Slovenian singer Jan Plestenjak made many surprised faces and many nods in yesterday’s Arena show on national television. One of the most famous Slovenian music performers expressed his opinion about Slovenian music and emphasized that Slovenians should add pride to the word respect and not humility.
Sam says he doesn’t understand why we don’t appreciate our own music and only promote foreign music. He is convinced that this is colonization without a single bullet.
Yesterday’s informative show Arena hosted, among others, one of the most popular Slovenian singers, Jan Plestenjak, who in the conversation also touched on the fact that Kurentovanje, as a traditional Slovenian ethnic event, will be brightened up with a performance by the Serbian turbo folk star Ceca, otherwise the widow of the late notorious criminal Željko Ražnatović – Arkan, which many in Slovenia find controversial.
“I’m a creator and I have a lot of respect for everyone who creates music. I know how much emotion and love has to be put into it. I don’t judge styles or languages here, I have respect,” asked the presenter if the Serbian turbo folk singer belongs at the opening of Kurentovanje. He added that he is not familiar with the case in question and does not know who is organizing it, whether it is a private person or whether the municipality or public institutions are behind it, where taxpayers’ money is involved. Among other things, he added that he would not think it right to use the law to tell people what is right and what is wrong, but if the event is financed from public funds, the organizers should consider the suitability of the performers.
The most dangerous thing is to forget your essence because of the smallness complex
“If it’s a private organizer, I think it’s perfectly fine for him to choose whoever he wants, because we’re on the market,” he said. He added that, in general, he believes that if the organizers are municipalities or public institutions and the event is financed by taxpayers’ money, everyone should consider whether it is right. “I think it would be very wrong to use some law to tell people what they should and shouldn’t do. In fact, I would even consider it dishonorable.” he said.
When asked by the presenter whether he thinks that many organizers invite foreign, especially Croatian musicians to their events and whether we have too few good Slovenian performers, he replied: “People also love to listen to Slovenian music. I think that Slovenian performers still sell the most tickets. Here, it may sometimes be a question of the inferiority complex of the people who make the decisions. But, this is a nationwide problem. The most dangerous thing is to forget your essence, where you are from, because of a smallness complex.”
If you cultivate the language in which you were nursed throughout your childhood, then you are the greatest
He revealed that Croatian singers also want to record a duet with him, but, “I would like them to sing with me in Slovenian, because I work for this market”. He added that everyone chooses their own language and that he doesn’t see a problem with that, but he thinks that young Slovenian singers who decide to sing in a foreign language are often running away.
“Running from myself. Is it so difficult to have the word pride next to the word respect? Does it have to be humility? I believe that man is greatest when he cultivates his essence. If you cultivate the language in which you were nursed throughout your childhood, then you are the greatest, but at the same time you must also be open. For my 12th birthday, my mother gave me a Vrbinč dictionary of aliens, which was completely unrelated to me, because I wanted to have some kind of toy. Inside, she wrote to me: ‘My dear Jan, let strangers be your acquaintances, but not your companions.’ With that, she said it all.”
Serbian trumpeters are an ethnic group, and the accordion is a farm
“With respect comes pride. This applies to all things, including politics, economics… But with us, respect always comes with humility. I do not understand that,” he said. He is convinced that we should love Slovenia, because we live in a peaceful and safe country, and in his opinion, the Slovenian language is beautiful.
He also highlighted the phenomenon of how Slovenians perceive Balkan music differently. As he says, for example, he likes trumpet players, because his late father was also a Serb. “But if trumpeters come to Ljubljana, it’s ethnic. But if the accordion comes, it’s a farm. For me it is also ethnic. Just change this attitude and we will all be happy.” Plestenjak is convinced.