Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

HISTORY TALKS...

For love, or for land?

WHILE we can only guess as to whether this young couple from Rozbehy in the Záhorie region married out of love, it is likely they did not. Not that people were incapable of falling in love in the past, but in the countryside marriage was viewed quite differently than it is today.

WHILE we can only guess as to whether this young couple from Rozbehy in the Záhorie region married out of love, it is likely they did not. Not that people were incapable of falling in love in the past, but in the countryside marriage was viewed quite differently than it is today.

For women, marriage used to be the only form of economic security, as there was practically no work for them in the villages. For men, marriage was a precondition for acquiring property and gaining independence.

Both sexes were forced into marriages that parents selected for them. Young men were forced to marry girls of the same social standing, which sometimes included distant relatives. The main impetus for a wedding was to connect possessions, not people. An estate married another estate, or, as was said in the Gemer region: one small plot joins another small plot to create a bigger one.

Of course, options for people from poor families were limited. Thus, poor, single girls sometimes relied on a tactic that occasionally worked: they would discreetly invite boys over for the night – especially wealthier ones – and thus try to trap them into marriage by becoming pregnant. In conservative village communities this bold scheme was sometimes successful, but if it backfired, it would spell disaster for the girl: being unmarried and pregnant was a humiliating and disadvantageous position for women.

The newly weds in this postcard were photographed some time in the 1920s by Karel Plicka, a well-known photographer of the period. Their beautifully embroidered folk wedding costumes are worth mentioning, too.

Top stories

EU roaming fees to end on June 15 – in theory

Slovak customers still waiting to find out how mobile operators will implement change.

Archaeologist pieces together early history of what is now western Slovakia Photo

For an archaeologist, the most important thing is his most recent rare discovery, says Július Vavák.

Students visited Svätý Jur as part of their European Wanderer project

How to sell Slovak books to English readers

Slovak literature makes it to the big bookstores of London, but it is unlikely to become a bestseller yet.

On Wednesday, Slovak literature will be presented in one of the biggest bookstores in London. Among the new books translated into English is also the anthology of current Slovak prose selected and translated by Magdalena Mullek and Júlia Sherwood.

General Prosecutor filed a motion for the dissolution of ĽSNS

The Slovak Supreme Court received a motion to dissolve the extreme right ĽSNS party founded and led by Marian Kotleba.

Jaromír Čižnár