Hooray for the Slovaks!

07 Jan

There’s something deeply likable about that nation. No, it’s not just their traditions on Dyngus Day. I have met quite a few people of Slovak background, and all have been hail fellows, well met. Warm, funny, faithful, salt of the earth.

But I think the thing I like most is that word above, nation. They strike me as a people less likely to subsume their identity in the anomie of modernism. They also have a quirky sense of timing: they are issuing a coin for the 1150th anniversary of the efforts of Saints Cyril and Methodius to bring Orthodox Christianity to the Slavs.

Behold the coin:

Slovakia euro coin 2
Now, that wicked, anti-Christian bureaucracy known as the EU has required its alteration: apparently the Saints originally had halos atop their heads, a step too far for some other member states. So you will see no halos in that picture. Of course, there is an Orthodox cross, and a three-humped little mountain that it rests upon (wonder what that could be?), but those are permitted: they are the coat of arms of the Slovak nation.


Posted by on January 7, 2013 in Uncategorized


5 responses to “Hooray for the Slovaks!

  1. Will S.

    January 7, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Interestingly, the Czechs have kept their own currency (like Britain), unlike Slovakia, which has adopted the Euro. As a result, the Czech Republic is doing well, economically, while Slovakia’s economy is suffering. However, economic prosperity isn’t the end-all, be-all, and maybe the fiscally poorer Slovaks are spiritually richer; goodness knows that the Czechs are not particularly faithful…


    January 9, 2013 at 10:42 am

    The three-humped little mountain represents the hill where the three crosses were erected; one for Christ (shown), two for the robbers who died with him (not shown).

  3. empathologism

    January 9, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    I am a frequent visitor to Slovakia (Trnava and Smolenici), several times each year anyway. I love the country and the people. The houses I go in all have the orthodox blessings written above the doors, which is likely common across that whole region, but Ive only experienced it in Slovakia. Drinking locally made mead and ice skating in the town square…all that…very nice.

  4. Sam

    January 22, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    I’m not sure what is meant by the references to capital O Orthodox Christianity in this post and comments. The majority of Slovaks are Roman Catholic. Less than 1% of the population is Orthodox.
    Otherwise, I agree with everyone’s high opinion of the Slovaks, having lived off and on for many years in central Europe.

  5. Antonym

    February 6, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    that info is quite old, from 14. Dec it’s known that Slovaks managed to convince European commission to allow version with halos…

    btw, Orthodoxy wasn’t important at all (it was way before the Great Schism after all) when Cyril and Methodius came to Great Moravia (yeah, they were far more in the Czech republic then in Slovakia). Important was getting less dependant on Germany* (and their Roman bishops) and the fact that C&M brought here (we can say that they invented it) Slavic liturgy – because German bishops did Latin only – so the ordinary people could finally understand it. C&M also translated part of the Bible and for that purpose created first Slavic alphabet – glagolitic.

    * more accurate would be March of Pannonia

    “three-humped little mountain” is probably Kriváň (you can see there a photo of a cross on the top of the mountain), which kinda became Slovak national symbol because they for a long time falsely believed that it was their highest mountain 😀

    Cheers from the Czech republic 🙂

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