The Learning Parade 2022 was held at three venues (in Jesenice, Novo mesto and Slovenj Gradec) for the tenth time in a row and for the first time in Litija. Everywhere else (venues and programmes in Slovenian are available here) the LP was held somewhere between the first and the tenth time in a row. Since the last year’s LLW (and the LP) was carried out in the autumn, many coordinators took on this challenge for the second time in the last nine months, which is no trifling matter! On the contrary, every time, it is an extraordinary undertaking that includes many things – from coordinating the organisers at the local level and placing their stones into a colourful mosaic of events to dealing with administrative procedures – faithful companions of public events. Many additional challenges arise unexpectedly and test the flexibility and innovation of the organisers, who also play a broader role as LLW coordinators in their environments.
Fortunately, they are not alone in this, as in most communities, they have already internalised that this is their day – a Day of Learning Communities! The LP coordinators are ‘only’ the driving force and a connecting factor attracting additional supporters yearly. That is why it is exciting to experience the close connection of institutions and their representatives, who provide diverse and attractive content. Watching generations taking turns or even interacting on and below the stage is moving. There is just the right proportion of different content so everyone can identify with some of the presented opportunities for learning and creation. And even if there are often a few famous people in the forefront who attract attention and start the LP carousel, the latter is meant for everyone – and that can clearly be felt.
But a call to all of us remains: let’s go beyond the circle of believers and, next time, grab the hand of someone who is not (yet) involved in lifelong learning and bring them to the Parade!
Milena Dimec, president of the Third Age University Association of Litija and Šmartno, was awarded the title of ambassador of lifelong learning by the coordinator of the LP in Litija, Education Centre Geoss. ‘Sounds good,’ she responded resolutely, ‘but there are solid pillars supporting me. Thank you!’ Many enthusiasts of learning all sorts of things took turns on the stage. The stands were full of exciting content, and everyone – from the youngest to the elderly – contributed with their dance and music performances. There is no doubt that Litija will host the LP again. Highlights are available here.
The red thread of the seventh LP in Šmarje pri Jelšah was the slogan ‘From talent to mastery’, which famous and less famous people portrayed through their own stories in the video statements. The events that took place in Obsotelje and Kozjansko found their place in the LP programme. In Šmarje, the bad weather drove the stands and performances inside the cultural centre, which was bursting at the seams. Director of the Šmarje pri Jelšah Library, Dr Marko Samec, concluded his speech with the slogan ‘We grow together!’ It was in this spirit that the LP was carried out, which is perfectly summarised here.
Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc (firstname.lastname@example.org), SIAE
I started my circle trip around Slovenia in Krško where I experienced all the excitement of such events: smiling and happy people who stopped at the stands and embraced new discoveries and knowledge. The soap bubbles that flew across the square were a metaphor for knowledge flying into the sky, and at the same time, with their burst, indicated the transience of what has been learned.
In Novo mesto, I wove ties. I wasn’t there for the cake that celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Parade, but witnessed an interesting professional event at the end of the project VšečKAM in GREM – The Youth Career Centre and the Re.M.I.D.A. project. The event started with spinning legos between the fingers and ended in a relaxed conversation with the participants and, of course, with Anita, Tea, Tina and Zvonka from Novo mesto AEC.
When I returned on Wednesday from the venues I visited, I was grateful that I do what I do and can be a part of all that we are creating for each other. More about my journey is available in the blog post (in Slovenian).
Nevenka Kocijančič (email@example.com), SIAE
An abundance of opportunities for learning
I was happy to participate in the 8th LP in Kranj. So many learning communities of all generations, led by the Kranj AEC, caused an incredible curious buzz around the stands and the stage. The stand of Komunala Kranj caught my eye, where I gained new knowledge about waste management. The School of Health Association prepared a morning exercise to warm us up, and what followed were the performances by children, dancers, pensioners, choirs and folklorists. With their stories of lifelong learning, the ambassadors of the LLW and the LP, sportspersons Cene Prevc and Tadeja Brankovič, blended perfectly with the visitors, as they themselves are constantly learning and are an inspiration to others. More highlights are available in the short video.
I continued my journey to the LP in Medvode, where I was impressed by the insightful motifs of a photography exhibition portraying the use of photography and music for the inclusion of minorities. In the covered market, the students, under the leadership of the Art Sower Cultural Association, enthusiastically spread their knowledge and skills. A deaf interpreter was also present. I experienced the market of knowledge as a green door for learning and the culture of all generations. I listened to Dušica Kunaver, who connected the cultural heritage of the local environment with learning. By observing the manual grinding of grain, I learned more about self-sufficiency. I ended the colourful day with a quiz on the history of Slovenia. An exciting photo gallery is published on FB.
Mateja Pečar (firstname.lastname@example.org), SIAE
“It’s never too late to learn; let it bear power and joy!”
On the former Youth Day, the festive atmosphere of lifelong learning also flooded Ajdovščina and Nova Gorica.
In Lavrič’s square in Ajdovščina, a lively stage programme started in the morning hours, and many stands, where associations, organisations and institutions for education and training from the local environment presented their activities, attracted visitors of all generations.
Mayor Tadej Beočanin also visited the event, which Ajdovščina AEC organised excellently. He emphasised that he welcomes events that offer many opportunities to involve people in lifelong learning.
It was lively, creative and loud in the afternoon in front of the Town Hall in Nova Gorica. “Let the voice of lifelong learning be heard far and wide!” Nova Gorica AEC invited Radio Robin to participate, and they broadcasted live directly from the event’s venue and thus promoted the LP. They featured interviews and music programme, which prompted many to come and see the event live. A surprise dessert further stimulated the visitors’ curiosity.
The festive touch to the event was added by three award-winning ambassadors of learning, who were congratulated by Klemen Miklavič, the mayor of Nova Gorica.
Erika Brenk (email@example.com), SIAE
‘Naj teče učenje skozi življenje’ – in obratno
MOCIS iz Slovenj Gradca svoj moto v lokalni skupnosti živi dobesedno in vsak dan. Posebno pa ga podčrtajo na vsakoletni, letos že deseti Paradi učenja. Stojnice so bile postavljene v idiličnem okolju dvorca Rotenturn. Živahni utrip je popestril dan vsem – županu, ki je potožil, da dvorišče sicer sameva, udeležencem vseh generacij, ki so bodisi nastopali bodisi predstavljali svoje dejavnosti na stojnicah, pa tudi naključnim mimoidočim. Pogovor s temi, bolj ali manj znanimi posamezniki, me je tako tu kot na moji naslednji postaji najbolj obogatil.
Na UPI – LU Žalec so se odločili za popoldanski termin, saj so želeli, da dan učečih se skupnosti doživi čim več ljudi. Udeležili so se ga tudi zmagovalci fotonatečaja, ki so v objektiv ujeli čudovite trenutke iz narave. Prisluhnili smo glasbi, telovadili v parku in se v živo soočili z nudenjem prve pomoči. Zdelo se je, kot da je res. Polne roke dela je imela tudi prostovoljka Aleksandra Škoflek, letošnja dobitnica priznanja učečim se iz savinjske regije. S svojim sodelovanjem je priznanje več kot upravičila.
In other parts of Slovenia, the coordinators also attracted many associations, (educational) organisations and companies to participate. In Jesenice, the LP was held both in the town and nearby Žirovnica. In Črnomelj, they wrote ‘Poklicijada’ in capital letters on the invitation and thus focused on promoting and popularising professions for all generations. In Murska Sobota, the Day of Learning Communities was focused on the theme ‘Learning is life; let it bear power and joy’. In Rogaška Slatina, they included their local ‘heroine’ Ela Peroci, whose 100th anniversary of birth they are focusing on this year. Even in the LP programme of Ormož, intergenerational integration and numerous opportunities for acquiring manual and other skills can be sensed. Slovenska Bistrica was home to an original idea – they gathered proposals for the street in Slovenska Bistrica with the most beautiful name. Flower Street won.
Ana Peklenik (firstname.lastname@example.org), SIAE
Photo design: Nevenka Kocijančič