Janja Žitnik Serafin, Slovenian Migration Institute, Ljubljana, SI
Parallels between the Slovenian community in Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of the largest ethnic, religious and language minorities in Slovenia, namely the Bosniaks, are evident not only in all areas of their cultural interests but also in the range of possibilities for the fulfilment of those interests. Further parallels can be observed in their organizational patterns, the diversification of their cultural production and its pronounced significance for the cultural identity of the members of these minorities. Both minorities nourish their mother tongues through a wide range of their societies’ activities as well as their cooperation in the organization of language classes. Slovenian ministry responsible for education co-finances Slovenian language classes for young members of Slovenian communities abroad, including Slovenians in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most of the teachers are sent from Slovenia. Owing to this fact, regular Slovenian language classes are organized in almost every city of Bosnia and Herzegovina where a Slovenian cultural society exists. According to a bilateral agreement between these two countries, the classes of Bosnian language for children of Bosnian and Herzegovinian descent in Slovenia should be financed by Bosnia and Herzegovina. But Bosnia and Herzegovina, trying to overcome its own economic crisis and having lost, among others, 79 percent of its researchers, 81 percent of its Masters of Art or Science, and 75 percent of its Doctors of Philosophy or Science since the end of the war (1995), has been unable to cope with this task. The author is trying to find solutions acceptable for both parties.