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Re: [S-R] Central Europe

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  • John Venham
    Almost all recent scholarly works discuss the difficulty of assigning a geographical label to this region. Technically, Europe is not a distinct continent,
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 1, 2005
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      Almost all recent scholarly works discuss the
      difficulty of assigning a geographical label to this
      region. Technically, Europe is not a distinct
      continent, but rather a large peninsula on the western
      part of the Eurasian landmass. As such, it is
      impossible to draw a line to define the 'limit' of
      Europe, let alone the 'eastern half' of it. The same
      ambiguity arises in other dimensions, such as history,
      politics, economics and society. Citizens in all of
      the countries between Germany and Russia consider
      themselves as naturally belonging to 'the West' and
      all look down on the nations just to their east as
      less developed and more backward.

      Pjotr Wandycz, author of 'The Price of Freedom',
      prefaces his book with an essay on this topic.

      I've spent the best part of the past 5 years in the
      Czech Rep, Slovakia and Hungary. I must agree that as
      one proceeds eastward from Germany, there is an
      obvious gradation downward in terms of economic
      development. From brief visits to Germany and
      Austria, my impression was that there is a better
      business sense and smoother administration there than
      here. Rules tend to make logical sense, and are
      followed more willingly and consistently. Socially,
      the family unit is very strong here in CR, S and H.
      Small children are cared for by grandparents while the
      parents work during the day; and often adult children
      live at home up to the age of 30. While a positive
      element of the culture, this sense of community
      doesn't extend far beyond the family circle. In
      addition, this entails a tremendous influence from the
      distant past in terms of ways of thinking, problem
      solving, work ethic, etc. The result is a society
      that doesn't function very efficiently in the
      collective. This social dynamics has a direct
      influence on business development. The communist era
      is often cited, and justifiably, as the blame for much
      of the current condition here, but it is my opinion
      that the cultural influence from the past provides a
      necessary supplemental explanation. Rather than these
      societies waking up from the communist hang-over and
      getting back to 'normal' (was the period 1918-1939
      normal?), I feel they finally are on an open road to
      develop their potential more naturally. It remains to
      be seen, if this will match that acheived in the West,
      or even surpass it. And this aspect should carry more
      weight in the determination of east, west or central
      designations than rivers or mountain ranges. Right
      now, I'm living in eastern Europe. Perhaps when I
      retire, I'll be returning to simply visit 'Europe.'

      John Venham


      --- Bill Tarkulich <bill.tarkulich@...> wrote:

      > Jan,
      >
      > As you can see, it all depends on your point of
      > view. There is no
      > "official definition."
      >
      > I cited the URL to give you the source of this, not
      > to sanction it.
      >
      > Americans, as a group (and I am one) are incredibly
      > ignorant of this
      > region. Ask a few to place Slovakia on a map, or
      > tell you what countries
      > it is adjacent to. It's as bad as Sierra Leone.
      >
      > Bill
      >
      > On Thu, December 1, 2005 11:18 am, Jan Ammann said:
      > > Hello..........well I guess I have learned
      > something here......I have
      > > always thought Hungary was Eastern Europe.....in
      > fact, the friends I have
      > > in Hungary do identify themselves as "Eastern
      > Europe". So is this a wide
      > > misconception??
      > >
      > > Bill......I am curious. I see you gave a website
      > to back up the info.
      > > However, how does one become expert enough to be
      > able to identify
      > > regions.......is this done by mapping or what.
      > Would appreciate a
      > > viewpoint from you and others on this.
      > >
      > > Cheers,
      > > Aloysia (Jan)
      > >
      > > Bill Tarkulich <bill.tarkulich@...> wrote:
      > > According to http://www.tol.cz
      > >
      > > Central Europe is
      > > czech republic estonia hungary
      > latvia
      > > lithuania poland slovakia
      > slovenia
      > >
      > > Eastern Europe is
      > > belarus moldova russia ukraine
      > >
      > > Seems reasonable to me.
      > >
      > > Bill Tarkulich
      > >
      > >
      > > On Thu, December 1, 2005 9:23 am, amiak27 said:
      > >> Yes, it seems that "Eastern Europe" was redefined
      > for the cold war,
      > >> but now that that war is past the old use of
      > "Central Europe" is
      > >> coming back.
      > >>
      > >> On the location of the center of Europe, I also
      > visited one, but
      > >> this one is 25 km (15 miles) due north of
      > Vilnius, Lithuania. THat
      > >> distinctly puts Slovakia in western central
      > Europe. Our western
      > >> bend to history includes geography. Most people
      > report "the highest
      > >> European mountain" in France, I believe, where it
      > is really in the
      > >> southern Ukraine/ Caucauses.
      > >>
      > >> Perhaps we should start to collect locations of
      > all the
      > >> different "centers of Europe" that various people
      > have proclaimed.
      > >>
      > >> Ron
      > >>
      > >> --- In SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com, Joyce & Bill
      > <bhewlett@v...>
      > >> wrote:
      > >>>
      > >>> You are right in what you say. I think after
      > WW2 and during the
      > >> communist era, the American mind set was to
      > divide Europe into the
      > >> free West and the Communist East and the central
      > didn't exist. Now
      > >> that things have changed, unless one is
      > interested in those
      > >> countries, which are central, people still tend
      > to think of them as
      > >> Eastern Europe.
      > >>> Joyce
      > >>>
      > >>> From: maureen <maureen@d...>
      > >>> >Date: Wed Nov 30 23:34:56 CST 2005
      > >>> >To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
      > >>> >Subject: [S-R] Central Europe
      > >>>
      > >>> >Janet,
      > >>> >On my most recent trip to Slovakia and Ukraine
      > I was amazed to
      > >> see the marker indicating the geographical center
      > of Europe - it
      > >> sits in the eastern part of Zakarpattia, Ukraine,
      > just across the
      > >> Tisa from Romania, almost to the town of Rahkiv.
      > Now, when I hear
      > >> anyone, on this list or others, refer to Slovakia
      > and Ukraine
      > >> as "Eastern Europe," the first thing I want to do
      > is to write a
      > >> reply to correct the misconception. But, I never
      > do it.
      > >>> >
      > >>> >You have given me the opportunity to send a
      > positive note on this
      > >> topic, because you correctly identify the places
      > of origin as
      > >> Central Europe. Thank you!
      > >>> >
      > >>> >Maureen Pulignano
      > >>> >www.deefalt.com
      > >>> >
      > >>> >
      > >>> >
      > >>> > >
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >> To unsubscribe from this group, go to
      > >> http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS
      > -or- send blank email to
      > >> SLOVAK-ROOTS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      > >> Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >
      > >
      > > --
      > > Bill Tarkulich
      > > http://www.iabsi.com
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > To unsubscribe from this group, go to
      > > http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS
      > -or- send blank email to
      > > SLOVAK-ROOTS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > SPONSORED LINKS
      > > American family home insurance American family
      > home insurance company
      > > American family home owner insurance Multi family
      > home for sale Single
      > > family home for sale Family home finance
      > >
      > > ---------------------------------
      > > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
      > >
      > >
      > > Visit your group "SLOVAK-ROOTS" on the web.
      > >
      > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email
      > to:
      > > SLOVAK-ROOTS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      > >
      > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the
      > Yahoo! Terms of Service.
      > >
      > >
      > > ---------------------------------
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been
      > removed]
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > To unsubscribe from this group, go to
      > > http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS
      > -or- send blank email to
      > > SLOVAK-ROOTS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      === message truncated ===



      "The Journey is the Reward"



      __________________________________________
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    • Jan Ammann
      Hello John........Thank you very much for your thoughtful and very worthy reply on this subject. Your explanation of the life of Cr, S, and H really hits the
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 1, 2005
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        Hello John........Thank you very much for your thoughtful and very worthy reply on this subject. Your explanation of the life of Cr, S, and H really hits the nail on the head for me. I have family in Hungary........and write very often for the last two years with two brothers........one who has remained in Hungary with an excellent job and one who has moved on to a really great position in another country in what I guess we would call "regular Europe"..........smile...

        The brother who has moved away now sees the restraint and the attitude of those back in Hungary as being more backward. I can tell by his words that he enjoys this new "mind freedom" (for want of a better word) and although he hopes to move back one day, he feels a "new life" has come to him and his family....a new way of thinking.

        The brother who is in Hungary is very nice and a hard worker but probably more set in his ways than his brother. As you indicated, he is very close to his parents. I do hear words like "the old ways" and when "the communists were here". So there is that mind set. However, he does look forward to a better life but I do see the differences between the two of them.

        I do believe, however, that these nations, especially Hungary, are moving toward a better business community which will open up new worlds for all its people.....better salaries, etc. They are moving upward.......not at the "speed of sound" but more slowly.....but they are "moving" and that is the criteria I look at.

        Again.......thank you for your words.................Jan


        John Venham <jevenham@...> wrote:
        Almost all recent scholarly works discuss the
        difficulty of assigning a geographical label to this
        region. Technically, Europe is not a distinct
        continent, but rather a large peninsula on the western
        part of the Eurasian landmass. As such, it is
        impossible to draw a line to define the 'limit' of
        Europe, let alone the 'eastern half' of it. The same
        ambiguity arises in other dimensions, such as history,
        politics, economics and society. Citizens in all of
        the countries between Germany and Russia consider
        themselves as naturally belonging to 'the West' and
        all look down on the nations just to their east as
        less developed and more backward.

        Pjotr Wandycz, author of 'The Price of Freedom',
        prefaces his book with an essay on this topic.

        I've spent the best part of the past 5 years in the
        Czech Rep, Slovakia and Hungary. I must agree that as
        one proceeds eastward from Germany, there is an
        obvious gradation downward in terms of economic
        development. From brief visits to Germany and
        Austria, my impression was that there is a better
        business sense and smoother administration there than
        here. Rules tend to make logical sense, and are
        followed more willingly and consistently. Socially,
        the family unit is very strong here in CR, S and H.
        Small children are cared for by grandparents while the
        parents work during the day; and often adult children
        live at home up to the age of 30. While a positive
        element of the culture, this sense of community
        doesn't extend far beyond the family circle. In
        addition, this entails a tremendous influence from the
        distant past in terms of ways of thinking, problem
        solving, work ethic, etc. The result is a society
        that doesn't function very efficiently in the
        collective. This social dynamics has a direct
        influence on business development. The communist era
        is often cited, and justifiably, as the blame for much
        of the current condition here, but it is my opinion
        that the cultural influence from the past provides a
        necessary supplemental explanation. Rather than these
        societies waking up from the communist hang-over and
        getting back to 'normal' (was the period 1918-1939
        normal?), I feel they finally are on an open road to
        develop their potential more naturally. It remains to
        be seen, if this will match that acheived in the West,
        or even surpass it. And this aspect should carry more
        weight in the determination of east, west or central
        designations than rivers or mountain ranges. Right
        now, I'm living in eastern Europe. Perhaps when I
        retire, I'll be returning to simply visit 'Europe.'

        John Venham


        --- Bill Tarkulich <bill.tarkulich@...> wrote:

        > Jan,
        >
        > As you can see, it all depends on your point of
        > view. There is no
        > "official definition."
        >
        > I cited the URL to give you the source of this, not
        > to sanction it.
        >
        > Americans, as a group (and I am one) are incredibly
        > ignorant of this
        > region. Ask a few to place Slovakia on a map, or
        > tell you what countries
        > it is adjacent to. It's as bad as Sierra Leone.
        >
        > Bill
        >
        > On Thu, December 1, 2005 11:18 am, Jan Ammann said:
        > > Hello..........well I guess I have learned
        > something here......I have
        > > always thought Hungary was Eastern Europe.....in
        > fact, the friends I have
        > > in Hungary do identify themselves as "Eastern
        > Europe". So is this a wide
        > > misconception??
        > >
        > > Bill......I am curious. I see you gave a website
        > to back up the info.
        > > However, how does one become expert enough to be
        > able to identify
        > > regions.......is this done by mapping or what.
        > Would appreciate a
        > > viewpoint from you and others on this.
        > >
        > > Cheers,
        > > Aloysia (Jan)
        > >
        > > Bill Tarkulich <bill.tarkulich@...> wrote:
        > > According to http://www.tol.cz
        > >
        > > Central Europe is
        > > czech republic estonia hungary
        > latvia
        > > lithuania poland slovakia
        > slovenia
        > >
        > > Eastern Europe is
        > > belarus moldova russia ukraine
        > >
        > > Seems reasonable to me.
        > >
        > > Bill Tarkulich
        > >
        > >
        > > On Thu, December 1, 2005 9:23 am, amiak27 said:
        > >> Yes, it seems that "Eastern Europe" was redefined
        > for the cold war,
        > >> but now that that war is past the old use of
        > "Central Europe" is
        > >> coming back.
        > >>
        > >> On the location of the center of Europe, I also
        > visited one, but
        > >> this one is 25 km (15 miles) due north of
        > Vilnius, Lithuania. THat
        > >> distinctly puts Slovakia in western central
        > Europe. Our western
        > >> bend to history includes geography. Most people
        > report "the highest
        > >> European mountain" in France, I believe, where it
        > is really in the
        > >> southern Ukraine/ Caucauses.
        > >>
        > >> Perhaps we should start to collect locations of
        > all the
        > >> different "centers of Europe" that various people
        > have proclaimed.
        > >>
        > >> Ron
        > >>
        > >> --- In SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com, Joyce & Bill
        > <bhewlett@v...>
        > >> wrote:
        > >>>
        > >>> You are right in what you say. I think after
        > WW2 and during the
        > >> communist era, the American mind set was to
        > divide Europe into the
        > >> free West and the Communist East and the central
        > didn't exist. Now
        > >> that things have changed, unless one is
        > interested in those
        > >> countries, which are central, people still tend
        > to think of them as
        > >> Eastern Europe.
        > >>> Joyce
        > >>>
        > >>> From: maureen <maureen@d...>
        > >>> >Date: Wed Nov 30 23:34:56 CST 2005
        > >>> >To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
        > >>> >Subject: [S-R] Central Europe
        > >>>
        > >>> >Janet,
        > >>> >On my most recent trip to Slovakia and Ukraine
        > I was amazed to
        > >> see the marker indicating the geographical center
        > of Europe - it
        > >> sits in the eastern part of Zakarpattia, Ukraine,
        > just across the
        > >> Tisa from Romania, almost to the town of Rahkiv.
        > Now, when I hear
        > >> anyone, on this list or others, refer to Slovakia
        > and Ukraine
        > >> as "Eastern Europe," the first thing I want to do
        > is to write a
        > >> reply to correct the misconception. But, I never
        > do it.
        > >>> >
        > >>> >You have given me the opportunity to send a
        > positive note on this
        > >> topic, because you correctly identify the places
        > of origin as
        > >> Central Europe. Thank you!
        > >>> >
        > >>> >Maureen Pulignano
        > >>> >www.deefalt.com
        > >>> >
        > >>> >
        > >>> >
        > >>> > >
        > >>
        > >>
        > >>
        > >>
        > >> To unsubscribe from this group, go to
        > >> http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS
        > -or- send blank email to
        > >> SLOVAK-ROOTS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        > >> Yahoo! Groups Links
        > >>
        > >>
        > >>
        > >>
        > >>
        > >>
        > >>
        > >
        > >
        > > --
        > > Bill Tarkulich
        > > http://www.iabsi.com
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > To unsubscribe from this group, go to
        > > http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS
        > -or- send blank email to
        > > SLOVAK-ROOTS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > SPONSORED LINKS
        > > American family home insurance American family
        > home insurance company
        > > American family home owner insurance Multi family
        > home for sale Single
        > > family home for sale Family home finance
        > >
        > > ---------------------------------
        > > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
        > >
        > >
        > > Visit your group "SLOVAK-ROOTS" on the web.
        > >
        > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email
        > to:
        > > SLOVAK-ROOTS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        > >
        > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the
        > Yahoo! Terms of Service.
        > >
        > >
        > > ---------------------------------
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been
        > removed]
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > To unsubscribe from this group, go to
        > > http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS
        > -or- send blank email to
        > > SLOVAK-ROOTS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        > > Yahoo! Groups Links
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        === message truncated ===



        "The Journey is the Reward"



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        Just $16.99/mo. or less.
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      • amiak27
        Jan, You have had some good answers and different perspectives. I am surprised the source Bill named did not include Germany in Central Europe. Certainly the
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 1, 2005
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          Jan,

          You have had some good answers and different perspectives. I am
          surprised the source Bill named did not include Germany in Central
          Europe. Certainly the Germans consider themselves so, and back
          around 1914 so did we - Germany & Austria-Hungary were "the Central
          Powers".

          There is a desire for people of Europe to identify with the west,
          and the Lithuanians were quite happy that some Scandinavian
          geographer located the center of Europe so close to Vilnius.

          Traditionally I read that Europe ends at the Ural Mountains, but in
          looking at a topographic map of the Eurasian continent, the line is
          not so terribly obvious. I also suspect that Europe would never
          have been declared a continent if the concept had not been invented
          there.

          Getting into the sociology and business practices of the countries
          is a whole new ball of wax. I lived in Germany for 9 of my 10 years
          in Europe, and their social and business practices are quite
          different from ours, but happily also compatible. I suspect the new
          members of the EU will quickly adapt, but wonder if Russia will be
          able to make the radical change in the next 50 years. It is a great
          gap that separates us.

          Let's toast to the death of the Cold War! Too bad it did not die 50
          years earlier; we could have enjoyed our history and families that
          much sooner!


          Ron

          --- In SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com, Jan Ammann <janammann@s...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Hello..........well I guess I have learned something here......I
          have always thought Hungary was Eastern Europe.....in fact, the
          friends I have in Hungary do identify themselves as "Eastern
          Europe". So is this a wide misconception??
          >
          > Bill......I am curious. I see you gave a website to back up the
          info. However, how does one become expert enough to be able to
          identify regions.......is this done by mapping or what. Would
          appreciate a viewpoint from you and others on this.
          >
          > Cheers,
          > Aloysia (Jan)
          >
          > Bill Tarkulich <bill.tarkulich@i...> wrote:
          > According to http://www.tol.cz
          >
          > Central Europe is
          > czech republic estonia hungary latvia
          > lithuania poland slovakia slovenia
          >
          > Eastern Europe is
          > belarus moldova russia ukraine
          >
          > Seems reasonable to me.
          >
          > Bill Tarkulich
          >
          >
          > On Thu, December 1, 2005 9:23 am, amiak27 said:
          > > Yes, it seems that "Eastern Europe" was redefined for the cold
          war,
          > > but now that that war is past the old use of "Central Europe" is
          > > coming back.
          > >
          > > On the location of the center of Europe, I also visited one, but
          > > this one is 25 km (15 miles) due north of Vilnius, Lithuania.
          THat
          > > distinctly puts Slovakia in western central Europe. Our western
          > > bend to history includes geography. Most people report "the
          highest
          > > European mountain" in France, I believe, where it is really in
          the
          > > southern Ukraine/ Caucauses.
          > >
          > > Perhaps we should start to collect locations of all the
          > > different "centers of Europe" that various people have
          proclaimed.
          > >
          > > Ron
          > >
          > > --- In SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com, Joyce & Bill <bhewlett@v...>
          > > wrote:
          > >>
          > >> You are right in what you say. I think after WW2 and during the
          > > communist era, the American mind set was to divide Europe into
          the
          > > free West and the Communist East and the central didn't exist.
          Now
          > > that things have changed, unless one is interested in those
          > > countries, which are central, people still tend to think of them
          as
          > > Eastern Europe.
          > >> Joyce
          > >>
          > >> From: maureen <maureen@d...>
          > >> >Date: Wed Nov 30 23:34:56 CST 2005
          > >> >To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@yahoogroups.com
          > >> >Subject: [S-R] Central Europe
          > >>
          > >> >Janet,
          > >> >On my most recent trip to Slovakia and Ukraine I was amazed to
          > > see the marker indicating the geographical center of Europe - it
          > > sits in the eastern part of Zakarpattia, Ukraine, just across the
          > > Tisa from Romania, almost to the town of Rahkiv. Now, when I hear
          > > anyone, on this list or others, refer to Slovakia and Ukraine
          > > as "Eastern Europe," the first thing I want to do is to write a
          > > reply to correct the misconception. But, I never do it.
          > >> >
          > >> >You have given me the opportunity to send a positive note on
          this
          > > topic, because you correctly identify the places of origin as
          > > Central Europe. Thank you!
          > >> >
          > >> >Maureen Pulignano
          > >> >www.deefalt.com
          > >> >
          > >> >
          > >> >
          > >> > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > To unsubscribe from this group, go to
          > > http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS -or- send blank
          email to
          > > SLOVAK-ROOTS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          > --
          > Bill Tarkulich
          > http://www.iabsi.com
          >
          >
          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, go to
          http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/SLOVAK-ROOTS -or- send blank
          email to SLOVAK-ROOTS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >
          >
          >
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          >
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          >
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          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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