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Reception of Indian Bolivian priests

Ljubljana, 07/06/2006  |  press release

Click to enlarge

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Janez Drnovšek, has today received a group of Indian Bolivian priests led by Valentin Mejillones Acarapi, and the representative of the Indian community in the North America, Carol Petersen.

The President of the Republic had met with the Indian Bolivian priests in January this year, when participating in the inauguration of the new Bolivian President Evo Morales Aima. The partners in the talk have today discussed the possibilities for preserving one of the oldest Indian cultures. On the occasion of the reception, Valentin Mejillones Acarapi gave to Dr Janez Drnovšek as a present a special medal of friendship, representing a particular system of stars whose reflection is the town of Tiwanaku, the centre of the Aymara culture.

Click to enlargeOn the occasion of the reception, Dr Janez Drnovšek also answered some media questions:

What has led you to invite the Bolivian Indian priests? Did you talk about that during your visit at the time of inauguration of Morales?

Dr Janez Drnovšek: "It was then that I met them. They were holding ancient Indian ceremonies at the inauguration of President Morales. Their culture is one of the oldest cultures, which has much interesting to give to the entire mankind. We are discussing the possibilities for preserving their ancient tradition. This is one part of our discussions about how to help Bolivia’s Indians, this ancient culture, to survive at the time of globalisation, so that their centuries-long knowledge would not get lost. We will therefore try to launch projects aimed at that, probably in cooperation with UNESCO, maybe with someone else as well, and I believe this is also interesting for the Slovenes."

Click to enlargeWhat does the emblem given to you as a present by the leading priest mean to you?

Dr Janez Drnovšek: "This is a very significant symbolism with distinctive implications for their culture, their religion. Of course I feel much honoured by the fact that Valentin Mejillones Acarapi, leading the priests, has given it to me."

What about the visit of the representative of the North-American Indians?

Dr Janez Drnovšek: "Carol Petersen actually represents the North-American Indians, and there are several links between both of them, that is also between the South- and the North-American Indians. She is actively involved in bringing back to life those ancient traditions as well as in preserving the old traditions, old cultures. In trying to achieve certain results within the framework of this project, we will probably also cooperate with them."
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