Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Irena Yebuah-Tiran

Picture credit

Not to turn this page into a Who's Who of Black Slovenians, but hey I think it can't hurt to show that the few black Slovenians and black people in Slovenia have done and can do remarkable things.

This vision of loveliness before you this time around is the lovely Ghanaian-Slovenian opera singer Irena Yebuah-Tiran.

Just the other day, someone mentioned to me that there was an old Ghanaian guy in Dolenjska who had settled down there and (much like every one else in Dolenjska) had started his own vineyard. A quick Google search led me to this 2004 story (Slovenian language only) on Mr. Robert Yebuah and then onwards to his talented and lovely daughter Irena. According to her website, Ms. Yebuah-Tiran has been training her voice since middle school and gained her Masters degree in Music from the prestigious Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and has performed in both Ljubljana, Vienna, and beyond.

Check out her music on her Myspace page here and cheer her on!

Picture credit

As they say in Ghana, ayekoo! (well done!)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Best of

World Cup national flags for sale

Newsweek just came out with it's list of 100 Best Countries to live and Slovenia came in at 24. Congrats to Slovenia. The country is safe with a highly educated population and good life expectancy. No small accomplishment, of course.

That said, one has to interrogate how these lists are compiled and WHO praytell are they for? I don't think this list imagines that these conditions apply to just anyone who dropped out of the sky. It must be for the natives, most of whom are not going anywhere regardless of what this list says. I guess it would give them a boost of pride, which I guess is something. But what of the people that are looking at this list with an eye to moving to one of those countries? Can we get any glimpse into the life we would lead as an expat? Things such as access to services in multiple languages, the weather and environment, health care and social services, cultural events and resources, and importantly attitudes of natives towards newcomers/foreigners are what may be on the mind of a potential expat to that country. But I suppose that could be a hard thing to measure...Nonetheless in this globalised world, it would be nice to see one of those lists that gave more than a passing nod to the non-native's concerns and made this information useful rather than just a source of pride (or shame) for natives of the respective countries.

On a lighter note, the interactive tool is pretty neat on that site...check it out!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Visit to the Volčji Potok Arboretum

Dog water fountain. Curious, since I never see water fountains for HUMANS.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Meanwhile elsewhere in Slavland...

Interesting news slightly late off the presses from Slavland North (aka Russia)

Jean Gregoire Sagbo Becomes First Black Politician Elected In Russia
KRISTINA NARIZHNAYA | 07/25/10 09:22 AM | AP

NOVOZAVIDOVO, Russia — People in this Russian town used to stare at Jean Gregoire Sagbo because they had never seen a black man. Now they say they see in him something equally rare — an honest politician.

Sagbo last month became the first black to be elected to office in Russia.

In a country where racism is entrenched and often violent, Sagbo's election as one of Novozavidovo's 10 municipal councilors is a milestone. But among the town's 10,000 people, the 48-year-old from the West African country of Benin is viewed simply as a Russian who cares about his hometown.

Read the rest here....

Congrats to Mr. Sagbo and Good Luck Brothaman!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Marvelous Merlene

Long time readers may remember my post about Jamaican-born Slovenian-naturalized Olympic runner, Merlene Ottey, but few (including me) may have realized that old girl -- now in her middle ages -- was still running on on Slovenia's team. Two days ago, she became the oldest woman (at 50 years young) to take part in the Euro Championships, and though she didn't make it to the final of the relay she ran, she has no intention of slowing down.

"I don't see the end at the moment. My goal now is to try and qualify for the World Championships and as for the Olympics (in 2012) ask me after that," she said.

Go on, girl!

Daily Mail Online - Ottey fails at fifty... but don't rule her out of London 2012

Žižek on Charity

I have a lot more posts to put up here and I promise I'll do it soon. But until then, have a look at this excellent dynamic animation of a speech by my second favorite Slovenian, Slavoj Žižek, on the ethics of charitable giving.

An RSA Project