The 26th anniversary of the creation of the Republic of Slovenia in 1991 was celebrated in the Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall on Friday June 30, 2017. The country declared of independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Andrej Gregor Rode, Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia, hosted the event which included dignitaries, recognition of Slovenian organizations, the Slovenian Chorus Fantje Na Vasi and Slovenian food and wine.
August Pust inducts the late William (Bill) Miller into Cleveland International Hall of Fame
Former Plain Dealer ethnic reporter Bill Miller was inducted posthumously into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame in front of 500 attendees on April 18, 2017. He was represented by his wife Marianna Miller.
Marianna Miller accepting for her late husband Bill
Click on the white arrow in the image below to watch the video of August and Marianna. Make sure your speakers are on and you can make the video full screen once it begins by clicking the icon in the lower right corner.
The 5th annual Cleveland version of the most popular carnival in Slovenia - Kurentovanje - began with a parade. The units gathered at Sterle's on East 55th and marched up St Clair to the Slovenian National Home.
The shocking and sad news of the passing of beloved Mayor/Governor/Senator George Voinovich came just a day or so after his appearance at the Republic of Slovenia 25th Independence Day celebration in Cleveland City Hall. We saw Sen. Voinovich at the Slovenian Independence Day event and he looked healthy and sharp. His ad lib speech when called to the podium was classic George Voinovich - humble, smart and caring.
Senator George Voinovich on June 10,2016
Leaders in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens paid tribute to the Senator on Sunday morning - watch the video clips.
Also Senator George Voinovich was inducted into the inaugural class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame in 2010. See his impressive bio from that event.
The 25th anniversary of the creation of the Republic of Slovenia in 1991 was celebrated in the Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall on Friday June 10, 2016.
Dignitaires included Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to the U.S. Božo Cerar, Gorazd Zmauc, Minister of the Republic of Slovenia for Slovenians Abroad, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Slovenian Consul General Andrej Gregor Rode and Senator George Voinovich.
Mike Polensek, Mayor Frank Jackson, Minister Gorazd Žmavc, Ambassador Božo Cerar and Senator George Voinovich
The 4th annual Cleveland version of the most popular carnival in Slovenia - Kurentovanje - began with a parade. The units gathered on February 6, 2016 at Sterle's on East 55th and marched up St Clair to the Slovenian National Home.
New Slovenian Consul General and exhibit at Slovenian Museum and Archives
Slovenian Consul General Andrej Gregor Rode has only been at his new post in Cleveland for 3 weeks. He was on hand for the presentation of an exhibit at the Slovenian Museum and Archives called "Forgive Us, Forgive Us, Oh You, the Dead."
The exhibit is dedicated to Jewish soldiers in the Austro-Hungarian army who fell on the Isonzo Front (Soska Fronta) of World War I in the territory of present day Slovenia.
Luka Zibelnik, Lecturer at the Center for Slovenian Studies at Cleveland State University, was the driving force in getting the exhibition to Cleveland.
Slovenian Statehood celebration and Farewell to Consul Jure Zmauc
The celebration of 24 years of Slovenian Statehood in the Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall was bittersweet. This was the 6th and final event for Consul General Jure Zmauc who is completing his service in the US and moving back to Slovenia.
The Cleveland Slovenian Choir sang Slovenija V Svetu (Slovenian and the World)
Dick Russ inducted into Cleveland International Hall of Fame
Slovenian-American Dick Russ has been serving the people of Northeast Ohio for some 40 years, both as a professional journalist and as a leader in the community's civic life. He is currently Vice President of North Coast Community Homes, a non-profit organization which develops and maintains housing for people who have disabilities.
Dick also serves as executive producer of Eastern Christian Media, a private not-for-profit multi-media company which he co-founded in Cleveland, and as a board member of St. Peter the Rock Media, a company bringing Catholic Radio to Cleveland.
Dick Russ was inducted into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame by his longtime Channel 8 co-anchor Loree Vick.
The Slo-Ish bowling tournament started 4 years ago April 2012. Colleen Frank was on her way to a Slovenian meeting and thought there should be an event that both Irish and Slovenian groups did together and maybe grow the memberships of both groups. Bowling came to mind.
When she went to the SNPJ meeting they loved the idea. She also met with the board of the Irish Club and they loved the idea. Colleen and her Slovenian friend Gina Volpe have been organizing it ever since.
The groups involved are SNPJ Loyalites Lodge #158, Slovenian Society Home- Euclid, and the Irish American Club Eastside.
Gina Volpe, Joe Evanish, Lou Novak and Colleen Frank
2014 Polka Hall of Fame Music Awards
The Frank Stanger Orchestra repeated as Band of the Year at the 27th annual polka music awards ceremony presented by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum on Saturday, November 29, 2014.
The musical stage show was the high point of the 51st Thanksgiving Polka Party Weekend, held at the Downtown Cleveland Marriott Hotel.
The Awards Show theme, "Down at the Friendly Tavern," paid tribute to the clubs, halls and lounges that hosted polka dances. Large-scale murals of vintage tavern photos were displayed on the ballroom walls. Forty-three musicians appeared on the main stage in the traditional jam session on Friday evening.
Joe Valencic, Polka Hall of Fame President, and Mark Habat, Vice President, with Bishop Edward Pevec after the Polka Mass
Returning for its second year on Saturday March 1st 2014, The Cleveland Kurentovanje Festival is based on the most popular carnival event in Slovenia and the central figure of the carnival, the Kurent, is believed to chase away winter and usher in spring with its supernatural powers.
The Slovenian National Home, St Clair Superior Development Corp and Sterle's Country House partnered with local businesses and institutions to bring a piece of this cultural event to St. Clair Avenue on Saturday March 1st, 2014
Consul General of Slovenia Jure Žmauc with wife Janja and daughter Nika (and Kurent)
Slovenian Sausage Festival
The 10th annual Slovenian Sausage Festival hosted by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum was held Wednesday, Sept. 11, at the SNPJ Farm in Kirtland, Ohio. SNPJ is short for Slovenska Narodna Podporna Jednota which translates to Slovene National Benefit Society.
Besides the great Slovenian sausage (kranjska klobasa), eight polka music ensembles volunteered to perform for the Polka Hall of Fame fundraiser. Many visitors brought accordions for impromptu jam sessions.
The Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall was packed on the evening of June 21, 2013 to celebrate 22 years of Slovenian Statehood. The event featured dignitaries such as Slovenian Ambassador Roman Kirn, Slovenian Consul Jure Zmauc, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Cleveland Councilmen Joe Cimperman and Mike Polensek.
Roman Kirn, Ambassador to the Republic of Slovenia
Slovenian Consul Jure Zmauc
Slovenian music was performed by Violinist Joseph Stepec, Music Director of the Euclid Symphony Orchestra and guitarist Johnny Srsen.
Kurentovanje is a cultural event which connects ethnology, culture, arts, and people from all over Europe. It has been celebrated in Slovenia for the past 50 years. The central figure of the carnival, the Kurent, is believed to chase away winter and usher in spring with its supernatural powers.
His Excellency Roman Kirn, Ambassador to the Republic of Slovenia to the United States of America, visited Cleveland October 10-13, 2012 and took part in events covering education, business, media, government and the Slovene Diaspora. One of his stops was at the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame in Euclid.
Joe Valencic, Consul Jure Zmauc, Ambassador Roman Kirn and Tony Petkovsek
Joe Valencic, Joe Novak, Hank Guzel Jr. and Bob Kravos discussed and played Cleveland Style or Slovenian style of Polka at the Polka Hall of Fame. Why do they prefer Cleveland style? In the words of Frankie Yankovic, "Just Because."
Slovenian Ambassador Roman Kirn with Polka musicians Hank Guzel Jr., Bob Kravos and Joe Novak
Slovenian Consul Jure Zmauc spoke at the annual Diplomatic Seder. He told how he was asked why, after years of being in a union and finally becoming free, Slovenians wanted to join the EU, another union. He said that this was the first time that we wanted to join.
Slovenian Statehood Day at Cleveland City Hall On June 25, 1991 Slovenia declared independence from Yugoslavia. To celebrate the 21 years of Slovenian Statehood, a special event was held in the Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall with dignitaries, music and food. Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia Mr. Jure Žmauc and Mrs. Janja Žmauc hosted the event.
Councilman Mike Polensek, Consul General Jure Zmauc, Nika Zmauc, Slovenian Composer Oto Vrhovnik, Mayor Frank Jackson, Councilman Joe Cimperman and Martina Jakomin
Lojze Peterle in Cleveland Lojze Peterle is a Member of the European Parliament and the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia He spoke in Cleveland February 4, 2011
Cleveland councilman Mike Polensek and polka radio host Tony Petkovsek
Organizations and Resources for Slovenians in Cleveland
Slovenian Genealogy Society International (SGSI) The purpose of the Slovenian Genealogy Society International (SGSI), Inc. is to enrich the lives of individuals with Slovenian ancestry by helping them forge a link to the past. This Cleveland non-profit has numerous resources and a database of almost 1 million names to help you find your Slovenian roots and relatives.
Rose Marie (Macek) Jisa, president of SGSI
On August 22, 2009, The Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs relieved Consul General Dr. Zvone Žigon from his official duties in Cleveland, OH. Dr. Žigon completed his four-year diplomatic term in the city which claims the largest population of Slovenians outside of Slovenia. The Consulate General of the Republic of Slovenia in Cleveland remains the sole diplomatic office in the State of Ohio.
The Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs has appointed Mr. Jure Žmauc as the succeeding Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia in Cleveland, with consular jurisdiction over the states of Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. This is Consul General Žmauc's second post as a Consul General; he previously held the position in Klagenfurt, Austria.
In this short video, Jure Zmauc spoke about the relationship between Cleveland Ohio and the Republic of Slovenia at the first annual Kurentovanje Festival in Cleveland.
Consul General Žmauc has a degree in Construction from the Maribor School of Construction and Architecture, and a Law degree from the University of Ljubljana, School of Law. His legal career has included positions in the Maribor Prosecutor's Office and the Federal Court of Austria.
In 1994, Mr. Žmauc served as Director of the Center for International Cooperation at the University of Maribor. From 1994 to 1995, and again in 1997, Mr. Žmauc was Assistant Instructor in Civil Law and International Business Law at the University of Maribor, School of Law. In 1997, he worked as Counselor at the Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Office for Slovenes Abroad.
In 1998, he began his diplomatic career as a Consul at the Consulate General of the Republic of Slovenia in Klagenfurt, Austria. In 2001, Mr. Žmauc became Consul General there, and completed his four-year term in 2005, serving a total of seven years in Klagenfurt. Prior to his current post, Mr. Žmauc spent four years as Secretary at the Republic of Slovenia, Office for Slovenes Abroad, serving as the Director of the Sector for Cooperation with Slovenes Abroad.
In addition to his native Slovenian, Consul General Žmauc speaks English, German, Croatian and Serbian. His wife, Janja, and their two children join him in Cleveland. Otherwise, the Žmauc family resides permanently in Maribor Slovenia.
The Republic of Slovenia lies at the heart of Europe where the Alps and the Mediterranean meet the Pannonian plains and the mysterious Karst. Slovenia has a population of 2 million and its capital city is Ljubljana. The official language is Slovene, one of the South Slavonic languages.
In Slovenia, the sun shines approximately 2000 hours per year. And yes, there is plenty of snow in winter.
As a small, beautiful and picturesque country, Slovenia makes a great tourist destination. Mountains, lakes, waterfalls, forests, caves, hills, plains, rivers and the sea - you name it, you can find it all within a modest 20.273 km2 (half the size of Switzerland), as well as many natural and landscape parks.
You can ski in the morning and surrender yourself to the luxury of the Adriatic Sea in the afternoon. Slovenia has 46.6 km of sea coast - an inch per inhabitant.
The Slovene lands were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the latter's dissolution at the end of World War I. In 1918, the Slovenes joined the Serbs and Croats in forming a new multinational state, which was named Yugoslavia in 1929.
After World War II, Slovenia became a republic of the renewed Yugoslavia, which though Communist, distanced itself from Moscow's rule. Dissatisfied with the exercise of power by the majority Serbs, the Slovenes succeeded in establishing their independence in 1991 after a short 10-day war.
Historical ties to Western Europe, a strong economy, and a stable democracy have assisted in Slovenia's transformation to a modern state. Slovenia acceded to both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.