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Community Grapevine

Bratislava to host "European Days "

Bratislava will host for the first time the "Days of Europe" festival under the patronage of President Michal Kováč, ambassador and chairman of the Delegation of the European Commission in Slovakia Georgios Zavvos, and Bratislava Mayor Peter Kresánek. The festival will take place on both sides of the Danube from May 4 to 12.

May 8, "Victory Day" (celebrating the end of World War II), will see an opening concert of Beethoven's 9th Symphony on Primacialny Palac. Special shows will take place on the streets of Staré Mesto and Petržalka, for example, a roller-blading show, an Internet show and concerts by Slovak and foreign musicians.

Contributing to the festival are Bratislava City Hall, Kultúrne Zariadenia Petržalky, and foreign cultural institutions such as The British Council, České Centrum, Institut Francaise, and the Goethe Institut. For more program information, check out the Internet at: http://www.dnieuropy.sk or look in the daily papers.

Baťa Junior Achievement offers business education

Baťa Junior Achievement (BJA), a licensed partner of Junior Achievement International, is a non-government organization that allows students to learn about free enterprise through a partnership between schools and entrepreneurs.

Current programs offered: Applied Economics (AE) for 11th grade high school students to compete in simulated business environments; Entrepreneurial Basics for 7th graders; GLOBE (Global Learning of Business Enterprise) which teaches international business; and Fundamentals of a Market Economy, which was created especially for lower management and young people new in the field.

BJA's programs are a great opportunity for students to improve their theoretical knowledge and to try and organize their own activities and businesses.

The AE program ends with a bang at the Slovak Student Forum April 24 -27 in Stará Lesná. The Slovak Student Forum is a weekend meeting of all finalists from the year-long competition. Three winning students will represent the country at the International Student Forum.

For more information, contact Silvia Pinterová, at Baťa Junior Achievement Slovakia, Tel/fax: 07/ 378-9252, 378-9254; or e-mail: jenner@bjasr.sanet.sk

Slovak handmade souvenirs tend to Western markets

Traditional hand-made goods from Slovakia are carving a niche on world markets. Valkovský, a small eight person company, makes hand-made wooden souvenirs and gifts for both children and adults. The company, established five years ago in Martin, carves mostly animals.

Vlado Valkovský, the owner, likes using poplar and maple wood, which he obtains from the area around Košice in eastern Slovakia. The wood is top quality, according to Valkovský. More than 60 per cent of what they produce is exported to customers all over Europe and in North America. He made most of his international contacts on his own, meeting people on the road.

"My products sell well on the American market, in New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Los Angeles," said Valkovský. "A lot of Slovaks living in America have helped sales."

Valkovský said that customers from Europe like natural materials, but Americans prefer more colorful, kitschy products. Prices for souvenirs are between 160 and 260 Sk. Some hotels in Slovakia offer them. For more information contact Valkovský, at tel.,/fax: 0842/ 31778.

International jazz concert

Hotel Grand in Banská Štiavnica is hosting "Dodo Šošoka and friends" in an international jazz concert, May 7. Dodo, the famous Slovak jazz drummer, invited fellow musicians Stella Jones (Austria), Lee Harper and Tom Nicholas (USA), Paulo Cardoso (Brazil), Jarek Smietana (Poland), Antonio Ciacca (Italy) and Štepán Markovič (Czech Republic). For tickets, call Darina Kaníková, at the Hotel Grand in Banská Štiavnica, tel./fax: 0859/621-294.

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