Happening in SLOV:SLOV 21-27th March

NEWS from SLOVENIA:

Matevž Lenarčič, a Slovenian pilot, fights against the negative effects of climate change. On 25th March he embarked on his third trip around the world, where he will be collecting data on the quantity and the concentration of black carbon. We are wishing a successful flight with full of useful datas!

Slovenia is one of the most water-rich countries in Europe. It has 27,000 km of rivers, streams and other watercourses. It also has numerous thermal springs and mineral springs. According the latest research, the tap water is extremely clean and uncontaminated. Definitely good to know!

 

NEW in SLOVAKIA:

List of names of the future ministers was completed on Tuesday, March 22. Robert Fico will remain in the prime ministerial chair, most of the eight ministers in the departments that the political party SMER is to control in the coalition set-up are also remaining from last term.

Congratulations to Peter Sagan for winning the first place in road cycling Gent-Wevelgem. It was Sagan’s second victory at Gent-Wevelgem.

 

 

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News March 14-20th

SLOVENIA:

Peter Prevc just earned his 19th career World Cup victory. He is ranked as one of the best ski jumpers of all time. Well-deserved then!

Potica got first place among traditional festive pastries in Slovenia. Should we taste the sweet winner?

Hiking and Biking Slovenia has just published a new brochure: Let`s bike in Slovenia – Slovenia bike events 2016. This present the major upcoming biking events in Slovenia.
Detailed information and dates here:
http://www.slovenia.info/?news_items=6392&lng=2

SLOVAKIA:

Krásna Hôrka Castle in South-Eastern Slovakia is being reconstructed and repaired after a devastating fire, which happened in March 2012. The reconstruction of the roof have already happened.

The wagon of the historical Vienna tram which was in use before the II. World War on the route Bratislava-Vienna got brought back to Bratislava. In this wagon the members of the Austrian imperial family were transported in incognito. Just 2 of this kind of wagons were preserved. Really nice having it back!

NEWS from SLOV:SLOV March 7-13

Slovenia:

  • Ljubljana got a new electric-powered tourist train! The train will start running daily from the middle of April.
  • Žalec, a small town in Slovenia, is planning to build a fountain that spurts out drinkable beer. They want to increase tourism with this, but it does not yet have a completion date. What an idea, right?!
  • The Slovenian Tourist Board received 2 awards within the ITB Berlin 2016 for promotional video commercials of Slovenia and Slovenian tourism. Congratulations!
  • Each year, Yale’s Environmental Performance Index ranks the top-performing countries for the environment, based on how well they’ve fared at protecting human health and vulnerable ecosystems. Slovenia achieved the 5th place!
  • Sweetswing festival took place in Ljubljana between 10-13th March. This festival is extremely popular in Slovenia.

 

Slovakia:

  • Slovakia has been ranked as 45th in the world on how effectively children can use the courts to defend their rights according to new research from Child Rights International Network.
  • Around 2000 people gathered on Monday in Bratislava and Banská Bystrica to express their dissatisfaction and protest against the extremist ultra-­right party of Marián Kotleba, the People´s Party Our Slovakia, which will occupy 14 parliamentary seats in the newly elected Slovak parliament. The march was peaceful, it was a symbolic act.
  • On the 13th of March prizes were given out for the best Slovak music in many categories. Radio Head Awards took place for the 8th time.
  • In Bratislava started the reconstruction of roads. 37 km roadway is planned to be rebuild.

Hide&Seek in Ljublana p.2

Have you found any of the previous pieces of wall art in Ljubljana? Good job! Do not stop there, since there are many more to come! This time even the famous faces from the Slovenian literary history have joined the game. Do you recognize any of these?

 

KL, 2016

What is UP now? (29.2. – 6.3.)

In Slovenia:

  • A South Korean romantic drama (Dear my friend) is being filmed in Slovenia in the following places: Piran, Bled and Ljubljana!
  • Every year in March the Vitranc Cup takes place with international ski contestants. Kranjska Gora, one of the best skiing places, is hosting the 53rd Vitranc Cup.

 

In Slovakia:

  • Parliamentary elections took place in Slovakia.
  • Alpine Skiing World Cup in women´s giant slalom and slalom was held in the ski resort Jasná in Nízke Tatry (5-6 March). The resort hosted the most famous personalities of women´s skiing.

Hide&Seek in Ljubljana: How many of these have you noticed? (part 1)

While walking the streets of Ljubljana, talking to the friends, listening to the street musicians, trying to avoid the bicycles and deciding which cafeteria to enter all at the same time, it is really easy to not notice them.

They are all well hidden in the small streets, under the bridges or behind the old impressive buildings. And some of them are chilling on such obvious places that we simply do not notice them. Like the Slovaks tend to say: Pod lampou býva najväčšia tma (The darkest place is under a candlestick).

I have decided to take my camera for a walk and take a picture of these wall creatures. And this is where the magic happens – once you will see them, you will never unsee them again. Give it a try and let us know: How many of them have you found?

 

KL, 2016

A year in Slovakia: The first grey hair and friendships for life

“Slovak/Slovene for a year” is a section about those who have experienced one of our countries as foreigners. We will share their stories with you, so you can take a look at the countries from the foreigner perspective.

This article is written by a Slovene student of the Slovak language and Social sciences, who spent the academic year 2010/2011 in Bratislava.

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Bratislava castle, Slovakia

The Bratislava castle, Slovakia (photo by: T. Malnar)

Zzzzzzzzzz. The sound of the alarm clock on a Sunday morning, it is still dark outside. What a horror! But this time it wasn’t hard for me to get up for I was on my way to a trip. About an hour later, I was already in Ljubljana, filled up my uncle’s station wagon with my luggage and said goodbye to the rest of my family. On that September morning my mother and I entered the car of my uncle who generously offered to give us – and especially to my giant amount of luggage – a ride to Bratislava, which took us only 4 hours.

Have I mentioned I took the whole wardrobe, if not even more? A big mistake! Clothes, footwear, cosmetics, dishes, a pile of books and dictionaries and also a few of the »necessary« local sweets, etc. Well, I applied for a 10-month student exchange and I didn’t want to leave anything to coincidence. But, of course, while I was already sitting in the car I realized what everything I have forgotten: for example my studying materials from the first year of college in Ljubljana, which I needed a lot…

We were welcomed by a nice Slovak family in a smaller town on the outskirts of Bratislava. My uncle has met them one hot summer on the Pag island in Croatia and introduced them to me in order to make sure I would do fine in the new city. So this is how I met Mrs Marta, Mr Ján and their daughters Zuzana and Daniela.

There were more amazing coincidences connected to our meeting. Firstly, Mrs Marta Botiková is a professor at the Faculty of Arts in Bratislava, which I was about to attended during the exchange. Secondly, it turned out her daughter Zuzana was going to a student exchange to Ljubljana! So at the end of the day my uncle and my mother drove back to Slovenia with Zuzana, while Marta took me to my new future home in Mlynská dolina.

Bratislava, Slovakia4

Bratislava, Slovakia (photo by: T. Malnar)

My roommate Tina who was at the moment a student of the Social Sciences Faculty in Ljubljana, was expecting us at the dorm. We have been already in touch for a few months via internet and made sure to stay in the same room. We hugged as if we had known each other for years. On that day I also ran into my colleagues from the Ljubljana faculty, who were also there to study the Slovak language. Later on Katja – who came to Bratislava to write her thesis – joined us with Tina in the room. Since they have arrived few days before me, they knew how it all worked and quickly introduced me to the timetable and the faculty activities.

Bratislava, Slovakia2

Danube river in Slovakia (photo by: T. Malnar)

The day after my arrival I was already on my way to the Faculty of Arts, which is in the centre of Bratislava. There were no big surprises, I have already visited Bratislava during the excursions with my colleagues and have also seen the faculty. I had a clue about what to expect: all the administration connected to my arrival to Bratislava, potential changes of the learning agreement content and all the other things that belong to moving to a new country and faculty. However, the stress I was going through was obvious. Not only to me, but also to my hairdresser, who has noticed my first grey hair after the exchange. But today, when I look back at it, I can finally smile.

Bratislava, Slovakia

New brige in Bratislava, Slovakia (photo by: T. Malnar)

People have asked me many times about how my exchange was. I always answer that it was great but at the same time I emphasise that it wasn’t all just wonderful. There were many problems which I had to face. I have to admit that sometimes during the first semester I shed a tear or two. And not because I would miss my close ones (thanks to the internet we surprisingly haven’t even noticed the distance) but because in Bratislava I hav found myself in situations in which I didn’t know how to react. I was suddenly all alone in a foreign country. But after all, my experience with the exchange taught me how to be independent and courageous. Now I can go anywhere and I know that I will survive. Well, maybe except for China, in that case I would have to take this statement back.

Studying at the Slovak Faculty of Arts was an interesting experience. I attended the subjects for both foreign and native students. In order to pass the classes for the natives I had to work really hard and I can honestly say that I have invested more work and energy into my studies than I would ever have at home. Therefore I have to disappoint you: I don’t have many fun stories and events from countless student parties about which I could one day be talking to my grandchildren.

What I have noticed was that there weren’t any copy shops in the vicinity of the faculty, while there are plenty of them in Ljubljana. I believe that is somehow connected to the fact that the students (at least as far as the Faculty of Arts is concerned) attend their classes regularly and that is why they are not in the need of copying the notes from each other. I got the feeling that their approach to the studies is somehow more serious and that they take the first exam terms more often.

Well, in spite of the fact that I went to class every morning like a good girl, I still have attended few parties. All the Erasmus students who spent the spring of 2011 in Bratislava will probably remember this period by the world championship in hockey that took place in April and May in the capital of Slovakia. That was when Bratislava was overflown by hockey supporters from all over Europe, including Slovenes. The centre of the town has transformed into a real cosmopolitan capital and the parties went on till late hours. According to my experience, the Slovaks are in comparison to the Slovenes slightly more reserved when it comes to meeting new people, but I am sure that there are some exceptions. Like I have already said, I have made few friends in Bratislava that I managed to keep until today, mostly thanks to the internet. I keep promising to go back and visit them for some years now.

It would be wrong of me not to mention Saša Vojtechová Poklač, the language lecturer of the Slovenian language, who is (with the help from the Slovene embassy in Bratislava) ensuring the promotion of the Slovene language and culture in Slovakia and the development of international and intercultural contacts. Numerous events and meetings at the embassy have helped the foreigner students to accommodate in Bratislava faster and feel like we are at home.

Bratislava, Slovakia5

Bratislava, Slovakia (photo by: T. Malnar)

On the other hand, the Slovaks are used to live more modestly. The Slovenes have truly left the times of Yugoslavia behind and have become consumers with the big capital C. There are no doubts that we have noticeably bigger houses (maybe even too big) and drive good cars, even if they are »over our budget«. In Slovenia many students have their own car, while I haven’t noticed anything like that during my student exchange in Bratislava. The Slovenes also give more money for fashionable clothes. The life standard of Slovaks is lower, which I have noticed soon after my arrival to the dorms. They were modestly equipped and in the desperate need of a thorough renewal. I didn’t trouble myself with that much, I just took it as a part of my experience.

Bratislava is a capital that is waking up from socialism, developing in the spirit of capitalism and opens up many opportunities. I can’t wait to observe its changes and progress the next time I visit.

 

Tjaša Malnar, 2016