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Aspiring bandits celebrate Jánošík, learn to throw valaškas

ON A weekend in mid June, Czech, Polish, Ukrainian and Slovak bandits gathered in the birthplace of legendary Slovak outlaw Juraj Jánošík in Terchová, at the 2nd International Meeting of Bandits. On June 15, they were trained in the arts of wielding a valaška (a traditional Slovak axe), hanging from a hook and making a skillful exit from the scene of a robbery.

Dramatic moments before the execution of Jánošík. (Source: TASR)

ON A weekend in mid June, Czech, Polish, Ukrainian and Slovak bandits gathered in the birthplace of legendary Slovak outlaw Juraj Jánošík in Terchová, at the 2nd International Meeting of Bandits. On June 15, they were trained in the arts of wielding a valaška (a traditional Slovak axe), hanging from a hook and making a skillful exit from the scene of a robbery.

Famous mime Miroslav Kaszprzyk led the gang of outlaws from the Liptov region to Terchová. “I must say that I watch the guys closely – they develop, train, exercise, improve – we have a lot to look for,” the Liptov bandit chieftain told the TASR newswire. “The future is ours. Those who can write, write down what we – the illiterate – come up with; and then those who can read, read it.” This year’s “conference of bandits” put their force, powers, skills and dexterity to the test, as well as their ability to cook a good goulash.

However, Jánošík’s executioners were unable to finish the job. His gang freed him from under the gallows and promptly robbed the visitors who came to watch the execution.

“Everything is good, everything is valuable,” the head of the bandits rejoiced. “We take everything that can be spotted, everything that flashes. Dividing the loot is very simple: One for you; one for me; one for the boys; one for me, one for the poor. Well, the poor don’t need it – so one for me again. Or let us just give it all to the poor, and we will enjoy it,” Kasprzyk concluded.

“Terchová is famous as the very birthplace of Jánošík and we felt that such an event might be successful and popular,” head of the Tourism Association Terchová (ZTT) Jozef Mičo said. “With Vlado Švec and Fero Stráňava, we decided to organise an international gathering of bandits. And the people’s response and the number of visitors give us the impression that it makes sense. And I firmly believe that this event will get its place in the schedule of the Cultural Summer – be it in Terchová or in Slovakia,” he added.

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