Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ljubljana, capitol - French. Austrian and Jewish connections

In the city, there are canals and other waterways, markets, and this Square commemorating the French. The French occupied Ljubljana from 1809-1813; then the area came under Austrian control. See There you will find more on Ljubljana in the 18th-19th Centuries.

Napoleon is well respected here, and the French are seen as less exploitative than other occupiers. See for more on Ljubljana.

The Jewish population was small by 1919, and they joined with the Jewish community in Zagreb, Croatia. Their history in Slovenia dates from Roman days. See Do look up Jewish history and culture in Slovenia and the other Balkan countries. The populations were decimated in World War II in many places. Renewals are happening, though, and the European Jewish Press cited a specific annual day of celebration of Jewish culture, held in Ljubljana this year. See

Beats US in education, despite our disregard - Can we learn from that?

Slovenia. Beautiful, and cultured. It enjoys another side of the Alps. See // As far as most of us are concerned, however, we are in the dark about it. Slovenia used to be part of the countries comprising the old Yugoslavia, and there were many of them: Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Slovakia, Montenegro.

1. We don't know where it is. It's just that more people don't have maps in their houses. See // Slovenia variously borders Italy and Austria and Croatia - look at a map and find Trieste, Italy - that is a handy reference. It sometimes gets mixed up, by the more mainstream (self-selecting) West with Slovakia, the country that used to be united with the Czech Republic as Czechoslovakia, see //; or with Slavonia, an eastern region of Croatia. See //
Silly us. Our lack of education is showing.

2. We are very behind it in education. See where the years tested were grades 4, 8, and 12 as follows: Slovenia surpasses the US in Math grades 4 and 12, Science grades 8 and 12, Advanced Science and Advanced Math (both) in Grade 12, See // This is a site with an ax to grind, in promoting a school voucher program, but their figures may well be fine. You check. You will also find all the other countries we may disparage in our separate ways, that surpass us.

The point is that a major international power is failing its children, while those we sometimes look down upon are succeeding.

Earlier post, 9/06, referred to President Janez Denovsek and his book on leading a life not bound by consumerism or power, but mutual responsibilities, a common good.

We may be seeing more leaders lead in new ways. High time. See the film/book complex by Al Gore - now a Nobel Prize winner, see //; and his film won an Oscar, for "An Inconvenient Truth." Time for a statesman with vision and ability to implement for the common good? Maybe. Who can fit the slipper. Put the wrong foot forward again and everything shatters.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ljubljana - Peasant Uprising 1515 - Ordinary people, independence

Slovenian Peasants' Revolt 1515
See look-back at Contemporary Peasants Uprisings: Issues

Peasants' Revolt 1515, Memorial, Ljubljana, Slovenia

A theme of traveling is finding monuments to people casting off shackles of one kind or another.

In Slovenia, Croatia, elsewhere, it takes the form of peasants rebelling. See // Here is the 1974 statue on the grounds of Ljubljana Castle commemorating the revolt here in 1515.

Peasants' revolt.

Read Slovenian history at ://

The peasants' revolts continued from the 1500's until the mid-19th Century. Invaders took over the ancient Carantania as it was known, and I understand that the people were 'Vends' or Vendic, in Germany known as Wends, a group that also stretched into large areas of what is now northern Germany.

Among the Carantanians, female succession was considered normal. Women enjoyed full rights of action, protection by law, as any man - the Slavica Lex. No wonder the Roman tradition of Christianity could not stand them.

Then came the German Swabians, with a male culture and stamped out the Slavica Lex, then came the Austrian Habsburgs, and on and on.

Ireland: Another peasants' revolt.  See Vinegar Hill., near Wexford, and the farm boys getting out their pikes from the haystacks where they had hidden them, and holding out - not long - against the English Cromwell and his cannons. See Ireland Road Ways, Wexford.

Everyman as Peasant. Ordinary people worldwide. 

Put your own face on ordinary people doing these brave things. Look in your own family albums or second-hand shops for those unnamed faces.

This is not a Slovenian, to my knowledge; it came from a dear elderly friend's trunk, long forgotten after her death many years ago; but he could have been in the ranks anywhere of people trying to get out from under.