Slove­nia: Emis­sary from the King­dom of Bees

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS -

The Repub­lic of Slove­nia is lo­cated in the south­ern part of Cen­tral Eu­rope. It is a small coun­try at the foot of the Alps. It is sand­wiched be­tween th­ese moun­tains and the Adri­atic Sea and boasts par­tic­u­larly favourable na­tional con­di­tions. It borders Italy to the west and Aus­tria and Hun­gary to the north. Vast areas of dense and lush forests are spread through its 20,273-sq. km ter­ri­tory. It also fea­tures the Triglav Na­tional Park and Lake Bled, which are splen­did land­scapes that at­tract large num­bers of tourists from all over the world.

Slove­nia not only has beau­ti­ful nat­u­ral scenery but also boasts pro­found his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural her­itage. Its unique and ex­otic charm and abun­dant his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural relics of­fer trav­ellers a re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Ljubljana is its cap­i­tal and also the largest city in Slove­nia.

Ev­ery year, World Bee Day is ob­served on May 20. Most peo­ple prob­a­bly do not know any­thing about it. This year, the Em­bassy of Slove­nia in China made spe­cial ar­range­ments with the Folk Mu­seum of Slove­nia to take Chi­nese vis­i­tors on a won­der­ful, cul­tural and artis­tic jour­ney, in which the in­dus­tri­ous bee plays the lead­ing role.

The ini­tia­tive to es­tab­lish World Bee Day was orig­i­nally pro­posed by the Slove­nian gov­ern­ment to the United Na­tions in April 2015. On De­cem­ber 20, 2017, the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly of­fi­cially an­nounced that World Bee Day will be ob­served an­nu­ally on May 20. The des­ig­na­tion is in­tended to raise the pub­lic aware­ness of the eco­log­i­cal value of bees and help peo­ple un­der­stand the con­tri­bu­tion that bees make to hu­man health and eco­log­i­cal sus­tain­abil­ity in a sci­en­tific man­ner. Peo­ple may won­der why May 20 was cho­sen for World Bee Day. The rea­son is that this is the birth­day of An­ton Janša, who is known as the pi­o­neer of mod­ern bee­keep­ing.

De­spite a small pop­u­la­tion of about two mil­lion peo­ple and a small land area, Slove­nia has al­ways been a king­dom of bee­keep­ing and has a par­tic­u­larly long his­tory of bee­keep­ing and honey pro­duc­tion, due to its rich ge­o­log­i­cal re­sources, di­ver­sity in flora and favourable cli­mate con­di­tions. The tra­di­tional tech­nol­ogy of Slove­nia makes its bee­keep­ing and honey pro­duc­tion ever more en­dur­ing. There are cur­rently more than 10,000 bee­keep­ers in Slove­nia, the most of any coun­try in the EU. There is a huge na­tional de­mand for nu­tri­tious honey and its prod­ucts. Slove­nia ranks among the world's top honey con­sumers.

Vis­i­tors at Slove­nia's booth at the “Colour­ful World—cul­tural Ex­hi­bi­tion of Coun­tries along the Belt and Road” event were able to learn about bees and con­ser­va­tion ef­forts to pro­tect them in Slove­nia. Var­i­ous brochures and leaflets were pro­vided, in­clud­ing some with in­for­ma­tion about World Bee Day. There was also an op­por­tu­nity to paint tra­di­tional bee­hive pat­terns. A staff mem­ber showed peo­ple how to make them and said things like, “Please fill in the colours for the bee­hive's en­trance.” There are nearly 750 painted bee­hive en­trances pre­served in a mu­seum about folk cul­ture Slove­nia. Th­ese colour­ful dec­o­ra­tions per­fectly com­ple­ment the folk art. Pic­tures of­ten re­flect re­li­gious themes that be­gan in the 18th cen­tury and the daily lives of reg­u­lar peo­ple, rep­re­sent­ing the very spe­cial, tra­di­tional, cul­tural her­itage of Slove­nia. At the event, sev­eral young peo­ple were given in­struc­tions by a pro­fes­sional from the mu­seum and ex­per­i­mented with mak­ing oil paint­ings.

A di­rec­tor from the mu­seum stated: “Slove­nia has a very long his­tory and rich tra­di­tional cul­ture. We've brought the bee ex­hi­bi­tion that is con­cur­rently held at the Folk Mu­seum of Slove­nia to Bei­jing and pre­sented it to our friends.” Vis­i­tors could also wear vir­tual re­al­ity ( VR) head­sets to ob­serve the struc­ture of bee­hives and ac­tiv­ity in­side of them.

The di­rec­tor con­tin­ued: “We bring dif­fer­ent Slove­nian cul­tural forms to our au­di­ences ev­ery year.” Slove­nia has par­tic­i­pated in the “Colour­ful World” event be­fore. Im­pres­sive hand­made lace was pre­sented last year at its booth and helped it be­come one of the most pop­u­lar. This year was sim­i­lar. “We value pro­tect­ing our tra­di­tional art. Wel­come to Slove­nia!”

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