1. Our size
We usually complain about how small our country is because it means limited access and opportunities. But when it comes to Tina Maze, Laibach, or even a group of heart surgeons, we’re happy to point out how small we are. Imagine, with only 2 million inhabitants, we have a world champion in skiing; the first Western band that had a concert in North Korea; and doctors inventing new approaches to heart medicine.
When Donald Trump won the US election, Slovenians were thrilled that finally, people were going to know about their existence. The people of Sevnica, the small village where Melania Trump was born and raised, got busy and Melania cakes, honey, pancakes, tours and even slippers were branded. We know a marketing opportunity when we see one.
Who wouldn’t be proud of the biggest sky-flying hill in the world and the possibility of seeing a man jumping 240 meter up in the air?
4. France Prešeren, poet
He used to be thought of as an average man, unhappily in love with a rich girl and suffering from alcohol addiction. But the public recognized his greatness after his death, so today he’s the most important Slovenian poet and the anniversary of his death is celebrated as a holiday.
After years of fighting with Italians and Austrians about the true origin of this noble white horse, we gained international recognition that Lipica Stud Farm was indeed the first one to breed Lipizzans more than 400 years ago.
Our country is very young, but we gained our independence the hard way — after successfully defending our territory from foreign aggressors in a ten-day war.
7. Slovenian language and its 40-and-some dialects
With 10 declination forms, Slovenian language is a tough nut to crack. But even if a foreigner manages to master the basics, they will probably only understand just a few of us. Slovenian has 46 dialects, more than any other Slavic language.
If there’s one thing Slovenian emigrants take with them when leaving the homeland, it’s a recipe for potica, a simple walnut dessert, known today as Slovenia’s sweetest ambassador. Some sources claim it’s one of Pope Francis’ favorite treats — recently he asked Melania if she was feeding Donald “pizza”? Actually, it was potica.
9. The diversity of our landscape
Slovenia lies at the crossroads of the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Pannonian Plain, and the Dinaric Mountain Range which allows us to ski at Kanin, splash in the Adriatic Sea, explore karstic caves, and soak our sore bones in a thermal spa all in one day.
10. Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Refosco, Teran
If someone asks you who makes the best wine, you’ll probably respond France, Italy, or Spain. In fact, Slovenia is home to some of the most exquisite wines in the world — and we know it.