One-Liner Wednesday: Slovenian joke

A joke from our Slovenian tour guide: Melania likes that Donald was elected president because now people call her First Lady instead of “third wife.”
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Join us for Linda’s One-Liner Wednesday! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2019/07/31/one-liner-wednesday-up-there/

Why we went to Slovenia

I have done a couple of posts on Slovenia here and here, but am hoping to do a series of posts on different things that we did and saw there. I thought I’d start on the reason we travelled to Slovenia.

I am a member of the Smith College Alumnae Chorus. We sing at occasional events on campus in Northampton, Massachusetts, and every other year or so, go on an international tour. This year, we spent a week in Slovenia. We sang the Haydn Missa in Angustiis, also known as the Lord Nelson Mass, and the Duruflé Requiem, in conjunction with orchestra, tenors, and basses from Slovenia. We did have a few tenors and basses of our own along, mostly spouses of alumnae, but, as a women’s college, the vast majority of our chorus is sopranos and altos.

We performed two concerts under the direction of our conductor Jonathan Hirsh on our last two evenings in Slovenia. Our Friday night performance was at the cathedral in Koper.
Koper cathedral performance

On Saturday night, we performed at Saint James’ Church in Ljubljana. To our surprise, a representative from the United States Embassy came to greet us and the performance was recorded by the Slovenian public broadcasting service.
St. James Ljubljana performance

To the delight of the audience, Maestro Hirsh addressed them in Slovene before each concert. He told them a bit about our chorus’s mission to collaborate with local musicians when we toured and a bit about each piece. Both were written in times of strife and uncertainty. The Haydn, which was the first half of the concert, ends with a forceful plea for peace. The Duruflé, however, is much more meditative and ends very quietly with the “In Paradisum” as the soul enters into paradise. Mr. Hirsh asked the audience to take a few moments to reflect before applauding.

Those moments of silence, after the last chord had finished reverberating in those magnificent spaces, were incredibly moving, illustrating the power of music to reach across language, social differences, and time to touch hearts and minds.

SoCS: Ljubljana

As you can see from my One-Liner Wednesday post this week, B and I have recently returned from Slovenia. We stayed for the week in the capital, Ljubljana, and went on sightseeing excursions from its central location.

One thing that impressed us about Ljubljana is how clean it is. There was almost no litter. I did see someone who I assumed was a municipal employee picking up a stray piece of paper with one of those sticks with a claw on the end – but only once in the many hours we were out and about in the Old City, which is mostly pedestrian and busy with residents and tourists, visiting the sites, shops, and open air markets.

Slovenia rightly prides itself on its environmental stewardship. As part of their green credentials, along the streets are small dumpsters for glass, paper, plastics, organic waste, and things that don’t fit in any of those categories. People are very diligent about dealing with trash, which goes a long way in keeping the streets clean.

Some of the people in our group were surprised to see some graffiti here and there. B and I were not surprised to see some in a city of 300,000. Graffiti is a combination of artistic expression and social commentary. I don’t think of it as being dirty.

Maybe this weekend, I will get some time to start organizing photos and writing some posts about details of our trip…
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Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is “clean/dirty.” Join us! find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2019/07/26/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-27-19/

SoCS badge by Pamela, at https://achronicalofhope.com/

One-Liner Wednesday: in case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been…

Taken by my spouse B in the “Old City” of Ljubljana, Slovenia, where I was singing with the Smith College Alumnae Chorus in Ljubljana and Koper; blog posts will be trickling in over the coming days.
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Join us for Linda’s One-Liner Wednesdays! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2019/07/24/one-liner-wednesday-creepy/

Badge by Laura @ riddlefromthemiddle.com

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