Dear Slovenes around the world, dear friends,

it has been twenty years since the home of the Slovenes became an independent and internationally recognised country. One of the many events celebrating the anniversary year will be dedicated to meeting Slovenes living around the world. We will meet fellow Slovenes who are many kilometres, countries or even continents away from Slovenia. 

We will celebrate our country’s birthday where our heart is – among our own people. They will come from far in order to be and become close.

The home of everything of which Slovenes living at home and abroad are proud. The old town will come to life with stalls of various organisations and societies, a range of culinary delights, and performances of music, folklore and theatre groups maintaining and developing Slovenian culture far from the borders of the homeland. The exchange of experience between people living in different countries will doubtlessly be an exceptional occasion, imbued with the spirit of environments where we grew up, the customs we have come to call our own and, above all, the invisible but strong ties which have connected us to Slovenia for years and decades.

Between 15.00 and 20.00 on Pogačarjev Square, in front of the Town Hall, Trubarjev antikvariat (second-hand bookshop) and different street corners in the old town, there will be performances by the Carinthian rock group Bališ and BK evolution from Venetian Slovenia, by an orchestra, choirs, dance and theatre group from Belgium, Croatia, France, Serbia, the USA, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Croatia, Austria and Argentina – from practically everywhere, as it were.

The events culminate at 20.30 on Prešeren Square, where welcome addresses will be followed by a multimedia performance by Sounds of Slovenia/Sozvočja Slovenije, who make contemporary and modern covers of traditional Slovenia song under the leadership of accordion player and composer Janez Dovč. For this occasion the permanent ensemble of Sounds of Slovenia, including excellent Slovenian musicians like Anja Bukovec, Tinkara Kovač, Eva Hren, Brina Vogelnik, and Irena Preda, will be joined by top opera singer Juan Vasle and choirs of Slovenes living abroad.

The accompanying programme will include film screenings on the topic of expatriates organised by Kinoatelje from Gorica, and three exhibitions – one presents the work of visiting painters; the second presents Slovenes around the world during independence; while the third showcases the works of an Argentinian artist of Slovenian background. In addition to this, there will be a performance with experiments for children, a meeting of the Council for Slovenes in Neighbouring Countries and the Council for Slovenes Abroad with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, and in the afternoon a round table on the topic of the position of Slovenes around the world. At the end of July, the series of events will conclude with the 4th football tournament of Slovenes living abroad.

On 1 July, Ljubljana will live for this meeting, for this celebration of Slovenian culture, for the stories, poems, thoughts and dreams from near and far.

Home is like a house which time cannot destroy. Home is the place which is most difficult to replace; it is the earth beneath our feet and the skies above our head, the combination of greens and blues turning into a new dawn. We come home when our path reaches and crosses its destination, when things begin making sense, and meeting people is an occasion for joy.

Welcome everyone – let us revive old friendships and make new ones. Let us hear the songs which instilled us with courage long time and listen to the words which will give us hope in tomorrow and here and now.

So you can get to know Slovenia and its sights, the Slovenian Tourist Board has prepared tourist arrangements for all four seasons with very attractive prices. More information on the packages is available at Homecoming Slovenia 2011.

Welcome home.

Office for Slovenians Abroad

More information is available at www.dobrodoslidoma.si and Facebook page.