Slovakia

Slovakia countryside. Photo via Flickr by Miroslav Petrasko. Slovakia

Country Information


The Slovak Republic, or Slovakia, is located at the precise geographic center of Europe – it shares borders with the Czech Republic, Poland, the Ukraine, Hungary and Austria. Slovakia seceded from the Czech and Slovak Federation democratically and peacefully in 1993. The clean breakup has been a model for other countries looking to establish their own nation-state.


Lifestyle and Family


The predominant population is Slovak, who are Slavic peoples. Slavs are Europe’s largest ethnic and linguistic body, and includes nationalities such as Bosnians, Bulgarians, Croats, Czechs, Poles, Russians, Serbs, and Ukrainians. Slovaks are friendly and hospitable, and eager to share information about their quaint and charming country, particularly with those who’ve never heard of it (or confuse it with Slovenia)!

Most families are not wealthy, as the income of a Slovak family is many times lower than the income of a Western European family. Generally both parents work to support the family and each member of the family is expected to share household chores.

Modesty is an important value. Very self- confident behavior is considered to be arrogant, so you may find your Slavik student rarely accepts a compliment! In addition, Slovakians tend to be raised in a more strict environment than their American counterparts. They are used to coming home early, and spending the majority of time with their families.

Teen Life and Sports


In every town you will find an amateur sport club, and in every village, at least one football club. After football (or what American call soccer), the most popular sport is ice hockey. Mountaineering, hiking, and skiing are also popular in this mountainous country.

Diet


Slovak families love to eat. Their cuisine is basically Central European, with German, Polish and Mediterranean influences. Meat is the main dish, along with big portions of dumplings, potatoes, or rice topped with a sauce. A traditional meal is potato noodles with sheep cheese and bacon

Language and Religion


Slovak refers to an inhabitant of Slovakia, as well as the language. It is closely related to the other West Slavic languages, (primarily Czech), but has also been influenced by Latin, German, and English. A large amount of Slovak families are religious, even if a lot of them do not practice their religion actively. The most common religions are Roman Catholic and Protestant.


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