Jaklitsch visits Carinthian Slovenians on Culture Day
Klagenfurt/Ljubljana, 9 February - Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch visited Slovenians in Austria's Carinthia on Tuesday, when Slovenia celebrated Culture Day. Along with Dejan Valentinčič, the state secretary at the Office for Slovenians Abroad, and Anton Novak, the consul general, Jaklitsch paid a visit to villages of Zell and Suetschach and the town of Ferlach.
The minister visited the economic centre of farmers in Zell, the office said in Wednesday's press release. She stressed that a strong economy was key to the self-confidence and empowerment of the minority.
She also visited the parish house in Zell, which is the centre of cultural life there. The local Catholic cultural association Planina v Selah is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year.
Jaklitsch visited the Urban Jarnik Institute, which is active in preserving and recording place names and non-residential geographical names in the Austrian state of Carinthia and is currently preparing an official map with Slovenian versions of the latter in cooperation with the Zell municipality.
The minister also paid tribute to Zell's thirteen victims of Nazism at the local cemetery.
Moreover, she visited a folk school which provides bilingual education, including a sports-language project that promotes the Slovenian language.
The minister then visited Ferlach, where she was received at the Cingelc in Tratten cultural centre, which marks its 110th anniversary this year. The visit focused on cultural activities of the Slovenian community there, including a music school and the Slovenian private bilingual kindergarten, which is attended by 155 children aged 1-10.
The minister ended her visit to Austrian Carinthia in Suetschach, where she visited the Goršet Gallery, dedicated to sculptor France Gorše (1897-1986). She also toured the new Einspieler Centre, named after Andrej Einspieler (1813-1888), a fighter for the political and linguistic rights of Carinthian Slovenians and one of the co-founders of Mohorjeva Družba, the oldest Slovenian publisher.
Jaklitsch met Tatjana Feinig, a councillor on the municipal council of Feistriz im Rosental and the initiator of the installation of bilingual town signs for Suetschach and Matschach. The signposts were erected in these two villages at the end of last year.