Slovenians met in Vadstena, Sweden
Vadstena, 8 June 2019 - Slovenian Catholics in Sweden gathered in Vadstena by Lake Vättern, for the forty-fifth consecutive time for an all-Slovenian meeting and celebration of the Pentecost.
Zvone Podvinski, a Slovenian catholic priest, invited the ambassador Edvin Skrt who attended the traditional event where he greeted the guests in the shade of the linden tree on the Vadstena Abbey garden, planted by Slovenians twenty years ago.
The Ambassador congratulated the gathered guests for the upcoming Statehood Day and the believers for the religious holiday. He marked the meeting in Vadstena as regular annual event that creates the tightest bonds among the Slovenians in Sweden, especially those who moved there at the end of the 1960s and 70s. The Ambassador thanked them for maintaining the Slovenian language and preserving Slovenian traditions and customs. Moreover, he expressed special gratitude to the Slovenian Union, its president Alojz Macuh and the leaders of the Slovenian Associations for connecting Slovenians in Sweden.
He continued with presenting Slovenian interests regarding cooperation with Sweden and expressed satisfaction with countries being linked with multiple factors and shared values despite the geographic distance between them.
He reminded everyone how the linden tree has always been a ceremonial symbol for friendship and persistence for many nations, especially the Slavic nations, including Slovenians. It gained a special symbolic significance at the time of the Slovenian independence, when it was planted on numerous sites, such as the Republic Square in Ljubljana, village of Vače, the geometrical centre of Slovenia and, nevertheless, in Vadstena, where its roots form a solid bond between the Slovenians living there.
The Ambassador concluded his speech with the following words: "The magnificent linden tree can grow strong for many centuries. Let it be the inspiration for the connectedness of the Slovenians in Sweden in their mother tongue – for many years to come".