Tuesday, 11 April 2017

So you were from Slo....Russia??

Lake bled
This post has nothing to do with Turkey, however when you are living abroad and meet people from all over the world, there is still one question that always pops up: SO WHERE ARE YOU FROM?? SLOVAKIA? So you speak Russian, let me introduce you to my Latvian friend, you are neighbours, right?? Well, sometimes situations like these become even more awkward when your interlocutor tries to convince you that you actually don't know where do you come from. 👌

That is why it is about a high time to write a blog post of my home country. Probably I won't save myself from getting the same "where is Slovenia" and "what is your country famous for" questions again, but at least I will have my answer ready.



Slovenia and Slovakia are not the same countries. Slovakia used to be a part of Czecho-Slovakia and we were part of Yugoslavia. We are NOT a part of Russia either (and we never have been). That is why we don't speak Russian, we have our own language, which is called Slovene.

Slovene is one of the oldest Slavic languages and we are proud owners of the oldest Latin-script text in any of the Slavic languages. It is called Freising manuscript or Brižinski spomeniki. Slovene has many dialects, compared to the number of native speakers, we are one of the languages with the most dialects.


So, where is Slovenia? 


In the central Europe: above the Balkans (geographically, the southern part of Slovenia is still the part of Balkans), more accurately above Croatia, under Austria and next to Italy.  On the north-east, we also have the border with Hungary and in the south-west, we have approximately 42 km of coastline.





What is Slovenia famous for?

It's always difficult to answer this questions since people have different expectations and measures of "famousness". But I guess what firstly comes to my mind are natural beauties (of all kinds). Slovenia is green! More than 50% of its surface is covered with forests. That is why the quality of air is extremely good and water is fresh. Even in the capital city, we can drink tap water. This might sound boring, but trust me, you start to appreciate it after you are forced to buy bottled water. 

Rare human fish egg from the Postojna cave. (source: Earthsky.org)
Slovenia is small but diverse. This is an asset because you are able to visit different regions in one day. From the capital (which is located in the centre of the country), you need only about an hour to go to another country! Or you can go to the Alps and then go swimming in beautiful Bled or Bohinj lake or even jump to the Adriatic sea.

The most famous representatives of our "animal kingdom" are Kranjska čebela (bee), lipicanec (a white horse) and an international star of 2016, človeška ribica (a human fish or proteus). For all of the Game of thrones fans, not all dragon eggs are at the House Targaryen, some of them are also hidden at the Postojna Cave.


Cuisine

Typical Sunday lunch (delo.si)



I guess cuisine is a good reflection of our diversity and history. I guess if you asked Slovenians if they belong more to Europe or the Balkans, you would get all sorts of answers. We do drink Turkish coffee, but we also make Italian espresso. We love pizza and pasta, but at the same time, no summer passes without roštilj. Fancy some fast food - would you prefer burek, kebap or pizza? Got a bit confused, ok, so let me invite you to a traditional Sunday family lunch: goveja juha (Beef soup) as a starter, saute potatoes and beef (from the soup, of course) and dunajski zrezek (Wiener Schnitzel) for main dish...and, oh yes, a big bowl of green salad. And jabolčni zavitek or prekmurska gibanica for dessert. And don't forget a glass of slovene wine (and some schnapps as an appetiser).











I will publish more about Slovenians and other aspects of our culture in my next blog post. Stay tuned :)



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