Minister attends Slovenian Days in Cleveland
Cleveland, 25 September - Minister for Slovenians Abroad Matej Arčon attended on Sunday the opening of the Slovenian Days festival in Cleveland, US, as part of a multi-day visit to the US. Visiting what is considered the hub of the Slovenian community in the US, he stressed the importance of efforts to preserve the Slovenian identity and culture.
The community's biggest event, which will run until the end of the week, is also aimed at promoting Slovenia.
Impressed with what the community created throughout the years, the minister praised its efforts in preserving the Slovenian identity, culture and language.
"Slovenians who live outside their homeland, you are a special bridge with Slovenia," he said as quoted by his office in a press release.
The community played an important role in Slovenia's independence efforts and its activities to later establish itself as an independent country, he noted, and they also helped out in the recent flood relief effort.
A number of events will take place as part of Slovenian Days, including a culinary course, film night, evening of dancing to Slovenian music, and an event dedicated to Slovenian tourism, wine and food. The festival will wrap up with a mass at the local Church of St Mary of the Assumption.
AS part of his visit, Arčon attended a Slovenian mass at St Vitus Church in Cleveland and visited the new large event hall, which was opened two years ago. The parish provides Slovenian language classes on Saturdays and manages a senior citizens apartment building.
The minister also addressed the listeners of the local radio show Songs and Melodies from Beautiful Slovenia, which will soon celebrate its 70th anniversary. Broadcast in the Slovenian language, the show is on two times a week.
Moreover, he addressed the annual Grape Harvest event of the Slovenian National Benefit Society, the oldest organisation representing Slovenians in the US.
Arčon also honoured Bob Hopkins, a businessman, artist and the initiator of Slovenian Days, and his wife Geraldine Hopkins for the many years of running the Slovenian National Home in Cleveland and event organising.
The minister will conclude the multi-day visit to the US today by meeting business executives of Slovenian descent, visiting the state university and attending the opening of an exhibition.