by Andreas Iskra, student of Chemistry at University College London
The Slovenian Embassy held its traditional pre-Christmas reception on 21st of November for Slovenian students and recent graduates in the UK. The students were greeted by ambassador Iztok Jarc and by Tine Murn, head of the Information Office of the Slovenian Tourist Board in London.
Ambassador Jarc presented the work of the Embassy, and declared that Slovenia takes great pride in having very successful students studying overseas. The guests were then invited to enjoy some traditional dishes of Slovenian cuisine accompanied by carefully chosen wine – all of which are greatly missed by students studying away from home!
Familiarity with English language, together with the quality of the higher education in the UK, mean that more and more Slovenian students are coming to study across the Channel. London in particular, as one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities hosting several world-class universities, is becoming increasingly popular for Slovenian students who decide to expand their horizons by study abroad.
Social events like this provide an excellent opportunity for socialising and making new contacts among Slovenian students. Those acquaintances might prove extremely valuable when this generation of young and talented people returns to the homeland or moves around the world also working for the benefit of Slovenia.
Trustee Shirlie Roden celebrated twenty years of singing and performing in Slovenia with a joint party up at Ljubljana castle earlier this month together with Shirlie’s long-standing friend and concert organizer, Natasa Kogoj who was celebrating her 50th birthday. The party, which began with champagne at 7pm, continued until 2 am with dancing and partying, and Shirlie performed two sets of her own music, much of which has been inspired by her visits to and love of Slovenia. Guests included the new British-Slovene Society chairman David Lloyd (who strongly supported Shirlie and her music during his time as British Ambassador in Slovenia), Dragan Bulic (who has played Shirlie’s songs on Radio Slovenija since her first visit in 1992), Janos Kern (from Imago Sloveniae who is helping Shirlie with her proposed Simply Slovenia orchestral project), Mitja Mersol, France Kek, Andreja Pecek (who commissioned Shirlie’s Slovene autobiography for Mladinska Knjiga), Angelina Premdehar (who filmed the RTV documentary on Shirlie ‘Ambasadorka Luci’) and many, many friends. ‘I was overwhelmed by the warmth and love’, said Shirlie. ‘But then this is Slovenia! It was wonderful to sing my Zeleni Zmaj song in the castle overlooking Ljubljana – the city of love.’ Her favourite present that night, celebrating twenty years of singing all around the country? ‘A large box full of motovilec (lamb’s lettuce)!’
The Anglo-Slovene Carol Service will be held on 7th December at 6.30 p.m. at St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, Queen Victoria Street and St. Andrew’s Hill, City of London, EC4V 5DE.
Please note that nearest underground station is Blackfriars. St Paul’s and Mansion House stations are not far away.
The Service will have readings and carols in English and Slovene.
Please feel free to bring any guests.
Christmas drink and potica will be served after the service.