Highlights – March 2009

An interview: Štefka Drolc, prize-winner of this year`s Prešeren Award for lifework

At this year`s Prešeren Awards celebration, on the eve of Slovenia’s cultural holiday in the Cankarjev dom (Cankar`s house), actress Ana Štefanija Drolc and painter Zmago Jeraj became prize-winners of this year`s Prešeren Awards for their lifework. A great honor for Štefka Drolc, the Prešeren Award is the most prized cultural award in the country. This award by the Government of Slovenia and the Ministry of Culture recognizes her magnificent and extensive artistic lifework, in the realms of theatre, film, radio and television, as well as her academic cultural mission. At Ljubljana`s Performing Arts Theater we spoke to the immensely warm, kind and vigorous 85-year-old, about her exceedingly productive life and work.

The topic of the month: Planica, the Snow Queen

Is there a Slovene on earth who doesn`t know Planica? Every year this valley below Ponce draws top-notch ski jumpers and other sports enthusiasts from all over the world, because, aside from hosting ski jumps, Planica boasts the distinction of being prime a major domestic and internationl sports destination. This year, from March 19th to 22nd, in the World Cup finals for ski jumps, the organizers expect new world record to exceed 245 metres. More than 55,000 visitors could visit Planica at the end of March.

Slovenes in Italy: Allotted for this year, what the Italian Parliament meant to leave off

We started talking to representatives of the Slovene umbrella organization in Italy, Rudi Pavšič (SKGZ) and Drago Štoka (SSO), about the actual foreign problems, confronting Slovenes in Italy. »We dont`t want to be an endangered species, some kind of panda. No, we want to be an active link for the entire Slovene area. The country of Slovenia is itself too small, to disregard more than 200 000 Slovenes currently living in neighbouring countries," said Rudi Pavšič. We also discussed the Italian decree, that gives a million Euros in extra fundings to the Slovene minority this year. »The Italian Parliament allotted to us, what they meant to leave off. But the question remains: who will allocate the funds for the years 2010 and 2011! We dont`t want, a repeat of the same sad story, pressures, and interventions of the Slovene government on behalf of the umbrella organization. We want the Italian government to allocate funds in its budget for several years at once. Only then will we sleep soundly and have calm nerves in the future too, » said Drago Štoka.

The successful fellow countryman: Janez Merčun, Ženeva

Janez Merčun from Geneva is a name well-known and honoured among Slovenes from Geneva. Only a few older members claim to know him, but it is rumored, that he is very wealthy. Although he has not attended any Slovene meetings for 15 years, still every year he has transfered a large sum to the society’s account. »I am not as mysterious as it seems. I have been so terribly busy. I had a lot of work, and also after the death of my wife Metka I had to settle the estate. This year I have a tiny bit more time, »Mr. Merčun divulged in a conversation with Evelina Ferrar in Ireno Sterckx.


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