"All Different, All Equal"
THE COUNCIL of Europe's "All Different, All Equal" campaign will promote the ideals of tolerance, non-violence, diversity and the fight against racism in Slovakia starting in September, said Janette Maziniová, spokesperson of the campaign's Slovak branch.
The campaign is supported by 48 European countries, and will continue until September 2007.
The promotion of a dialogue between cultures and religions will take different forms in different countries. The Slovak campaign will include discussions between young people and foreigners living in Slovakia, while music camps will bring Roma and non-Roma children together.
"It's aimed at young people, because they will create the future and form a new generation in Europe, and because they are very open to new opinions and new cultures," Maziniova said.
In Slovakia, the Education Ministry will support the campaign with Sk4.3 million (Ř114,000) in 2006, with a further Sk5 million due to be allocated in 2007.
Those interested in taking part in the campaign can apply at www.kazdyiny-vsetcirovni.sk
Aviation museum re-opened
The Aviation Museum at Košice Airport boasts a refitted Planes Gallery and exhibition on navigational instruments.
The museum's current exhibitions, which are dedicated to the 100th anniversary of aviation in Košice, include the newly re-fitted Presidential Planes Gallery and a new exhibition of navigational instruments, the TASR news agency wrote.
"The museum, covering 500 by 300 meters, contains 52 airplanes and helicopters. Eighteen of these are presidential gifts, mainly combat planes and military helicopters from 12 European countries, the United States and China," said museum director Eugen Labanič.
THIS MOST recent addition to the wax figure museum in Urbanova Tower in Košice is of former Slovak President Rudolf Schuster.
The ceremony was accompanied by the Aero-Weekend Air Show, which was organized by the Košice Retro Air consortium.
Distant cultures meet at the Capalest Festival
THE FOURTH annual Capalest Festival, a European gathering of poetry, theatre and music, wrapped up on August 27 in Banská Štiavnica in central Slovakia.
The main event at this year's festival was the "Fujara Chimeras", a concert of contemporary and traditional music paying tribute to the fujara. The fujara is a wooden Slovak long pipe included on the UNESCO cultural heritage list.
The high point of the concert was a performance by Scotsman John Kenny playing a carnyx - a Celtic instrument that dates back 2,000 years.
"It was a unique opportunity to get to know other cultures through music, which is the most understandable form of communication," said Capalest festival director Antonia Miklikova.
Another highlight was the French chansons performed by Hungarian-Romanian Eniko Szillagyi and the gospel music from Montpellier in France. The festival also featured a Caribbean steel band.
The main theme of this year's Capalest Festival was far-flung Europeans, such as those living in the Caribbean and in the former French colonies that have been incorporated into France itself.
Commemorating the victims of Communism
THE VICTIMS of the totalitarian communist regime of 1948-89, including those who were unjustly imprisoned and killed, were remembered in a special ceremony held in Leopoldov in the south-western Trnava region on August 26.
Following a mass, wreaths were placed around a memorial plaque near the local prison, which in the past held many political prisoners.
Wreaths were sent by President Ivan Gašparovič, Justice Minister Štefan Harabin, the representatives of the Confederation of Political Prisoners in the Czech and Slovak Republics, the Prison and Justice Guard Corps, the town of Leopoldov, friends and relatives of the victims, and other guests.
"After 1989, more than 71,000 political prisoners were exonerated in Slovakia, of whom 1,500 are still alive. We must constantly remind the younger generation of those who did not live to be free, so that they will defend freedom and democracy and never allow human rights and dignity to be trampled underfoot," said Karol Noskovič, chairman of the Slovak Confederation of Political Prisoners.
Mozart's works showcased in Old Town
THE WORKS of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will be showcased in Bratislava at an open-air music and film festival that will take place from September 15-24 on the Main Square in Bratislava's Old Town.
The event is being organized by the Vienna and Bratislava city councils, the TASR news wire wrote.
The festival marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Mozart, and will feature some of his best-known works such as the operas "The Abduction from the Seraglio", "Cosí Fan Tutte", and "Don Giovanni". Performances begin at 20:00.
The aim of the festival is to introduce people, especially the younger generation, to classical music. The organizers hope that the free concerts will challenge the idea that classical music is only for a wealthy intellectual elite, though they admit that the prices of concert tickets often seem to support this belief.
A ticket to the Vienna opera can cost up to Ř200, while admission to the famous Salzburg Festival can run as high as Ř600.
It is claimed that as a 6-year-old, Mozart gave a piano recital in Bratislava in 1762. This event is commemorated by a plaque that was placed on the baroque Palffy House in the city centre in 1959. While this building, also known as Mozart's House, attracts considerable attention from tourists, some Slovak experts question whether Mozart ever performed in Bratislava, citing a lack of evidence.
Coronation of Matthew II von Habsburg
RESIDENTS of Bratislava had the opportunity to watch a re-enactment of the coronation ceremony of Hungarian King Matthew II von Habsburg (1608-1619) at St Martin's Cathedral on September 4.
The ceremony was part of the 2006 Bratislava Coronation Celebrations (September 1-3) in the Slovak capital.
The king, played by Slovak actor Martin Nikodým, was crowned by the Archbishop of Esztergom, played by another actor, in the same location as the actual coronation in 1608. At that time, given that Budapest was in the hands of Turkish invaders, Bratislava served as the capital of Imperial Hungary for over two centuries.
The ceremony also included actors playing senior clergy and the royal retinue, along with replicas of the crown of St Stephen, a sceptre, orb, coronation sword, and robes.
After the ceremony the new king rode on horseback through the streets of Old Town, which were lined with hundreds of people, to the Old Town Main Square, where he knighted members of the Order of the Golden Spur. After swearing an oath on Hviezdoslav Square, he accepted gifts from representatives of various royal towns and then called for the entertainment to begin.
The real Matthew II von Habsburg replaced his mentally ill brother Rudolph II, who was unable to carry out his royal duties. Matthew II reigned for 11 years, but his modern counterpart, Martin Nikodým, will be on the throne for no more than one.
THE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE gardens in Bratislava were the site of the second Petanque Centrope Cup on August 26.
Petanque (also known as boules) started to become popular in Slovakia in 2002 and today has 146 licensed players and nine clubs around the country.
As many as 80 teams from 6 Central European countries competed in the cup this year. Last year only 63 teams participated.
Petanque is similar to the English game of bowls, but it is played on thin gravel instead of grass and the metal balls are thrown underarm through the air rather than being rolled along the ground.