SLOVAK WORD OF THE WEEK

Kapor

THE CARP (kapor) is not only Slovakia’s favourite Christmas meal. It also serves to describe someone extremely lazy, or boring. 2010 has definitely not been a carp year for Slovakia. In the past 12 months, the country has witnessed at least three major events that will go down in history:

THE CARP (kapor) is not only Slovakia’s favourite Christmas meal. It also serves to describe someone extremely lazy, or boring. 2010 has definitely not been a carp year for Slovakia. In the past 12 months, the country has witnessed at least three major events that will go down in history:

1. The national team’s premiere at the football World Cup. “Repre” had never before made it even to the European Championship. Its presence in South Africa and spectacular defeat of Italy, the ruling champions, will be remembered by generations to come.

2. The parliamentary elections. A year ago, few would have guessed that Robert Fico, despite winning elections, would not be able to form a new coalition and would lose the premiership. The failure of Vladimír Mečiar’s HZDS marks the end of an entire era. And the new government brings hope of better governance and increased transparency in public life. In any case, the change of mood in society is dramatic.

3. The murder of Ernest Valko. The elite attorney had controversial clients, was involved in controversial cases, and the motives of the crime may never be known. But the fact is that the killing of someone as prominent as the former head of the Czechoslovak Constitutional Court is something unprecedented and many will remember where they were when they found out that Valko had been shot. The killing was reminiscent of the way business and politics are done in countries further to the east. Is this where we could be heading?

All three events illustrate an important point – how much Slovakia can achieve with some effort and a bit of luck. And how much can still go wrong. 2011 will be no year to be a kapor.


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