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Around Slovakia

Books for debt
Flower tram on first day of spring
Street magazine expands
Kids write cookbook in Slovak and French
Oldest costume-hire shop may shut down
Homeless man attacks friend with axe

Books for debt

THE EDUCATION Ministry wants the Russian Federation to send Slovakia $100,000 worth of books as part of the country's debt to Slovakia.
According to the state-run TASR news agency, the ministry plans to participate in the freeing of the country's debt by asking Russian authorities to send over both fiction and nonfiction in the Russian language.

Flower tram on first day of spring

BRATISLAVA inhabitants were reminded of the first day of spring by a tram decorated with a floral design standing on the corner of Župné and SNP squares.
Passers by could also buy flowers from the tram, as hostesses in the vehicle held vases full of traditional spring flowers such as tulips and daffodils for sale.

NOTA Bene to be sold in Košice.
photo: Ján Svrček

Bratislava, Nitra, Košice
Street magazine expands

NOTA Bene, a magazine sold by homeless people in Bratislava and Nitra is taking to the streets of another Slovak city, the eastern city of Košice.
The magazine's editor-in-chief Vladimír Kampf said that sales of the magazine were increasing, enabling the publication to expand from Bratislava to the western city of Nitra in January this year.
Today, the magazine has a print-run of over 30,000 and plans to expand to Košice by May, after which central Slovakia's Banská Bystrica should follow.
"In the past, 25,000 copies was the limit for us and we thought it would not go beyond that. But the current print-run is 30,500 copies," said Kampf.
Nota Bene was founded at the end of 2001 and is sold by homeless people who earn 50 per cent of the cover price of every sold copy. The number of sellers also increased from last year's 50 to today's 100.
In addition, the magazine, which until now has been a monthly, is scheduled to turn into a bi-weekly from May this year. Nota Bene is published by a non-profit organisation called Proti Prúdu (Against the Stream).

Kids write cookbook in Slovak and French

THANKS to an EU grant, children aged 11 to 15 from one primary school will have a chance to write a cookbook in Slovak and French.
A teacher from fifth primary school in the central Slovak town of Zvolen, Mária Nováková, told daily Nový Čas that the project aims to help students improve their French, cooking, and Internet skills, because a lot of material for the book is collected on the Internet.
The 12,800-euro project also includes exchange visits between Slovak and French children. Nováková said that each student in Slovakia is working on the project with a friend in France.
"They exchange their experiences via the Internet. Children are discovering ingredients that they did not know before, and later they try to use the recipes in their homes," Nováková said.
The students said they enjoyed their new project a lot.
Thirteen-year-old Janka said: "I am most fascinated with discovering new recipes. At first it often seems that the ingredients we are using will fight with themselves [and not match in taste], but in the end a fantastic dish usually results."

Oldest costume-hire shop may shut down

THE COUNTRY's oldest and biggest state-owned provider of hired contemporary and traditional costumes may shut down due to financial difficulties.
The organisation, which was founded 85 years ago and has a collection of hundreds of traditional costumes from various regions of Slovakia, fears collapse because it did not receive a grant from the Culture Ministry.
Miroslav Bielik, the administrator of Matica Slovenská - a local body whose main goal is to maintain and preserve traditional Slovak culture and customs - said that the rental shop would be able to survive for a maximum of three more months before it collapses.
"In previous years it has always been funded by the Culture Ministry. It belongs to the state and is administered by Matica Slovenská," Bielik said.
The organisation primarily lends its costumes to various museum exhibitions and theatre performances.
It is not known why the Culture Ministry decided to withdraw funding from the organisation. Last year the costume-rental shop's running expenses were Sk2.1 million (50,200 euro), of which the state contributed Sk1.5 million (35,900 euro).

Homeless man attacks friend with axe

A HOMELESS man attacked his tent companion with an axe near the western Slovak town of Senec.
According to Bratislava police spokeswoman Marta Bujňáková, a 50-year-old homeless man called Dominik attacked his 38-year-old friend Ján after the two had been drinking together.
A fight broke out between them and suddenly Dominik reached for an axe and hit Ján's head with its sharp edge.
"Both ended up in a hospital, although Ján is worse off because he had a cut on his temple," Bujňáková said.

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