Today: September 15, 2008

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Main | Archive | Issue 6/2008

What Slavs Sing About
Column: Embassy Life

The European Parliament declared 2008 the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. Slovenia, a country that not only has the current chairmanship of the European Union, but also is representing Slavic culture, is making a weighty contribution to the project. In May, the Russian capital held the traditional Days of Slavic Literature and Culture that included the Fourth Moscow International Slavic Music Festival. It started with a concert called The Slavic Soul organized on the initiative of the Embassy of Slovenia. The popular Slovenian singer Mantsa Izmailova, who was trained in Moscow, was the star of the concert program. She won over the audience by singing songs in the language of the original in Slovenian, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Serbian, and Croatian to the accompaniment of the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra under Pavel Kogan. Sergey Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia, Milena Domjan, chairperson of the Board of the Forum of Slavic Cultures, and G.V. Bogolyubova, president of the Slavic Foundation of Russia, sent congratulations to Slovenias Ambassador Andrej Benedejcic and other promoters, participants and guests of the concert. Noting how Slovenia has always striven to pay homage to the remarkable accomplishments of Slavic culture, Sergey Lavrov emphasized in his congratulatory message that this goal also figures prominently on the agenda of the Slovenian EU presidency that attaches great importance to the Forum of Slavic Cultures. We become convinced over and over again that it is culture that is instrumental in bringing peoples closer together, improving their mutual understanding, contributing to mutual spiritual enrichment, and boosting humanitarian ties. I sincerely wish our Slovenian friends further success during the first-ever EU chairmanship of a Slavic country.

The concert took place in the Parade Hall of the Cultural Center of the Armed Forces of Russia which is in the palace of Count Saltykov, a magnificent architectural masterpiece of 18th-century Russian classicism. The concert was followed by a reception with a buffet-style dinner. The guests enjoyed the delicious specialties of Slavic cuisine.

Oleg Torchinsky.
Photos by Alexander Bibik.


-, 2006