Minister Jaklitsch visits Slovenians in Austria
Graz, 16 November - Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch visited the Slovenian community in the Austrian state of Styria on Monday to talk about the challenges the community is faced with during the Covid-19 pandemic, her office said in a press release.
Jaklitsch said at a meeting with officials from the Faculty of Arts of the Karl Franz University in Graz that the attitude of the university to the Slovenian department was important not only from the point of view of studying but also on a symbolic level, as the Slovenian language has been present in the area for centuries.
The head of the Slovenian department, Andrej Leben, presented the challenges the department is faced with, stressing a drop in the number of students.
At a meeting with representatives of Slovenian organisations active in Graz challenges were also discussed, along with plans for the future. All Slovenian organisations moved their activities online recently but they wish in-person events could again be held soon.
They devote special attention to cultural activities and are aware of the great importance of studying Slovenian, which is not an obligatory school subject but still an optional activity at school.
The meeting was attended representatives of the cultural association Article 7, the Association of the Austrian-Slovenian Friendship, the Club of Slovenian Students in Graz and the honorary consul of Slovenia in Graz, Peter Merkscha.
The minister also visited a Slovenian reading room at the Styrian State Library, a Slovenian-German group of children at the GIP Grabenstrasse kindergarten and the Club of Slovenian Students in Graz, which is undergoing renovation. She wrapped up her visit at the regional centre of the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija in Maribor.