Reader feedback: Keep traditions alive

Re: Meet fujara makers online, By Zuzana Habšudová, July 21 - August 3, Vol 9, No 28

After hearing the sound of the fujara at the Detroit Slovak festival in 1973, I knew that I must have one. Finding one at that time was a job, but with some effort I purchased three fujaras; learning to play was the next step in the project. Living in Pittsburgh and performing in the local Slovak groups helped with the research. The first time I performed with the fujara on stage was 1974. It was a heart-warming feeling.

The next step I took was to travel to Slovakia, to go to the Detva festival to learn the folk songs and dances. While at the festival I was able to purchase a fujara from the maker of the instrument. To this day it is my most cherished fujara.

During the past 25 years myself and my family have kept Slovak folk culture alive in Pittsburgh at our parish and also at festivals in the area. Teaching Slovak crafts and customs is very important as we cannot forget our roots.

One moment stands out in my mind, we were having a Slovak day at our parish in the early 1990s and had a visitor from Slovakia. Looking at all the displays, he came upon the fujara and said that he had only heard them at festivals or on recordings. I let him touch and attempt to play it. It thrilled me as an American, teaching the culture to a native Slovak.

Please keep the traditions alive as we are keeping it alive here.

Paul J Zatek,
Pittsburgh, USA

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