smallness our language is on 179 th place among 5% most widespread world languges. In today`s topic of the month we spoken about the chances and methods of learning Slovene for the Slovenes abroad. We presented a Summer school, which has been organized every summer since 1991 by schools institution and financed by Board of education and sport. It is meant for the childen and the youth of Slovene migrant workers and emigrants aged from 7 to 17.

We also represented the Center for Slovene as a foreign language. It works framed in the department for Slovene language of the Faculty of arts of Ljubljana`s University. The Center propagates the knowledge of Slovene language, literature and culture in the international frame; it stimulates the international research of Slovene studies; it organizes the professional and scientific meetings and it develops the entire infrastructure to achieve , to examine and to confirm the knowledge of a Slovene language as the foreign/second language. Abroad it is possible to learn Slovene in the frame of the additional instruction and Saturdays schools. The Slovene state cares for the textbooks and all the rest of a material and for the organization of professional qualification for the teachers of Slovene language and the rest subjects in Slovene language also in Slovenia. In the end don`t overlook web site: www.zrss.si/slovenscina/.

Our notes: Solemnly in the month of June

In the month of June we had two state celebrations. On the 8th of June we solemnly honoured the 500th anniversary of the birth of great Slovene Primož Trubar in Rašica at Velike Lašče. The solemn orator was the minister of culture Vasko Simoniti. He said, that Trubar had founded with his work the bases. Slovene cultural identity were developing on Trubar`s bases through the centuries and it is today one of the main constitutive elements of the Slovene State. More then 3000 people viewed the entertainment, based on the journey throug the most important period of Trubar`s live with music nad dance at one time.

On the eve of the greatest Slovene holiday (25th June) – Statehood or Independance day – the central state solemnity was in front of the building of the Parliament, on Trg Republike, in Ljubljana, and the solemn orator was the president of Slovenia Danilo Turk. His preliminary words were meant for the past time, for 17 years ago. Then the Slovenes were suffering from the aggression of the army and the rejection of attaining independence from the international community. »At that time our courage, power and intellectual talents were on probation and we proved, that all these we have!«, emphasized our president and added: »The development brougt us a lot of new things, we made progress fast and even before we are adult, we finish the presidency of the community of European nations. President Turk stressed , that then was time for more and better speaking of our minds, for doing more for the intellectual power and for the need of proving to ourselves and to the world, that our statehood was earned and we could manage it. And as the solemnity began with cannon salvos from Ljubljana`s castle so it ended with magnificent fireworks.


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