The Slovenia Times

Organisation of Carinthian Slovenians celebrates 60th anniversary


The event will be attended by President Borut Pahor and Minister for Slovenians Abroad Gorazd Žmavc.

At the ceremony, Pahor will confer on the ZSO the Order of Merit for its services in realising the basic interests of the Slovenian community in Carinthia.

The ceremony will also be attended by Governor of Carinthia Peter Kaiser and Austrian Minister of Art, Culture, Constitution and the Media Josef Ostermayer, who will meet with President Pahor before the ceremony.

ZSO head Marjan Sturm says that the association has played a "very important role" and has consciously worked towards integration, including by founding private bilingual kindergartens.

This prompted Austria to gradually start financing such projects, he told the STA.

In the last decade, the ZSO has been engaging in dialogue with fierce opponents of the Slovenian minority in Carinthia and thus contributed to the positive changes in the atmosphere in the region.

Sturm notes though that the Slovenian community in Carinthia has shrunk throughout the years, but that the interest in learning Slovenian has been rising.

Currently, over 45% of children in south Carinthia take bilingual lessons. In the 1970s, the share was at 12-13%.

Commenting on the plans for the future, the ZSO boss says that the association is making efforts ro create the Alps-Adriatic region based on sustainable peace, cooperation, the preservation of linguistic and cultural diversity and business success. "That is a challenge for the 21st century."

The ZSO was founded on 25 March 1955, succeeding the Democratic Front of Working People. Its first president was Franci Zwitter. In 1982, he was succeeded by Feliks Wieser, while Sturm has been at its helm since 1992.


More from Nekategorizirano