Americans in Slovakia not so bad
[ Re: "Slovaks better equipped for survival" by Matthew J. Reynolds, Vol. 7 No. 4, January 29 - February 4] You must be involved somehow with the modern media, always exaggerating without properly looking at the problem.
Americans are not so bad, especially those living outside metropolitan areas.
As for Slovaks, the information you provided was true maybe until the end of the 1950's, but after that everybody got civilized or Americanised or whatever you call it. I used to live there, so I know, by today's standards my mother was a genius, she could make everything she needed, I can do some stuff also but because I haven't used those skills for a long time I'm getting "civilized" like everybody else.
Are you sure about those 20 pigs the student had to go and kill? Wasn't it 20 chickens?
Survival skills not so hot these days
[ Re: "Slovaks better equipped for survival" by Matthew J. Reynolds, Vol. 7 No. 4, January 29 - February 4] Good observations, but the loss of the survival skills goes hand-in-hand with urbanisation. What the article talks about is Slovakia of the past. The Slovak teenagers of today tend to be just as inept as their American counterparts.
I remember an incident during the last war. No bread, and although we had flour to make bread, the stores ran out of yeast. Transportation broke down, no hope of any deliveries. No problem, decided my grandmother. She handed me a basket. "Carry this and come along." She took a walking stick, and we walked toward a nearby brook. With the stick, she lifted the foliage along the banks, picked the leaves of some herb that grew close to the ground, and put them in the basket. After we returned home, she used the leaves to make bread. She was the last custodian of the knowledge, of the survival skills, that thousands of generations collected. Her grandson knows how to turn on the computer, and that is it. He wonders also whether there is one person alive in Slovakia today who would know what that bread-making herb was. I laugh every time I hear pontifications about the importance of education. The moderns have no clue what the meaning of education is or should be.
I think your newspaper is the best ever. I married a lady of Slovak descent, therefore making our children part Slovak. This past summer (July 2000) I was fortunate enough to visit Slovakia with my father in law to meet his family. Having not travelled outside Canada, a new world opened up to me.
Having The Slovak Spectator on line enables my children to see day to day the life that is lived by their relatives.
Keep up the wonderful work.
12. Feb 2001 at 0:00