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Slovenska stran

SIAE Awards 2011
Maryan Antich from Radovljica

SIAE awards for learning and knowledge promotion 2005

Awards to institutions, enterprises and local communities for outstanding professional or promotional achievements as well as for achievements related to the enrichment of one's own knowledge or the knowledge of others 

Igo Gruden from Ljubljana

Proposer: Section for the promotion of Danish folk high schools, Slovenian-Danish Friendship Society of Ljubljana


"I decided to devote my retirement years primarily to my second love, or to link up my first and second loves: Slovenia with Denmark and Denmark with Slovenia."

In the same year that he retired, Igo Gruden founded the Slovenian-Danish Friendship Society. This was the creative enhancement to friendships he had built up as a journalist during his active employment. The society, created exclusively through amateur initiative, is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its rich activities. Last year, for example, it carried out 17 major projects that enjoyed the cooperation of 1,110 people, both Slovenians and Danes. Thanks to his efforts, each year at least 40 Slovenian pupils discover Denmark. Five years ago the members of one expedition to Denmark presented the Hans Christian Andersen birth house with all the Slovenian translations of the fairy-tale writer, and a year later Slovenia was presented in a week-long event at the Aarhus music centre. Through exchanges, many new friendships are being forged between Danish and Slovenian grammar schools. As an active retiree Igo Gruden organises exchanges among colleagues still active in his profession. Four years ago Slovenia was visited for the first time by 48 Danish journalists, who presented our country in numerous articles, and this visit was repeated by the Danish journalists' society with a study tour of Slovenia for 18 journalists and the same number of Danish media. Last year the official conclusion of a world tour of Danish gymnasts was held right here in Slovenia. As a long-term member says: "Our president is the soul and driving force of the society; he has an abundance of ideas, he is full of energy, and this can be seen in his mental and physical state, since he is really fit. He is quite a hard act to follow for the other members." In spite of his years he enthusiastically leads a wide variety of Slovenian groups on journeys around Denmark. He shares with us his enthusiasm for the Danish form of adult education - the folk high school - in which he was himself unexpectedly a student around fifty years ago. He says of such schools - as the Danes do - that he sees them as a school for life. Through his support, more than thirty young Slovenian boys and girls have now actively participated in this form of education. He systematically spreads information about the possibilities for obtaining grants, whereby he is a good example of active citizenship in disseminating educational opportunities for adults. He himself collects sponsorship funds, for the society conducts its own travel programme, Denmark up close or See you later Denmark, and in this he is very forthright in securing effective promotion of Slovenia in Denmark. Through his work he reduces distances between generations and countries, and for this the Danish Embassy has named him an honorary (unpaid) cultural attache. For his exceptional services, in 2003 Queen Margretha II awarded him a high state decoration.

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