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Slovakian observations

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  • Steve Mocarsky - The Times Leader by wa
    Vladimir, Thanks for the email. Jason Soltis is not a writer. He is a young man who spent a year in the Presov area and verbally shared his observations with
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 6, 2006
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      Thanks for the email.
      Jason Soltis is not a writer. He is a young man who spent a year in the
      Presov area and verbally shared his observations with members of the
      Slovakian Heritage Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and I wrote a story
      about his oral presentation.
      I'm not sure how I should have "checked" Soltis' assertions. I suppose I
      could have called Slovakian officials for their input. But given that I
      wrote the original story on a Sunday and it was published in a Monday paper
      (re-published this Sunday in our Hazleton section), I imagine it would have
      been difficult to reach anyone in government offices on that Sunday.
      Additionally, the move would have seemed a bit extreme to me at the time. I
      really don't think I had substantial reason to question his honesty or
      reliability. I can, however, understand your umbrage.
      It might be noteworthy, however, that Soltis spent most of his time in
      Presov, which is in Eastern Slovakia. He did say that part of the republic
      is a few decades behind the Western section, in which Bratislava lies. I
      don't recall him distinguishing between the two sections when sharing his
      observations on customs. In hindsight, however, I probably should have asked
      him if his observations that I noted in my story were specifically from
      Eastern Slovakia, and noted that in my story as well.
      You might consider submitting a Letter to the Editor to clear up any
      misconceptions our readers might have. Letters may be emailed to
      jlacoe@... to the attention of Jean LaCoe, our editorial page editor.
      I you choose to submit a letter, please include a daytime phone number so
      that your identity may be verified prior to publication.
      Thanks again for your input.

      Steve Mocarsky
      Times Leader Staff Writer
      (570) 459-2005 - Hazleton Office
      (800) 427-8649 - Main Office in Wilkes-Barre

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Vladimir Linder [mailto:vlinder49@...]
      Sent: Sunday, February 05, 2006 9:08 PM
      To: smocarsky@...

      Steve I suggest you check your stories from
      writers like Soltis as he has no clue at all about Slovakia and its

      By the way who the HELL is SOLTIS??

      Slovakia customs unlike U.S.

      Jason Soltis has NO CLUE ABOUT SLOVAKIA.


      Jason Soltis observed some aspects of Slovakian
      culture and daily life that most Americans might find somewhat strange:

      Name Days ­ Birthdays are rarely celebrated in
      Slovakia. Instead, various days throughout the
      year are associated with people’s first names.
      Anyone whose name is John is wished a Happy Johns
      Day on that day and might receive gifts as well.

      BIRTHDAYS are celebrated same as in North America
      in addition to name days. So everybody celebrates twice a year!!

      Mass transit ­ People rarely travel by car,
      usually taking buses or trains; driving a minivan
      or SUV is almost unheard of. Bus passes are
      rarely checked. But anyone caught using an
      expired pass (they’re good for a half hour) can
      expect a hefty fine and a tongue lashing from the bus driver.

      This maybe true 15 years ago, yes public transit
      is great but there are constant traffic jams in
      Bratislava from morning to evening, meaning
      everybody that does have car drives it. There are
      mini vans and SUV GALORE in Bratislava and whole
      Slovakia. Bus drivers do not get involved with
      tte public at all, they are separately enclosed
      in the front with no public access to them. They
      do have inspectors to check your tickets and you
      can buy time on the public transportation system up to 1 hour per ticket.

      Dunking Day ­ celebrated the day after Easter.
      Slovakian men choose a single woman and douse her
      with water in any of several ways, from splashing
      it from a cup to using a fire hose. The man then
      sprays the “stinkiest” perfume he can find on the woman.
      The woman must then give the man some chocolate.

      This is practiced in villages to this day. Perfume goes in cities.
      Chocolate to boys, slivovica or other hard stuff to men.

      Shoeless schools ­ Students take off their shoes
      and leave them in their lockers when they arrive
      at school each day. They don slippers, which are
      more comfortable and cut down on floor scrubbings.

      Only in kindergarten.

      Beg for graduation ­ High school seniors don’t
      have formal commencement ceremonies. Instead,
      they take to the streets, “talk to people and try
      to get money from them,” Soltis said. The
      graduates use the money to go to dinner and then
      out for some partying to celebrate graduation.

      Totally UNTRUE. Nobody goes and begs for money
      except the homeless. THIS IS A BIG BULL

      No closets, lots of fences ­ Slovakian homes,
      which are almost always surrounded by fences,
      rarely have closets. Slovaks use armoires instead.

      ANOTHER BULL. Actually everybody has stand alone
      closets, unknown of in USA. Yes high fences
      around the MAFIOSOS houses scared to death. In
      villages just a wire fences to prevent the
      animals from escaping to your neighbor.

      One rose better than a dozen ­ An even number of
      flowers is never given as a gift, except for a
      funeral. Men always give women an odd number of flowers.

      You bring pairs to funerals and graves. Took me a while to get this one.
    • Gregory J Kopchak
      The Slovak-American Home Team won the Superbowl yesterday. Any team with Polka Fight Songs can t be bad. Visit http://www.steelerspolka.com/ There are on line
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 6, 2006
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        The Slovak-American Home Team won the Superbowl yesterday.

        Any team with Polka Fight Songs can't be bad.

        Visit http://www.steelerspolka.com/

        There are on line samples of some the greatest Steeler's
        Polka Fight Songs available to listen to.

        Have Superbowl Polka fun.

        Greg Kopchak
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