Fusion of cultures

CHINESE theatre, presentations of Indian cuisine, discussions about Islam and the status of foreign nationals living in Slovakia, a Slovak band performing along with refugees and various film premieres were only a few of the events featured in the 8th annual [fjúžn] festival organised by the Milan Šimečka Foundation (NMŠ) between April 18 and 24 in Bratislava.

One of the discussions with foreigners held during previous editions of [fjúžn].One of the discussions with foreigners held during previous editions of [fjúžn]. (Source: Radovan Dranga)

CHINESE theatre, presentations of Indian cuisine, discussions about Islam and the status of foreign nationals living in Slovakia, a Slovak band performing along with refugees and various film premieres were only a few of the events featured in the 8th annual [fjúžn] festival organised by the Milan Šimečka Foundation (NMŠ) between April 18 and 24 in Bratislava.

“Festival [fjúžn] aspires not only to be a showcase for the culture of new minorities, but also a celebration of diversity and an attempt to promote deeper reflection of what it means to live alongside foreigners in Slovakia,” said programme director of the NMŠ Laco Oravec, as quoted in a press release.

[fjúžn] is a transcription of the English word ‘fusion’, which describes the uniting of musical styles or adding Asian ingredients to European food. As described in the festival press release, the festival, formerly known as the Week of New Minorities, “aims to unite people from various cultures, to deepen knowledge and understanding about new minorities in Slovakia, as well as to show Slovaks the life of foreigners”.

The organisers of the festival “fuse” various types of events, including cultural performances like concerts, theatre or films, various discussions, special programmes for children and meetings with the communities of foreigners in Slovakia, Martin Brix, manager of [fjúžn], told The Slovak Spectator.

This year the festival offered about 40 events, which was twice as many as last year, Brix added.

More than 2,000 people came to [fjúžn] this year, with the highest number attending the good-bye party called [fjúžn] on the Run, at which asylum seekers from the camp in Rohovce, Dunajská Streda district, performed together with the Slovak band La3no Cubano, Brix and Oravec said.

The theme of this year’s festival was ‘Home’. Oravec explained the choice saying: “Perhaps every person in the world desires to find a place where they feel at home. And for foreigners it is after all a bit more difficult.”


This page was prepared by Tímea Becková, Roman Cuprik, Michaela Džomeková, Miroslava Germanová, Kristína Hamárová, Karolína Kučerová, Radka Minarechová, Martina Raábová, Lenka Sabová, Natália Semianová and Carmen Virágová. The authors are all participating in the Reporting Diversity programme, which is aimed at training young journalists to report on diversity and minorities within Slovak society. The programme is prepared by The Slovak Spectator in cooperation with Comenius University's School of Journalism and is supported by the US Embassy in Bratislava.

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