40 years of Slovene studies at the University of Nottingham

On Wednesday 11 March 2015, the University’s Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies is hosting an event to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

The event will start at 4:30 pm in the Senate Chamber (Trent Building) for a rich cultural programme and talks. A reception with Slovene wine and potica, hosted by the Slovenian Ambassador, will follow. The evening will be concluded with a concert by the Slovene musician Vlado Kreslin starting at 7:00 pm.

Vlado Kreslin

The University’s long association with Eastern European languages and cultures began as far back as 1916 when the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies was founded by a Slovene, Professor Janko Lavrin. Slovene studies were introduced within the department in the academic year 1974-1975 and the ongoing teaching of Slovene language and culture is supported by an agreement between the University of Nottingham and the University of Ljubljana. To date, more than 300 students have studied Slovene at Nottingham. Four decades on, Nottingham remains the only university in the UK where it is possible to study the language.

All are welcome. More information available from Maja Rančigaj, Slovene Language Teacher (maja.rancigaj@nottingham.ac.uk or 07477 433910).

Sedbergh singers star at the annual Prešeren dinner

Singing the National Anthem

Singing the National Anthem

When Britons and  Slovenes rise to their feet for the Slovenian National Anthem at the Prešeren Dinner in London, you don’t expect a group from Cumbria to be leading the singing. But the star performers at this year’s British-Slovene Society Annual Dinner were Lep pozdrav iz Sedbergha. As became quickly apparent, Sedbergh is not in Slovenia but in the north of England. It’s twinned with Zreče in Slovenia, and the choir led by David Burbidge (in the kilt) have developed an impressive repertoire of Slovene folk songs.20150207_221054

As the Sedberghers launched into the moving Slovene song about the beloved lime tree (Lipa zelenela je), one Slovene listening remarked, “You can tell they’re not Slovenes, they’re not sad enough,” but gave them a hearty round of applause all the same.

The raffle collected a record sum of £495 for the Society’s charity Barka, which helps  people with special needs. This bears witness to the generosity of members, but also the sterling efforts of our raffle ticket-sellers, who confronted every guest with a smiling invitation to contribute.

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They’ve never been captured together before: four Ambassadors all connected with Slovenia.  From right to left: Sophie Honey, just appointed new British-Ambassador in Slovenia; Tim Simmons, former British Ambassador in Slovenia; Tadej Rupel, Slovenia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom since 2014;  and David Lloyd, Chairman of the British-Slovene Society, and also a former British Ambassador in Slovenia.

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