An interview: Dragoljuba Benčina, the Republic of Slovenia’s ambassadres in Germany
The career path of Dragoljuba Benčina, the Republic of Slovenia’s ambassadres in the Federal Republic of Germany has led her through many different countries. Among other she performed various diplomatic duties in Belgrade, Rome, Cairo and Stockholm. She has been in Berlin for four years now and she is one of the few women in a relatively male dominant world of ambassadors (out of 180 there are only 14 women); this can also be an advantage as it helps to acquire greater recognition and attention.
In the time of her mandate Slovenia has become more and more recognized in Germany in an economic as well as a tourist sense. The increased interest was triggered by the country’s adoption of the Euro currency (in January 2007) and this interest was furthered after entering the trio with Germany and Portugal, mostly due to the joint programme. But since the Republic of Slovenia has been presiding over the EU the Embassy has received so many requests from various organizations to present Slovenia to them that all invitations could not be answered. To promote Slovenia as much as possible various presentations were performed at institutes, universities, schools and different european associations, Slovenia was the topic of debate at round tables and in television and radio shows, etc.
A new web portal for Slovenes around the world
Probably by the end of July a new web portal for Slovenes around the world should be set up. It is a joint project of all four organizations of the civil service for the cooperation with Slovenes around the world: the World Slovene Congress, the Slovene Emigrant Association, the emigration society Slovenia in the World and the Raphael Society which have with their efforts in the field of cooperation with Slovenes living abroad acquired rich experiences and thus also know the needs and desires of our contrymen well. The Government of the Republic of Slovenia’s Office for Slovenes Abroad will have a coordinating role in the portal’s setting up and maintenance, but for a good portal design cooperation with all concerned parties in the Republic of Slovenia, such as the parliament, the ministries, the research institutions, the Center for Slovene as a foreign language and others will be much needed.
A talk with a fellow countrywoman: Martina Konda, the editor of Slovene broadcasts at radio Multikulti, Berlin
Marina Konda has lived in Berlin for almost 25 years and she came there to teach Slovene. In a Slovene school she contributed a great deal to the stimulation of learning Slovene and also to the preservation of the Slovene culture among Slovene migrants in northern Germany. Now she has worked for several years as the editor-in-chief of Slovene broadcasts at the Berlin radio Multikulti, where the Slovene language, cultural expression and interesting guests represent the central focus.