We recently co-organized youth exchange called “END OF CULTURAL bariers” which was held in Spain and which was focused at sharing information about countries and cultures which participated in a youth exchange, and also its aim was ruining prejudices and stereotypes. Participants who wished to participate had to write an essay about what they are within our Slovak culture and country itself proud of. Here are some parts of essays …
I think there are many things in the Slovak culture, which can be, and we are proud of. Traditionally, we are proud of our hockey players and footballers nowadays, the people who represent are perfect abroad. Personally, I am proud of scientist Mr Vilček or of our Foreign Minister, Mr Lajcak. I am proud of our Christian values, which persisted despite the socialist regime; of our “grandmothers-herbalists”; sheep cheese; of the Slovak chalets and villages. I am also proud of our tourist character and courage Slovak people go abroad; of our hard work; of determination rally during the important moments – Slovak National Uprising, November 1989, a successful referendum on EU accession; of our folklore festivals and craft markets… (Milena).
… slovak people are so sceptic. We are just looking at bad things in our country, bad social situation, bad job situation….but when my classmates during my erasmus asked me, please tell us something about Slovakia, we´ve never been there. I talked about our amazing nature and natural resources. About people which are mostly helpful, friendly and open to each other. About the amazing food. Mostly about Segedinsky gulas About good prices for beer, you know erasmus students. We should be more proud because we have so many reasons why. We have so many possibilities to create something new here, we have so many possibilities to study, work and live without any restriction of freedom. We have to be thankful for it and try to use all of the opportunities which this country is giving us. But don´t forgett, we have to not just using and taking but also giving. Slovakia is here for their citizens, but we should be here also for her and increase the awareness about so beautiful country between foreigners” (Daniela).
It is said, that Slovaks are very generous and I really believe that it is not just a cliché. The more we respect someone, the more we try to treat him nice. I am really proud that in Slovakia the family is still very important. It is very common to see a family consisting of grandparents, parents and children living in one house. It is some kind of solidarity that I really do appreciate. Another thing that I find very cool is our “potatoe obsession” . I do not think that there is any other country that can prepare so many different dishes from potatoes and what´s more, they are all really delicious. We cannot forget about our language varieties. There are still lots of Slovaks who do not see it my way but I think that this is something that we should be really proud of. It should not be a shame to speak in dialect. We have so many beautiful dialects – from east to west. There is such history behind every of this dialect (Magdalena).
The next pride of Slovak nation are our monuments and nature definitely.Maybe our country has a small size or dimensions but it hides a big wealth in nature and castles. In the north there are proudly standing the High Tatras and a litle bit in the south Low Tatras. They offer different kinds of protected plants, animals as pasque flower,brown bear. It offers hundreds kilometres of tourists sidewalks,unforgettable views and fenomen like the aragonit cave. Tatras is one of nine national parks like Slovensky raj, Veľká Fatra, Poloniny etc. We mustn´t forget for monumets. The largest castle in the Central Europe is standing in region which I´m from. In Spiš” (Petronela).