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Language and culture in focus as minister visits minority in Austria

Klagenfurt, 30 October - Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch paid a visit Friday to the Slovenian minority in Gailtal/Zilja, a valley in Carinthia. The preservation of Slovenian language and culture as well as bilingual education were in the focus.

Instruction at bilingual primaries is not at the expected level, and what parents miss the most is the live presence of Slovenian language in everyday speech, the Office for Slovenians Abroad said.

The minister visited several villages in the valley, including Feistritz an der Gail/Bistrica na Zilji, Achomitz/Zahomc and Göriach/Gorje.

"She encouraged them to persist and to work together and connect, even if in smaller groups. The essence is in quality, not quantity," the office said, noting that the minister ensured the Slovenian state would support the minority.

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© STA, 2021