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Although Slovenia is generally referred to as "Slovenija," its official name is actually the Republic of Slovenia. Although the majority of the people who live in Slovenia consider themselves to be Slovene, there are also Hungarian and Italian segments of the population in addition to other minority groups. The country is bordered on the north by Austria, on the southeast and south by Croatia, on the northeast by Hungary, and to the west by the Adriatic Sea. The overall size of Slovenia is just a bit smaller than the state of New Jersey.
From 1918 up until 1991, Slovenia was actually part of Yugoslavia. However, Slovenians have always had a tendency to identify themselves with central Europe. Overall, the country maintains a good balance between the influences from the West and it's traditional Slavic culture. Although other regions that were also part of Yugoslavia in the past have had a tendency towards civil problems and conflicts, for the most part Slovenia has avoided these kinds of unrest.
Although Slovenia is home to a variety of different religious beliefs, the majority of the citizens follow the Roman Catholic faith. However, you'll also find Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Christians, and Muslims. The Jewish population in Slovenia is very small, largely due to the fact that back in the fifteenth century, Jews were banished. Among the many churches, you'll find several that are considered to be sanctuaries of spiritual renewal, and as such are often the destination for pilgrimages.
Literature and Arts
Literature and the arts have long been strongly supported in Slovenia. The country has a high rate of literacy, and reading is considered to be very important. While it was part of Yugoslavia, residents became accustomed to culture and art being supported by the socialist state government. However, now that Slovenia is an independent nation, citizens are striving to maintain a similar level of support for culture and the arts.
Slovenia has plenty of rich culinary traditions when it comes to food and culture. Part of this is undoubtedly due to the fact that the country's location and climate make agriculture a popular industry. Meals are generally enjoyed together by families, and are an important part of daily life. If you travel throughout Slovenia, you'll discover that the various regions have their own culinary specialties. However, overall you'll find that a great number of Slovenia's traditional dishes focus on cabbage, potatoes, barley, buckwheat and flour.
Traditional foods are considered to be an important part of everyday life. A pig slaughtering is still considered to be a major event in Slovenia. Slovenians also enjoy a variety of special foods designed to help celebrate special occasions and holidays, such as special braided breads for Christmas. Overall, the residents of Slovenia put a great deal of focus on the importance of the family. This strong family culture has served the country well over the years. For example, Slovenia ultimately emerged as the country with one of the strongest economies as compared to the other regions that made up former Yugoslavia. Part of this strength is thought to have come from some of the country's family-centric cultural traditions. One example of this is the tradition of a family's eldest son inheriting the family's property. This tradition was probably at least partially responsible for fact that property distribution was maintained in an equitable fashion over the years, which wasn't always the case in other surrounding regions.