Monday, February 28, 2011

Friday at Samsula

Since I was already on the east coast of Florida for the last space shuttle Discovery launch, I decided to stay there another day, check out some other attractions and go to Samsula on Friday afternoon for the 2011 Florida Slovene Days at SNPJ Lodge 603.

The first thing that surprised me when I arrived to Samsula Hall was the 'Polka Avenue' sign. I thought that was very cute.
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Friday polka fest turned out to be a great event. The place was packed with happy people, some were leaving while new ones kept coming in and there were not enough seats for everyone. The choice of foods was outstanding and "orehovi rogljički" was something I haven't seen in years so I had to try them and I have to admit they were delicious. Whoever made them, had to use the original traditional Slovenian recipe.
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My son can never resist a "štrudelj" and he finished a piece so fast that I had to seriously intervene and confiscate the last bite before it was gone. The original agreement was that we would share both desserts... ;)
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I met many wonderful people at Samsula Lodge and both former and present SNPJ National Secretaries were there: Grace Doerk and Karen Pintar.
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As I said, the place was packed so I only managed to take one video of the jam session with Tony Klepec and friends. They were playing "Tam dol na ravnem polju," a traditional Slovenian folk song.
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Next year I might go and stay at Samsula all three days for their 2012 Florida Slovene Days.
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday dance with Frank Moravcek from Cleveland, Ohio

Suncoast SNPJ Lodge 778 - Slovene-American Club in Spring Hill hosted its traditional February dance with Frank Moravcek from Cleveland, Ohio, this Saturday, February 26, 2011.

Photo above: Linda Hochevar and Frank Moravcek

The music was good, the hall was full and people seem to have fun. Yet another event is 'under the roof' while the 2010/2011 season of events with Spring Hill SNPJ Lodge is fast approaching its end. Only one more weekend to go - with the biggest event of the year 2011.

If you were at the Spring Hill Hall on Saturday night, you might see yourself dancing in the video below and in case you weren't, you might recognize some people who were enjoying themselves.
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One more video - Saturday night jam session. Enjoy!
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

92 minutes of Slovenian music

Oto PestnerImage via WikipediaIn case you're up for 92 minutes of Slovenian music, click on the link below, lean back, relax and enjoy. This is a  New Year Eve's show "Videomeh" with Slovenian polkas and waltzes, singing at its best by the legends of Slovenian folk and pop music scene, hosted by two popular hosts and singers, Boris Kopitar and Nuša Derenda. 


Other popular vocals some of you might recognize are: Alfi Nipič, Oto Pestner and Elda Viler. Of course Slovenian music show would not be Slovenian without the music by Slavko Avsenik and Lojze Slak. There are a few other bands and individuals worth hearing in that show but I'll let you be surprised. Oh, and there are only a few commercials in that show, produced by Slovenian National TV 1.


Click on the link below, it will open a new window and a very happy music will start playing just a few moments later (depending on the speed of your computer).


Silvestrski Videomeh


Photo above: Oto Pestner


From Wikipedia:


Oto Pestner is one of the most prominent singers and composers of popular music from Slovenia, born in 1956 in Ljubljana. Until 2008 he was the leader of the Slovene vocal group New Swing Quartet.
From 1986 to 1991 and in 1995 he was member of Alpski kvintet (German: Alpenoberkrainer)
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Alex Meixner Band instead of Polka Quads

Florida native flowerImage by sunflower19020 via FlickrAbout a week ago Polka Quads (they were supposed to play at the Spring Hill Hall on Saturday and Sunday - March 5 and 6) had to cancel their participation in Suncoast SNPJ Lodge 778 biggest event of the year - Florida SNPJ Days 2011. Here's what John Salov, the band leader of Polka Quads sent to me in an email:

Daria:


It breaks my heart to cancel but all 3 0f my guys (2 because of work and 1 guys daughter is playing softball in Kentucky) could not make it. These things just came up and I shed tears over it. You people have been good to the Quads and I apologize from the bottom of my heart.


Please pass this info on to anybody who asks.


Again I am sorry but I can't come there without my best band.


I hope this clears up any rumors that you have heard.


John Salov - Polka Quads

Therefore, our three day weekend - Florida SNPJ Days 2011 on March 4 - 6 will now go as follows:

  • Friday, March 4, 20011: All day jam session with Pete November from Ohio from 1 to 6 pm. Admission $5, for jammers who bring in instruments and participate in one of the jam sessions admission is FREE. All instruments welcome. To play as a group, sign up by calling Daria at: (727) 753-9631. As always, polka and waltz dancers (and your family and friends) are more than welcome as well!
  • Saturday, March 5, 2011: Alex Meixner Band from 6 to 10 pm. Admission $10.
  • Sunday, March 6, 2011: Alex Meixner Band from 2 to 6 pm. Admission $10.
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As always, food and cash bar will be available. For any further information and reservations call Daria (phone number above).

For those of you who don't know Alex Meixner or have never heard him play before, he is a Grammy nominated musician and producer - and here's the description of his music performance I found on his website:

Alex Meixner carries on a Family Tradition of music brought to the USA by his Austrian great grandfather. Building upon this foundation and extensive performances/ touring with his father in The Al Meixner Trio for many years, Alex has developed a fresh musical voice that has made him one of the most exciting performers on the American polka scene. 
Alex’s high energy performances of everything from old time polkas and waltzes to more jazz and pop influenced repertoire has won over audiences throughout North America and continues to attract new fans. Equally at home with traditional and contemporary styles, performances on about a dozen instruments (including the 12 foot long Swiss Alphorn and trademark Meixner Button Box sound) and vocals in English, German, Slovenian, Croatian, Czech and more- the band’s reputation continues to grow.


From dynamic polkas and waltzes to Gypsy folk songs to Rocktoberfest parodies, Swing, Latin and Country dance music- the dizzying array of music is perfect for everything from World Music Concerts and family friendly folk festivals to a frenetic non-stop dance party.
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And if you want to find out more still, here's the video (no video, sorry!) of Alex Meixner, playing Schwadamo Polka.
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Actually, Alex has such a unique way of playing accordion that I decided to add another video just so you can see him performing live. Besides accordion he also plays several other instruments, all with equal passion. Of course, to really experience his music, the best way would be to come to Spring Hill first weekend in March and check him out for yourself - and meet Alex Meixner in person.
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Before finishing my morning cup of hot chocolate soy milk and wrapping this post up - I'd like to thank in advance to everyone who volunteered to help me with all the tasks for Friday, March 4 jam session, to all of you who helped me promoting Suncoast SNPJ Lodge 778 events since last Thanksgiving, and all of you who are planning on coming to our events. I appreciate you all more than words can say!
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Idrija Slovenia - 2011 Alpine Town

Žlikrofi, Slovenian national food from town Idrija
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Idrija Becomes Alpine Town of 2011
09.02.2011

Idrija - The oldest Slovenian mining town, Idrija, which is situated in the Alpine foothills, assumed the title of the Alpine Town of 2011, becoming the 14th town from the eight Alpine countries to receive the title since its induction in 1995. The title is conferred by an association of Alpine countries on towns committed to the implementation of the Alpine Convention. The convention, which entered into force in March 1995, promotes sustainable development of the Alpine region.



This year Idrija therefore plans to carry out projects which will focus on the protection of soil and forest, efficient functioning of sewage plants and the production of environmental-friendly energy.



Idrija Mayor Bojan Sever told the press before the ceremony that cooperation within the network of Alpine towns opened concrete business opportunities for Idrija. "The title is also an excellent opportunity for the promotion of Idrija internationally," he said.



Sever also believes that the title would enable Idrija to draw on the experiences of the towns which have already held the title, and create a legacy for the successors. "We are involved in a project of becoming a low-carbon municipality and we will be carrying out several projects to meet the expectations of the EU and the Alpine Convention," he pointed out.



Sever received the title from the president of the Alpine Town of the Year Association Hubert Buhl and received a gift from Otto Marl, the mayor of Austria's Bad Aussee, the Alpine Town of 2010. The ceremony was also addressed by Environment and Spatial Planning Minister Roko Zarnic.



The first Slovenian town to assume the title was Maribor in 2000.



The idea to make the Alps the centrepiece of a town was born in Villach, Austria in 1995. The next year the Alpine Town of the Year Association was founded. Initially, it promoted cultural events, but now it stands for the implementation of the Alpine Convention.



Idrija, which is best known for its closed mercury mine, which was one of the biggest in the world, is visited by some 50,000 people every year.

Source: Republic of Slovenia - Government Communication Office
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This copper engraving from 1689 by Janez Vajkard Valvasor shows the mercury mine in Idrija in Slovenia
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Escudo - Idrija, Mercurio: Coat of arms of Municipality Idrija
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Postcard of Idrija from 1898
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Divje jezero (Wild Lake), a Karst spring near Idrija, Slovenia
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Gerwerkenegg castle in Idrija, Slovenia
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Kendov dvorec, 5-star hotel in Slovenia (Spodnja Idrija)
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Monday, February 7, 2011

Slovenian language

View of Ljubljana's skyline at sunset from the...Image via WikipediaI always knew Slovenian language was more difficult to learn than most other foreign languages. Throughout the years of using and understanding English better and better I realized many times over that there are some terms in Slovenian that cannot be properly translated into English (and the other way around, of course). However, hearing about Slovenian language from an English native speaker's perspective was an extra eye-opener. If you can speak/understand bot languages, English and Slovenian, the article below will be a real treat to you.
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General remark: When reading Slovenian words on maps or in books, you will find special characters, pronounced ch, sh, and zh. They are written with c, s and z with a caron - little v above them - like č, š and ž.


Source of the article below: The Slovenia Times

Photo above: Ljubljana skyline at the sunset from Ljubljana Castle

The Mother Hen and Me
Slovenian


07.12.2007

By Victor Irving

Slovenian is one of the most complicated languages on earth.

Take this joke from students who were struggling with the language:

- Let’s order two coffee.

- All right, coffee is kava en two is dva, so dva kava?

- No, it’s dva kavo – 4th case because it’s the object of the sentence: (I’d like) dva kavo.

- But hey, adjective and noun should match, so shouldn’t it be: dvo kavo?

- Not really, because with two it’s an exception: dve kavo

- All right, the dualism…

- Oh yeah, two has a separate ending! Ena kava, dve kavi, tri kave.

- So it should be Dve kavi, prosim,

- Don’t forget it’s still the 4th case.

- Same as the 1st for dual, female gender words.

- But I’d like my coffee with whipped cream: z smetan.

- That’s the instrumental case. Z smetano.

- No, I think it’s s smetano because of the pronunciation.

- Screw this: ‘Two beer please.’

Another situation: Guys sees a girl walk by and wants to invite her for a coffee.

He is about to say: Zdravo! Gremo na kava?

Then he remembers: Oh wait, we’re going somewhere, so fourth case: gremo na kavo. No wait, with ‘gremo’ she’ll think it’s for three or more persons, so: greva na kavo? Then he realises it’s more polite to ask if she would like to go: Bi rad da greva na kavo? But since he’s talking to a girl he has to say: Bi rada da greva na kavo?

- Zdravo! Bi ra…

The girl has passed by a minute ago.

Even more interesting is the way Slovenian bends city-names. The city is called Ljubljana, but you are from Ljubljane. The a changes into an e, however, if a city-name does not end with an a you add one. For instance, I am from Amsterdama. But if you go to the city, it becomes Ljubljano. And if you say you live there, you say in Ljubljani, or in case there is no a to change into an i, you say you live in Londonu. The same with names: You are at Victorju (Victor’s), the belch came out of Victorja and you’re crying about an impossible grammatical system with Victorjem and you know about Victorjevega mačka and haven’t understood Victorjevega teksta.

Let’s take a moment now to fully appreciate that six cases, three genders and singular, dual and plural endings lead to 54 options, and with adjectives that may differ from nouns, about 108 options. For newcomers, creating a sentence may take some time.

Most interesting, however, is that there are a few words that are the same in every case. Roza (pink) never changes, and neither does a name like Karen. Great. How about something similar for all words in Slovenian? People may still be able to understand each other; in English or Dutch coffee is coffee whether you drink it, see it, don’t have it, order it or throw with it. Moreover, these days national identity is no longer dependant on a language’s complexity. Slovenia is a real country, so the language can develop as all other languages: get easier. Maybe then foreigners can devote some brain capacity to what they want to say instead of how they have to say it.


Victor Irving lives in Ljubljani and is desperately trying to learn Slovensko.
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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Florida in 1925

Statue of Primoz Trubar in Celje by sculptor B...Image by sunflower19020 via FlickrA few months ago I got a hold of an old book about Slovenian Americans, printed and published in 1925 by SNPJ, written by Jože Zavertnik.

It's written in an old Slovenian language which means I have to read certain sentences three times before I fully understand them. Many of the words, used in the text have not been in use for a long time and others are nowadays spelled differently.

Nevertheless, the language is highly
descriptive, the adjectives often
humorous - especially in letters.

That's the reason I am sharing this text below, the description of Florida in 1925 from one Slovenian-American point of view, as originally written by the author of the book - in Slovenian language from 1925.

Those of you who can understand it, will most likely agree with me that it's a pure delight to read. If the text below in any way differs from its original in the book, it must be due to my typo. Enjoy!! :)

Historical source for this post: Ameriški Slovenci - PREGLED SPLOŠNE ZGODOVINE ZDRUŽENIH DRŽAV SLOVENSKEGA NASELJEVANJA IN NASELBIN in SLOVENSKE NARODNE PODPORNE JEDNOTE by Jože Zavertnik, printed and published by SNPJ - Slovenska Narodna Podporna Jednota in Chicago, 1925

Text below can be found on page 290.

Photo above: Statue of Primož Trubar, the father of Slovenian literature in Celje, Slovenia by sculptor Boris Kalin

FLORIDA.

Florida je poljedelska država, in industrija je v njej še v povojih. Radi milega podnebja ima številna zimska letovišča, v katera prihajajo bogataši, da prežive tamkaj najmrzlejše mesece v letu.

Po podnebju se država lahko razdeli v tri pasove: pas s klimo, ki je splošna v južnih državah, pas s poltropično klimo in pas s podtropično klimo. V nji dozori južno sadje kot oranže, limone, anane, banane, guave in drugo ovočje. Pridela se tudi veliko zelenjave.

Po izjavi poljedelskega departmenta je bil pridelek zelenjave v letu 1907-1908 vreden $3,928,657. Pridelujejo tudi riž in koruzo. Pridelovanje tobaka je zopet oživelo po letu 1885, ko so dobili seme s Kube in Sumatre.

V poltropičnem kraju so zimska letovišča. Vanje prihajajo milijonarji, njih sinovi in hčere, da prežive zimo udobno in v brezdelju.

Florida je bila malo poznana v ameriški javnosti, dokler ni postala zimsko letovišče za bogatine. Razglašena je bila kot dežela, v kateri se razprostirajo nepregledna močvirja, v katerih imajo svoj dom aligatorji, strupene kače in komarji.

Oglašanje za prodajanje zemlje v tej državi je pričelo nekako pred dvajsetimi leti. V začetku ni bilo uspeha, dasi je bila zemlja poceni naprodaj. Predsodki so bili preveliki napram nji, da bi se umaknili kar čez noč.

Kazenski sistem je bil zelo nečloveški, in pričeli so ga reformirati šele zadnja leta, ko je izzval ogorčenje po vsej Ameriki. Ječ niso imeli, ampak so oddajali kaznjence v najem privatnim podjetnikom, ki so jih izkoriščali v lesni, terpentinski in fosfatni industriji.

Ko so bili kaznjenci izročeni privatnim podjetnikom, so prenehali biti ljudje. Bili so sužnji v pravem pomenu besede. Hrana je bila nezadostna, zdravniška oskrba in sanitarne naprave so bile le na papirju, in nečloveški pazniki so pretepali kaznjence, da je visela koža z njih telesa. Dogodilo se je, da so bili kaznjenci tako bičani, da so umrli za posledicami bičanja.

V letu 1923 je tako ravnanje s kaznjenci izzvalo val ogorčenja med ameriškim ljudstvom, da so bili merodajni faktorji pod pritiskom javnega mnenja prisiljeni uvesti nekatere reforme. Ali pa te še niso popolnoma odpravile tega zla, ki je preostanek iz časa telesne sužnosti.

Minilo bo še precej let, preden bodo ti preostanki telesne sužnosti odpravljeni. Zamorec je belopoltnikom v tej državi še vedno manj vreden človek. Pa tudi belopoltni delavec nima veliko veljave.

Slovencev je malo naseljenih v tej državi, dasiravno se vrši že več let agitacija med njimi za naseljevanje v Floridi. Nekaj se jih he naselilo na farmah, nekaj jih dela v zimskih letoviščih. V Samsuli je par članov Slovenske narodne podporne jednote, toda svojega društva še nimajo, nego spadajo društvom izven države.

Velikega naseljevanja Slovencev ni pričakovati v tej državi tudi v prihodnjih letih. Industrije ni, poleti pa solnce pripeka, da postane delo na polju precej mučno. Tudi nazadnjaških postav glede šolskega poduka, kakršne so uveljavljene v tej državi, ne ljubi slovensko ljudstvo.

Doesn't reading about the living conditions in Florida from 1920's make you feel thankful for all the standard luxury most of us enjoy today - not to mention the white sandy beaches all over the Sunshine State?
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