23 Fun Facts About Slovenian People You Would Not Imagine

If you are a tourist in Slovenia or planning to stay there for a while, you might wonder who Slovenians are and what they are like. There is a lot of history and many cultures in Slovenia, so summing up who Slovenians are is quite tricky.

There are many fun facts about Slovenian people that will interest you. For example, they love sport, bees, the environment, dress up for carnivals, smoke, and drink. There are also some Slovenians that became famous for great and surprising reasons.

Learning about a country also means learning about its inhabitants. This is why we think you will enjoy knowing these 24 fun facts about Slovenian people.

1. Slovenians Love Sports

In Slovenia, the culture of sport is one of the most important. The country is perfect for skiing, hiking, biking, and watersports. For that reason, many Slovenians are sportaholics. You will always find people jogging in Tivoli Park in Ljubljana after or before work, skiing in the Alps during winter, or rafting in the Soca River. Only 22% of Slovenians never do sport.

They often play football, ice hockey, basketball, handball, volleyball, and many other sports. Slovenians are very fond of handball. Their national team came third at the 2017 World Championship. It is a trendy sport.

If you love hiking, you will get along with many people in Slovenia. There are about 10,000 kilometers of marked and adapted path for hiking across the country, and the scenery is always breathtaking.

2. Slovenians Love Bees

In Slovenia, you will find bees and honey everywhere. There are around 90,000 beekeepers in the country for a population of two million. Beekeeping is a national treasure that Slovenians love.

Slovenia is the biggest beekeeping country in the European Union, with five beekeepers per 1,000 people. Indeed, the country is perfect for beekeeping because of the number of forests. You will even find an endemic species of bees: the Carniolan bees. These bees are known for being peaceful.

Slovenians also love to paint beehive panels, called panjske končnice. They are a Slovene tradition from the 18th century. There are more than 600 patterns of painted beehive panels for you to discover, from religious scenes to beautiful landscapes.

May 20th is World Bee Day, according to the United Nations. This idea came from Slovenia, where people like to say they are busy as bees.

3. Slovenians Are Very Peaceful

According to the annual Peace Index, Slovenia is the seventh country out of 163 in terms of peacefulness. Slovenians are known for being tolerant, quietly conservative, and very hospitable.

Although they are not incredibly comfortable with contact, you will not kiss or hug Slovenians when meeting them or running into them in the street. They are indeed very hospitable. You can quickly meet very friendly people in bars and cafes, share a drink, or even get invited to their house.

Also, Slovenia is a very safe country. It is the seventh safest country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index. For example, it only witnessed ten homicides in 2018, and none of them were linked to the use of firearms.

4. Slovenians Like to Dress Up for Carnivals

In Slovenia, there are a lot of carnivals celebrating folklore culture. The most famous one is the Kurentovanje, in Ptuj. This carnival is an excellent occasion for Slovenians to get together, dress up as kurents, and have fun. This tradition is now on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The tradition of dressing up as a kurent has been going on for over 50 years. The aim is to celebrate the end of winter. Kurent is a demon supposed to bring abundance, joy, and sunshine.

People of all ages can dress up as kurent nowadays, walk across Ptuj, or even Slovenia, as a sign of good luck. However, if you see a kurent rolling on the ground, it is a sign of bad luck. 

5. Slovenians Are Environment-Friendly

Slovenia is a very green country where people are very interested in the environment and are concerned about global warming.

According to the environmental performance index (EPI) from Yale, Slovenia has a rating of 88,98, which means it is the fifth country out of 180 to achieve international environmental goals.

In Ljubljana, for example, Slovenia’s capital, a lot has been done for the environment. There are recycling bins everywhere in the city, and people put effort into recycling. The city center is entirely pedestrian, with Kavalir to help some cross the center when they cannot walk.

6. Slovenians Are Tall

Slovenians are tall. Slovenia is among the ten tallest countries on the planet. On average, a man measures 1,80 meters, and a woman measures 1,67 meters. If you like feeling small, then you should head to Slovenia for the holidays.

The other countries in the top 10 tallest countries are, in order: The Netherlands, Montenegro, Denmark, Norway, Serbia, Germany, Croatia, The Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Luxembourg.

7. Slovenians Are Old

Slovenians are not all old, do not worry. However, Slovenia is one of the ten most elderly countries in the world. Indeed, its inhabitants are, on average, 43,5 years old. The other countries in the top 10 are, in order: Japan, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Finland, and Portugal.

But no worries, Slovenia is also a perfect country for families with its numerous parks, activities, and an excellent school system. It is also a country with a nice student life, especially in Ljubljana, where you will find many students after October. 

8. Slovenians Love to Smoke

In Slovenia, there are a lot of smokers. Slovenians are the world’s eleventh country in terms of cigarette consumption, with 2,236.5 cigarettes smoked every year per person over the age of 15. The top 10 countries are Andorra, Luxembourg, Belarus, North Macedonia, Albania, Belgium, Czech Republic, Jordan, Russia, and Syria.

One Slovenian out of four between the ages of 15 and 64 is a smoker. Also, men tend to smoke more than women. They are 27% of men that are smokers against 21% of women, and almost 80% of smokers smoke very regularly.

The price of a pack of cigarettes in Slovenia is among the lowest in Europe. A pack of 20 Marloboros bought in a market is 4,79 €.

9. Slovenians Love to Drink

Slovenians love the drinking culture. In Slovenia, you will easily find people at the terrace of a bar or a cafe drinking a beer, no matter the time of the day. Slovenians also love making their alcohol.

Slovenians are the sixth biggest consumers, per capita, of wine in the world. There is a vineyard for every 70 people, and the country’s 28,000 wineries produce about 90 million liters of wine each year. Their alcohol consumption is between 2 and 2.5 times higher than the world average.

Alcohol, just like cigarettes, is not expensive in Slovenia. A pint of beer will cost you about 3 euros in Ljubljana, and 2 euros in a small village in the countryside.

Slovenians love alcohol so much that their national anthem is called “a toast” (Zdravljica in Slovenian).

10. Slovenians Love Their Regions

Regions in Slovenia are essential. Many traditions, dialects, and customs vary depending on the area, and Slovenians have more pride in their region than their country.

Although Slovenia was very important during the independence war in 1991, Slovenians still keep a warmer place for their region than for the country.

In the Eastern part of Slovenia, you will find the following regions Mura, Drava, Carinthia, Savinja, Central Sava, Lower Sava, Southeast Slovenia, and Littoral–Inner Carniola regions. In the Southern part of Slovenia, you will find the regions central Slovenia, Upper Carniola, Gorizia, and Coastal–Karst regions.

11. There Are More Than 450,000 Slovenes Living Abroad

Many Slovenes are living abroad. About 450,000 Slovenes live abroad, and even more, if you count second and third-generation Slovenes.

Slovenes emigrated from their country in three waves. First, between 1860 and 1914, when the state could not handle the increase of population.

Then, between 1918 and 1941, some regions were impoverished because they had to flee fascism and German nationalism.

After the Second World War, the third wave was until the 1970s when people fled for economic reasons mostly.

As a result, about 170,000 Slovenes in the United States, between 80,000 and 100,000 in Italy, 50,000 in Germany, and many others in Canada, Argentina, France, Croatia, etc.

12. A Slovene Was the First Man to Ski Down Mount Everest

Davo Karnicar is a Slovene alpinist. He was the first person to make a full ski descent of Mount Everest in 2000. It took him less than five hours to go down the 12,000 feet of Mount Everest. He was also the first man in the world to ski the highest peaks of all seven continents.

13. The First Married Couple to Hike Mount Everest Was From Slovenia

In 1990, the first married couple to hike Mount Everest were Andrej and Marija Štremfelj. They were Slovenians. 

They are also mountain guides. You can contact them with the following email addresses and phones:

Andrej Štremfelj s.p.
Cirilova ulica 5, 4000 Kranj
Email: andrej@stremfelj.si
Phone: +386-40-328-000
Email: marija.stremfelj@guest.arnes.si
Phone: +386-31-427-455

14. Prehistoric Pile-Dwellers Lived in Slovenia

Over 6,000 years ago, prehistoric pile-dwellers lived in the area now known as the Ljubljana Marshes (Barje). Pile-dwellers lived in the marshes and were tillers, hunters, or stockbreeders. Their houses were built on poles and are a specialty in Slovenia.

The Ljubljana marshes are a fantastic place for archeological discoveries. It is also the place where was found the oldest wooden wheel in the world. 

15. Slovenia Love to Party at Their Many Festivals

Almost every day in Slovenia, you can find a festival to attend. The most popular festivals are music festivals, but there are also folk festivals, film festivals, theater festivals, sports festivals, etc.

Ljubljana is an incredibly vibrant city for festivals, such as the Ljubljana Summer Festival, the Ljubljana Jazz Festival, and many film festivals like the City of Women.

Slovenians love to party and have fun during these very numerous events, and you will very likely encounter at least one of them during your stay in Slovenia.

16. Slovenians Are Mostly Roman Catholic

In Slovenia, there is not much of an influence of religion on everyday life. However, 60% of Slovenians still consider themselves as Roman Catholics, which is the main religion in the country, followed by Protestantism.

Slovenia counts about 1,1 million Catholics, divided between the six dioceses and two archdioceses.

This religion came to Slovenia around the 8th century when the Slavic tribes living in the territory embraced it as their new religion. It stayed a compelling religion in the country until 1945 when industrialization and capitalism decreased the number of followers.

17. Slovenians Are Competitive

There are many stereotypes concerning Slovenians. One of them is that they are very competitive. A Slovene saying is naj sosedu crkne krava, which means “may the neighbor’s cow drop dead”.

It can be true that Slovenians are competitive, mostly because they love sports so much, and that sport is often a competition. For example, the Ljubljana Marathon attracts several thousands of people every year.

However, do not worry, Slovenians are also very peaceful, and competition is always friendly.

18. The Fifth Largest Religion in Slovenia Is the Trans-Universal Zombie Church of the Blissful Ringing

In Slovenia, the main religion is Roman Catholicism. Almost 60% of Slovenes declared themselves as Roman Catholic, 2,4% are Muslim, 2,3% are Orthodox Christians, and about 10% are atheists.

But another religion exists in Slovenia and seems like a joke. It is the Trans-Universal Zombie Church of the Blissful Ringing.

This religion was born in 2013 as a parody and a form of protest against corruption un politics. It has more than 10,000 followers, which makes it the fifth most influential religion in the country.

The followers like to reunite around the “Temple of Corruption” which is the National Assembly of Slovenia on Wednesday.

The symbol of the religion is a bell because they make noise with pots, pans, and bells in front of their “temple” when they meet.

19. Slovenians Love to Eat

In Slovenia, food is essential, and Slovenians love to eat. In 2021, Slovenia will be the European Region of Gastronomy. 

There are 24 gastronomic regions in Slovenia, with 365 varieties of culinary delicacies to discover in 2021 all across the country, every single day of the year.

In Slovenia, you will find world-leading chefs, such as Ana Roš, who won the World’s Best Female Chef award in 2017. 

20. There Were Many Spies in Slovenia

Slovenia has been a hotspot for spies during the cold war. It was the ideal place for spies and backchannel diplomacy. During the cold war, Slovenia was still part of Yugoslavia, which means it was an interesting area for both the United States and the Soviet Union.

21. A Slovenian Has the Record of Riding a Motorcycle the Longest

The woman with the Guinness’s record of the longest time riding a motorcycle is Benka Pulko. She is a Slovenian who traveled on all continents and drove for over 2000 days and over 180,000 kilometers.

She was born in 1967, and besides being a traveler and a record holder, she is also a motivational speaker and an author. She was also elected Slovenian woman of the year in 2003. 

22. Slovenians Have So Many Dialects They Have a Hard Time UnderstandingEach Other

In Slovenia, there are over 50 different dialects, classified into eight regional groups. Linguists do not all agree on the exact number considering how many variations exist.

Because of this significant number of dialects, Slovenians sometimes do not understand each other from one side of the country to the other.

The dialects are Upper Carniolan, Lower Carniolan, Styrian, Pannonian, Carinthian, Littoral, Rovte, and Mixed Kočevje.

23. People in Slovenia Can Expect to Live to Age 80

Slovenians have a relatively long life expectancy. It is the 27th country in the world with the longest life expectancy. For women, it goes to 83,7 years old. For men, it is a bit lower, around 78 years old.

The leading causes of death in Slovenia are coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancer. The suicide rate is also relatively high. It is the eighth cause of death for Slovenians.

The life expectancy of Slovenians rose immensely compared to the 1950s when it was around 65 years.

Come to Slovenia and Meet Slovenians

If you wish to travel to Slovenia, you will love the landscapes, the activities, the architecture, and the many treasures the country offers. But you will also love the company of Slovenes, who are very kind.

Many people do not know about Slovenia because it is a small country surrounded by some of the most important European countries. Talk with Slovenes. They will have hundreds of things to tell you about this mesmerizing country.

Thank you for reading our article. We do our best to provide you with first-hand information about Slovenia and its wonders. We know we are not infallible though. In case you encounter any mistakes in our articles or you have any suggestions, please contact us. Let us know how we could improve. It will help us to keep our information updated and deliver to readers the most valuable possible content.  We will gladly take your suggestions!

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