Cultural association of emigrants celebrates 70th birthday

Ljubljana, 26 June - The main cultural association of Slovenian post-WWII emigrants is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, and Slovenska Matica, the cornerstone of the nation's cultural and scientific development, helped mark the occasion with an event on Wednesday, stressing the importance of emigrants' culture-promoting efforts.

The Slovenska Matica building.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA
File photo

The Slovenian Cultural Action (SKA) was founded in Buenos Aires in February 1954 and has been committed to efforts to preserve the identity of Slovenian communities worldwide.

The SKA and Slovenska Matica, the nation's oldest cultural and scientific society, held a ceremony and symposium today to celebrate the anniversary.

The ceremony highlighted the importance of the Slovenian language and culture with speakers calling for further cooperation, while the symposium is dedicated more specifically to the SKA's work throughout the years.

At the event, the association was honoured by the government Office for Slovenians Abroad for its commitment to Slovenian culture and efforts to keep it alive abroad.

The association's president and a member of the Slovenian community in Argentina, Damijan Ahlin told the ceremony that the SKA has been striving to promote Slovenian culture and maintain the national identity both in Slovenia and elsewhere.

The association is an apolitical and independent organisation that has been bringing together Christian cultural workers from Slovenian minorities around the world, he told the STA, adding that its members came from various political backgrounds.

Currently they are seeking new young members who would carry on the organisation's work and preserve its legacy.

Addressing the event, National Council President Marko Lotrič noted that the association's many theological, philosophical, literary, historical, theatre and scientific works have contributed to efforts to foster ties between Slovenia and its emigrants.

Roughly half a million Slovenians or persons with Slovenian heritage live outside Slovenia, a country whose population currently numbers 2.1 million.

In addition to the SKA and Slovenska Matica, the event was held in cooperation with the National and University Library, the SVS emigrants' association and St Raphael's Society, a Catholic organisation providing support for Slovenian emigrants.

The SKA is active in many different fields, such as philosophy, literature, fine arts, history, music, theatre and science. It publishes a cultural magazine and books and organises cultural events, concerts, theatre performances and art exhibitions.

© STA, 2024