Society

Slovenian Society

Recreation is very popular way of life. Photo: K. Krmelj

The story of Slovenia is also the story of its people and customs. We Slovenes see ourselves as hard-working and diligent. We approach the things we love to do with great passion, energetically and with great zeal. We are proud of who we are and of what we have achieved. 

Slovenes will mention – apart from family and good health – honesty as one of our principal values. We also see our mother tongue, Slovene, as a value and a distinctive feature, which unites us and makes us who we are – Slovenian. We tend to be individualistic, yet we do know how to play in a team. We  are passionate about what we love. And that is precisely what we excel at most.

Way of Life

Annual Slovenian Book Days. Photo: Arsen Perić

Nature and quality of life is what foreigners like about Slovenia. Slovenia has it all – diverse landscape, cultural heritage, numerous opportunities for sports, many cultural events, excellent cuisine and wine. Slovenes are very interested in culture and many practice various cultural activities as a hobby.

Culture is an important part of everyday lives in Slovenia, so publishers will tell you that most contemporary Slovenian authors are poets. Even though Slovenes like to describe themselves as calm and reserved, they will quickly open up to good food and drink, good company, and even start to sing.

According to the findings on human development around the world in the Human Development Index, Slovenia in 2011  came 21st among 187 countries. 

A great majority of Slovenes live in their own flats or houses. 

Over a third of the population lives in towns of more than ten thousand inhabitants. Slovenia’s largest town is its capital, Ljubljana. Other major towns are Maribor, Celje, Koper and Novo mesto. Most people can at the same time enjoy some advantages of rural and urban lifestyles. Slovenes like to build holiday homes in natural settings, away from urban areas, in order to improve the quality of life. One of the most popular hobbies is gardening.

Policy on women

Production in Gorenje. Photo: Primož Lavre

In Slovenia, women make up almost a half of the work force and usually work full-time, like men. Despite the fact that women are on average better qualified than men, it is more difficult for them to find work, they register as sole traders less often, are in more junior positions, often have lower career prospects than men, and are not paid as much with regard to their qualifications. Legal protection from employment discrimination is exemplary; however, it needs to be implemented.

With regard to the percentage of the total population women are not appropriately represented at all political levels, despite having the same political rights as men.

Freedom of belief

Slovenes have a right to their own religious beliefs. Photo: Nebojša Tejić

Along with the guaranteed right of the preservation of national identity, the people of Slovenia have a right to their own religious beliefs. As the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia states that nobody is obliged to declare their religious or other beliefs, there are no exact figures on numbers within various religious groups. According to the 2002 census the most of  population (58 %) are Catholics and there are 43 religious communities, spiritual groups, societies and associations registered in Slovenia. Among the oldest is the Evangelical Church, which has its roots in the Reformation and is most widely spread in the northeastern part of Slovenia.

Free time and recreation

Slovenes are very fond of recreational sports. Photo: Egon Kaše

Slovene national sport is skiing. The skiing tradition in Slovenia is a long one, as the oldest skis in Central Europe originate from these parts. Slovenian skiers became legends. But skiing is not the only popular sport. Many Slovenes are traditionally very keen on mountain hiking and climbing.

There is a great variety of mountaineering options – from hiking on hills of medium altitude to technically and physically demanding mountain climbing. The mountain hiking trails are well-tended and marked. They say that you are not a true Slovene if you have never climbed Slovenia's highest mountain, Mount Triglav (2,864 meters). Even the less ambitious enthusiasts believe it is almost a ‘moral’ responsibility that every Slovene ascends Mt Triglav (2,864 m) once in their life. Triglav has been also a source of inspiration for many Slovenian poets, writers, painters and politicians, and it has become the symbol of Slovenehood.

Other very popular sporting activities include cycling, jogging and other outdoor activities, practiced by health-conscious people. Numerous recreational sporting events attest to this popularity. Slovenes are also very keen on various extreme sports as well as other sports.