NETTING a big one on the streets of Bratislava.
photo: Brian Jones

One of the most popular Christmas traditions for children in Slovakia is to buy a live carp and keep it in the bath tub for a few days before eating it. What might seem cruel to adults is a favourite activity for kids, who see the fish as some kind of temporary exotic pet.

Roman, 8, and Zuzka, 6, who queuing to pick their fish from the big tank, said they were very excited about having it at home.

They were not too sure what they would feed the carp, but agreed that their dad would know for sure. And because they know that it will survive in tap water for only a few days, they did not feel sorry that the fish would be eaten afterwards.

The staff selling the fish said that the queue in front of one of Bratislava's biggest supermarkets December 17 was nothing compared to what it would be right before Christmas. One of the favourite spots for Bratislava residents to buy their carps is the Miletičova outdoor market.

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