Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Slovenefest 2010 music and praises

After talking to several people who attended XXIX Slovenefest in Enon Valley, PA, I have an impression that this was certainly an event well worth experiencing and that I better make sure to be there myself next year... :)

Though, the sweetest testimonial I received from Agnes & Lou Lyman who have also never been at this Slovenian fest at the SNPJ Recreation Center before:

We just returned from a trip to Pennsylvania including a stop at the Enon Valley Slovenefest (our first). Missed seeing you but did talk to Mary Ann & Ralph. Also saw other familiar faces from Spring Hill. It was an enjoyable time.

Best wishes,
Agnes & Lou Lyman

Walt and Eileen Harfmann were also there with their new camera and took several great videos of the bands playing. Below are a few that I chose to share with you.

Most authentic Slovenian music - because it came straight from Slovenia - performed by "Društvo ljubiteljev harmonik, Godič." Mary Ann told me they were excellent and now I can hear/see what she meant.

And some more familiar faces - Bob Kravos and The Boys In The Band with Wayne Habat, doing a famous hit of his Father, Eddie Habat,"This Must Be The Place."

Joe Fedorchak playing with Jack Vasko & Company:

Last but not least, some more American Cleveland-Style polka music legends - Frank Stanger Orchestra joined by Eddie & Kim Rodick:

Monday, July 12, 2010

SNPJ Slovenefest XXIX

Map of Lawrence County higlighting Enon Valley.Image via Wikipedia
Enon Valley, Pennsylvania
This past weekend (Friday through Sunday, July 9-11, 2010) Slovenefest at the SNPJ Recreational Center in Enon Valley, Pennsylvania, was the biggest event with Slovenian food, music and dancing in the country.

I heard from a few people that were attending this festive event. They all told me the same thing:  the music and crowds were good and the weather not too hot.

Larry Zaletel made sure I received the images of this popular event right after it was over. Thank you so much for sharing!!

 Image above: Happy Timers at Slovenefest 2010
Photo © 2010 Isabel Blaha

Photo above: Magic Buttons at Slovenefest 2010
Photo © 2010 Russ Imburgia

Photo above: Mahoning Valley at Slovenefest 2010
Photo © 2010 Russ Imburgia

Photo above: Open jamming at Slovenefest 2010
Photo © 2010 Russ Imburgia

Photo above: Magic Buttons at Slovenefest 2010
Photo © 2010 Larry Zaletel

Photo above: Polka dancing at Slovenefest 2010
Photo © 2010 Larry Zaletel

Photo above: Slovenefest 2010 in Enon Valley, Pennsylvania
Photo © 2010 Larry Zaletel

Photo above: SNPJ Recreation Center, Slovenefest 2010
Photo © 2010 Larry Zaletel

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sunset photography from around the world

Author of all the photos in this post is Larry Zaletel ©.

Thank you, Larry - for sharing them with all of us!!  :)

Kona, Hawaii

Kona in Hawaii

Kona - Hawaii

Petrovac na moru - Montenegro

Sveti Stefan - Montenegro
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Friday, July 2, 2010

Independence Day lyrics

American Flag on Independence Day - July 4, 2008
Photo "American Flag on Independence Day - July 4, 2008" - courtesy of agdenza

Independence Day Lyrics
Artist: Martina McBride

Well she seemed all right by dawn's early light
Though she looked a little worried and weak
She tried to pretend he wasn't drinkin' again
But daddy left the proof on her cheek
and I was only eight years old that summer
And I always seemed to be in the way
So I took myself down to the fair in town
On Independence Day

Well word gets around in a small, small town
They said he was a dangerous man
Mama was proud and she stood her ground
she knew she was on the losin' end
Some folks whispered some folks talked
but everybody looked the other way
when time ran out there was no one about
On Independence Day

Let Freedom ring,let the white dove sing
Let the whole world know that today is a
Day of reckoning
Let the weak be strong, let the right be wrong
Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay, it's
Independence Day

Well she lit up the sky that fourth of July
By the time that the firemen come
They just put out the flames,
and took down some names
And sent me to the county home
Now I ain’t sayin' it's right or it's wrong
but maybe it's the only way
Talk about your revolution
It's Independence Day

Repeat Chorus

Roll the stone away
It's Independence Day

Unique and historical celebrations of Independence Day:

  • Held since 1785, the Bristol Fourth of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island is the oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States.
  • Since 1912, the Rebild Society, a Danish-American friendship organization, has held a July 4th weekend festival that serves as a homecoming for Danish-Americans in the Rebild section of Denmark.
  • Since 1916, Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City supposedly started as a way to settle a dispute among four immigrants as to who was the most patriotic.
  • Since 1959, the International Freedom Festival is jointly held in Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario during the last week of June each year as a mutual celebration of Independence Day and Canada Day (July 1). It culminates in a large fireworks display over the Detroit River.
  • Numerous major and minor league baseball games are played on Independence Day.
  • The famous Macy's fireworks display usually held over the East River in New York City has been televised nationwide on NBC since 1976. In 2009, the fireworks display was returned to the Hudson River for the first time since 2000 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's exploration of that river.
  • Since 1970, the annual 10 kilometer Peachtree Road Race is held in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • The Boston Pops Orchestra has hosted a music and fireworks show over the Charles River Esplanade called the "Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular" annually since 1973. The event has been broadcast nationally since 2003 on CBS.
  • On the Capitol lawn in Washington, D.C., “A Capitol Fourth,” a free concert, precedes the fireworks and attracts over half a million people annually.

Bug of the Independence Day
Photo courtesy of urtica

Happy Independence Day everyone!

Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.
~Albert Camus

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Slovenian Unveiling Wedding Traditions

Alpine valley of Krnica near Kranjska Gora, Sl...

Image above: Alpine valley of Krnica in Triglav National Park, Slovenia via Wikipedia
I once asked Bob Kravos what was the very favorite CD of his. He replied, “Unveiling.”
I must have given him a blank look because a moment later he was explaining to me, “You know, that Slovenian wedding tradition. When the bride's veil is removed...”

It's time for me to admit that I had absolutely no idea what Bob was talking about. Maybe in that moment he had some doubts if I was really born and raised in Slovenia...

Both of my parents came from a small family and all of my cousins are younger than  me. So the only time I was attending fairly traditional wedding was when my uncle Bojan, my dad's younger brother got married. They sure didn't do any unveiling there.

For nine years throughout my grade and high school I was dancing in the folklore group “Pastirci” (Shepherds) and we were actually performing the whole traditional wedding of “Mislinjska dolina” (Mislinja Valley) – and I don't remember any unveiling there either.

It seems to me like this meaningful symbolism of unveiling was only traditional in certain parts of Slovenia, not everywhere. And I have yet to discover, where exactly that was.

Red Carnation Corsage
Photo "Red Carnation Corsage" - courtesy of youyou965

However, red carnation bloom has always been a big part of Slovenian tradition, craft and symbolism. No wonder it also found its way into the folk wedding ceremony and added deep meaning to Slovenian bride's unveiling.

And just like Jewish husbands traditionally break the champagne glass, American brides throw their bouquets,  Italians do their pillow dance - Slovenians used to do the unveiling.

The unveiling ceremony is a reminder for the bride and the groom that a new life awaits them. Carefree days of youth are gone and it's time to accept a new role that includes responsibility and loyalty to each other.

red carnation.net..gold trim.feather..by kathwah..pix by ..kathwah.
Photo courtesy of kathwah

Both families (groom's and bride's) toast to the newlywed couple, wishing them luck and at the same time welcome the intertwining of the two families. Then two melodious and somewhat sad songs are sung during the unveiling:

  • "Slovensko dekle" (Slovenian girl) and
  •  "Sinoči je pela" (Last night she was singing)
The bride's veil is removed and and a red carnation flower is pinned in her hair, symbolizing the transition from maidenhood to married life. At the same time, the white boutonnière of a groom gets replaced with a red carnation.

Photo courtesy of http://arhiv.njena.si

To Slovenians, marriage has always been a sacred promise. One of the reasons for that was - by being mostly catholics, divorce was not an option. Hence, many bystanders dab their eyes with a tissue during the unveiling ceremony.

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