As Europe and the world are facing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are becoming even more aware of the importance of peace and unity. On the occasion of Europe Day, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Clubs Association of Slovenia calls all the leaders and people in the world to peace and unity so that »all men become brothers« as sounded by the Ode to Joy, the Anthem of Europe. To celebrate the Europe Day, the Association has, for the first time, brought the European anthem closer to deaf people by interpreting its text into the Slovenian Sign Language (SSL).
We, the deaf citizens of Slovenia, are also active citizens of Europe. We believe it’s important to preserve peace and foster unity as foundations of every sound society.
In 2018, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Clubs Association of Slovenia interpreted the Slovenian national anthem for the first time into the Slovenian Sign Language, bringing it closer to the deaf community. This allowed the deaf to »hear« the text written by the renowned Slovenian poet France Prešeren. The Slovenian national anthem, too, calls for concord and unity between nations with words »God’s blessing on all nations«.
The year 2020 is also the year of composer Ludwig van Beethoven, a genius whose deafness did not stop him from creating. The end of 2020 will mark his 250th birthday. Throughout the second half of his life, Ludwig van Beethoven had been deaf, so in commemorating the 250th anniversary of his birth in 2020, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Clubs Association of Slovenia will put on a theatre play in the Slovenian Sign Language, make a film and publish a book about the composer’s life and work. The Slovenian text of the European anthem Ode to Joy goes as follows:
Joy, beautiful spark of Divinity, Daughter of Elysium, We enter, drunk with fire, Heavenly one, thy sanctuary! Thy magic binds again What custom strictly divided; All people become brothers, Where thy gentle wing abides. Whoever has succeeded in the great attempt, To be a friend's friend, Whoever has won a lovely woman, Add his to the jubilation! Yes, and also whoever has just one soul To call his own in this World! And he who never managed it should slink Weeping from this union!
May on the Europe Day both appeals, the »All people become brothers« and »God’s blessing on all nations«, be heard by all the people of this world, including those with hearing impairments.