Slovenia: Tinkara Lazar
1) What is your average weekday and weekend like?
– How many hours do you go to school? Usually we have 8 hours of school every day. Each class lasts 45 minutes and after each lesson we have a 5 minutes break, and one longer break of 30 minutes to grab lunch, so usually I’m in school from 7 a.m. till 2 p.m.
– How many hours of homework do u have weekdays & weekends? I guess for homework I spend around one and a half hour each day. It really depends. Sometimes we don’t have homework at all and sometimes we get quite a lot, but there isn’t really a difference between weekdays and weekends when it comes to homework.
– How many hours do u have for yourself weekday & weekend? The time you have for yourself depends on your other activities. If you have none, you know, just going to school and right away home after you’re done, you have at least 5 hours. Also depends on your sleeping patterns. If you have a lot to study though, it can come down to an hour or less. On the weekends you have more time for yourself because you can do the work on Saturday and have then Sunday off or vice versa.
2) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I don’t really know, but right now it is my wish to go study abroad. Social sciences or languages or something including both (laugh).
3) What is your favorite thing you like about living in Slovenia?
One thing I like most about living in Slovenia is the nature we have. We have a very “green” country and I love the fact that industrialization hasn’t destroyed it yet. I hope it stays that way.
4) What do you dislike most about living in Slovenia?
My biggest dislike about Slovenia is that we don’t have so many options when it comes to choosing a job or study direction in our country. Slovenia is simply very small and has its bad sides as well.
5) What are Slovenian students most passionate about?
I think for Slovenian students it is very important that they have time for themselves. School isn’t always their first priority. For us the community is very important. To have fun in school, spend time with our friends, and of course still not loose focus.
6) What do Slovenian students know about Turkey and how do they view Turkish people?
I think Slovenian students don’t know that much about Turkey. We learn about the important things in Geography and History classes and so on. Also we learn about everything that happened in connection with our country of course (laughs). Their view on Turkish people is okay. They don’t really know a lot about them so there aren’t any stereotypes.
7) If someone were to visit Slovenia, where would you recommend they visit first?
First place I’d show a tourist is Bohinj. The lake Bohinj and the mountains surrounding it. It’s a very nice place. Then comes the river Soča! (laughs)
8) Any one interesting fact about the Slovenian way of life?
An interesting fact about the Slovenian way of life? I don’t know! We like to have a good time with our families and friends. That’s what’s really big in our country I guess.
9) “The majority of Slovenia’s population is Slovene (over 83%). Hungarians and Italians have the status of indigenous minorities under the Slovenian constitution, which guarantees them seats in the National Assembly.” Slovenia is definitely a multicultural country and maintains positive relations with its neighbors, except for the long-lasting border dispute with Croatia. Do you think the government’s positive attitude toward minorities and people of various ethnic backgrounds within its borders is reflected in daily life? Are there issues of national or ethnic identity?
Yes, I think Slovenia is taking good care of the minorities in our country and in a way it is visible in daily life, yes. Starting by the multilingual signs in the minority areas, different projects we often have at school about other nationalities living in our country and so on… I think we are all raised to treat everyone in our country equally and it is important to have a reference point. Our government tries its best to set this equality with its functioning. All of the people from our neighboring countries have a right to continue their traditions whilst living in Slovenia even if the traditions they practice are different than those we have here. The Slovenian citizens respect every tradition.
Also the immigrants in Slovenia have a pretty good status, I’d say. They get jobs quite easily and are seen as good and equal people. I think we also made a huge step forward by deciding to build a Mosque in our capital, Ljubljana. We have a lot of people living in our country that are of Islamic religion, so I think it was surely time to take this step. It’s supposed to be finished in 2014.
So the national and ethnic identity is very straightforward in our country. Everyone is proud of his or her roots and that’s how it should be. The country and its government support this decision very much. But we are also living in a unity that needs to stay strong and Slovenia mustn’t loose its traditions either, and I think we are doing our best at keeping our traditions as alive as possible.
10) Slovenian cuisine is a mixture of three great regional cuisines: Central European cuisine (especially Austrian and Hungarian), Mediterranean cuisine and Balkan cuisine. Do Slovenians take pride in their diverse cuisine or has Slovenia started to lose its cultural cuisine?
The Slovenian cuisine is indeed very special. At least that’s what most of the people who visit our country usually say. I think we are very proud of our traditional cuisine, yes. For example almost every town has at least once a week a big market with traditional home made pastries, foods, bread and other specialties. People are usually queuing in the morning to be the firsts at the stalls. Our traditional food varies quite a lot according to the different areas of our country. It is very diverse, so going to a different province and trying its traditional dishes is very interesting even for me. Probably there are still lots of dishes that I haven’t tried yet. And I have to say that in contrast to other countries, the traditional dishes are still widely spread amongst the majority of Slovenian households. It is not rare to eat traditional dishes at all. Usually they are prepared in the weekends, especially Sunday. So no, I don’t think we are going to loose our cuisine that quickly, which is good, because I think it would truly be a loss.