Slovakia and the Slovaks: who we are
Slovakia is not one of the countries everybody's been to. You will discover hundreds of unexpected curiosities and secrets in almost every village or a small town, in the mountains and valleys. It is Slovakia where you can feel as a real explorer who is always able to discover something new. Include Slovakia in your tourist routes.
Slovaks are emotional nation. We experience our joys, successes, disappointments and sorrows with emotions. We are sincere, friendly, open, hearty, generous, but also touchy. This is the way we differ from our neighbouring nations. But in the end, it is our heartiness and trustfulness that prevail. We are able to fully experience joys and concerns of our visitors and empathise with their feelings. We are a country of friends!
Folk crafts, costumes, music and dances in Slovakia are passed on from one generation to another. There are different cultural traditions and folklore in every valley. Many folklore festivals and performances are held in Slovakia throughout a year. Slovak overtone flute called "fujara" as well as Music of Terchova were included in the UNESCO List of Intangible Heritage, the Radvan Fair and "gajdy" bagpipes are on the waiting list.
Slovakia is a country of contrasts. It changes right in front of your eyes, yet everything and everywhere is nearby. It just takes a couple of hours to get from the Danubian Lowland to the Central European Highlands, still bodies of water are just at a stone's throw from turbulent river rapids. You can get swiftly from urban agglomerations to secluded, romantic highway gateways with unspoiled nature.
Due to its geographical position, Slovakia's always been an important trade and cultural intersection. In a relatively small area influences and remnants of western as well as eastern cultures or religions can be detected. In Slovakia you can find northern discipline along with southern temperament, and western rationality with eastern emotionality. It is reflected in eventfulness of everyday life.
Slovakia is a young, progressive country. During almost three decades of its existence we've gone through dynamic changes, new things emerge every day. We surprise the world by our advanced technical level which goes hand in hand with human touch. New companies are founded every day, new objects or city landmarks emerge, life conditions are improving, but we keep our traditional values as well. This is Slovakia.
We can praise ourselves with skilful and resourceful people who have managed to succeed abroad, as well as with successful and innovative companies and projects which are respected by demanding international community. We are represented in science, culture and sports. World-changing inventions are associated with the names of Joseph Maximiliam Petzval (inventor of photographic objective lens), Jozef Murgaš (inventor of wireless telegraph), Jan Bahýľ (inventor of helicopter), Štefan Banič (invetor of a parachute), Aurel Stodola (founder of the theory of steam and gas turbines), Ivan Alexander Getting (inventor of GPS), and many others. In a field of culture we are famous for the founder of pop art, Andy Warhol, well-known are names and performances of tens of opera singers, painters, photographers and sportsmen. You can find successful Slovaks everywhere.