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A Christmas bazaar that keeps on giving

THE INTERNATIONAL Women's Club of Bratislava (IWCB) is hosting its annual Christmas Bazaar at the Old Market Hall at SNP Square on November 18.
Now in its 17th year, the bazaar raises money for charities across Slovakia by selling samples of international cuisines and organising family activities, such as games and a raffle.

The IWCB Christmas Bazaar offers food and fun, all for a good cause.
photo: SITA

THE INTERNATIONAL Women's Club of Bratislava (IWCB) is hosting its annual Christmas Bazaar at the Old Market Hall at SNP Square on November 18.

Now in its 17th year, the bazaar raises money for charities across Slovakia by selling samples of international cuisines and organising family activities, such as games and a raffle.

This year's bazaar features food from three countries new to the event, and involve some of Bratislava's prestigious international schools for children and young adults.

"Thousands of guests come every year because this is one of the first events in the city that sets the Christmas mood," Zora Groholová, the IWCB's PR manager, told The Slovak Spectator. "Some famous people come too, including diplomats, artists, and Slovakia's First Lady, Silvia Gašparovičová."

The bazaar's atmosphere is always very light-hearted, with some of the table leaders coming dressed in their country's traditional style. Four continents are represented this year.

A small sample of this year's menu reveals authentic Russian caviar, French and Swiss cheeses, and Japanese sushi, as well as delicacies from South America and Africa.

"One of the highlights will be tasting the different kinds of Christmas breads from around Europe," Groholová said. "We'll have a kind from Sweden that's made with saffron."

The bazaar will also have tables serving Hungarian, Italian, and Egyptian foods for the first time.

As well as food, the bazaar includes some activities for children organised by the Forel International School, the QSI International School, the British School, French School, and German School.

The activities include games, competitions, and puppet shows in Slovak, as well as other languages.

One of the most exciting parts of the bazaar is the annual raffle. This year's prizes range from the small, a DVD player or printer, to the luxurious, a vacation to Turkey or weekend stays in luxury hotels across Europe.

According to the IWCB, the Christmas Bazaar in 2006 raised more than Sk1.4 million for 15 charities.

In the case of ECHO, an organisation that supports mentally handicapped children and youth, the money donated by the IWCB enabled it to afford spa treatments for the children and their families.

And for Slnko deťom (Children's Sun), a charity that helps children with cerebral palsy, the funds covered the cost of accommodation during recreational trips.

"The goals of the bazaar are perfectly in line with the spirit of Christmas - teaching people about different cultures and contributing to good causes," Groholová said.


What:IWCB Christmas Bazaar
When:November 18 from 10:00-16:00
Where:Old Market Hall (Stará Tržnica) at SNP Square
Call 0905/383-135 or write to groholova@chello.sk

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