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Argentines of Slovene descent, also Slovene Argentines or Argentine Slovenes (Slovene: argentinski Slovenci), is a term referring to the group of Slovenes residing in Argentina. According to Jernej Zupančič of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, they number around 120,000, thus becoming the largest Slovene population in Latin America.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (May 2015)|
The Slovenes in Argentina are descendants of three main groups of immigrants that arrived from the Slovene Lands mostly in the 20th century. The first were economic immigrants from the Prekmurje region and the Hungarian Slovenes. The second, much stronger wave was represented by Slovenes from the Julian March who moved to Argentina in the 1930s to escape the Italian Fascist persecution; they came mostly from the Vipava Valley and the Kras plateau. Their number was estimated at around 30,000. The third wave was composed of Slovene political immigrants that settled in Argentina after 1945 to escape Communist persecution. Their number was between 6,000 and 8,000. Most of the descendants of the latter group still use the Slovene language, including second and third-generation immigrants.
Slovene Argentines built social clubs where they meet regularly. These clubs act as cultural, sport and religious centres. There is usually also a Saturday primary school of Slovene language for children from 5 to 12 years of age in each of these centres. Three of these centres also hold a Saturday secondary school for youths of ages ranging from 13 to 18. At the end of this course, the students usually travel to Slovenia where they attend to a two-week course of language and they know their ancestors' homeland.
They have many cultural, social and religious organizations, almost all of them associated in the Zedinjena Slovenija (United Slovenia) association. These organization edits a weekly newspaper in Slovene language called Svobodna Slovenija (Free Slovenia) in which news from Slovenia, the Slovenian community in Argentina and the Slovenian diaspora around the world are published. There are also other publications of cultural, social and religious content. The weekly religious paper Oznanilo (Notification, Announcement) has the highest edition of all publications. Many of the events in the Slovene community in Argentina are published in these paper.
Youths have their organization too, called SDO-SFZ, which was created in March 1949 and accepts Slovene Argentines from 15 to 35 years of age. Their main activities are sport tournaments, cultural acts, leisure activities, and religious and intellectual meetings, which are all held in Slovene language. In spite of normally speaking Spanish among themselves, the majority of the youths speak Slovene quite fluently.
- Alojz Geržinič, composer
- Andrej Bajuk, banker and politician
- Anton Novačan, author, politician and diplomat
- Bernarda Fink, opera singer
- Emilio Komar, philosopher
- Franc Rode, Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church
- Ivan Ahčin, journalist, sociologist and politician
- Juan Vasle, singer and journalist
- Lucas Mario Horvat, football player
- Marcos Fink, singer
- Pedro Opeka, missionary
- Tine Debeljak, literary historian and essayist
- Viktor Sulčič, architect
- Zupančič, Jernej (August 2004). "Ethnic Structure of Slovenia and Slovenes in Neighbouring Countries" (PDF). Slovenia: a geographical overview. Association of the Geographic Societies of Slovenia. Retrieved 10 April 2008.
- Zedinjena Slovenija - Association of Slovene Organizations in Argentina
- SDO-SFZ - Slovene Youth Organization in Argentina