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    Crumbling buildings in Rome (pictured) only add to the atmosphere in a country where old is redefined and western civilization begins. Explore Italy!

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    This mountainous country unites ethnic Germans, French, and Italians; making it home to a number of diverse cultures. Go Now!

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    Although linked to Scandinavia, as an island Iceland has a culture all its own, but most visitors come for the natural beauty. Explore Iceland!

Culture & Identity of Slovakia

Introduction

Slovakia is a fairly quiet and modest country and their way of life reflects this. Night life and partying seem to be somewhat absent in the country as family and friends generally prefer to gather in the home or outdoors on a warm summer evening. The country is also fairly rural, with nearly half the population living outside the cities.

Despite the generally rural landscape, Slovakia isn't filled with farmers, in fact only about 4% of the working population actually works in agriculture. More common are service sector jobs, which occupy nearly 70% of the working population. There is also a significant industry sector; in fact there are a number of foreign investors who have set up factories in the country.

Although there is no set daily schedule for most people, many jobs, including those in the services sector, tend to have fairly regular hours, with most beginning at about 8:00 am and ending for the day at about 5:00 or 6:00 pm. Schools also have fairly regular hours as most children attend school from the beginning of September to the end of June and the daily hours are close to those of the work day, but often school ends earlier.

Evenings and weekends (Saturday-Sunday) tend to be spent with family and friends in the home or outdoors. On school nights school work and dinner at home are common, while on the weekends the people spend their time doing any number of things. The nightlife in Slovakia is fairly muted, but there are bars and dance clubs in most cities. These seem to be most heavily visited by young singles and foreigners, particularly during the summer months when tourist season peaks.

Identity

Slovaks identify as such and this is primarily defined by their language. Obviously, the identity also implies a person is an ethnic Slovak and perhaps even a citizen of Slovakia, but these things, along with other cultural aspects of the Slovaks, seem to be secondary in defining what it means to be a Slovak. In other words a Slovak-speaker in a different country is also considered a Slovak and an ethnic Czech or Hungarian who is a native Slovak speaker is generally accepted as being as Slovak as well. The Slovaks don't have an exorbitant amount of pride attached to this identity, but they'll be quick to correct you if you call someone a Czech or Pole. Having been forgotten or overshadowed for much of history, the Slovaks see no reason to boast their origins, but instead quietly enjoy their mountain scenery in peace.

This page was last updated: November, 2013