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St. Martin's is a traditional folk festival that celebrates the year's new wine. Wine is considered to be the Slovenian national drink, which is why St. Martin's is so popular in this country - especially in the wine-growing regions. Sometime around St. Martin's Day, November 11, grape juice ferments enough to become wine. This has always been a good reason for having a party and besides, the new wine must be tasted! Slovenians celebrate the holiday at the weekend nearest to November 11, but if St. Martin's happens to fall midweek, they observe it at the weekend before and after. The meal traditionally served on the occasion consists of roast goose with crackers and red cabbage.

Check out the photos from our Martinovanje (St. Martin's Day) event that took place on Saturday, November 5th. Festivities included the wine tasting with Emil Gaspari, the mlinci demonstration with Ria (Polajner) Whitmire and the international folk dancing with Annette Kirk. In addition, there was beautiful artwork: the colorful murals by Miro Zupanic (who created the large stained glass window in St. Cyril's church) and drawings by newer artist Matej Branc.

Thank you to:
* Mia Branc for working alongside Ria for hours in the kitchen, plus homemade potica!
* Emil Gaspari for providing wine for the wine tasting (as well as the meal) and allowing those attending to purchase (or order) wine, chocolates, pumpkin seed oil, etc.
* Elizabeth Gross for researching St. Martin Day (it's celebrated in many European countries) and putting together three panels of information which everyone perused during the event
* Annette Kirk for greeting people at the door and conducting the international folk dance workshop
* Earl Pursell for helping hook up our electronic equipment and helping out in the kitchen
* Marilyn (Ciocco) Tavoularis for helping me set up tables, chairs, etc. and taking photos
* Ria Polajner Whitmire for the mlinci workshop, cooking up the traditional meal of goose, red cabbage and mlinci and baking several plum tortes!

We hope we didn't leave anyone out, these things are always a group effort!
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SWUA National Convention – June 16-19, 2011
[additional images to follow]

All the proposed bylaw changes were listed in the May/June Zarja-The Dawn magazine. There were some significant changes voted in at the convention:
  • We have a new name, we are now the SUA (Slovenian Union of America)! Since we have been actively recruiting men – the new name will help with men who are reluctant to join, plus it is close to the original name so the name recognition should still be there. This will be effective July 1st.
  • The membership bylaw has been simplified: "To unite persons with an interest in preserving Slovenian heritage."
  • There is a necessary dues increase (from $20.00 to $25.00) to more adequately cover the expenses of the organization.
There is a new membership campaign in place asking that each branch recruit ten new members by January 1st. We are hoping that each branch member can recruit a new member or two to our branch (recruiting a member or two for another branch is quite alright too!) Our branch is actually one that should be able to grow! NYC attracts native Slovenians as well as those of Slovenian descent from across the U.S. and other parts of the world.

Many delegates and members at the convention now understand that they really need to get involved with their branches in order for their branch (and by extension the SUA) to succeed. Hope our members feel the same way too!

There was a really nice article about Slovenian food Zest for life is evident in traditional Slovene fare in the Milwaukee Journal which mentions the convention and one of the speakers, Prof. Dr. Janez Bogataj, from Ljubljana.
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Alenka Slavinec - June 2011

On June 14, a few br. 93 members attended the opening reception of Slovenia in the U.S. Alenka Slavinec introduced the history of Slovenia from 1991 to 2010 through 20 well-chosen artistic photos. “She chose the Lipizzaner horses, a living cultural heritage, for the main artistic object, taken in their natural environment, Lipica. She is confident that they demonstrate the features that identify Slovenia.” For more information and to see some of the photos visit her website.

“The exhibit was enlivened by displays of beautiful fashions created by top Slovenian fashion and costume designer Sanja Veličković who also spoke. A few were modeled and the beautiful colors accentuated the contrast between photos of the horses wrapped in fog.

Music specifically composed for each photo by Žan Tetičkovič was played by a talented key-board artist during the show.

Refreshments included tarragon and nut poticas, kifli, Slovenian juices and wines.
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A few members attended a retrospective of internationally-renowned Slovenian artist Bogdan Grom presented by the Belskie Museum of Art & Science in Closter, NJ.

A retrospective: An Artist's Bridge Between Two Worlds

(June 5 – 26, 2011)

The Belskie Museum of Art & Science in Closter, NJ is proud to present an exhibition featuring the work of internationally-renowned artist Bogdan Grom, a long-time resident of Englewood, NJ. The retrospective highlights paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and tapestries spanning a 70-year career that has its roots in Trieste, Italy, and continues here in New Jersey.

Trained in the major art centers of Europe, Grom has had one-man shows in the United States and Europe, and is represented in many private and public collections including the Cincinnati Art Museum, the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton, and the National Gallery in Slovenia. Several of his major architectural installations can be found in the New York metropolitan area.

Grom’s mastery of a wide range of varied media is impressive, along with his devotion to depicting Nature in its limitless beauty, patterns and colors. His unique sense of playfulness is apparent in many of his widely published book illustrations.

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The Slovenian Women's Union of America
(Slovenska Ženska Zveza Amerike)
Click here to join SWUA

*SWUA Branch 93 NYC*

unites women of Slovenian descent living in the New York City area. We hold regular meetings to provide resources, communication, and foster friendships in honor of our cultural heritage.
Men are welcome to join and participate too!

Members are invited to join:

Yahoo group

Ljubljana featured in NYT Travel Section

New York Times Travel Section, July 31, 2005
In Ljubljana, the Old Europe and
the New Are Still in Balance

(click on the image for the link to the article)

Slovenia featured in NY Post

New York Post Travel Section, March 16, 2004
(click on the image for the link to the article)

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