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Reader feedback: Pessimistic, not unhappy

Re: Slovaks the gloomiest, By David Ferguson, March 1 - 7, 2004, Vol. 10, No 8

Nariekanie (wailing) is Slovakia's national pastime. In the old days there was a paid profession called "babky nariekačky" (wailing women), who would go to funerals and cry their eyes out and get paid for it. Pessimism is an old tradition and means that if you don't complain about something you are a braggart and a fool. Slovaks are actually much happier than they appear to be.


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