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Reader feedback: Living a dream

Re: Culture matters: Creating harmony with a smile, Volume 11, Number 27, July 11-17, 2005

I was fortunate to be born of Slovak parents who came here to America around 1900. I grew up with all the trappings of being an American. Many other friends that I knew didn't keep up their Slovak, and lost it almost completely by the time they grew up.

We spoke only Slovak at home. I did not learn English until I started Elementary school. Thankfully my parents kept up talking Slovak at home, and to this day I am grateful for that. My wife also happens to be Slovak too. I have been able to converse with my relatives in Slovakia through the Internet, and to this day subscribe to various Slovak publications.

I'm still learning to read Slovak, but love it. I've waited so many years to finally see Slovakia become ruled by Slovaks, and to pursue their own destiny.

Slovaks are lovers of music and singing and honest and hard working. The Communist years made them indifferent, for those 50 years. However, slowly but surely they will see the right way.

I had the privilege of visiting Slovakia in the summer of 2000. Needless to say I interpreted for my fellow Americans on our trip.

I spoke with every person possible while there and truly loved it.

I lived my dream. Finding my relatives and being able to speak to them in Slovak was a thrill beyond compare.

Yes, culture matters.

Vince Stankay,
Florida, USA

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