Re: Slovaks in the US face generational divide, By Beata Balogová, Aug 16 - 22, Vol 10, 31
I am a Slovak American. I was born in the US and adopted outside of my Slovak family. I am 34 and last year, after my real father died, I went to Slovakia for the first time to visit my family. I just called them and flew over. I rented a car from Vienna with my husband and drove to the town, stopped at a pub during the night, (had my car broken into while I was in the pub) and asked directions to my family's home. One old guy led us there.
Once there we were graciously let into the home, and fed... while most of the family was simply watching. This was the best seven days of my life.
We stayed with mostly younger Slovaks, but I had a great time with a traditionalist Slovak woman named Marta, traditional in the sense that she still wears the dark dress, babushka, and just looks like someone who would pose for some traditional Slovak heritage photo from the past.
I live in Arizona, and there are no Slovak clubs, organisations, or cultural groups nearby. All of my immediate family's Slovak cultural heritage is learned from text, websites, The Spectator, and CD-Roms that teach us the language as well as some texts that I picked up when I was there last year. I wish I could be a part of some sort of a Slovak heritage group.
If the divide continues between the older and younger Slovak expatriates, we are in for a possible loss of our culture. What are some things that can help to avoid this? What are some things that have been tried? This is sad.
I love Slovakia and the people, at least those I have met... I hope to take my family and return to live in Slovakia someday soon.
23. Aug 2004 at 0:00