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Re: [Slovak-World] Gifts

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 of 5 , Aug 15, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            -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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