Ring with a Love Motif greeting stamp from Slovenia

February 1st, 2014

Posta Slovenije issued a greeting stamp featuring the ring with a love motif.

Even though an old Slovenian proverb says that the way to someone's heart is through their stomach, this relationship between two people is first and foremost a matter of the heart. This is also proven by a silver ring from the collection of the Slovenian Ethnographic Museum in Ljubljana formed by two hands holding a heart with a crown and featured on a new Slovenian stamp. The ring thus symbolizes the crown to a couple's love, which can denote engagement, wedding or merely an objectification of love between two partners. In Slovenia this way of displaying love and affection between the two sexes goes back to the seventeenth century when wedding rings began to be used.

Wearing rings for decoration and the custom of giving a ring to someone as a token of affection developed later on, in the second half of the nineteenth century. The Slovenian word prstan "ring" itself also developed later than some other similar expressions such as rinka, rincica and rincca, which are all derived from the German word Ring "ring, circle".

Wearing rings was also not common in all social groups. Rings were worn on a daily basis primarily by those living in towns and market towns, whereas peasants and workers wore them only rarely; this was also connected with the nature of their work. In the last two social groups it was also less common to use rings for engagements and weddings, which was connected with their poor financial conditions.

Thus, for example the Slovenian writer Fran Saleski Finzgar (1871–1962) remembers how in the interwar period he would buy wedding rings for some of the couples from the working class neighborhood of Sibirija on Ljubljana outskirts so that they could add the final touch to their wedding celebration.

Tags: #Slovenia