Today, February 8, is an important national holiday in Slovenia, as many readers already know. It is the anniversary of the death of Slovenia’s most famous poet: France Prešeren. For those who don’t know him (all that well) yet, a short introduction. France (pronounced: Frantsè) was born on December 3rd, 1800 in the small farming village of Vrba, near Bled. His birthplace is furnished as a museum and is still visited a lot. He studied law in Vienna and after returning to Slovenia he lived in Ljubljana where he worked as a lawyer and fell head over heels in love with Julija, a daughter from a wealthy family whom he met in church. Unfortunately, his love remained unanswered, but it was a great inspiration for many poems. Later, France moved to Kranj where he died in 1849.
France was a poor slob during his lifetime and only became known after his death, as is unfortunately often the case with artists. He liked to have a drink and therefore roamed the pubs. In 1844 he wrote the liquor song »Zdravljica«, or »A toast«, which, strangely enough, was voted the Slovenian national anthem in 1989. Another fun fact: the lyrics of the song are written in a way so that each verse is shaped like a wine glass :).
In Ljubljana, on Prešeren square, you can find his most famous statue. There are actually no images of France, so people do not know exactly what the man really looked like. His image, as we know it, was made after his death from a description by a good friend of his. Another fun fact: the statue in Ljubljana was made and arranged in such a way that it looks like France is looking at an image of Julija, which was made in a facade of a house in a side street of the square. The idea behind it is, that if the poor man could not be with Julija during his life, he is now, after his death, for all eternity :).
February 8 usually means just an extra day off for us, but this year there is another nice touch to it. For one, it is the first »anniversary«of our son and his girlfriend Manca. But in addition, the new video clip of Manca and her sister will also be released today. They form a singing duo together and they have been working hard in recent months on the release of a new song that was written by a good friend of theirs, who unfortunately passed away much too young not so long ago. Monika, Manca’s sister, has written the music to the lyrics and they recorded the song together under the direction of a well-known Slovenian singer. After that, of course, there had to be a video clip made and they recorded it a few weeks ago. Bine, Larsen, Lexi and I even participated as extras in a small part of it, which was an interesting experience. So we are also very curious about the end result!
Are you curious about the singing skills of Manca and Monika or are you perhaps looking for an act for your wedding or some other party or gathering? You can look them up on Facebook under the name »Manca & Monika«. There, you will also find various videos of covers they sing, all of their contact info, and of course, admire the new video clip that will be on there tonight or tomorrow. A little advertising for our »daughter-in-law« is allowed, right? ;). Have a nice day everyone!