Slovenia or a chicken? (A parody on a country’s shape) – by Nataša Sbrizaj

»Piščančja solata!« (or »Chicken salad« as translation in English would look like) is an old Slovenian expression for showing somebody’s surprise about something. Another one would be »tristo kosmatih medvedov« (translated as »three hundred hairy bears«). Do these funny expressions make any sense at all? And if the second one might me referring to a high number of brown bears living in Slovenian forests (today still around 400-500), just what possible can a chicken and Slovenia have in common?? Yet, they do have something – Slovenia has a shape of a chicken!

Funny as it sounds, but looking at the map one can’t neglect the similarity – if our western neighbour Italy is a shoe (more precisely a high boot), Slovenia is a full-shaped chicken. That Slovenians are aware of this fact shows also a website portal called “Mat’Kurja” or “Mother Chicken”, serving as a reach source of information on Slovenia and related topics either for Slovenians, as well as for foreigners.

The other day I had quite an ‘interesting’ discussion about that with my friend Simon (former ICD Intern from Slovenia here). Since Simon comes from Maribor and I come from Ljubljana, we realized he comes from the throat part, taking care of ‘swallowing’ and me from the stomach part, therefore responsible for the whole digestive process – no wonder then that there is a Slovenian word for love “ljubezen” hidden in the name of the capital Ljubljana, for the old expression states that “love comes through the stomach”. Interesting part is also that the chicken’s brain part, that is the region of Prekmurje, which should be the smartest or wisest part of Slovenia, is actually economically looking its poorest region – maybe referring to the fact that chickens are not particularly famous for being smart? But let me stop here before our imagination carries us too far away…

Mat’Kurja website:


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