Slovakia

Slovakia is a country in Central Europe. In its origins, slovak culture is based around natural village life and shepherding sheep - many staple foods of Slovakia are spoiled milk producs.


Culture

Many things of slovak culture center around its simple grenery, forests and Tatra mountains - many classic slovak stories, literary works, films and similar mediums take place in the Tatra hills. Another part of slovak culture is shepherding - a specialized shepherd who has skills in animal produce and such is a bača. They are known for dark, wooly coats and large sunhats called širák (widen). For this reason, many staple foods of slovak culture (and the countries that surround Slovakia) are cheeses and milk product - slovaks especially have a taste for spoiled milk products, such as žinčica, a kind of salty milk. The national food and a pride of Slovakia is halušky, simple dumplings. It is mixed with bryndza, a kind of salty cheese yogurt. The national plant of Slovakia is the lipa tree, and they are planted during certain cultural occassions.

The greatest literary cultural staple of Slovakia is the poem by Samo Chalúpka - Mor ho. It tells the story of a conquering emperor coming to Slovakia, wishing to turn its people into slaves. The slovaks refuse, and fight the emperor's men until they all perish - because it is a more honorable thing to die fighting for the truth than to die a slave. After the fight, the emperor sees the slaughtered battlefields of his and his enemy's men, and that it was all for nothing. The very last lines of the poem, after which the poem is named, are, translated to english: 'Murd thou! Murd thou, the root of my kind, those who, with their grabby hands, try to steal your freedom. Even if you give your soul in the fight. Murd, choose to not be, than to be a slave.'.

Full text (SK)


Juraj Jánošík

A folk hero bandit who stole from the engorged nobles and gave back to the poor people. He is known for his characteristically large hat, braids, slovak cultural outfit, and excessive strength and wit. Different stories are related to him and his clever tricks to avoid getting caught.

The legend of Jánošík concludes when he is betrayed and slips on a pile of peas, caught by the noblemen's guards, who take him to an execution site to be hung with hooks in his back. Being hanged, he speaks his famous words 'You have cooked me, now eat me aswell'. Some versions of the story conclude by noting of Jánošík's old friends going up the mountain to become like him.


Ľudovít Štúr

Perhaps the most important person to ever live in Slovakia, Štúr codified the slovak language to establish the literacy of its people and limit the cultural spread of Hungary; created the Slovak National Newspaper, and was a heavy proponent against alcohol.


Slovak national newspaper, issue 12 | Nauka reči slovenskej (Teachings of the slovak language, the original guide to slovak)