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name Slovakia is simply the historic word used to describe the Slavic people. In
Slovak this word is slověn and the country name, in Slovak, is "Slovensko."
The people and culture of Slovakia are rooted in the mountains. For much of history
the Slavs who made these lands home were somewhat isolated in the mountains and
therefore had fewer outside influences than other regions. Despite this, many cultural
similarities were shared throughout the Carpathian Mountains and many foods can
be found as far away as Ukraine. However, today the culture has numerous modern
introductions, including technology and Christianity among many others.
Due to the mountains, the culture and many sub-cultures of Slovakia are distinct
and there are slight variations from village to village regarding dress, foods,
lifestyle, and other cultural aspects. However, when something is introduced to
these mountains, it tends to stay and this was the case with Christianity. The people
converted to Christianity early and have since remained loyal to Catholicism. Even
today Catholicism makes a significant impact on the culture and people as nearly
every town can be spotted with a rising church chapel in front of the mountainous
Although many villages are somewhat isolated in Slovakia, the country is also accessible
in many areas and in these areas the people have had profound cultural and historical
influences introduced by the Austrians, Hungarians, Czechs, and others. In fact,
the Slovaks and Czechs were united for much of history and the similarities between
these people and their cultures are still obvious, although differences abound.
In more recent times the culture has again changed due to political changes. Falling
under communist rule for much of the 1900s, the country sadly boasts Soviet-inspired
architecture. This rule also urbanized the people to a great degree and shifted
the focus of the economy from farming to industry. These changes meant a shift from
the mountains to the cities and lowlands, while drastically altering the lifestyle.
The lifestyle has continued to change since the fall of communism as Slovakia has
joined the European Union and has a growing economy. Despite the many changes though,
the Slovak culture is still rooted in the mountains as traditional foods, clothing,
architecture, and attitudes persevere.
Learn More About Slovakia:
Map of Slovakia: