March 19, 2017
Bratislava with its 500,000 inhabitants is the capital city of Slovakia. While it is the capital, by no means does it feel like the most culturally important place in Slovakia. In fact, I am sometimes left with the feeling that “Bratislava is not Slovakia.” Bratislava feels so very capable of putting on airs. It’s a nice city, one that I’ve chosen to live in, but not as important of a city as some people seem to think it is.
Its inhabitants, especially the inhabitants who have no contact with life east of Bratislava engage in a post-1992 form of Pragocentrism, adjusted for the new borders. It’s Blavocentrism – the mistaken idea that Bratislava (or Blava) is the center of the world. People in big cities all over the world (some more deservedly than others) believe that their big city and their isolated experiences are indicative of the experience of all people living in their country. Blavocentrism also insists that Bratislava is the center of Slovak culture, when in reality, so many of the displays of culture in the capital city are simply second class imitations of some more original display of culture from some other part of the world. That can leave a visitor feeling like more authentic displays of Slovak culture can be found outside of the capital city.
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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