Today is the Slovenian Cultural Holiday, and conveniently, and surprisingly for me (even though apparently since 1991), it’s a day off work. (Another case of “If you live long enough.”) So I bring you three Slovenian tails, or better tales, or better raps, since in Slovenian “rep” = a tail.
The first two have stuck in my memory after hearing them for the first time on the radio when I was last in Slovenia, whereas the last one is an old favourite. Love me some rap/hiphop.
First, a story about an actual elderly woman (in the video portrayed by a well-known actress) who lives in the same building as the rapper Rok Trkaj and who must walk the stairs without the elevator despite her osteoporosis, so he often carries her bags for her and he’d promised her to write a rap about old people for a change. And he did.
I’ll always remember him because he walked over half of Slovenia or more to promote one of his records, and by the line from an epic hip hop battle: “Ti si morski sadež in tole tlele je bla rižota.” (“You are a frutta di mare and this right now was a risotto.”) Can’t beat my feeding preferences. (Even though in this battle, and in many more, he was beaten by the king of Slovenian hiphop, N’toko. I’ve translated his song “I’m a Slovenian” here.)
The second song is calling young people to
“…go out, even if it rains.
Go out, even if it snows.
I’d like to return to those times
when time was running more slowly
when in rough times nobody was reaching for their phones
because we didn’t have any
and yet we still connected
we shared good memories by talking to each other
sunny days we spent in the street, on the bike
images remained in our minds without a single like.
Technology has brought us together
but also set us apart
showing it all, concealing the soul
rules have changed
we make friends with a click
no need to say a word.
Look up, look me in the eye
shake my hand, have a beer with me
I’m here before you in flesh and blood.
Go out, that’s where life truly happens.”
(translated on the spot by Manja Maksimovič)
And Murat knows what he is saying because a while ago he and Jose did the song Nazaj (“Back”) with a similar sentiment, in which Slovenian legend Benč repeats the words from his old song about how he wishes to return in time but knows it is not to be. And then Murat & Jose add:
So quickly that we can’t even see
in such a noise that we can’t hear a thing
on and on, as fast as we can
hey folks, by the way, do we even know where we go?
There is no doubt about the difference in quality of life back then and now. Never mind the holiday where there was none.
Featured photo: Statue of greatest Slovenian poet France Prešeren, whose death was turned into the national cultural holiday. All the photos taken in Ljubljana this summer.