Slovenian minorities in homeland for annual get-together
Ljubljana/Vipava, 29 June - The traditional annual meeting of Slovenians living abroad, which brings together hundreds of emigrants and ethnic Slovenians from neighbouring countries, will take place from Thursday to Sunday in Vipava and Ljubljana. Some 500 visitors are expected, mostly from nearby countries but also from overseas.
Dubbed Welcome Home, the event is organized by the association of expatriates called Slovenia in the World and will be held for the 19th time starting with an all-Slovenian meeting at the National Assembly.
National Assembly Vice-President Danijel Krivec, Minister for Slovenians Abroad Matej Arčon and head of the parliamentary Commission for Slovenians Abroad Suzana Lep Šimenko will address the audience.
A round table will be held with professor and scientist Marija Strojnik, who lives and works in the US, Felix Weiser from the government's coordinating body for Slovenians abroad, and Štefan Bogdan Barenboim Šalej from the Slovenian Global Business Network.
They will discuss challenges and opportunities for economic cooperation and strengthening the Slovenian national identity among Slovenian communities in foreign countries. A film by Carinthian Slovenian Andrina Mračnikar titled Izginjanje (Vanishing) will conclude the meeting.
Three exhibitions will open, one at the National Assembly showcasing the history of the Slovenian Diaspora Society as it celebrates its 70th anniversary, and the other two at the National and University Library.
Lučka Oblak Čop from Argentina will put on display her photographs and expatriate authors living in Argentina will present their literary works. The library will host the exhibitions until 17 July.
A conference on Slovenian national identity will be held on 30 June, organised by the Slovenian World Congress. It will focus on the development of the Slovenian identity since the country became independent 32 years ago. The organizers hope it will bring hands-on suggestions on how to deepen cultural cooperation among Slovenians at home and abroad.
On Saturday, Vipava will be the main venue for choir and dance performances, guided tours and workshops. Multiple photography exhibitions by artists from Venezuela and Argentina will open. The evening will be dedicated to the main celebration and a concert by singer-songwriter Adi Smolar.
The festivities will wrap up in Ljubljana with the 29th annual get-together on Sunday with president of Slovenia in the World Uroš Zorn addressing the attendees. Auxiliary Bishop of Ljubljana Anton Jamnik will hold Mass alongside emigrant priests. There will also be a round table on modern-day emigration.