Slovakia – My HomelandSlovakia – My Homeland
1. Some foreign tourists would like to visit some interesting places in your country. Which places shown in these pictures would you recommend them to see?
- Which of these places and buildings in the pictures could impress foreign tourists most? Where wouldn’t you take a foreign friend? Why?
- A group of students from all over the world are coming to your country to attend a conference. As a representative of the hot country, you are in charge of planning a day trip for the visitors round your home town or city and the surrounding area. Your task is to plan the day trip. Use the pictures to give you some ideas and consider time, transport, variety of sights, food, breaks and cost.
- What are the most famous places that represent Slovakia? Consider the clues in the pictures.
- Look at the pictures. What do you know about these people? Who would you nominate to represent Slovakia? Why?
- What sort of recreational and sightseeing opportunities has your area got?
- Is there anything in our country foreigners should know in advance to avoid culture shock?
3. Describe the location, population, history, national symbols and political system of your homeland.
- What are the most common customs and traditions that Slovaks keep at present? Do you think it’s important to stick to them?
- What are Slovak people said to be like? Describe the Slovak national stereotype and say what a foreigner should (not) do to avoid culture shock.
- There are many castle ruins in Slovakia. What should be done to protect these places?
- How would you describe Slovakia to a foreigner? Think about its position in Europe, its people, customs and traditions.
- What places of interest in your country would you show your foreign friends? Why?
- What does your homeland mean to you? Do you like living here? Why? Do you want to live in another country? Which one/s/? Why?
- What do you like most and what do you like least about your country?
- Slovakia is a country of mixed nationalities and churches. Are there any stereotypes and prejudices in your view? Explain.
- What sightseeings and other places of interest in Slovakia could foreigners be interested in? Why?
- Think about the role of Slovakia in the European Union. What are our positives and negatives? How can our country enrich the other members of the EU? How can the others benefit us?
- Who is your favourite Slovak writer/sportsperson/artist/actor/musician/politician? Why?
- Do you like to visit castles and monuments? Why?
- What makes you proud of being Slovak?
- Many people say that Slovak is quite a difficult language. Express your opinion.
- Slovaks living abroad can help their country. What do you think about this statement?
- Describe the capital city of the Slovak Republic.
- What do you know about your hometown? Which places would you recommend in the near-by area?
- What are the national symbols of our country?
22. What are the most common customs and traditions that Slovaks keep at present?
23. What traditions do you keep in your family?
24. How do you celebrate certain holidays? /Choose and describe. /
25. How would you describe the Slovak national stereotype?
26. What is said about Slovak people?
27. What would you say to a foreigner who comes to our country to avoid culture shock?
Role-plays and simulations
- Imagine you have been asked to organize a programme of activities for a group of foreign students learning Slovak. Consider various possibilities which you would recommend them to visit. Explain your choice. /Simulation/
2. You have been asked to organize a trip for a group of foreign tourists. Choose the places you would recommend them to visit while staying in Bratislava. /Simulation/
- Who would you nominate to represent Slovakia abroad? Choose three Slovaks and support your choices. /Simulation/
- Your Australian friend is coming to visit you in July. You know it is winter in his/her country then, so he/she needs your advice about what clothes to bring. Give him/her advice on other things necessary for his/her stay /accommodation, food, services, prices, people, customs, habits, places of interests etc./. /Role-play/
- Make a short presentation on topic: The most beautiful place of Slovakia. /Simulation/
Slovensko – moja vlasť
- krajina a obyvatelia
- miesto, ktoré by som odporučil cudzincom
- zvyky, tradície a konvencie
- stereotypy a predsudky
- miesto Slovenska v zjednotenej Európe
a. Location, population, history, political systems, national symbols
The Slovak Republic is a new state which came into existence on 1st January 1993 when former Czechoslovakia was divided and two sovereign states were formed: The Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.
The Slovak Republic is a small country situated in the heart of Europe, the geographical centre of Europe being on the hill Krahule, near Kremnica. Slovakia borders the Czech Republic to the West, Austria to the Southwest, Hungary to the Southeast, Poland to the North and the Ukraine to the East.
About 5 million inhabitants live in an area of about 44 000 sq.km. The inhabitants are mostly Slovak, the southern part is inhabited by Hungarians, and there are some other national minorities, such as Ukrainians and Poles. The density is 106 inhabitants per sq km. The official language is Slovak. The majority of the population is Roman Catholic.
The National symbols of Slovakia are the National anthem /Nad Tatrou sa blýska by Janko Matuška/, the National seal and the National flag consists of three horizontal stripes: white, blue and red. The left half of the flag bears the state emblem of the Slovak Republic – a double cross with mountains in the background. The capital of the Slovak Republic is Bratislava – the largest city, the centre of political, governmental, economic, educational and research institutions.
Slovakia is a parliamentary democracy. The system of government is divided into three branches /zložka/: the legislative branch represented by the National Council of the Slovak Republic /Parliament/, the executive branch /výkonná moc/ represented by the Government /the Prime Minister and his cabinet/ and the President, and the judicial branch /the courts/. The National Council of the Slovak Republic is the law making body /schvaľuje zákony/, it consists of 150 members elected every four years. The President is elected every five years and is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The Slovak Government consists of the Prime Minister, vice-prime minister and ministers. The judicial power is represented by courts at various levels, starting with the Constitutional Court /ústavný súd/ and the Supreme Court /najvyšší súd/ and going down to the courts at all levels or regional and district government.
Slovakia is a small country but it has a long and rich history. The territory of the Slovak Republic has been settled since the 5th century when the first Slavonic tribes came to this part of Europe. In the 9th century our country was a part of the strong Great Moravian Empire, which disintegrated in the 10th century. There have been several milestones in Slovak history that are worth mentioning:
833 The Great Moravian Empire was founded.
863 Byzantine brothers Constantine and Methodius headed a mission to great
Moravia, devised /vytvoriť/ the oldest Slavic alphabet and translated
the liturgical books into old Church Slavonic which they codified.
907 The Great Moravian Empire disintegrated and Slovakia became a part of the nearly feudal Hungarian state.
19th century The time of national revival
1843 Ľudovít Štúr codified the literary Slovak language.
1861 The Memorandum of the Slovak nation was published.
Oct 28, 1918 The Czechoslovak Republic was founded.
March 14, 1939 The Declaration of the Slovak Republic – a puppet state of Nazi Germany
Aug 29, 1944 The Slovak National Uprising against the Nazi Germany started.
1968 Prague Spring – led by Alexander Dubček
Aug 21, 1968 Invasion of the Warsaw Pact troops into Czechoslovakia.
Nov 17, 1989 The Velvet Revolution, restoration of democracy.
Jan 1, 1993 The Independence of the Slovak Republic was declared.
The climate in our country is continental, rather mild. Slovakia is a mountainous country, especially the north of it. The largest mountain ranges are the Tatras with the highest peak Gerlach /2663m/, the Low Tatras, the Slovenské Rudohorie, the Malá and Veľká Fatra etc. The south and east of the country is flat and the Danube Lowland and the East-Slovak Lowland can be found there.
The longest Slovak river is the Váh. This river together with the Nitra, the Hron and some others join the Danube in the south. The most important rivers in the eastern part are the Hornád, Torysa, Ondava, Uh and Latorica.
There are not many lakes in Slovakia, but we do have several beautiful mountain lakes, such as Štrbské pleso, Hincovo and Vrbické pleso. The largest dams are Liptovská Mara, Gabčíkovo, Zemplínska Šírava and Orava Dam.
Slovakia is not very rich in natural resources. There are brown-coal mines /Handlová, Nováky/ and bright-metal /ľahké kovy/ mines in central Slovakia /Slovenské Rudohorie – copper, gold, silver/, we also have some oil /Gbely/, natural gas and building materials. Unfortunately, we have to import most of raw materials.
The main industrial branches are the iron and steel industry /Košice/, light and heavy engineering, chemical industry /Bratislava, Šaľa, Hlohovec/, including the production of man-made fibres /Humenné/ and oil refineries. Clothing /Trenčín, Púchov, Topoľčany/ and food-processing industries are also of great importance.
As for agriculture, the main areas of arable /orná/ land are in the southern and eastern lowlands. Maize, beetroot, sugar beet, wheat, barley and potatoes are the main crops, but vegetables, fruits, hops and vines are grown too.
The animal production concentrates on raising cattle, pigs, poultry and sheep.
b. The place I would recommend to a foreigner
Although Slovakia is a small country, we have a lot of places worth seeing, and we hope they will be discovered by foreign visitors soon. Our spas in Piešťany, Trenčianske Teplice and Bardejov have a good reputation not only in our country. Tourists also like to see the Tatras with their resort areas, and while touring in the country, visitors, especially hikers, are attracted by many mansions, castles and fortresses, like Devín, Trenčín, Spišský hrad or Krásna Hôrka. The famous caves are worth seeing too, such as Demänovská ľadová jaskyňa, Važecká a Dobšinská jaskyňa, as well as an ice-cave Domica.
¨ Carpathian Wine Trail - The first town on the route is Svätý Jur. 700 years ago, the town was the military hub of a dynasty of counts who ruled the region from the castle, Biely Kameň. Over the next three centuries, Svätý Jur grew as an economic power as well, taking in money from wine and crafts until 1663, when the town was burnt down by the invading Turks. The town centre remains picturesque and pure. Most houses still have wine cellars in their basements, and many local residents still produce their own vino, even if they buy the grapes from local farmers.
The Small Carpathians Museum in Pezinok explains more about the history and process of wine-making. Housed in an old wine-maker’s house, the museum even has a reconstruction of a vintner’s kitchen.
In Modra, a stone-white statue of Ľudovít Štúr, the codifier of the Slovak language, stands over the main street. But Štúr is not Modra‘s only claim to fame: Modra pottery is the favourite in Slovakia of all the traditional ceramics.
¨ Trnava is Slovakia‘s oldest town dating back to 1238. In the 16th century it became a coronation site, Trnava took over as the Hungarian Empire‘s spiritual and cultural centre. The town hit its peak a century later when the Jesuits established the first Hungarian university in 1635. Trnava with its 14 churches is called „the Slovak Rome“. The oldest church is the in 1325 built Church of St Helen.
¨ Čičmany – Deep in the mountains of north-western Slovakia, there is a village of beautiful wooden houses, each hand-painted with special designs. The village is Čičmany, a place hard to find on a map but truly worth seeing. Čičmany‘s name and its special attraction are the direct products of its turbulent history: in the late 13th century, as the Tartars cut across Slovakia, villagers – including the Čič family – fled into the mountains. There isolated from other parts of the country, they developed their own traditions. The men farmed and herded sheep and cows; the women wove rich embroidery and clothes. Eventually, the villagers took the embroidered designs and applied them to their homes. A fire early in this century prompted the authorities to declare this village a national monument.
¨ Banská Bystrica was the centre of the Slovak National Uprising in 1944. The Slovak National Uprising Museum is the most famous one in the city. It houses a collection of over 17.000 uniforms, maps, and other artefacts from both World Wars.
¨ Kremnica is famed as a medieval centre of gold mining, which made it one of the richest towns in Hungary. There is a decent museum of coins and medals located on the main square.
¨ Terchová is the birthplace of the Slovak folk hero Juraj Jánošík, often described to English speakers as the “Slovak Robin Hood”.
¨ The Liptov region lies in the strip of land between the towering peaks of the High Tatras and the tree-covered hills of the Low Tatras. Liptov lays claim to some of the best preserved folk architecture and villages in Slovakia - after all, they say this is where halušky comes from – as well as one of the country’s nicest lakes, its longest caves, and the highest peak in the Low Tatras. Liptovská Mara, a massive artificial lake, sits in the centre of Liptov. In the summertime, the Mara itself becomes an oasis for Slovak vacationers, filled with boaters, windsurfers, and fishermen. For a truly idyllic picture of Slovak village life, visit Pribylina, the tiny hamlet that, with its well-preserved cottages, its tall white church, and imposing manor house. In fact, the whole town is the Museum of the Liptov Village: the church, houses, and outbuildings were all rescued from 11 villages that were flooded when Liptovská Mara was built in 1975. It is a typical skansen, or outdoor museum.
¨ Bojnice – The castle has been the star of Bojnice since the 11th century, when a wooden building stood in its place. It was converted to stone in the 13th century and underwent numerous facelifts until 1888, when Pálffy began major reconstruction. He also furnished the castle with antiques he bought across Europe. Perhaps the most impressive room in the castle is the Golden Hall, which has a carved and plated ceiling and has long been the setting for wedding ceremonies.
The castle sits atop a rocky mound that contains a deep cavern with a mineral spring in its centre. The spring was converted into a 27-meter-deep well, which visitors can see at close hand by descending into the cave, which is 20 meters wide and 6 meters high. Back outside, Bojnice also boasts a spa and Slovakia´s oldest and largest zoo.
¨ The Spiš Region – Slovakia offers lots of attractions that are worth seeing. Within several hours a visitor coming to Slovakia can get to natural reservations and picturesque countryside along the Danube, fertile lowlands, hunting grounds, vineyards and quiet valleys where medieval castles used to protect historical trade routes. One unique sight in Slovakia is Spiš Castle. Spiš Castle dates back to the time before the 13th century and is known as one of the most extensive Gothic castles in Europe. The main body of the castle was a fortified by stone outer walls in the first half of the 13th century, enabling the castle to resist Tartar raids in 1241. A Romanesque palace and a tower were built in the castle at this time. The castle was extended by the addition of a central courtyard with entry gate watchtower in the 14th century. The extensive lower courtyard was built in the middle of the 15th century. During a fire in 1780, the castle suffered extensive damage and was not rebuilt afterwards. Extensive research and conservation had been done before the castle was opened to the public. In 1993, Spiš Castle including Spišské Podhradie, Spišská Kapitula and the church in the Žehra were listed as significant cultural and natural sites among some 300 of the most important monuments in the world.
¨ Piešťany is not an ordinary tourist town. Home to the Slovak State Pneumatological and Rehabilitation Medical Centre, it is the crown jewel of Slovakia´s spas, with a focus on rheumatic diseases and neurological ailments. The Thermia Palace is attached to one of the oldest spa buildings, the Irma; right next door are the classical Napoleonic Baths, a favourite among visitors. The original tower that pumps the healing waters from the earth at 67-69 degrees centigrade still stands watch over the baths; a fountain at the end of a colonade dispenses steaming water for a curative drink.
¨ Trenčianske Teplice – The second most famous of the spas after Piešťany is a peaceful small town Trenčianske Teplice. The town itself is the old oriental bath house, hidden away under the broad blue house of the crumbling building. Inside, the spa looks like paradise. Designed in the style of an old Turkish Hamam, the place comes complete with rich tiles, oriental carpets, and marble fountains; individual stalls, walled in blue and white tiles, were built to provide bathers with privacy.
Topoľčany is situated in Western Slovakia, in the valley of the Nitra. It is the biggest town of the district and its cultural and industrial centre. The valley is surrounded by not very high mountains, such as the Považský Inovec, the Tríbeč and the Strážovské vrchy. The town has about 32000 inhabitants who are mostly Slovaks, but quite a lot of Gypsies live here too. The oldest written document where Topoľčany had been mentioned dates back to 1173. In the past the whole are was agricultural. Industries began to grow at the beginning of this century. There are several important factories producing mainly consumer goods and food, including furniture, clothes, milk and meat products. The beer produced by our brewery is considered the best in Slovakia. Carbonic products are made here too. Besides these a lot of smaller factories arose, especially after the political changes in 1989.
The main agricultural products are wheat, barley, maize, potatoes, beet root, sugar beet, some hops, fruits and vegetables. Animal production includes breeding cattle, pigs and poultry. Arable land and the whole agricultural production is still mostly in the ownership of co-operative farms.
As it was mentioned above, Topoľčany is also the main cultural centre of the area. As for cultural facilities, there are several good establishments, such as 2 houses of culture with the cinema, where various performances and cultural events can be held, e.g. the concerts Music Autumn and Music Spring of Topoľčany, just to mention some of them.
If you are fond of books, you can borrow some at the local library. The district museum has some exhibits worth seeing too.
In Topoľčany several sports and games are traditionally popular, e.g. table tennis, water polo, handball and body building. The best equipped sports centres are the winter stadium, the table-tennis hall, the handball hall, the football stadium, the indoor swimming-pool and 2 fitness centres. There are a lot of gymnasiums at schools too.
Although Topoľčany is an old city, there are not many really valuable historical buildings left. Visitors might be interested in seeing the Roman Catholic Baroque Church in the centre of the town, the old Town Hall, the Baroque chapel and several line villa houses mostly built at the beginning of this century. If you are really interested in seeing more historical buildings, you should visit some of manor houses or castles, such as those in Podhradie, Tovarníky, Brodzany, Klátová Nová Ves.
Modern buildings are usually not so attractive as the old ones, especially the large housing restates with prefabricated blocks of flats.
The other two towns in our district are Partizánske, famous for its footwear industry, and Bánovce nad Bebravou where the well-known Tatra lorries were made.
Visitors from Slovakia and abroad like to see the recreation areas in our district, e.g. Jankov Vŕšok, Horná Ves and especially Duchonka, which has one of the best Slovak camping sites, with good facilities and beautiful surroundings.
The capital, Bratislava, is situated in the south-west of Slovakia, on the banks of the Danube. It is the political, administrative, economic and cultural centre of the country, and more than 400.000 inhabitants live there. Bratislava has become the centre for engineering, electrical engineering, the chemical industry, glass, printing and textiles. The city is dominated by the castle, which was home to the Slovak Parliament until 1993. Now, the castle houses the National Museum. Other historical buildings worth seeing include St Martin’s Cathedral, the Holy Saviour Church, St.Catherine´s Chapel the Slovak National Theatre, the Primatial and Grassalkowitch Palaces. The Primatial Palace uses the president as his residence. The National Gallery chronicles Slovak art history. Visitors maybe interested in seeing modern buildings, such as the new seat of the parliament – the Slovak National Council near the castle, the Slovak Radio building or the new National Theatre, which is being built. Besides these, there are a lot of theatres /Hviezdoslav Theatre, the New Scene, the Small Scene/ museums, hotels, restaurants, schools, universities and hospitals in Bratislava. Bratislava is a city of young people, several thousands of students study at the Comenius University, the Slovak Technical University, the Pharmaceutical Faculty, the Faculty of Arts, and the College of Economics. The oldest university, the Academia Istropolitana was built by Matyas Korvin in 1465. We are not very proud of some housing estates with thousands of flats, situated on the outskirts, which remind us the era of the socialist architecture.
c. Customs and traditions
Holidays in Slovakia:
1.2.– New Year´s Day /establishment of the Slovak Republic/
6.1. – Epiphany /According to the Bible the three Wise Men came from the East to see the baby Jesus. They were guided by a star and brought gifts of gold, Frankincense /kadidlo/ and myrrh./
Mardi Gras – a Carnival period held in some countries on or around the time of the day before the first day of Lent /pochovávanie basy/
Shrove Tuesday – is the day before Ash Wednesday which is the 1st of the solemn period of Lent when Christians past and eat only certain foods
Ash Wednesday – the first day of Lent
Lent – 40 days before Easter, during which Christians do not allow themselves all their usual pleasure
Maundy Thursday – commemorates the Last Supper – the meal taken by Jesus and his followers on the evening before he was crucified. Jesus shared bread and wine among his followers, beginning the Christian ceremony of the Eucharist.
Easter Sunday – Christ´ s rising from death and victory over death
Whitsunday – 7th Sunday after Easter which celebrates the coming down from heaven of the Holy Ghost /Turíce/
1.4. – All Fools´ Day 1.5. – May Day
Mother´s Day – the second Sunday in May Father´s Day – the third Sunday in June
1.6. – International Childrens´ Day 5.7. – Cyril and Method
29.8. – the Slovak National Uprising 1.9. – the Day of the Constitution
15.9. – Saint Mary- the day of our lady of sorrows 1.11. – All Saints´ Day
2.11. – All Souls Day – people pray for the souls of those who have died
17.11. – International Students´ Day – the day of the fight for liberty and democracy
24.12. – Christmas Eve 25.12. - Christmas Day
26.12. – St.Stephen´s Day 31.12. – New Year´s Eve
Family holidays – namesday, birthday, wedding, wedding anniversary, christening, confirmation, graduation ceremony
Slovak people have a lot of customs and traditions which have roots in their history. Some of these traditions are connected with family life, some with Roman Catholicism. At present most of these customs are slowly disappearing, but in villages most of these traditions are still alive.
One of the oldest is the “fašiangy“festival held at the end of February/the beginning of March. People walk down the street dresses in funny costumes, sing and dance to celebrate the end of winter and welcome the coming spring. In the evening they have a party that finishes late at night.
The next day Lent starts – the period of forty days from Ash Wednesday to the day before Easter, during which Christians give up food or activities they enjoy in memory of Christ’s suffering. Easter is a Christian festival in Slovakia. People go to church to commemorate Jesus Christ’s crucifixion on Good Friday which is the greatest religious festival of the year. In the eastern part of the country they carry baskets full of food that is eaten during Easter. Even small children have their own baskets with sweet baked lamb in it. During this special mass the priest walks among people and consecrates /posvätiť/ the food. Then people pray the Lord, go home and eat this food during the whole festival. Easter Monday is a special day in Slovakia. On that day boys go from house to house and splash girls with plaited whips and wash them with water so that they will be healthy and strong all the year round. The boys are given coloured eggs as a reward. At present alcoholic drinks are also offered and it is quite common to see drunk boys and men in the afternoon.
Another important custom is All Saint’s Day held on 1st November. People go to cemeteries to commemorate their relatives and friends who died. They light candles and pray for their loved ones rest in peace. The cemeteries are beautiful that evening with hundreds of candles burning at night.
Christmas is the most beautiful of all. Preparations for Christmas start many weeks before. Many popular traditions and colourful customs make it an exciting and fascinating time in Slovakia. Special Christmas decorations, coloured lights and Christmas trees can be seen in the streets and shops. In town squares there are giant Christmas trees with decorations and coloured electronic lights. Christmas carols are sung almost everywhere, in houses, cathedrals and churches. People buy presents and send Christmas postcards to their relatives and friends. On Christmas Eve homes are already decorated with holly, ivy, mistletoe, Christmas tree and coloured lights. Children hang their stockings at the foot of the bed for Santa Claus to fill them. In the morning of Christmas Day the children get up early to find and enjoy Christmas presents. Mothers prepare the traditional Christmas dinner that consists of thin wafers eaten with honey and garlic, nuts and apples that are cut in two. If they are healthy, you will be healthy and happy in the following year. Then Christmas soup /mushroom soup, fish soup, bean soup, lentil soup/ is served, followed by potato salad and fried carp, with tropical foods and sweets at the end. The evening is spent in games and entertainment. The adult members of the family also exchange gifts. The following day is St.Stephen´s Day when people visit other relatives and go to parties in the evening.
New Year\'s Eve is not a public holiday in Slovakia. People go to work as usual. But on New Year\'s Eve most of them stay up till midnight to see the New Year coming. Many go to parties and dances. Neighbours meet to drink a toast to the New Year and wish each other luck. People generally go to parties to welcome the coming year. They make resolutions and promises to change or improve their future lives.
New Year’s Day is a public holiday in Slovakia. This is because our state came to in existence on 1st January 1993.
Besides celebrations of important events there are holidays which have more private character and are celebrated in families. It is Easter, the typical spring holiday. Children like this holiday very much because the Easter Bunny comes with coloured chocolate eggs and candies. Families often paint eggs and decorate Easter trees with them.
Halloween - in Slovakia it is called the Saint\'s Day; we go to cemeteries to light up candles on graves of our relatives.
d. Stereotypes and prejudices
Beyond language the Slovak standard is politeness, also you may not realize it from the attitude of many in the service industries. Outside of the cities particularly, be prepared to meet friendly and generous people. They are never tired of saying "Ďakujem","Prosím", "Prepáčte".
Remember that there is a difference between a formal /vy/ and informal /ty/ form and it is used in different situations.
In Britain, people do not shake hands so often; they just say "Hello" without touching. But in our country when people meet together they always shake their hands, especially men. Kissing is not common as a form of greeting unless know someone well. People usually kiss on both cheeks.
In Slovakia, in shops and at bus stops you have to go to the back of the queue and wait. If you `jump the queue`, other people will angrily tell you to wait your turn.
When you are invited to somebody’s home you don’t have to take present but you can. For example: If you go there for the first time or you haven’t be there for a long time the hostess will be pleased when she get a box of chocolates or a bunch of flowers. When the host is a man a present suitable for him would be a bottle of wine or alcohol. It’s good to be punctual. At the table you have to behave according to social principles. You shouldn’t start eating before other people have been served and leave the table immediately after dinner. It’s good to thank the host and leave half or an hour after the coffee. It’s considered rude to eat and drink noisily, to wipe the plate with bread, to pick at food with hands, to read at the table, to rest your elbows at the table, to reach across the table in front of people. When you need something you have to ask another person to give it us. Also you have to ask permission if you want to smoke between courses or anywhere in other people’s home.
Never clink glasses when drinks are served before meals. It will be considered impolite if you yourself are entertained and do not talk to your neighbours on your right and left. Make your food last till the other have nearly finished eating so that you all finish at the same time.
At the formal dinner the cutlery is placed in the order in which it will be used. The fork is laid on the left side of the plate with points up. On the right side of the plate are laid knife and spoon. The knife is first and with blade to the plate and then the spoon. The dessert spoon and fork are laid on the top of the place setting. The glass should be on the right and the bowl for stewed fruit on the left side above the fork. When you finish eating the knife and fork should be laid side by side in the middle of your plate and plate can be removed. If you leave them apart, it will show that you have not yet finished eating. You’re supposed to thank for the meal but it’s not so expected as in Britain. During the conversation, it’s not polite to ask people how much money they earn or how much did anything cost unless you know someone well.
When we are invited to dinner to a good restaurant or to home it is suitable for men to wear suit, jackets and ties and women should smartly dressed. If the woman is student and the man is working, the man should pay her share of the bill, but when they are not working, I think they should pay for each share by themselves.
Remember that Slovak people like singing in the pubs and drinking alcohol.
Location, geographical position, neighbouring countries, regions, districts, population, nationalities, minorities, religion, area, arable land, forests, lowland, valley, waterfall, ice cave, mineral springs, thermal springs, national parks, culture, historical heritage, historic sites, landmarks, cultural monuments, folk architecture, cottages, straw roofs, folk festivals, folk costumes, folk music, establishment, currency, anthem, parliamentary democracy, constitution, Constitutional Court, flag,
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