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Gifts

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  • ssultonia
    This question is for those of you who have spent a considerable amount of time in Slovakia and know the culture and customs well. I know this topic has been
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 13, 2006
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      This question is for those of you who have spent a considerable
      amount of time in Slovakia and know the culture and customs well. I
      know this topic has been beaten to death a number of times but I never
      really got a good feeling for what is appropriate. So as not to start
      a long discourse on the Group, it might be better to answer me direct at

      genman50@...

      I will be in Slovkia in 2 weeks time. Because of the new airline
      restrictions on liquids, etc., my original plans have "dried up" so to
      speak. I will be visiting a very good "email" friend and his family
      (wife and two teen age daughters)and I owe him lots of favors for
      helping me with my genealogy, etc. He already has a Tampa Bay Stanley
      Cup tee-shirt! He is not a relative. The other family I will visit
      might be distant relations, we just don't know for sure. I have never
      met them although we have exchanged a few emails. This is a son and
      his wife 25-35y.o. is my guess, father and mother in 70's and an Aunt
      who speaks English and I'm guessing is 60-70's. I am particularly
      concerned about visiting them at their house and taking something
      appropriate. The son and daughter in law have lived in Canada off and
      on and another son lives in New York state.
      When I visit I would like to take an appropriate gift without
      appearing ostentatious and/or a cheapskate. I'm open for any
      suggestions. I have lived in Western Europe and I know wine and
      flowers are always acceptable. Is there anything unique about Slovak
      customs that I should be alert to? Oh - they are all in the Kosice area.
      Thanks,
      Bill
    • Paul Wolsko
      Bill, I ve never been to Slovakia, and I don t wish to offend you, but the people there are probably as much in tune with the news as we are. Considering the
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 13, 2006
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        Bill,

        I've never been to Slovakia, and I don't wish to offend you, but the people there are probably as much in tune with the news as we are. Considering the situation in the world, there's not a lot you can carry with you aside of the baggage that will be well-sifted.

        My, probably useless, advice is to be yourself. If you can, when you get there, try to find a bakery to get a loaf of bread and some salt as, I'm told, is a symbol of friendship. Nobody will think you are cheap. Worst thing you can do is spend a lot of bucks and be viewed as an "Ugly American".

        Hey, I could be wrong - just adding my two cents.

        Paul W.


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: ssultonia
        To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sunday, August 13, 2006 1:49 PM
        Subject: [Slovak-World] Gifts


        This question is for those of you who have spent a considerable
        amount of time in Slovakia and know the culture and customs well. I
        know this topic has been beaten to death a number of times but I never
        really got a good feeling for what is appropriate. So as not to start
        a long discourse on the Group, it might be better to answer me direct at

        genman50@...

        I will be in Slovkia in 2 weeks time. Because of the new airline
        restrictions on liquids, etc., my original plans have "dried up" so to
        speak. I will be visiting a very good "email" friend and his family
        (wife and two teen age daughters)and I owe him lots of favors for
        helping me with my genealogy, etc. He already has a Tampa Bay Stanley
        Cup tee-shirt! He is not a relative. The other family I will visit
        might be distant relations, we just don't know for sure. I have never
        met them although we have exchanged a few emails. This is a son and
        his wife 25-35y.o. is my guess, father and mother in 70's and an Aunt
        who speaks English and I'm guessing is 60-70's. I am particularly
        concerned about visiting them at their house and taking something
        appropriate. The son and daughter in law have lived in Canada off and
        on and another son lives in New York state.
        When I visit I would like to take an appropriate gift without
        appearing ostentatious and/or a cheapskate. I'm open for any
        suggestions. I have lived in Western Europe and I know wine and
        flowers are always acceptable. Is there anything unique about Slovak
        customs that I should be alert to? Oh - they are all in the Kosice area.
        Thanks,
        Bill






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • mdndmdnd
        ... never ... start ... direct at ... so to ... family ... Stanley ... never ... Aunt ... and ... Slovak ... area. ... My cousin and I travelled to
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 13, 2006
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          --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "ssultonia" <ssultonia@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > This question is for those of you who have spent a considerable
          > amount of time in Slovakia and know the culture and customs well. I
          > know this topic has been beaten to death a number of times but I
          never
          > really got a good feeling for what is appropriate. So as not to
          start
          > a long discourse on the Group, it might be better to answer me
          direct at
          >
          > genman50@...
          >
          > I will be in Slovkia in 2 weeks time. Because of the new airline
          > restrictions on liquids, etc., my original plans have "dried up"
          so to
          > speak. I will be visiting a very good "email" friend and his
          family
          > (wife and two teen age daughters)and I owe him lots of favors for
          > helping me with my genealogy, etc. He already has a Tampa Bay
          Stanley
          > Cup tee-shirt! He is not a relative. The other family I will visit
          > might be distant relations, we just don't know for sure. I have
          never
          > met them although we have exchanged a few emails. This is a son and
          > his wife 25-35y.o. is my guess, father and mother in 70's and an
          Aunt
          > who speaks English and I'm guessing is 60-70's. I am particularly
          > concerned about visiting them at their house and taking something
          > appropriate. The son and daughter in law have lived in Canada off
          and
          > on and another son lives in New York state.
          > When I visit I would like to take an appropriate gift without
          > appearing ostentatious and/or a cheapskate. I'm open for any
          > suggestions. I have lived in Western Europe and I know wine and
          > flowers are always acceptable. Is there anything unique about
          Slovak
          > customs that I should be alert to? Oh - they are all in the Kosice
          area.
          > Thanks,
          > Bill
          >

          My cousin and I travelled to Kosice/Fulianka last November for 8
          days. Our cousins took us all over the country, and we visited many
          beautiful places. We we treated like royalty.

          As for gifts, here is what worked for us:

          >Teenage girls like perfume, jewelery, American clothing
          >Adult men like wine, good whiskey
          >Adult women like jewelry, nice clothing

          Use your e-mail and ask them what they would want or need. Our
          people were very direct/open with us about everything. Try to find
          out what is important in their lives.

          Find our if they are religious people. If so, bring the females
          crosses, religious pictures, icons (our relatives are Greek
          Catholic). For the winter, gloves, sweaters, caps, hats, scarves
          would probably be appreciated. The kids like things with USA
          printed on them. Books/travel magazines about where you live would
          be of interest. Most of these people are not deprived, they have
          malls and many places to shop, although many do not make a lot of
          money.

          American stuff goes over well, items with USA, America, logos such
          as Nike, etc. They know. It is a sign of etiquette to arrive with
          something in hand. Do not be surprised if they have some nice
          things for you, as well. Plan to shop, and be sure to bring back
          painted plates/crystal/jewelery. Pack your returning items in your
          dirty clothes in your suitcases. We did, and nothing was broken.
          In fact, we had so much stuff, that my cousin had to buy another
          suitcase. Look into having larger breakable items shipped back to
          you by the store, or mail it back yourself.

          If you think that you did not give these people enough, in light of
          the gifts they gave you, the time they spent with you, the meals and
          lodging you received, "make up the difference" at Christmastime.
          Just be sure to mail everything at least 3-4 weeks before Christmas
          Day. When you return, you will know what to buy, I assure you.
          My cousin took a lot of silver dollars to offer to kids and various
          people we met during the course of our travels. We had a lot of
          sock caps/gloves with USA logos that we handed out as well. The
          silver dollars are great, since you can pack them around in your
          pocket.

          If you wish to call me, I can PM my phone number to you.

          Mike
        • ssultonia
          Thanks Paul. Perhaps I should have provided more detail. I lived in Western Europe for 12 years off and on and have visited many times. I have been in and out
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 13, 2006
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            Thanks Paul. Perhaps I should have provided more detail. I lived in
            Western Europe for 12 years off and on and have visited many times. I
            have been in and out of Europe for nearly 40 years so I'm well
            acquainted with the "ugly American" syndrome and pleased to say if I
            ever had it - I shed it over 30 or 40 years ago. My question was
            really directed at those who have had "boots on the ground" in
            Slovakia and any unique customs or courtesy that I might not be aware of.
            Regards,
            Bill

            --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, Paul Wolsko <pwolsko@...> wrote:
            >
            > Bill,
            >
            > I've never been to Slovakia, and I don't wish to offend you, but
            the people there are probably as much in tune with the news as we are.
            Considering the situation in the world, there's not a lot you can
            carry with you aside of the baggage that will be well-sifted.
            >
            > My, probably useless, advice is to be yourself. If you can,
            when you get there, try to find a bakery to get a loaf of bread and
            some salt as, I'm told, is a symbol of friendship. Nobody will think
            you are cheap. Worst thing you can do is spend a lot of bucks and be
            viewed as an "Ugly American".
            >
            > Hey, I could be wrong - just adding my two cents.
            >
            > Paul W.
            >
            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: ssultonia
            > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Sunday, August 13, 2006 1:49 PM
            > Subject: [Slovak-World] Gifts
            >
            >
            > This question is for those of you who have spent a considerable
            > amount of time in Slovakia and know the culture and customs well. I
            > know this topic has been beaten to death a number of times but I never
            > really got a good feeling for what is appropriate. So as not to start
            > a long discourse on the Group, it might be better to answer me
            direct at
            >
            > genman50@...
            >
            > I will be in Slovkia in 2 weeks time. Because of the new airline
            > restrictions on liquids, etc., my original plans have "dried up" so to
            > speak. I will be visiting a very good "email" friend and his family
            > (wife and two teen age daughters)and I owe him lots of favors for
            > helping me with my genealogy, etc. He already has a Tampa Bay Stanley
            > Cup tee-shirt! He is not a relative. The other family I will visit
            > might be distant relations, we just don't know for sure. I have never
            > met them although we have exchanged a few emails. This is a son and
            > his wife 25-35y.o. is my guess, father and mother in 70's and an Aunt
            > who speaks English and I'm guessing is 60-70's. I am particularly
            > concerned about visiting them at their house and taking something
            > appropriate. The son and daughter in law have lived in Canada off and
            > on and another son lives in New York state.
            > When I visit I would like to take an appropriate gift without
            > appearing ostentatious and/or a cheapskate. I'm open for any
            > suggestions. I have lived in Western Europe and I know wine and
            > flowers are always acceptable. Is there anything unique about Slovak
            > customs that I should be alert to? Oh - they are all in the Kosice
            area.
            > Thanks,
            > Bill
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • andreialexiev
            -My understanding is that bread and salt are presented by the hosts, this is an ancient Slavic custom.Also it s done by the parents of the bride after the
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 15, 2006
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              -My understanding is that bread and salt are presented by the hosts,
              this is an ancient Slavic custom.Also it's done by the parents of
              the bride after the wedding welcoming the couple into the home.At's
              least that's how it was when my wife and I were married in 1975, her
              parents were decased, so her aunt and uncle acted as
              substitutes.Also in the Russian Orthodox church, the visiting bishop
              is greeted at the door of the church with bread and salt.Fr.Andrei--
              In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "ssultonia" <ssultonia@...> wrote:
              >
              > Thanks Paul. Perhaps I should have provided more detail. I lived in
              > Western Europe for 12 years off and on and have visited many
              times. I
              > have been in and out of Europe for nearly 40 years so I'm well
              > acquainted with the "ugly American" syndrome and pleased to say if
              I
              > ever had it - I shed it over 30 or 40 years ago. My question was
              > really directed at those who have had "boots on the ground" in
              > Slovakia and any unique customs or courtesy that I might not be
              aware of.
              > Regards,
              > Bill
              >
              > --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, Paul Wolsko <pwolsko@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Bill,
              > >
              > > I've never been to Slovakia, and I don't wish to offend you,
              but
              > the people there are probably as much in tune with the news as we
              are.
              > Considering the situation in the world, there's not a lot you can
              > carry with you aside of the baggage that will be well-sifted.
              > >
              > > My, probably useless, advice is to be yourself. If you can,
              > when you get there, try to find a bakery to get a loaf of bread and
              > some salt as, I'm told, is a symbol of friendship. Nobody will
              think
              > you are cheap. Worst thing you can do is spend a lot of bucks and
              be
              > viewed as an "Ugly American".
              > >
              > > Hey, I could be wrong - just adding my two cents.
              > >
              > > Paul W.
              > >
              > >
              > > ----- Original Message -----
              > > From: ssultonia
              > > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
              > > Sent: Sunday, August 13, 2006 1:49 PM
              > > Subject: [Slovak-World] Gifts
              > >
              > >
              > > This question is for those of you who have spent a considerable
              > > amount of time in Slovakia and know the culture and customs
              well. I
              > > know this topic has been beaten to death a number of times but
              I never
              > > really got a good feeling for what is appropriate. So as not
              to start
              > > a long discourse on the Group, it might be better to answer me
              > direct at
              > >
              > > genman50@
              > >
              > > I will be in Slovkia in 2 weeks time. Because of the new
              airline
              > > restrictions on liquids, etc., my original plans have "dried
              up" so to
              > > speak. I will be visiting a very good "email" friend and his
              family
              > > (wife and two teen age daughters)and I owe him lots of favors
              for
              > > helping me with my genealogy, etc. He already has a Tampa Bay
              Stanley
              > > Cup tee-shirt! He is not a relative. The other family I will
              visit
              > > might be distant relations, we just don't know for sure. I
              have never
              > > met them although we have exchanged a few emails. This is a
              son and
              > > his wife 25-35y.o. is my guess, father and mother in 70's and
              an Aunt
              > > who speaks English and I'm guessing is 60-70's. I am
              particularly
              > > concerned about visiting them at their house and taking
              something
              > > appropriate. The son and daughter in law have lived in Canada
              off and
              > > on and another son lives in New York state.
              > > When I visit I would like to take an appropriate gift without
              > > appearing ostentatious and/or a cheapskate. I'm open for any
              > > suggestions. I have lived in Western Europe and I know wine and
              > > flowers are always acceptable. Is there anything unique about
              Slovak
              > > customs that I should be alert to? Oh - they are all in the
              Kosice
              > area.
              > > Thanks,
              > > Bill
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              >
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