Eva tells us about Slovenia (not Slovakia!)
“Yes, that's Tomas, he's my friend, actually.”
Do you also hear people confusing Slovenia and Slovakia?
“Yeah. When I moved here and told people that I'm from Slovenia, some people would say ‘Oh, Slovakia! That's a nice country!’, and I said ‘Yes, but it's a different country’ or they would say ‘Bosnia?’ or ‘Croatia?’ and they would basically name every single Balkan country. Or they would say ‘From where? Is that in Russia?’ and when I said ‘It's not in Russia’, they would say ‘But you speak Russian, right?’ and I would say ‘No, we don't speak Russian, we speak Slovenian’. But I understand, because Slovenia is a small country, it only has a bit over 2 million people. But I still thought it was quite funny that almost nobody knew where Slovenia was, even some teachers.”
Where exactly are you from?
“I'm from Ljubljana, but my parents are from the west of Slovenia, on the border to Italy which is quite a nice region. There are a lot of mountains and lakes and rivers, and they're all crystal clear and all very healthy for you. It's an interesting place to go and explore: You can go to the mountains, you can go hiking, you can go swimming or you can drive to the city, so you have a lot of options. I like the cosiness of a small country with a lot of things to see. And we have three languages that are official around the country: Slovenian, which is spoken everywhere, close to the border to Italy, the official language is Italian as well, and on the border to Hungary we have Hungarian. We do not always have that many tourists because not that many people know about Slovenia. I think Slovenians are very welcoming, which I think is a good thing; they’re always very open to help you, it's a place where tourists feel quite comfortable. I heard a lot of comments from people who had been in Slovenia and had very great experiences. When they tell me they like it, I am like ‘Awww! Thank you!’ I like seeing happy people visiting my home country.”
Is there something else you want us to know?
“Something I'd like people to know is that there’s actually quite a number of famous people from Slovenia but nobody knows they’re Slovenia, like Melania Trump or Goran Dragić or Luka Dončić or Jan Oblak and some very good handball players, hockey players and boxers. I think we have a lot of really talented athletes, they're just very unknown for their home country".
In case you are wondering what the Slovenian flag looks like, you can see it in the photo, underneath the flag with the old CIS logo on the right. The Slovenian flag has three horizontal stripes, white, blue and red, and the coat of arms of Slovenia located in the upper hoist side of the flag between the white and blue stripes.
Interested in hearing our students’ stories about their own countries? You may want to read our other interviews with students from Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Colombia, Cyprus, the Dominican Republic, France, India, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Lithuania, Nigeria, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Turkey, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.