I’ve lived in all these cities. In a way I’m more a Central European than anything else.
What I don’t understand is that Bratislava is always trying to look like the mini Prague or the micro Vienna. It’s always trying to play on the cultural note of being part of the national history and that the national history are these old buildings with the statues, the palaces and such.
I have a large problem with this, because the capital - Bratislava wasn’t at all Slovak, but rather German or Hungarian. The problem is that we’re destroying what’s left of the old traditional culture - the simplicity, the colours, the old folk costumes and are trying to present ourselves through this different culture that’s simply been left behind by foreign empires.
Our culture isn’t about fancy palaces in central Bratislava - these were the houses of rich Austrian or Hungarian folks and have nothing to do with our authentic history.
More authentic would be an old guy taking care of his sheep smoking a pipe somewhere on a hill.
Many people, mostly young Bratislavians are adapting the notion and are trying to show themselves through a non-existant past. A past filled with kings, princesses and palaces, but this is all fake.
Yes - the tourists who visit Bratislava are presented with a history that mostly isn’t ours. Or maybe only partially. It’s the adapted history. History which was left behind.
Once you travel outside of the centre of the capital - just a mile away - the rest of the country, which is 99% of what’s there doesn’t have anything to do with the history that’s being presented.
The Japanese or Finish people aren’t ashamed to present their folk art, their Real past. The Kimonos, the old wooden homes with traditional roofs, the colourful patterns.
We - in Slovakia despise this. We destroy it. Don’t value it at all.
There was a craze a few years ago in making apartment blocks in Central Slovakia “warmer” - they had these beautiful patterns - every entrance had a pattern, the houses had these traditional patterns.
Fuck that, let’s just put the isolation over those. Who cares what are past was, right?
and the Slovak:
- usually just destroying culture. People only give a fuck once it starts burning.
In any case - what’s the real history isn’t the old buildings of old town Bratislava, but this:
So why does everyone involved try to make BA the mini Prague or the micro Vienna?
Why should once again be the identity searched someplace else and the actual cultural identity dismissed?
I just don’t understand why we always hide the folk art, the simplicity of the old people behind the foreign left-over palaces and other fetishes.