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SloveniaThe origin of the name Slovenia (or Slovenija in Slovene) is unknown, but likely describes the people as Slavs. In Slovenian the word Slovani means "Slavic" and the people are Slavs. In this way the people may simply refer to themselves as Slavs, but using the more historic form of the word, Slovani.



Slovenia seems to mix nearly all of Europe into one tiny country. Geographically it stretches from the beautiful Adriatic Sea to the high Alps and culturally it mixes Slavic, Germanic, and Italic people. The Slovenian people are ethnically and linguistically Slavic, but there are traces of Germanic and Italian in them as well. While this diversity isn't seen in their language, it is more definitely present in their foods, religion, and lifestyle.

As the Slovenian people changed over time, there were multiple outside influences that can still be seen today. The people fell under the rule of the Roman Empire and later the Austrian Empire, meaning the people have generally looked west and north for inspiration, not east. The people adopted Catholicism along with Italian and Austrian foods, clothes, and other cultural aspects.

Slavic identity wasn't truly created in Slovenia until the 1800s when a stronger self-identity and independence movements began. The people began to turn towards their ethnic and linguistic origins as Slavs and helped form Yugoslavia the following century.

Yugoslavia continued to change the culture, primarily in the form of the lifestyle. The communist government encouraged urbanization and industrialization, while changing the economy. It also united the Southern Slavs politically, but likely also helped the Slovenes realize their many differences.

In recent years the Slovenes have continued to develop their culture and lifestyle, which now includes a political entity. Politically and economically the Slovenes have quickly shifted west as they joined the European Union and seem to have again found their ties to Western Europe from religion and food to mentality and lifestyle.

Learn More About Slovenia:

The Land:
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The Past:
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The Food:
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The Culture:
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Map of Slovenia:

Map of Slovenia

Information for Slovenia was last updated: March, 2014 ● View our: Sources & Special Thanks