Slovenian American Times
Slovenian American News

Honoring Slovenes in the U.S.

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When you think of Slovenes in the United States of America, you might associate them with symbols ranging from potica nut roll to Carniolian sausage, or even red carnations. But they are probably best known for their unique style of American dance music, based upon old Slovene melodies, which became a national sensation in the 1940s and is still popular in the U.S. today.

In November 2018 the Post of Slovenia (Pošta Slovenije) decided to honor Slovenes in the U.S. with a stamp that depicts the two musical instruments that best characterize their particular music, while symbolizing both nations: the traditional Slovene diatonic accordion (also known as a butt on box) and the banjo, representing American country music.

In a certain sense, both instruments have been “adopted” by Americans. The accordion originates from the fi rst half of the 19th century in Europe where it soon became an iconic instrument of Slovene traditional
music. Slovenes emigrating to the U.S. at the turn of the 20th century rought it with them and soon developed their own version of polka music, known as the Slovenian-style or Cleveland-style polka. But the popularity of this genre of dance music went beyond just Slovene communities. Other Americans took a liking to it, too.

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