One of my first blogs was related to my visit of one of the regional primary schools, and in the end of the introductory part of Think About It! I will conclude it in the same manner. However, this visit was especially pleasant one. I combined my own, nostalgic memories connected with Osnovna šola Srečka Kosovela Sežana with listening to one of the greatest Slovenian contemporary writers, Boris Pahor. Now you might decide not to continue with reading and thinking: “hey, we are talking about EU…” But at least give me a chance to show you that this is a very EU topic.
Boris Pahor belongs to the community of Slovenian minority in Italy and lives in Trieste. This almost 96 years old man survived 3 concentration camps during the Second World War, was recruited as an Italian soldier to Libya and at the same time also enrolled at the University of Padua. His books, among which is definitely the most famous Nekropola, were translated in several foreign languages and the author was also nominated for a Nobel Prize in Literature. Pahor, who visited the school because of the event which is every year dedicated to “the best” young readers, with incredible energy and “wicked” enthusiasm carries the following message:
“Every cultural/language group has a right to exist and even if you belong to a very small, almost invisible group, be proud of it!”
Even though his words relate to the era of Italian Fascism when many Slovenes were maltreated, tortured and artificially assimilated (changes of names and surnames, Italian as the only acceptable language, closing and burning Slovenian cultural institutions,…) his message is relevant for yesterday, today and tomorrow. Pahor in this context claims that EU identity has to respect freedoms of each group and provide the opportunity to feel “national” and European at the same time. These should be the basic values of EU.
But story does not end at this point. Boris Pahor is also a candidate for MEP at the party Slovenska skupnost (Slovenian community). Unfortunately, the nature of the event did not provide a possibility to focus more on this field, but from his life path and the short message presented above, it is possible to assume about the values he supports for the common European future.
I can only say: good luck and good health, Mr. Pahor!
And in case that Pahor wins, the European Parliament will miss the opportunity to hear a totally different speech during the opening session…