Speaking In A Person’s Native Tongue, Singing In A Person’s Native Tongue

Native Tongue

August 19, 2017

Allan Stevo

I will never regret the 10 or 20 fun hours of my life spent learning to sing Polish folk songs and the 10 fun minutes a few times a year to refresh my memory.

I was recently reminded of this when past check-in time, I entered a mountain treasure in Maplecrest in the Catskills of New York and found a Polish couple Jan and Agnieszka, the owners and operators.

Having been to a person’s homeland and to be able to talk about it with some proficiency means so much. A few words in a person’s native language means even more. You reach a person’s heart with their native language. A few lines of a song sung in their native tongue immediately assumes you in their culture and proves how well-placed you are, how knowledgeable you are, and how deferential to learning about that culture you are.

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Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

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The American Government’s Role In The Turkish Coup

Turkey

August 18, 2017

Allan Stevo

Last month I sat with a friend recounting the current turmoil in Turkey and how many people he knew had been displaced by the violence.

In the midst of the conversation, things turned political and I said to him in commiseration “And who knows, maybe thirty years from now it’ll come out that the US government was responsible for it all.”

I didn’t expect that within a week a sycophantic Obama administration mouthpiece would run a story that wonders aloud whether the US Government, through the CIA and the White House, directly played a role in the coup in Turkey. That’s exactly what was done in the article Turks Can Agree on One Thing: U.S. Was Behind Failed Coup in The New York Times on August 2, 2016. Of course the article dismisses it all as conspiracy theory and chortles at the silly Turks for thinking the US Government would be involved in any coup against the Turkish government.

Phew! That was a close one. Ugly Obama Administration falsehood thoroughly dismissed – now that the New York Times has had the last word, all the sycophants of the world can link to the New York Times article and comfortably disregard any doubt that creeps into anyone’s mind about what really happened during the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. Upholders of the status quo all over the country will be able to respond “I read ‘all about that’ in a New York Times expose. That’s all a bunch of conspiracy theory talk. You’re not one of those are you?” Rumor dismissed. The CIA had nothing to do with the coup ! President Obama had nothing to do with the coup !

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Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

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An Attack On Free Speech Is An Attack On Individuality

The Anti-Individuality Police

August 17, 2017

Allan Stevo

When I see an attack on free speech, an attack that can generally be described as “political correctness” and as enforcement of the overly sensitive values of political correctness, I see an attack on individuality and I also see an attack on the tendency of insight regarding upbringing and culture in providing the insightful observer with information about an individual.
 

Cultural Influences

I know firsthand that I think differently in each language, that I speak and carry with it different aspects of my personality. Who is realistically going to be able to tell me that a person’s native language and culture do not provide valuable insight into that person? An overly sensitive ivory tower academic who maybe speaks one or two languages in an academic context? That would not make sense for me to allow such an uniformed perspective to silence me or even alter my well-developed, well-informed perspective. Yet this seems to be a popular trend – to ignore a person’s culture foundation.

I hope you too will not hurry to adopt politically correct airs just because it was the trend for a very brief period in human existence. And heaven forbid you take the common additional step that social justice warriors take once they become familiar with the tool of political correctness: to silence or bully others in deference to this sad trend that attacks the beautiful Western value of freedom of speech.

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Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

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Slovaks Love Mushrooms – In The English Language We Call Them “Toadstools” – Why?

Slovaks Love Mushrooms – In The English Language We Call Them “Toadstools” – Why?

August 16, 2017

Allan Stevo

The authors R. Gordon Wasson and Valentina Pavlovna Wasson spent a great deal of time and effort investigating why some cultures (such as the husband’s American culture) loathed wild mushrooms, while other cultures (such as the wive’s Slavic culture) adored them.

In this selection, from their book Mushrooms, Russia, and History, they analyze the English word “toadstool” and identify it as part of the “mycophobic” aspect of English culture. Wasson and Wasson coined two new words – mychophobic (cultures that avoid wild mushrooms) and mycophilic (cultures that seek out wild mushrooms).  Slovak culture is most certainly mycophilic.  Below is their investigation into the history and etymology of the word toadstool.

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Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

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Sitting Down For Some “Grub” – It’s An English Term Related To The Slovak For Mushroom


Sitting Down For Some “Grub”

August 16, 2017

Allan Stevo

The authors R. Gordon Wasson and Valentina Pavlovna Wasson spent a great deal of time and effort investigating why some cultures (such as the husband’s American culture) loathed wild mushrooms, while other cultures (such as the wive’s Slavic culture) adored them.  The relation between the English word “grub” and the Slovak hrib or the Russian grib is illustrated in the passage below from their book Mushrooms, Russia, and History.

Their Wasson and Wasson’s passage relates to Slovak in the following way. In the Slovak language, the entire family to which mushrooms belong are calledhuba and a specific type of mushroom with a spongy underside to its cap is called hrib like the Russian grib.  It is common for a word from Serbian, Russia, Polish as well to be identical to a Slovak word, aside from the fact that their G’s are represented as H’s in Slovak.  Here are Wasson and Wasson, from their book Mushrooms, Russia, and History.

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Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

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Advice On How To Kill With A Slovak Mushroom


Advice On How To Kill With A Slovak Mushroom

August 15, 2017

Allan Stevo

The authors R. Gordon Wasson and Valentina Pavlovna Wasson spent a great deal of time and effort investigating why some cultures (such as the husband’s American culture) loathed wild mushrooms, while other cultures (such as the wive’s Slavic culture) adored them.  Below is a bizarre piece of advice contained in their book Mushrooms, Russia, and History pointing out how hard it is to trace deaths by a specific kind of mushroom.

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Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

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How The Slavs First Came To Know Mushrooms


How The Slavs First Came To Know Mushrooms

August 15, 2017

Allan Stevo

The authors R. Gordon Wasson and Valentina Pavlovna Wasson spent a great deal of time and effort investigating why some cultures (such as the husband’s American culture) loathed wild mushrooms, while other cultures (such as the wive’s Slavic culture) adored them.  Below, they propose a theory that Slavs came to know mushrooms while fleeing into the woods to avoid attack from invaders.  It comes from their book Mushrooms, Russia, and History.

In the early Slavonic chronicles the Russians are depicted always as farmers, not traders or warriors, and their enemies habitually  took advantage of this dependence on the soil to attack their homesteads and villages at harvest time.

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Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

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How Maria Theresa’s Dad Died From Eating Poisonous Mushrooms


How Maria Theresa’s Dad Died From Eating Poisonous Mushrooms

August 14, 2017

Allan Stevo

The authors R. Gordon Wasson and Valentina Pavlovna Wasson spent a great deal of time and effort investigating why some cultures (such as the husband’s American culture) loathed wild mushrooms, while other cultures (such as the wive’s Slavic culture) adored them.

They spend a great deal of time telling the story of mushrooms through references in language and culture.  In this selection, from their book Mushrooms, Russia, and History, they tell the story of how a meal of poisonous mushrooms change the course of history and threw the Hapsburg empress Maria Theresa into the spotlight.

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Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at www.52inSk.com. He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at www.AllanStevo.com. If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

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