SLOVAKIA. LOCATION. Region: EASTERN EUROPE. Neighbours: POLAND (North) UKRAINE (East) HUNGARY (South) AUSTRIA (West) CZECH REPUBLIC (West). Location. BASIC FACTS.
Region: EASTERN EUROPE
Neighbours: POLAND (North)
CZECH REPUBLIC (West)
Official name: SLOVAK REPUBLIC
Area: 49,010 square kilometers
Major cities: BRATISLAVA
Parts of the Carpatian Mountains are located in western Slovakia. The Tatry range in the north includes Slovakia´s highest point, Mount Gerlach (2,655 metres).
The eastern lowlands are an extension of the Plain of Hungary.
The High Tatry
MAJOR RIVERS AND LAKES
The Danube forms part of Slovakia´s southern border with the Hungary, and the River Morava serves as part of its border with the Czech Republic. Various other rivers flow through Slovakia, including the Váh, Hron, Bodrog, Poprad, Hornad, and Ondava.
Slovakia´s numerous natural springs are being promoted as a tourist attraction.
Slovakia´s climate is primarily continental, with warm summers and cold winters.
Harsh winters and heavy rainfall are common in the Carpatian Mountains, while the eastern lowland regions have hot summers and moderate rainfall.
Type of government: PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY Independence: 1 January 1993 Constitution: Ratified 1 September 1992 Voting Rights: Universal at age 18
Slovakia´s head of state, the president, is elected by the Slovak National Council, which has 150 members directly elected by universal suffrage using secret ballots. The prime minister is head of government. Court judges are chosen by the National Council. Slovakia has 4 regions and is subdivided into 38 districts.
Celtic tribes were living in what is now Slovakia by about the 5th century BC. They were later replaced by Germanic tribes, and Slavic peoples moved into the area during the 5th century AD.
Ethnic Divisions: SLOVAK 85,7 percent HUNGARIAN 10,37percent ROMA 1,5 percent CZECH 1,0 percent Other 1,1 percent
Official language: SLOVAK
Slovak is a Slavic language, a group that also includes Czech, Polish, and Russian. Hungarian is widely spoken in the south. The Romanies speak Romany as well as Slovak.
German is widely understood, while English is the language of choice for study in school. Russian was a required subject in school during the Communist period.
Freedom of worship is guaranteed in Slovakia and Christianity is the dominant religion.
ROMAN CATHOLIC 60,3 percent PROTESTANT 8,4 percent ORTHODOX 4,1 percent Other 17,5 percent None (ATHEIST) 9,7 percent
Marriage and Family
Diet and Eating
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
Men generally marry between the ages of 23 and 26, and women about three years earlier. Most Slovak families have two or three children. Most women work outside the home, and 44 percetn of the labour force is female. Women are usually also responsible for the care of the home and children, although some men are beginning to share the household duties.
DIET AND EATING
Among the mostpopular Slovak foods are rezeň (breaded steak) and potatoes. The national dish is bryndzové halušky (small dumplings made with sheep´s cheese). Freshly baked bread and soup are important parts of the diet. Popular desserts include koláč (nut or poppy-seed rolls) and torta (cake).
The main meal is traditionally eaten in the middle of the day. A lighter meal of cold meats, cheese and bread is eaten in the evening.
Soccer, ice hockey, skiing, and tenis are the most popular sports in Slovakia. Other forms of recreation include walking, camping, swimming, and attending local festivals, cinemas, cultural events, and art exhibitions.
Slovaks take special pride in their folk music and sing with enthusiasm at gatherings. Folk art is also appreciated and is often given to foreign visitors as a gift.
Many Slovaks spend weekends or vacations in the Tatry Mountains.