Every year, the Association of Slovenians Triglav Banja Luka celebrates the Slovenian cultural holiday and organizes several cultural events. Prešeren's days are an opportunity to show the citizens of Banja Luka the achievements of Slovenian culture and art.
In the Music Pavilion in Petar Kočić Park on Saturday, February 8, 2020, the Slovenian song "Lipa zelenela je" was heard as a sign of greeting to all who gathered in memory of France Prešeren. It was sung by the choir Davorin Jenko under the conductorship of Vanja Topić. Many Slovenians and friends of Slovenians gathered at the opening of the exhibition about Valentin Vodnik. Consul Marjan Ristič, a representative of the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia, was also with us. On behalf of the Association of Slovenians Triglav, Nataša Kajmaković greeted those present. She especially greeted the guests from Slovenia - curators Anja Poštrak and Barbara Kalan from Prešeren’s city - Kranj. The cities of Kranj and Banja Luka are twin cities, we regularly cooperate with Kranj schools and the Photographic Association Kranj, and this time we have enriched the cooperation with a guest exhibition of the Gorenjska Museum Kranj "Valentin Vodnik - the first poet of Kranj".
The year 2019 was the year of Vodnik, and we celebrated 260 years since the birth of Valentin Vodnik, who was active in the Enlightenment. Similar to Dositej Obradović among Serbs, Valentin Vodnik advocated the spread of knowledge and use of the Slovenian language among Slovenians, emphasizing the importance of education. He published his poems in the collection Poems for Tasting, which is the first Slovenian poetry collection. He also wrote fables, riddles, various cooking and medical manuals. He published the first Slovenian magazine Ljubljanske novine. At the opening of the exhibition, students of supply teaching lessons of Slovenian language from Slatina and Banja Luka performed a short scene in front of the monument to Vodnik and recitations of his works, while the curators of the Gorenjska Museum Kranj presented the exhibition “Valentin Vodnik - the first poet of Kranj”.
Visitors watched the exhibition with interest. Prešeren's day, filled with morning creative workshops and the evening opening of the exhibition, ended with a social event.
Translation: Ana Marjanović