Highlights – July 2009

INTERVIEW: Drago Jančar

Drago Jančar – writer, playwright, essayist, journalist – belongs to the very top of contemporary slovenian literature. His readers and viewers are impressed by his works both at home and abroad, and numerous domestic and international awards attest to the quality of his extensive literary work. He also holds the attention of an audience with his critical social observations and with them he has carefully succeeded in bringing fresh air to Slovenian social realms a number of times.

Drago Jančar was born on April the 13th in 1948 in Maribor, where he studied and worked between 1971 and 1974 as a journalist of the newspaper Večer and weekly 7D (Seven days). He was arrested in 1974 because of the »dissemination of hostile propaganda« and the cause was the Branko Rozman book V Rogu ležimo pobiti ( In Rog we lie murdered) brought from Austria. He spent three months in a prison and then the same year he was sent to the military service in Serbia. Between 1974 and 1978 he was a freelance artist, then for two years the film dramaturg for Viba films. In 1981 he accepted the job of editor and secretary for the publishing house Slovenska matica (Slovenian Literary Society), where he still works today.

THE TOPIC OF THE MONTH: Folk instruments and activities of folk musicians all over Slovenia

Today, when the accordion and »ethno-pop music« (folk entertaining music) broke into the world of Slovenian traditions of folk musicians, we hardly imagine that anyone would ever be dancing to music of these folk musicians with their musical instruments in that moment and with the style of musicwhich they were playing for people.Then when we took a closer look at some folk instruments like »reeds« – reed pipes (trstenke) and hammer(ed) dulcimer/cimbala (oprekelj)- (two music instruments that are hardly around today), zithers (now they teach the zither in music schools) and bass viol/ violoncello (the folk instrument that we recognize today in fiddler compositions).

OUR NOTES: Results of the Elections in European Parliament

From the 4th to 7th in June in the States of the EU (European Union) in the elections the citizens of the EU were selecting and elected 736 representatives in the EP (European Parliament) – the legislative institution of EU. In Slovenia we were selecting our EU representatives on Sunday, on June the 7th. From 12 slates in the 6th convocation we, the Slovenes, elected: Zoran Thaler in Tanja Fajon from SD(Social Democrats), which will unite with the political party of Social Democrats (PES) in the EP; Romana Jordan Cizelj and Milan Zver from SDS (Slovene Democratic Party), Lojze Peterle from Nsi (New Slovenia), which will be the members of the political group of the European people`s party – Christian Democrats (EPP) in the EP and Jelko Kacin from LDS (Liberal Democracy of Slovenia) and Ivo Vajgl from Zares (For Real), which will unite with the political group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).

Round table on the situation of minorities in Slovenia and Slovenes living abroad

This year in mid-June in Brdo pri Kranju the round table took place on the situation of minorities in Slovenia and Slovenes living abroad. The event was organized by the Office of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia of the Slovenes in the neighbouring countries and for Slovenes Abroad in collaboration with the Office of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for National Minorities within the framework of the Slovenian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The round table was an opportunity for experts on minority protection, government representatives and representatives of national communities to discuss the situation of minorities, to confront with their problems, and to discuss the tasks and challenges awaiting Council of Europe member states, including Slovenia, in view of major changes in Europe. In the preface the present participants were saluted by M.Sc.Stanko Baluh, Director of the Office of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for National Minorities, D.Sc. Boštjan Žekš, Minister, competent for The Office of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia of the Slovenes in the neighbouring countries and for Slovenes Abroad, M.Sc. Milan M. Cvikl, Government Secretary-General and Prime Minister of RS Borut Pahor, who said among other, that the minority policy should be properly designed so to reassure on a daily basis and constantly repeated.The minorities are small and liable to the assimilation process and for that very reason more vulnerable then the majority nation.

THE FELLOW COUNTRYWOMAN: Paula Hlede Schuschei (Žužej)- the best Slovene volleyball player

Paula Hlede Žužej was born in 1941 in Croatian Josipdol near Ogulin, to her father from Primorska (Coastal Region) and to her mother originally from Dolenjska (Lower Carniola). Soon after her birth she moved with her parents to Maribor, where she spent her youth and the best years of her life. She quickly showed a joy and talent for sports at first for all athletics and later for volleyball. When she was fourteen, she already played for the Railway Sports Club Maribor. Soon her sport career began to take off. First she played for the StateYugoslav youth r league. In the state league she was the only Slovene, who was famous for combativeness, assiduity and comradeship. Her team knew her also for her height- with her 175 cm she was the tallest sportswoman in Maribor.


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