The Slovenians being a part of the Slavic peoples are very outgoing and friendly. They are always eager to help and one shouldn’t hesitate asking them for help. They will listen to you and either give a good piece of advice or will ask someone else to help you.One shouldn’t be worried about the language barrier. The older people mostly speak or understand Russian and the younger ones speak English.
The foreigners usually do not speak Slovenian and using Slovenian words when talking to the locals will really make a good impression on them. Your efforts will be appreciated and you’ll be given some good tips.
One of the most distinctive features of the Slovenian character is patience. If you say “No” that doesn’t mean really “No” to them. They think that the reason why you are saying “No” is because you don’t want to be rude. So they will be trying to convince you until you finally agree. There is a joke saying that if you come to Slovenia you will become a “victim of hospitality”. One shouldn’t treat it seriously and there is no reason to be worried about that.
Communicating with people
When communicating with people it is better not to remind them about the recent Soviet past. Practically there was not true Soviet regime here but the Slovenians do not like it when they are considered to be a part of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe countries. Despite the fact that geographically they belong to Eastern Europe, the Slovenians don’t want to be compared to their Eastern neighbors and prefer to talk about themselves as about the citizens of the Western and Southern Europe.
In case it happens so that the conversation touches these themes one should be ready to listen to quite rude and contradictive opinions about it. One should also beware talking about the territorial disputes of Slovenia and Croatia as well as the civil war of 1941 – 1945 and its consequences. It will be better to stay away from these discussions and not to waste your time.
Besides that they do not talk about the sexual minorities in Slovenia that often. It is not prohibited by the law to belong to one of them but the society is not that tolerant to them.
Being a guest
If you’ve been invited for a dinner it will be nice if you bring a bottle of wine with you. It is a good way to say “Thank you” for the meal to your host.
If you really liked one of the dishes it would be great if you say about it before they ask you. And they will ask you for sure. It will be nice of you to say that you enjoyed having a meal with them and your hosts will really appreciate it. Most of the locals put on slippers when they are at home and you should be ready to be asked to put them on too.
Try not to dispute with your hosts especially if the issue is not really crucial to you. They can be easily offended by it. Shaking hands is very common everywhere in Slovenia but kissing and hugging is possible only between the close people.
If you come for a visit in the evening it will be better not to stay late and try not to be too noisy and sing loud songs or switch on loud music. The local law prohibits any loud noise after 10 pm. Besides that the Slovenians go to sleep quite early since they get up and start their working days early as well.
Being in the Mountains
If you get lost in the mountains or your equipment is out of order you shouldn’t panic. Everybody will be eager to help you and you won’t stay alone.
Be nice and polite with the citizens of the mountain villages. Say “Dober dan” (meaning “Good afternoon”) to them and you will possibly find yourself at an unforgettable tea-drinking at one of the local houses.
Never drop litter in the mountains! The Slovenian mountains (especially the highest peak called Triglav after the ancient Slavonic god) – is a place of religious sacraments and a national symbol of the country.