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Slovenia Weekly

1 May


Photo: GettyImages/Ukom
May Day (1 May) or Labour Day is a very popular holiday in Slovenia. We actually celebrate it over two days and for most of us it represents the symbolic start of the nicer (i.e. warmer) part of the year, the first swim in the sea, the first picnics, mass hikes and May Day meetings and – on the evening before the holiday – celebrations around the bonfire. It seems that on this particular day our thoughts are not so much on labour as on – holidays.

This year, this way of marking a holiday whose original purpose is to draw attention to workers’ rights stands in stark contrast to events in some European cities, where mass protests have taken place, in some cases marred by violence.

This contrasting manner of celebrating Labour Day is really only the result of the different historical journeys that have brought us to the present moment. Labour Day is not about ideology, as Prime Minister Marjan Šarec emphasised in his May Day address, but about the awareness that workers, people in employment, are a society’s greatest wealth. The objective is always the same: workers’ rights must be respected, the value of labour must be properly recognised, and employment must provide an adequate income to enable people to live with dignity.

Holidays are part of this.

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