Slovenia is a country full of charming rustic culture and breathtaking natural beauty. Being a first generation, Canadian-Slovenian I have always been so proud of my roots. My parents were both born in Slovenia. Mami was born and raised in Prekmurje and Ati is from BelaKrajina. I was raised in a home that was full of rich Slovenian traditions. I thrive on my cultural heritage. My family, Slovenian food, music and community have always been the center of my heart.
Traditions represent a critical piece of our culture. I believe that they help form the foundation of our families. They remind us that we are part of a history that defines our past, shapes who we are today and who we are likely to become. These beautiful traditions contribute a sense of comfort and belonging. It brings families together and enables people to reconnect with friends.
In March of 2020, we all learned that the Coronavirus was a pandemic and it was going to heavily impact the world. In Ontario, they tightened up the health and safety measures and before we knew it, we found ourselves having to self-isolate and practice social-distancing. We were told this was going to be the new normal for us, indefinitely. It was in that moment that I was able to reflect on how we had entered uncertain times. I felt in myheart that I really needed to come up with a creative plan where I could stay connected, even when we were being forced to stay apart. I really wanted to continue to stay positive, happy and healthy not only for me, but for my family too.
This is when the idea for starting my Facebook Group came into fruition - so April 3, 2020 was the birth of SlovenskaKuhinja!
I literally love everything about Slovenia. I feel very passionate and motivated to share our cultural traditions with others. The purpose of “Slovenska Kuhinja” was to create a platform where all of us like-minded Slovenian's could come together to share our knowledge, our most treasured family recipes and cherished stories of our loved ones. The recipes being shared by members in the group have been proudly handed down to them through generations. What pulls at my heartstrings are the messages I receive from my members daily.
Amanda (Demsar) Purdon shares that she used her late Grammy’s roller while making ‘krofe’ for the very first time, “I felt her there every step of the way…thank you for this group, it makes me feel so connected to my roots.”
“I’m looking at all of these pictures and thinking of my mom who’s in a home with dementia, she made all of these dishes perfectly. I have a new appreciation for the things she did for us.” Says Tom Lovenjak
Bernadette Petrovic shared a touching story about her moms famous ‘strudelj’ that she used to bake when she was still alive “…in honor of my mother’s birthday, I finally decided to give it a try and it turned out amazing!”
Marinka (Krajnc) Darling says; “There are only about 4 Slovenians here in Haines Junction, Yukon so I don’t get much practice with language and culture. I love the recipes; they take me back to my childhood”
Tell me, what better way would there be other then through food, drink and music to keep us all together? Like all of my members, cooking traditional Slovenian meals always brings me home, into Mami and Ati’s kitchen, to when I was just a little girl making homemade soup noodles (rezance)
It reminds me of the days of playing on my grandparents’ farm in Prekmurje, waking up with the roosters, feeding the chickens and the turkeys chasing me.
Singing songs like “Čuk se je oženil” while baking with Staramama Pušič and Stari Ata playing along with his button box. These are some of the fondest memories of my childhood!
I never thought for one second that my idea would flourish asquickly as it did. In just 2 days of launching ‘Slovenska Kuhinja’ I hit over 1000 followers worldwide!! We are still growing everyday. Currently we are almost 15,000 members strong, living in 100 different countries all across the globe, 2000+ followers on Instagram and 1.9K Subscribers on YouTube!
Social belonging is so important and it plays a critical role in our happiness. I truly feel, that it is so important to nourish and have positive social connections. ‘SlovenskaKuhinja’ is doing just that for all of us members. We are all in this together and we’re stronger together!
We may be a small country, but how lucky are we to have these beautiful traditions. Whether you live in Slovenia, or are of Slovenian decent and living somewhere abroad, ‘SlovenskaKuhinja’ allows us all to hold hands, no matter where your wings have taken you.
This has been so rewarding for me. They say it’s our mission in life to find our purpose. The one good thing that came out of Covid for me, was just that, I found mine — Spreading love from my Slovenian Kitchen ❤️
My hope is that we continue to grow together as a community through food, drink, music and all that is Slovenian! My belief is the deeper the roots the greater the fruits!
Dober Tek and Na Zdravje!