Slovenian diaspora gathers at 'Welcome Home' event in Ribnica
Ribnica, 5 July - Slovenians from all around the world gathered in Ribnica on Saturday for the traditional Welcome Home event, entitled To Slovenia for 30 Years. The event featured performances by many Slovenian artists from home and abroad, while the guests also reminisced about past events related to Slovenian independence.
According to the press release by the Government Office for Slovenians Abroad, the event took place at the Ribnica Handicraft Centre, and some guests also joined the gathering via webcast from Australia, the US and Argentina.
The guests reflected on and reminisced about the events surrounding Slovenian independence and the contribution of Slovenians in the world during those watershed moments in 1991.
Meanwhile, the Handicraft Centre hosted another event, where visitors could watch a documentary film about the tradition of dry handicrafts in Belgrade, where they were brought by the people of Ribnica.
The programme continued at Ribnica Castle. It opened with a show by young puppet artists from Carinthia, Austria.
The opening speeches were delivered by Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch, the president of the Slovenian World Congress Boris Pleskovič, and Ribnica Mayor Samo Pogorelc.
The national anthem Zdravljica was performed by Lucas Somoza Osterc, a Slovenian from Argentina. The main part of the event followed, comprised of performances by many compatriots from the homeland and abroad.
Guests could also visit the Ribnica Castle park and the Handicraft Centre to see exhibitions about Slovenians around the world, demonstrations of local crafts and talk to masters of dry-edge and pottery crafts, the press release reads.
Food and drinks were provided by representatives of Slovenian farmers' organisations that operate in all four neighbouring countries, as well as local suppliers.
The day was rounded off by the Sašo Avsenik Band and their musical performance entitled Happy Birthday, Slovenia, which was also organised in honour of the 30th anniversary of Slovenia's independence.