Catholic Easter and modern Slovakia

Almost four years ago I was getting goosebumps while listening to my Czech friends’ terrifying tales on Easter traditions, during our intercultural exchange meetings as Erasmus students in Spain. It seems that in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Easter Mondays are a young woman’s worst nightmare. How else would you call being dragged outside your house, thrown water at (buckets of water, to be exact) and whipped with willow branches? My Dracula-style stories of Romanian traditions would never fit in the same category of horror. And if you’re a woman, you know exactly what I mean.Read More »

First impressions

My first days in Bratislava were, as expected, days of discoveries. There’s not much of a cultural shock an European could experience in Slovakia, especially in Bratislava. Travelling so much helped me realise Europeans are not very different, especially the young ones :). Slovakia may look very vintage but, in many ways, it is extremely modern (at least Bratislava is, probably because of being so close – geographically – to other cultures). Westerners might notice a lower level of life and all its consequences, also the abundance of soviet-style buildings. Let’s not forget the annoying bureaucracy, so typical in the former communist block. But I come from mighty Eastern Europe and all this looked like home. And I think Bratislava is really pretty.Read More »