April 15, 2017
Slovakia is Central Europe by many definitions. Those who say otherwise generally tend to be ignorant on the topic or joking around.
For example, I’ve been told in jest that the vychodňari (people of Eastern Slovakia) are of a different mind than the rest of the people of Slovakia and that Asia starts at Štrba (a village in central/eastern Slovakia, below the High Tatras, above the Low Tatras, situated along the European Continental Divide). Not only is it not the start of Asia, it’s not even the start of Eastern Europe.
East Moved West
After World War II, Eastern Europe came west, swallowing up much of Central Europe and blurring the borders. That extra blurring of the borders by the aggressively extraterritorial Russians made the borders so blurry that to many, Europe went from analogue to digital – where there was previously much gray began to be perceived as black and white. “The ability to capture the subtle nature of the real world is the advantage of analog techniques.” The analogue nature of life, and especially the analogue nature of the polyglot land called Central Europe was lost in the power struggle between the two world empires – the Eurasian USSR and the North American USA. In this more digital, this more binary model, you were either West or East. Many outsiders saw it as being either “for us” or “against us.” And it didn’t really matter who the “us” was, much of the world saw that clear digital division. When you’re talking about borders its important to remember how blurry borders can be.
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.