‘Fires, Butts and Snakes, Are Not Playthings’ (Volumes 1 and 2) by Milena Miklavčič
[Original title: Ogenj, rit in kače, niso za igrače (1. in 2. del)]
Sometimes we can get so busy searching for factual data and documents relating to our ancestors, we don’t spend enough time thinking about the lives they led. As most of the older document sources focused on recording data about the men in each household, it can be difficult to find much information about the women who lived alongside them.
I believe it is very important we record details about our living ancestors and their life histories while we can, and leave the material for future generations to enjoy.
Milena Miklavčič, an author, journalist, and columnist, who has lived in the town of Žiri, Slovenia for all of her life, decided to collect the stories that elderly Slovenes told her. She has published many of the stories in two books, Ogenj, rit in kače, niso za igrače (1. in 2. del), which have become publishing success stories in Slovenia, so much so that there are long waiting lists for them at the public libraries. A TV documentary has even been made about Volume 1.
The storytellers share intimate details of their lives, and express their feelings towards the people and events that shaped them. The books focus mainly on the lives of women, but there are also stories told by men.
It may seem such stories would only be about suffering, but I see a different theme running through the books—the strength of women.
According to Milena Miklavčič, our Slovenian grandmothers and great grandmothers, born in the first half of the 20th century, usually had four main wishes: that their husbands would not beat them, that they would not go hungry, that they would have a roof over their heads, and that they would not die during childbirth. For men, sex was once something that was owed to them, so they saw it as an inalienable right they could demand from their wives at any time. However, for women, sexuality was usually considered a sin, and above all a duty, which often did not bring anything other than suffering and the birth of children.
Below are translations of three of the stories in the second book. DNA testing for genealogical purposes is becoming more and more popular; Silva’s story is a cautionary tale not to assume that all mothers and fathers listed in records were the biological parents of the children listed.
The answer my mother gave to anyone who asked her why she had so many children was that she had as many as ‘God gave her.’ Father, who would be standing by her, never contradicted her. As long as God was his only rival, he was never angry. He spent at least five or even six months a year in Carinthia, Austria, where he toiled in the forests. When he would come back home, he was happiest when Mother cooked barley stew for him, as he loved it very much.
I recall I could hardly wait for his visits, as he would always bring a small piece of chocolate for me each time. One day, I stood in front of him, shifting from one leg to the other, while saliva built up in my mouth at the thought of the expected sweet treat.
Suddenly, father stood up and stared at mother’s stomach. “I see that during my absence ‘God has paid a visit’!” he shouted at mother and hit her in the chest, causing her to stumble into the stove. Never before had I seen my father hit my mother, so I got a terrible fright. Such a fright I wet myself; not that they noticed. They very rudely shooed me out. Mother suffered a beating before she succeeded in explaining that she wasn’t pregnant, but that her sister, Marinka, was. To save her sister from shame, mother had taken to wearing a ‘pillow’ stuffed under her dress. But father was never fully mollified. We raised the baby boy mother’s sister gave birth to as one of our family, but father never liked him. Father also stopped going to Carinthia to work. Whenever he was asked why, he replied that there were too many vagabonds hanging around the village.
My father always said I did things well, but that I could have done a lot better. I remember a time when my brother and I had a fight. I was very upset, so I retreated to the barn to cry. I hugged our dog to me. The next day ‘Pazi’ mysteriously went missing. When father saw me searching for him, he told me that the dog was no longer with us because he was making a sissy out of me. If I had not been raised to feel such fearful respect for my father, I would have beaten him to within an inch of his life.
My mother was a general practitioner, but as there was a shortage of gynecologists for many years, at least to 1961, she was also in charge of the gynecology clinic. Sometimes she came home so shaken up by all she had seen at the clinic, she simply pushed her dinner aside, leaned on the table, and cried. Grandmother, who cooked for us, would try to comfort her but to no avail.
Mother said she often felt like vomiting in disgust for all the depravity she was a witness to on a daily basis. Ljubljana was full of people who wanted to get rich or become successful as quickly as possible. There were many teenage girls similar to Fanči. She had already had two illegal abortions before mother persuaded her to give birth to the child of her third pregnancy. Mother suggested she give the child up for adoption. She found a woman who was unable to bear children, and Fanči moved in with her until the birth of her child. Right after the birth of her son, for whom she received money and a gold ring, she disappeared. Two years later, she once again knocked on the door of the clinic. Over the next ten years, mother found new parents for at least three babies. Mother helped many more women in a similar fashion.
Milena Miklavčič’s personal motto is: “Everything that happens, no matter how awful, is good for something." It is such an optimistic view of the world we live in that keeps us going even in the bad times.
[11/13/17] Lost Gottscheer Villages
The Archiepiscopal Archives of Ljubljana have released a new edition of their Guidebook, ‘Vodnik po matičnih knjigah’, which contains an inventory of the registers from parishes in the territory of the (Arch)Diocese of Ljubljana that are accessible at their premises. The Guidebook was compiled by Tone Krampač, the Vice Manager of the Archiepiscopal Archives of Ljubljana.
Email: [email protected]
[06/23/17] American Slovenian Catholic Union Membership 1898
The Archdiocesan Archives of Maribor have updated their list of registers that have been scanned and are available to research on their computers. To download a copy of the list, click on the red link called: Seznam skeniranih matičnih knjig - Stanje 1. januar 2017
The newly released book, ‘Gorenjske družine v 18. stoletju’ [Unofficial English translation of the title: Gorenjska Families in the 18th Century] contains valuable genealogical information as it consists of transcriptions of population census documents for the following parishes in the 18th century: Bled, Bohinj, Dovje, Gorje, Jesenice, Kamna Gorica, Koroška Bela, Kranj-Šmartin, Kranj, Kranjska Gora, Križe, Kropa, Ljubljana Šentvid, Mošnje, Naklo, Ovsiše, Podbrezje, Preddvor, Radovljica, Smlednik, Sora, Šmartno pod Šmarno goro, Vodice, and Zasip. The transcriptions were done by Tone Krampač, the Vice Manager of the Archiepiscopal Archives of Ljubljana.
Celjska Mohorjeva družba
Inštitut Karantanija, 2016
Klenik–house owners in 1866
House number - Surname - Given name - (modern version of name)
1 Smerdu Lukas (Smrdelj Luka)
3 Rotar Franz (Rotar Franc)
4 Trebec Blas (Trebec Blaž)
5/6 Smerdu Jerni? (Smrdelj
8 Vidrich Thomas (Vidrih Tomaž)
9 Pouh Johann (Polh Janez)
10 Kristan Anton (Kristan Anton)
13 Sormann Mihael (Zorman Mihael)
14 Bergoč Tomas (Bergoč Tomaž)
16 Sormann Andreas (Zorman Andrej)
17 Rebec Kaspar (Rebec Gašper)
18 Rebec Jakob (Rebec Jakob)
19 Rebec Anton (Rebec Anton)
20 Čelegoj Matthias (Čeligoj Matija)
21 Šele Franz (Žele Franc)
22 Bergoč Andreas (Bergoč Andrej)
23 Krajc (Krivetz) Mihael (Krivic Mihael)
24 Šele Tomas (Žele Tomaž)
26 Bergoč Josef (Bergoč Jožef)
27 Kristan Elias (Kristan Elija)
28 Mesgec Simon (Mezgec Simon)
29 Šabec Franz (Šabec Franc)
30 Lenarčič Mihael (Lenarčič Mihael)
31 Krebel Anton (Krebel, Krebelj Anton)
32 Mesgec Andreas (Mezgec Andrej)
33 Hrovatin Lorenz (Hrovatin Lovrenc)
34 Šele Simon (Žele Simon)
35 Krebel Lukas (Krebel, Krebelj Luka)
36 Česnik Tomas (Česnik Tomaž)
37 Bele Lukas (Bele Luka)
38 Česnik Anton (Česnik Anton)
39 Rotar Bart? (Rotar Bartolomej? Jernej?)
40 Kristan Jakob (Kristan Jakob)
41 Penko Kaspar? (Penko Gašper)
42 Bele Lukas (Bele Luka)
42 Bergoč Anton (Bergoč Anton)
43 Hribar Franz (Hribar Franc)
44 Hribar Jakob (Hribar Jakob)
45 Sormann Lorenz (Zorman Lovrenc)
46 Vodapivic Andreas (Vodopivic Andrej)
47 Česnik Mihael (Česnik Mihael)
48 Perenič Franz (Perenič Franc)
My ancestors came from Klenik 24, and the owner in 1866 was Thomas Šele.
This wonderful site for Kočevska (Gottscheer) villages has information on Hrib pri Koprivniku; Rajenav; Jelendol; Vrbovec; Onek; Inlauf; Verdreng; Nemška Loka; Glažuta; Rajndol; Kukovo; and Borovec. The text is in English, Slovenian or German. The videos are in Slovenian.
Early History of Gottschee–Kočevje by Edward Skender
www2.arnes.si The history of local areas in Slovenia is important for two reasons. First, it is an excellent source of information about our ancestors, since many of their names have been recorded in a variety of documents that can be found in archives today. Secondly, knowing the local history allows us to put t...
An excellent summary of information on the Kočevarji (Gottscheer) who lived in the Kočevje region of Slovenia.
rtvslo.si At first glance, it could have passed for Schwarzwald: A region of endless forests dotted with small, well-tended German-speaking villages, most with orchards and a village church.
Today I received a copy of my great grandparents’ marriage certificate in the mail.
Great grandfather, Joe Tomsic (Jožef Tomšič) married my great grandmother, Mary Yarab (Marija Jereb) on 16 January 1909, in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, USA.
Would be happy if any distant relatives in the USA, or elsewhere, would get in contact with me.
The new Work and Holiday visa arrangements between Australia and Slovenia commenced on 1 January 2016. These arrangements allow up to 200 young adults from Slovenia each year to enjoy an extended holiday of up to 12 months in Australia, during which time they can undertake short term work and study. Applicants for the Work and Holiday Maker (subclass 462) visa are advised that they must provide evidence of functional English language capability at the time they submit their application.
From 21 May 2016, holders of driving licences issued in Australia wishing to exchange their driving licence for a Slovenian driving licence are exempt from passing the practical driving test before the competent examination board in the Republic of Slovenia for categories B1 and B
The March/April edition of Sinfo is available now. It contains many new reasons to visit Slovenia and highlights innovative business ideas. A pdf version is available at
ukom.gov.si Translation: Secretariat-General of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, Translation and Interpretation Division, PSD d.o.o.
If you would like to have one of the various Slovenian National costumes made for you or a family member, here are some links:
Andreja Stržinar - http://www.kostumi-preteklosti.si/component/tags/tag/14-andreja-strzinar ([email protected])
Helena Trobentar - http://www.rokodelstvo.si/izdelovalec/siviljstvo_trobentar_helena ([email protected])
Marija Mojca Berce - http://www.narodna-nosa.si/ ([email protected])
kostumi-preteklosti.si Gledališki kostumi Uprizarjanje na odru ali v naravi je prepričljivo le z dobrim kostumom, ki gledalca prepriča z njegovo izvirnostjo in prepričljivostjo glede na čas v katerega spada.
sbs.com.au Katarina Vrisk je avtorica knjige, Antologija Slovensko Avstralskih Glasbenikov, ki bo kmalu izšla.Prva predstavitev bo 21. februarja v Melbournu pri Slovenskem misijonu v Kewju, druga pa 20. marca pri Klubu Triglav v Sydneyu.
Beautiful Predjama Castle
Kaj pa ta lepotica; všeč? (Y)
Foto: Iztok Medja za Postojnska jama Cave-Grotte-Höhle
[10/21/15] Dolga zgodovina urbarjev [The Long History of Urbaria]
The English version is available here http://www.skritiotroci.si/en/hidden-children
[09/28/15] The Bells Ring No More
A little video showing the sights of Bač, Koritnice and Knežak.
Režija: Nejc Konjevič
Brala: Gaja Udovič
[06/29/15] ‘Stara Vrhnika: hiše se spreminjajo, sledovi ostajajo’ [Stara Vrhnika: Houses change but traces remain]
Sekcija sodnih tolmačev Društva prevajalcev in tolmačev Slovenije vas vabi, da se v četrtek, 18. 6. 2015 ob 16. uri v seminarski sobi S5 Pravne fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani, Poljanski nasip 2, udeležite seminarja za prevajalce, tolmače in sodne tolmače v organizaciji Društva prevajalcev in tolmačev Slovenije – PREVODI PRAVNIH BESEDIL S PODROČJA GOSPODARSKEGA PRAVA (prevodne ustreznice in pravni učinek).
Predavatelj: Borut Stražišar
Društvo prevajalcev in tolmačev Slovenije (Association of Translators and Interpreters of Slovenia)
051 813 633 ali 051 814 034
Kotizacija za člane -35 EUR
Kotizacija za nečlane - 55 EUR
Kotizacija za študente - 15 EUR
dpts.si Dne 20. in 21. 3. 2015 je bila v organizaciji Društva pravnih prevajalcev in tolmačev Hrvaške v Opatiji konferenca EULITE Profesionalizacija proti deprofesionalizaciji: vzpostavljanje standardov za pravne prevajalce in tolmače, namenjena izmenjavi mnenj med sodnimi tolmači praktiki in raziskovalci,…
Last Sunday 24 May, the village of Stara Vrhnika celebrated its annual ‘Žegnanje’ (church fair). Auxiliary bishop, Franc Šuštar, and other priests presided over the celebratory mass. Some of the congregation came in a variety of Slovenian national costumes and a tall maypole was erected in the street beside the church. After the mass, there was food and entertainment in the village hall. There was also an opportunity to view the proof copy of Ema Goričan’s upcoming book, ‘Hiše se spreminjajo, sledovi ostajajo: Stara Vrhnika’ [Houses change but traces remain: Stara Vrhnika], which provides photos and information on the old houses of the village. The book contains information from as far back as the 1600s. While the church, Sveti Lenart, was undergoing recent renovation, a fresco dated 1640 was discovered on one of its walls. This means that people, who can trace their ancestors to the village from 1640 onwards, can really get a sense of where their ancestors were christened, confirmed and married.
[05/19/15] Ogenj, rit in kače, niso za igrače [Fires, butts and snakes, are not playthings]
theage.com.au Kingdom is less than the size of many houses and on land claimed by neither Croatia nor Slovenia, founders say.
There are a number of events in Slovenia where you can see maypoles and garlands that have been made in the traditional way. Here is a photo of the process of garland making, and a photo showing the end result hanging from the church in the town of Pivka. The photos date from 2005 when the church was decorated for a Confirmation ceremony.
Some of the events where maypoles and garlands may be seen are Holy Communions, Confirmations, Weddings, and 50th Birthday Celebrations.
Dr Božidar Flajšman has published a book called ‘PODOBE ČASA: Metlika na razglednicah’ [IMAGES IN TIME: Metlika in postcards].
CFA Society Slovenia is a member society of CFA Institute.
Prvi vseslovenski prostovoljski projekt za učenje veščin uporabe računalnika za starejše, ki je leta 2013 postal trajnostni medgeneracijski projekt.
We are a company providing innovative solutions primarily in the field of sports and rehabilitation medicine.
AKADEMIJA MP... kjer izobražujemo zmagovalce!
Vrhunski strokovnjaki v prijaznem okolju - z najsodobnejšimi tehnikami in opremo poskrbimo za zdrav in mladosten nasmeh.
Inštitut za mediacijo Concordia Zavod za reševanje sporov, svetovanje, izobraževanje in raziskovanje
Dežela kamnitih branikov je območje nekdanjega obrambnega sistema Claustra Alpium Iuliarum, ki so ga zgradili Rimljani za obrambo Rima.
Izvajamo jezikovne tečaje nemščine za vse starostne skupine, nudimo inštrukcije nemščine, pripravljamo delavnice in poletne šole za otroke.
Pripravili smo vam tečaj risanja živali, kjer bomo obravnavali živalice od bolj matematično do akademsko slikarsko.