IN EARLY August the 48th traditional Slovak National Festivities took place in Báčsky Petrovec in Serbia. Slovakia’s deputy prime minister, Dušan Čaplovič, attended the festivities.
“Slovaks in Serbia’s Vojvodina region make up one of the biggest bodies of Slovaks living abroad, of which we are very proud,” Čaplovič told SITA prior to his departure. “Since the arrival of our first ancestors in this territory a quarter of a millennium has elapsed and all the generations up to today have managed to convey and preserve Slovak national awareness, authentic culture, traditions and habits, dances and songs, but especially beautiful Slovak [language]. This is really exceptional. After crossing Hungary, you get the impression that you are back in Slovakia.”
The local Slovak minority in Serbia cherishes Slovak culture, but also has its own schools and media and Slovaks from Vojvodina have representatives in the government and parliament of Vojvodina, according to Čaplovič.
The Slovak National Festivities is the biggest annual presentation of culture and art of the Slovak minority in Serbia. They live in particular in the northern part of Vojvodina, creating the biggest cohesive Slovak community in the world.
The community numbers about 56,000 out of the estimated total of 60,000 Slovaks living in Serbia. Their ancestors come in particular from parts of what is now central and northern Slovakia. They settled in Vojvodina about 260 years ago.
The festivities offered a colourful programme, with many social, cultural and sports events, including theatre performances and concerts.
21. Sep 2009 at 0:00