Giving voice to cultural heritage

Faronika Fish

Jesus is swimming in the sea depths,
a fish comes swimming after him – Faronika fish.

O wait, you Faronika fish,
let us ask you, what goes on in the world?

If I weave my tail,
the whole world will be flooded,

If I tumble on my back,
the whole world will be ruined.

O, do not do it, Faronika fish,
for the sake of little children and women who give birth.

Fr. Romuald: Škofja Loka Passion Play
John (828)

O, My Master, Iesu Christe,
surely the same words remain,
I rather give up life
than never to have loved thee,
my heart burns toward thee,
ignited by your most holy blood,
who once begins to love thee,
love cannot be extinguished,
must remain fiery also with me,
and I want to give my heart into yours.

Shine, o shine, sunshine! – Jesus the Gardener and the Heathen Maid

Shine, o shine, sunshine,
dear yellow sunshine!
How shall I shine
when strongly scolded.

Rising early in the morning,
the girls are wrangling,
they wish to stay in bed,
but have to get up.

Setting late in the evening,
the shepherds are complaining,
they wish to herd the cattle home,
but have to graze it.

Shine, sun, shine…

Who wants to holy heaven,
they must be as pure
as this sunshine,
this yellow sun.


O, moj mojster / O, My Master -
Ljoba Jenče – voice and performance – presentation of Slovenian tangible and intangible cultural heritage
A selection of verses from the Škofja Loka Passion Play which represents the first dramatic text in the Slovenian language (1721), and at the same time the first Slovenian unit registered in UNESCO's list of world intangible cultural heritage (2016), is followed by a famous cosmogonic myth about Pharaonica fish that carries the entire world on its back. The cosmic fish warns us that the balance of the world, also connected to human activity, can be upset by a single swing of its tail. In both its introduction and its ending, the legend-based medieval poem sings about popular conceptions of the deity of the Sun and the purity required to achieve the transcendent.
In the picture, we see some precious locations of 'Plečnik's Ljubljana' which the experts on architectural heritage have put on the list of locations of outstanding universal value. On 28 July 2021, the works of architect Jože Plečnik were registered in the prestigious list of UNESCO's world tangible cultural heritage as the 5th unit from Slovenia.

Closing credits

Pharaonica Fish Carries the World on Its Back, traditional Slovenian song
O, My Master, Iesu Christe, Fr. Romuald Marušič. Škofja Loka Passion Play (1721)
Shine, O Shine, Sunshine, traditional Slovenian song
Performance and concept: Ljoba Jenče, collector of oral tradition, storyteller, singer
Speech coaches: Dr. Jože Faganel, Sarah Kane
Translation: Martin Petrovčič
Recording and sound design: Boris Romih
Drone footage: Blaž Grmadnik, Tone Stojko
Camera: Jasna Hribernik
Video: Jasna Hribernik, film director
Production: PAJN and Whitebalance
Special thanks to:
PLEČNIK’S HOUSE, Ljubljana, Ana Porok, curator of architecture and design
St. Francis Church, Šiška, Ljubljana, Fr. Silvin Kranjc
St. Michael Church, Črna Vas, Fr. Mirko Simončič


Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia
Cultural programme for the international Conference:
“Adult learning and education – the resilient response to future challenges”, 8 – 9 September 2021


The video presents a part of Slovenian cultural heritage that is registered in the prestigious UNESCO world list and is of exceptional importance for recognizing Slovenian identity at home and abroad. However, every glimpse of it is an interpretation of the individual viewer and a reflection of time. This year, it has been 300 years since the first staging of the Škofja Loka Passion Play, whose creation was due to the plague that raged throughout the 16th and the 17th centuries. Coincidence or not, it is exactly because of the pandemic that there will be no performance on this important occasion, even though, by power of intention, it is the Passion Play which brings the purification to people through humility and the contact with the transcendent.
Art and cultural heritage are created by individuals who, through their authenticity, each in their own way shift the frontiers, like the exceptional artist, architect Jože Plečnik, or head of the Capuchin monastery Fr. Romuald Marušič. We must not overlook the nameless folk singer who serves, as such, the social connectedness, traditional art, who feels the core of folk song within oneself and sings it as if it were an icon. Both convinced and perceiving to be generating universal powers and truths each and every time. He sings alone, the community sings. And the song remains forever young and eternal. Just like the perpetual architecture of Plečnik’s Ljubljana, of our master Plečnik, who renounced a worldly life to ennoble his birth city and design it to suit a man.

What Europe will do with its cultural heritage is no longer a question of choice, because there is no European identity without it. An ever-complicated question remains: how to redirect people from a comfort-focused life towards an inspiring society, fulfilled through the art of learning?
Today as well as during many turbulent times of the society, we are looking back into the past, to the natural and cultural heritage. We are realizing that it is alive and that it nourishes us with an indescribable beauty. It is indispensable. Thus, it is not the past but our source that does not pass. It is an inspiration for the future. The role of education is for the learning people to get to know it and perceive it in the right manner. This is a precious and responsible path.