Symbols of Slovenian Identity
Slovenia has many national, cultural and ethnic symbols, which give the country a uniqueness and make it more recognisable. I explore several of the most prominent here:
Triglav, with its 2864 metres, is the highest peak in Slovenia. It is located in Julian Alps (Julijske Alpe). On the top of Triglav stands »Aljažev stolp« (Aljaž Tower), named after a Slovenian priest and mountainner Jakob Aljaž. Triglav is one of the most visited spots for Slovenians, in fact every Slovenian should go there at least once in a lifetime – that would mean that you are a real Slovenian. Triglav is also represented in a national coat of arms.
The Linden tree or »lipa« in Slovenian, is another symbol of Slovenia. It is considered a magnificent tree. Nowadays we can still find linden trees near to the churches, villages and town squares, where they often mark a space for receptions and socialising. A linden tree symbolises friendship and love. It also has health benefits, so no wonder many Slovenians prepare »lipov čaj«, a linden tea from linden flowers.
A hayrack (»kozolec«) is a Slovenian feature. It is a wooden building, primarily used for drying grain and grass. Hayracks are distinctive in the Slovenian countryside. They come with a single or double structure, the latter of which are called »toplarji«. Well, they are also a good place to relax and to hide from the summer heat. They can be also a pantry for all kinds of tools.
»Lipicanec« is a breed of horse typical for the Karst region. Its name comes from a town of Lipica, where Lipizzaner are bred. Their characteristic is a beautiful white colour, which is a consequence of depigmentation which appears with age. You can admire Lipizzaner in the Lipica stud farm.
The Slovenian national anthem is called »Zdravljica« (A toast) – a song written by our greatest poet France Prešeren in 1844. For the anthem, the seventh stanza of Zdravljica is performed. Here is the original version:
Žive naj vsi narodi ki hrepene dočakat’ dan, da koder sonce hodi, prepir iz sveta bo pregnan, da rojak prost bo vsak, ne vrag, le sosed bo mejak!
It is written in older Slovenian, so it can be barely translated in other languages, but luckily I found one that comes close. The English version:
God’s blessing on all nations, Who long and work for that bright day, When o’er earth’s habitations No war, no strife shall hold its sway; Who long to see That all men free No more shall foes, but neighbours be.
Here you can find translations of Zdravljica in some other languages.