THE SLOVENIAN CULTURAL BACKGROUND
Slovenia has a polycentric culture. This means people will go out of their way to change their natural behaviour to mirror that of the person with whom they are interacting. So for example, Slovenians are naturally indirect communicators but can moderate their behaviour when dealing with people who come from cultures where more direct communication is the norm.
This ease of adaptation makes Slovenes easy to work with, although it also makes it somewhat difficult to know exactly what to expect when dealing with people since some may be more adept at moderating their behaviour than others.
Meeting and Greeting
Greetings are initially quote formal and reserved.
When meeting someone for the first time the most common greeting a handshake and a welcoming smile.
It is customary to maintain eye contact during the greeting process.
Close friends and family may kiss twice on the cheek.
Others are addressed using the honorific titles “Gospa” (Madam), “Gospodièna” (Miss), or “Gospod” (Sir).
Do not use a person’s first name until invited to do so as this is considered rude and presumptuous.
Meetings typically start after a brief period of social chitchat. Make sure this is not rushed, as it is all part of the relationship building process. Although not a relationship-driven culture in the classic sense, Slovenes prefer to do business with those they know and trust. When meeting with a company for the first time, this period of social interchange may be somewhat extended so that your Slovene colleagues get the opportunity to learn something about you as a person and make judgments about your character.
Cuisine: The Slovenian cuisine is not uniform, but diverse and influenced by the diversity of Slovenian landscape, climate, history and neighbouring cultures. In 2006, the leading Slovenian ethnologists have divided the country into 23 gastronomic regions. Slovenian cuisine can be divided into town, farmhouse, cottage, castle, parsonage, and monastic Slovenian cuisine. The bourgeois Slovene cuisine incorporated elements of Austrian, German and French cuisines, whilst the dishes eaten by the working class were mostly a function of their professions (notably, mining and forestry). Valentin Vodnik published the first Slovene-language cookbook in 1799.
The most popular team sports in Slovenia are basketball, ice hockey, association football, handball and skiing. Individual sports such as athletics, cycling, and tennis are popular. Slovenia has competed in eleven summer and winter Olympic Games. It is also famous for its athletes, such as ultramarathon swimmer Martin Strel and Davo Karničar, the only person to ski down Mount Everest.