Slovenia in 9th class

With the 9th graders we learned about Slovenia. There are four compositions: on history, the installation of the dukes, agriculture and the reason: why is it nice to live here. Are you curious? Go ahead.

AG Nikšič

THE HISTORY OF SLOVENIA

New words:

TRIBES – plemena

MISSIONARY PRIESTS – misijonarski duhovniki

SPLASH – AND – BURN METHODS – požigalništvo                                     

The Slovenian nation has its origin from the great migrations in the 6th century AD.

In their original homelands the early Slavs lived in forests and by rivers and lakes, where they had cattle and farmed by splash and burn methods.  They were very nice and peaceful people. They also believed in fairies and many gods.

The Slavic tribes came from the East and settled in the Eastern Alps and near the rivers Danube, Drava, Sava and Mura.

Then the Alpine Slavs united and made their own independent March (Country) of the Slavs. At that time there was a Slavic king named Samo. He had a big Alpine empire, from Balkan to Germany and the Alpine Slavs joined his union. But then Samo died and the country divided into two branches. One was the southern Slavs and the other was the Slavs from the north.

Then a smaller part of the March (Country) of the Slavs made their own independent country named Carantania, with its seat at Krnski grad in nowadays Austria. There lived Germanic and Slavic people but many describe it as the first Slovenian state.

Carantania later became a part of the Frankish empire where it was named Carinthia. There missionary priests turned people into Christians.

After the Frankish empire, a Carinthian prince named Kocelj made a Slovenian kingdom in the 9th century. But it did not last for a long time.

Slovenian lands became the part of the Habsburg empire, that had its seat in Vienna. This area  was divided into six regions named Carniola, Istria, Styria, Gorizia, White March (region) and Carinthia. There was Germanization and the Slovene language was only spoken among the simple people.

The Habsburg empire came to an end in 1918 and Serbs, Croats and Slovenes made their own kingdom called The kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

After world war II Slovenia became the part of Yugoslavia.

And finally after more than 1000 years of foreign rule Slovenia became an independent country on the 25th of June 1991.

Hana , 9.b

THE INSTALLATION OF THE DUKES OF CARANTANIA

VOCABULARY

installation – ustoličenje

duke – vojvoda, knez

free peasant – svoboden kmet

integrity – poštenost

bishop – škof

judge – sodnik

fiefs – fevdi

THE INSTALLATION

The Duchy of Carantania was the earliest known Slavic tribal Union and some also like to think it as the first Slovenian state.

The installation of the Dukes of Carantania was a democratic ceremony, where the Carantanian people, who were mostly peasants, chose their new leader – their new duke. They had the right to accept or reject the proposed prince, and if they didn’t like him, the Empire had to provide another one.

The installation has three parts:

1 THE PRINCE’S STONE

The Prince’s Stone is a part of an ancient Roman column and it stood on the meadow near the Krnski grad hill. The new duke walked up the stone with a spotted bull in one hand and a black and white war horse in the other. He took off his clothes and the participants put a grey coat and a grey Slovenian hat on him. A free peasant sat on the stone and lead the ceremony by questioning the new duke and the surrounding crowd about the duke’s integrity. Only when the crowd agreed on the selection of the new leader and when he was gently slapped by the peasant, the duke could sit on the stone.

Then he got on top of the stone and with the sword in his hands turned around to show that he would be a fair judge to everyone. He had to swear that he would respect and defend the people’s will and their rights.

At the end, he got onto a horse and went around the stone three times while all of them would sing a song, praising God for giving them a new ruler.

2 MASS AT THE CATHEDRAL OF MARIA-SAAL

In the cathedral the bishop would celebrate Mass and bless the Duke and after that the Duke gave clothes among the poor.

3 THE DUKE’S THRONE

The duke had a role as a supreme judge as well so there was a throne, made of roman gravestones as a seat for the Duke and the king’s representative. The throne stood on the Gosposvetsko polje and it has two stone seats with their backrests attached to each other. The larger seat, facing to the east, was reserved for the Duke and the one facing to the west, was for the king’s representative who gave fiefs (rented fields) to people who the Duke refused.

DEMOCRATIC IDEA

This Carantanian ceremony was a rare democratic tradition because most of the rulers at that time believed themselves as “chosen by God” but in Carantania it was the people who chose their leader. Jean Bodin described the ceremony in one of his books and it is believed that the American Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, is based on that book. When Bill Clinton visited Slovenia in 1999, he talked about Jefferson’s inspiration as the beginning of U.S – Slovenian friendship.

CONTROVERSY

The Slovenians and Austrians are fighting over to whose tradition the Prince’s Stone belongs.  Slovenians put the stone on the Euro two-cent coin and consider it a Slovenian ritual, but the Austrians say that the place that was the seat of Carantania is now a part of Austria and so is the original Prince’s Stone which is now standing at the provincial parliament in Klagenfurt.

Lučka, 9.b

AGRICULTURE IN SLOVENIA

flock – čreda

imported – uvoženo

flyers – letaki

local food thinking – lokalna hrana je bolj zdrava in zelena

broadcasts – oddaje

self sufficient – samozadosten

Slovenia’s climate types: Slovenia’s special terrain allows it to have 3 distinct climates. A Mediterranean climate at sea, an Alpine climate in the Alps and a Continental climate inland. This means many different crops can be grown in Slovenia. The Mediterranean climate is very friendly towards olives, grapes and fruits. The Continental climate is perfect for farming. The Alpine climate isn’t friendly towards plants but animals can do well there.

Farming in the lowlands: Lowland areas are the breadbasket of Slovenia. There is enough lowland in Slovenia to keep the country fed. The soil there is rich and a lot of corn and wheat is grown in open fields. Farmers grow grains, vegetables, potatoes, fruits as well as keep animals like sheep and pigs. Some areas are irrigated with water from rivers.

Farming in valleys and basins: Although most area in Slovenia is hilly, there is much fertile soil in gently rolling plains in valleys and basins. In these valleys farmers produce everything from dairy products to vegetables, hops and fruits.         

Beehives and honey: In Slovenia there are 176.000 bee families and around 10.000 beekeepers. Beekeeping is a cherished tradition. Back in the day when sugar was in short supply, every farm kept some bees for honey. In Slovenia between 1.500 and 2.500 tonnes of honey is produced a year.

Vineyards and wine: Many farmers grow grapes and vineyards are tended in almost every part of Slovenia. The grapes are picked in September and are mostly made into wine.

Fruit orchards: Goriška Brda and the Vipava Valley are Slovenia’s foremost fruit growing areas. There are many cherry and peach orchards there.

Farming in the highland regions: It is hard to farm in the highlands, so farmers farm more hill-friendly crops like corn, potatoes, hay and chickens and cattle… In this region Alpine shepherds tend to flocks of cattle and sheep. Many excellent dairy products are made here.

Forests: 58% of Slovenia’s surface is covered with forests. Forests provide jobs to many. Lumberjacks work in these forests chopping down trees. There are factories as well for making lumber into furniture.

Fishing: Slovenia’s coastline is very shot – 46.6 km. Much of the sea around the borders is disputed and fisherman have a hard time. Croatia has been blocking Slovenia’s sea access for years. But a lot of fish can still be caught in rivers and lakes.

Food independence: In Slovenia, small scale family farming is the main part of agriculture and probably will continue to be so. Unfortunately many farms have been abandoned and overgrown, there are many reasons for this. One is ageing farmers and the other is our super connected world. Slovenia once produced all of its food domestically but globalization meant driving food in that would be cheaper. This caused damage to local farmers, whose produce was replaced by the cheaper imported food. Today Slovenia is no longer self sufficient. In recent years global food prices have risen so many governments have been searching for ways to spread local farming. The Slovenian government has launched many campaigns that promote local food thinking, these efforts are supported by flyers, broadcasts and newspapers. They draw public attention to events such as Dan slovenske hrane (Eat Slovenian day), Jej dobro jej slovensko (eat well, eat Slovenian). Gardens are now being maintained in homes, schools, hospitals and even prisons. The message is clear – Grow what we eat, Eat what we grow.

Janez, 9.c

Why do I like to live in Slovenia?

I like to live in Slovenia because it’s a very peaceful country. Its education is one of the best in the whole world and it’s free.

It’s also geographically in a perfect position next to the Alps and in the center of Europe, there are also a few rivers that helped the first Slovenes to settle here.

I like Slovenia also because it’s so compact you can get anywhere in the country in the matter of hours, and parts of Slovenia are very different: from the coast to the farmlands to the mountains.

The people are also very friendly and understandable.

Bruno, 9.a

(Skupno 99 obiskov, današnjih obiskov 1)

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