May Day and Kresovanje
On 1 May, Labor Day was celebrated around Slovenia with both official events and more relaxed traditional bonfire parties (called Kresovanje). President Milan Kučan addressed a crowd at Košenjak pri Dravogradu. Among the biggest events was a military parade at Javorovic pri Šentjerneju, with more than 10,000 people attending.
Mayor Vika Potočnik attended the annual observance at Rožnik in Ljubljana, though the official celebration was quickly forgotten as night fell and the bonfires were lit. The beer-laden kresovanje featuring a big-name concert drew more than 40,000 people.
Does Slovenia need cybercafes?
On 24 April, Dnevnik ran an article on the sore lack of cybercafes in the capital. Several ventures have recently failed or removed their PCs making the search for internet access in Ljubljana a virtually impossible task.
To compensate for the lack of internet access, the Ministry of the Information Society and the governmental Center for Information announced that in the near future they will attempt to expand the use of the internet in Slovenia by promoting cybercafes. Though the idea seems to have merit, it was not well received by all.
The daily Finance published a commentary this week by Robert Pavšič in which the idea was trashed. According to data from 1999 presented in the commentary, almost 25 percent of Slovene households have access to the internet, and sales of PCs have been on the rise in the past several years, significantly increasing that percentage. The commentary's author wonders, "why then is it necessary to access the internet at cybercafes?"
Pavšič ends by suggesting the government rethink the plans and expand "content, not form" to increase internet usage among Slovenes.
Apparently, no one informed him that this year's tourism statistics show that more foreigners than ever were visiting Slovenia. Cybercafes provide a necessary service to travelers, and they are rare in the capital, and essentially unknown elsewhere in the country. Perhaps it is better that the government does not rethink the plan, but the target audience.
Slovene pop stars team up for Unicef
Several stars of the Slovene pop-music scene will headline a charity concert this month to benefit Unicef. The concert is part of Unicef's efforts to draw attention to the plight of children world wide and to raise support for efforts to promote the rights of children.
The concert, Mladi bi rade (The young would be grateful), will take place on 17 May at Hala Tivoli in Ljubljana. The impressive bill includes several of the most prominent bands on the Slovene music scene today, such as Siddharta, Planet Groove, Sfiltrom and Sunny Orchestra, perhaps the only reggae band in Slovenia. The performers will donate their time, and tickets will be specially priced, with all proceeds to benefit Unicef programs for children around the world.
Aside from Unicef's full calendar of events worldwide, this year will also be marked by a special session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York to discuss the rights of children.
On 3 May, the band Planet Groove performed at the popular Ljubljana club K4. The band is featured on the global music charts at www.mp3.com, which houses more than 120,000 songs from around the world. Their song "Brain Killers" lasted 21 days at number one on MP3.com's Acid Jazz chart, and eight other of their songs made the top fifteen. In the overall chart, "Brain Killers" placed 68 out of the total of more than 120,000.
B Mashina, the first single from Siddharta's forthcoming album, is already on the radio, and the video is set to premier on 6 May on the Videospotnice program of TV Slovenija. On 23 April, the band held an open audition at the Glej Theatre in Ljubljana to find fresh faces to appear in the video. Directed by an acclaimed director from Zagreb named Gonzo, the video was shot on 24 and 25 April at sites around Ljubljana.
From 3 to 11 May, Ljubljana is hosting the annual festival of contemporary youth art, this year bearing the name Transgeneracija. The gala opening featured a concert by the popular band Shyam. Taking place at various venues around the capital, the festival features theatre productions, fine arts, video art, prose and essay works, student music performances and young rock bands. Other events include dance, theatre and comic strip workshops, literary evenings and a roundtable on youth subcultures.
Brian J Požun, 4 May 2001
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