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Volume 15, No. 4, Winter 2007

Slovak Heritage Live

A quarterly newsletter published by Vladimir Linder

Winter issue was published in October 2007 and it was mailed to 1000 recipients world wide. 


On September 26, I have received an email with great news form my friend and the principal of Liptovská Teplička Elementary School VALIKA ČERNOHORSKÁ, that the village has been named THE VILLAGE OF THE YEAR 2007. All along I was hoping that they would win this competition as they try so hard to have a beautiful village in these hard times. There are improvements noticeable every time I return. This year they opened a new soccer field, and a tennis, volleyball and basketball artificial turf court with club house, containing changing rooms, washrooms and showers. This club house will have a fitness center as well. Last year they opened their museum, remodeled the cultural center and volunteer fire hall. They got the road rebuilt to Vikartovce, year ago they rebuilt the road to Šuňava. The mayor and my friend JOZEF MEZOVSKÝ is doing a great job in putting Liptovská Teplička on the map. I was so happy and overwhelmed from their success that I opened a bottle of Chilean Sparkling wine and had a toast to their success.

I made a congratulatory web page: DEDINA ROKA-VILLAGE OF THE YEAR 2007

I was so happy that I also wrote a poem:

 Because a village that is behind God’s back,
even two times
where the foxes are saying good night,
a village full of surprises and night’s breeze and silence,
where a person hears the wind,
at night you are kind of closer to the stars,
the brook Tepli
čka is plopping beautifully,
in the morning you are awaken by
the sound of the bells of by passing cows
going to the pasture,
where everything is as if the time stood still,
if only for a moment
a village I love,
village Liptovsk
á Teplička,
yes my village.
I am happy that I found you



Vladimir Linder

Hello Vlad,
Now you’ve done it finally, stimulated this response by your latest newsletter of summer 2007. Not only because of your impassioned pleas over expired subscriptions, but also due to that issue’s “Mailbag” which displayed 3 letters from this Ohio area-one of which is from here, Barberton, by a Paul Kosuth, hereto fore unknown, but whom I’ve since contacted certainly and enthusiastically! (It took Vlad 2500 miles away to introduce Paul, .25 mile away, or, Paul Kosuth’s 5000 miles letter circuit!)
That newsletter also contained the article “A dream Becomes Reality,” by Paul Berish of  N.Y. and it referred to our Paul Hudak of Lakewood and Rudy Bachna of Kent-the latter president and founder of our Kent-Dudince sister city Association-in describing a Slovakia tour they hosted, and appealingly personal for Paul Berish. But it so happened that I needed to visit Rudy (on Vine St.) in Kent prior to a regular monthly K-DSCA meeting and I took along your newsletter just received. My brief interruption of this newsletter editing quickly changed to elation-his, with Paul’s Berish article and mine, with seeing his layout photos of the same Štefánik monument as featured on and in your newsletter! And he also possesses a Štefánik related WWI uniform.
So after all the above, I am enclosing a $100.00 check for renewal subscriptions plus one CANENS CD. As I’ve belonged to choral groups; what’s the meaning of “CANENS” an acronym? Did you know our K-DSCA sponsored a similar concert tour to Slovakia in 2004 by our Kent Roosevelt High School Choir? The CD will go to their director.
You have publicized much about Levoča; but did you know there is another Slovak Greek Catholic Marian pilgrimage site second only to Levoča in Lutina, Šariš county about 25 miles NW of Prešov? I and others in Ohio, PA, NY and CT would be delighted if you would check out this humbler site of Basilica Minor since 1988 and its 1851 initial events that happened on “Ljučinská Hôrka” nearby. The full story appeared in “The New Rusyn Times” July/Aug. 2001, Pittsburgh, PA., and This is also my parental grandparents marriage locale in 1893 (Jakubiak and Trojanovics)… and so a tribute.
Finally I am enclosing a photo of that more realistic Spišská Sobota Last Supper of yours with my framing. It has replaced a sophisticated 15th century Florentine one in the dining room and previously explained.
Heartfelt best wishes and some relief,

George E. Jakubiak
Barberton  OH  USA

Editor’s note: I contacted the director of CANENS choir and he said that the new name was chosen by the girls in 1990, when they had to change their status. He and also Wikipedia on the web say that: In Greek and Roman mythology, Canens was the personification of song. She was a nymph from Latium. Her husband, King Picus, was turned into a woodpecker by Circe because he scorned her love. Canens searched for her husband for six days, and then threw herself into the Tiber River. She sang one final song and then died. They had one son, Faunus.

To: Mr. Linder,
My husband is of Slovak Heritage-the Spiš region-and I have visited Slovakia twice. He will enjoy receiving your heritage newsletter. He is Mr. Louis C. Dugas. My family is from western Hungary and Vienna, so close to Bratislava. My interest in choral music prompted me to send money and blessings to Magdalena. I am in my late sixties and have been singing for fifty-five of those years. My three years with the Heinz Chapel Choir at the University of Pittsburgh allowed me to travel with, and for, music also. My blessings for Magdalena and the CANENS CHOIR.

Sincerely Louise Dugas
Slovan  PA  USA

P.S. My husband’s second cousin Ján Dugas lives in Košice. He and his wife are great people. Also his cousin Ján Bočkay lives in Spišská Nová Ves.

Dear Mr. Linder,
Enclosed is $11.99 to sponsor Magdalena’s trip to South Africa with choir. Our subscription expired in November, please extend it 1 year with the enclosed offer.

Paul R. Chenevey
New Wilmington  PA  USA

Hi Vladimir,
Here is a check for $15.00 for the CANENS CD, and hope Magdalena and friends are able to make the trip. My wife and I visited Bratislava in May 2007. My grandparents were Slovak. My aunt (deceased) visited there years ago…I have no living relatives there now.
Best wishes,

Wes Grimes
Rialto  CA  USA

In the summer issue you have read about CANENS choir, where I sing already ten years and about our planned trip to South Africa. You also had a chance to buy our profile CD. I hope that if you have bought it, you liked it. I would like this way to thank everybody for their favor and support, because by buying our CD, you have helped me a lot. Without your help my journey to South Africa wouldn’t be possible.
When we learned with the other girl singers about our planed trip to CAPE TOWN, we were very excited, but several of us realized that financially we couldn’t afford it. Trip to South Africa is yet very financially challenging. Many children from our choir weren’t able to get enough money and that is why only 32 people are going, of which there will be 16 singers from CANENS choir (all together we have 35 singers). The rest of the participants of our trip are dancers from group SETAS, with whom we cooperate approximately 2 years.
It was really hard to get sponsors for our trip. At the end, thanks to my parents, to whom I also grateful, we found a company that was willing to sponsor me. I would like also thank Ing. ŠTEFAN ROSINA, PhD. General director of MATADOR a.s. that is involved in manufacturing tires and other products from technical rubber, for their generous support. I would also like to help the readers of the SLOVAK HERITAGE LIVE newsletter and Mr. Linder who supported me by buying our CD and also their extra contributions towards my trip.
At the present time my journey to South Africa is becoming reality, thanks to your and MATADOR’S support.
I have and will make some money myself thanks to concerts with choir, during summer and fall months for American tourists traveling on cruise ships on river Danube. These concerts last about an hour. We perform with our traditional repertoire, something from classical music and then songs that are in huge demand as Yellow Submarine, I got rhythm, Cabaret, and I’m going up a yonder or a song from Finland Metsa Telegram.
Should I get from my sponsors and supporters additional funds, above my personal costs, I will donate them to the choir. This way I will help other children that are unable to come due to financial difficulties.
So what can we expect in South Africa? We depart on November 19, 2007 from Vienna through Doha, Qatar in the Persian Gulf and Johannesburg to Cape Town, apparently one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We will visit its dominant the Table Mountain. In Durbanville (centre of Cape Town) we are planning to visit DURBANVILLE HIGH SCHOOL, where we will participate in studies and we will after all perform at the CITY DURBANVILLE HALL. We should also visit the ZOO in Cape Town, visit the UNIVERSITY CITY STELLENBOSCH where is the oldest university in South African Republic. We have also planned a visit to the PARLIAMENT BUILDING, NATIONAL MUSEUM, and STAR OBSERVATORY. Following days we will have join performances with our sister music school ATHLON ACADEMY OF MUSIC. In our plans is also a day trip to the most favorite beach of Cape Town-CLIFTON BEACH and a stop at HORN OF PLENTY where the Atlantic and Indian Ocean come together. It will be very exciting for all of us.
And how it will all happen, what will we experience and how successful we were, I plan to inform you after our return on December 2 with my article in the spring 2008 issue of The Slovak Heritage Live Newsletter.

Yours very truly,

Magdaléna Tunegová
Gercenova 27
851 01 Bratislava


The response to Magdalena’s story has been overwhelming and so far we got US$403.90 and I sent Magdalena this summer together 11887.47 SK, this included my personal donation of 2000.00 SK which is about US$ 83.00. As I know we will have more orders, I will transfer the rest of the money to her prior to them going to South Africa in November. Full list of donors will be published in the spring 2008 issue of the Slovak Heritage Live, including story by Magdalena about the SOUTH AFRICA trip. Her mother was instrumental in getting major sponsor ING. ŠTEFAN ROSINA CEO., with whom she went to University in Bratislava of tire works CONTINENTAL MATADOR in Púchov. Their support was US$1240.00.

The company arose in the town of Púchov in 1947 as a “national enterprise” (since 1988 “state-owned enterprise”) that was split off from the old firm Matador Bratislava for tire production.
Matador Bratislava was founded in 1905 (till 1911 known as the “Matador-Gummi und Balata Werke” involved mainly in the production of rubber hoses and belts in its new facilities in Petržalka, a district of Bratislava. Since 1925, it has produced tires (the first tire producer in former Czechoslovakia). Its tires were mounted to all famous Czechoslovak automobiles of the 1930s, thus contributing in cooperation with the brands Škoda, Tatra, Aero and others to the development of automotive industry in Central Europe. The firm was nationalized in 1946 and privatized in 1995. Its trade name has been Matadorex, a.s. since the privatization.
Production in Púchov started in 1950. It was called “Gumárne 1. Mája” at that time, and sold its products under the trademark BARUM. Gradually it expanded its production and became the monopoly producer of air tubes (since 1962) and the main producer of rubber conveyer belts (since 1955) in Czechoslovakia. It also started to produce various truck radial tires in the 1970s etc. The company has founded its own research and development center in 1987 (now “Vipo”) and provided technical assistance for the construction of rubber works in India, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Burma, Syria, Turkey, Iran and Yugoslavia. In 1991 in was turned into a joint-stock company and privatization took place 1992-1994. The trademark of the products of the company was changed to MATADOR and the firm’s name was changed to Gumárne Barum in 1991 and to Matador in 1993.
The joint venture CONTINENTAL MATADOR” for the production of truck tires was established in Púchov in September 1998.
CONTINENTAL MATADOR, s.r.o. is a joint-venture of Hannover based CONTINENTAL AG (76 %) and Slovak MATADOR A.S. (24 %) producing truck tires. The plant is currently under complete modernization.
In April 2007, Continental AG, Hanover, acquired a 51 percent stake in the rubber and conveyor belt business of Matador Group, Púchov, Slovakia. In 2006 Matador Group had 4,770 employees and posted sales of approx. €450 million. “With this strategic alliance we will further improve the quality and volume of Matador tire production, open new markets and increase the value of the Matador brand. After excellent experiences with our truck tire joint venture, we are sure that this partnership will be the best solution for the future of Matador and also for our employees. We are, moreover, also strengthening our position in Automotive-our second strategic business,” said ING. ŠTEFAN ROSINA, CEO. of the MATADOR GROUP.
The ContiTech Conveyor Belt Group also stands to benefit from the acquisition. “Adding Matador’s business to ours makes sense strategically,” said GERHARD LERCH, member of Con­tinental’s Executive Board and responsible for the ContiTech division. “The company is very well-positioned in the Eastern Europe.” With a workforce of 160, Matador manufactures a wide range of textile belts in Slovakia. The ContiTech Conveyor Belt Group has eight loca­tions: in Chile, China, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, and Mexico. With its approximately 2,700 employees, it posted sales of €379 million in 2006.
ŠTEFAN ROSINA CEO. of the Matador Group, expressed his satisfaction: “For us it opens up possibilities to develop further our automotive business in line with our strategy regarding new projects with automotive suppliers.”
By com­bining its own clout and experience with Matador, Continental intends to maximize its market position in Central and Eastern Europe and create supplementary sales possibilities in Rus­sia, as well as in Ukraine.
It is one of the most successful domestic companies of Slovakia and one of major global tire producers. It exports above 87% of its production into 80 countries worldwide. It does not produce only tires, but also associated and similar products and services. It has several trading companies and a network of shops. The largest export customers are the USA, UK, Germany, and the GUS states. GUS states are republics of the former Soviet Union: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

The old medieval Archbishop’s Winter Residence known also under the name Primate’s Palace conformed neither the taste nor requirements of the period of late 18th century in spite of costly reconstructions carried out in the past. The archbishop Cardinal Joseph Batthyany decided to have the old object pulled down and a new one constructed. Luxurious residence was a project by Melchior Hefele, an architect of Austrian origin.
The building was completed in 1781. After Maria Theresa died (1780) Joseph II. step by step moved central institutions of the country back to Buda. Newly built Archbishop’s Palace was not utilized in the way Cardinal had intended. After the Archbishop died in 1799, his successor moved back to Esztergom. Even though Hungarian Archbishops Primates retained the Pressburg (Bratislava) object, they stayed here only occasionally...

: Mons. Prof. ThDr. ICDr. PaedDr. František DLUGOŠ, PhDr.

Christian legends have their dominant spiritual foundation and size, but in past centuries they gained its un doubtful culturally aesthetic and mostly ethic meaning. Old biblical stories are entering and entered into a sphere of national cultures. In the globalization of Europe smart politicians and philosophers are carefully guarding the legends coming from the old ages-great period of the earliest sunrise of history.
Constitution of European Union in its preamble is appealing and leaning against four pillars:
Democratic and political system of ancient Greece
Concept of Roman law
Cultural heritage of the highest period of Italian Renaissance
Principle of Christianity in its aspects of moral customs, spiritual, philosophical and cultural.
Legends are usually connected with important European pilgrimage sites. To who’s from October 4, 2004 Levoča belongs as well.
But with Marian Mount there is no evidence of an immediate direct mystery. More likely the birth of the pilgrimage site above Levočalooks like the consequence of Tartar rides, saving of human lives in the hills of Levoča in 1247. This is the date of beginning pilgrimages to Marian Mount, supported by arrival of Minorites to town. This order began to nurture and spread cult of Virgin Mary and brought the name of the pilgrimage site.
Marian Mount doesn’t have historically researched or proven legend about supernatural appearance of the Mother of God, but it has far more treasures. It didn’t come at once in the form of gift of miracle, but it was forming over the centuries. First pilgrims in the 13th century began to build spiritual site and Christian fundament of Levoča’s holly site. Slovak worshippers pervaded with sincere godliness, deep faith and hope were adding brick to brick, therefore prayer to prayer, confession to confession, Marian song to song.
Our forefathers were keeping deep respect of this Holly place in their hearts; worshipers were running to her with trust, young girls were finding in her their ideal and the sufferers, meaning of their distressful lot.  They were all going to Levoča’s Virgin Mary...


Present day Slovakia was part of the Hungarian Kingdom from the 10th century until the end of World War II. In the early 1500’s Hungary was threatened by plundering raids of the Turks, who defeated the Christian army at the battle of Mohacs in 1526. Luis II. the Hungarian and Czech king also died there. This opened the way into the Hungarian lowlands and the Turks pushed further inland. After the Turkish occupation of capital Buda in 1536, the Hungarian nobility, church and secular dignitaries were forced to look for a new shelter. The Hungarian parliament decided that Pressburg (Bratislava nowadays) would become the capital and coronation city of the Hungarian kings and the seat of the king and the most significant institutions of the country. This was due to Bratislava’s advantageous location and firm fortification. However, the ruler of the entire multinational Habsburg Empire, which was a broad conglomerate of various countries connected only through his person, permanently resided in near by Vienna. The Gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral became the coronation church. From 1536 to 1830, a total of 11 rulers and 8 royal wives were crowned with St. Stephen’s Crown here...


Twenty years ago, I asked my Slovak grandfather to teach me some Slovak words. Rose, I said: How do you say rose?
Ruža, ružička, he answered, and my sister and I imitated those rolling z’s. Something came alive in our mouths: this language that was familiar to him, new to us.
Finally this summer, I followed those rolling z’s back to Slovakia-to Modra, a town just outside Bratislava, famous for ceramics and wine-and attended the Comenius University Intensive Language course. And suddenly I was in a roomful of international students, people from the United States and Holland and Egypt, all of us trying to pronounce these same Slovak sounds.
In Seattle, I had learned a little more than ruža and ružička from my friend Andrea. As my Slovak tutor, she taught me greetings, self-introductions, and tried to get me started with some basic verbs and vocabulary. I guess I had learned quite a bit: when I took the placement test on that first day in Modra (with national film crews peeking over my shoulder), I did just well enough to be assigned to the intermediate class! That was a shock, but I welcomed it. I’m an English teacher and I love learning languages, so I figured I’d soon find my way.
The first week was a great challenge. My teachers talked to me and my classmates continuously in Slovak-with a few English translations here and there!-and rarely slowed down. They wanted the language to sink into us, and it did. I am grateful for that constant flow of Slovak into my mind.
Let me show you how limited my Slovak really was when I began the program. During the first few days of class, the teacher kept using this word that sounded like apricot. I couldn’t understand why she would be talking so much about fruit. Of course, I was both relieved and embarrassed to learn that word:
actually means for example! This was the perfect vocabulary for me to learn during my first few school days in Slovakia!...

by Dana Bentchik
In Detva we have a tradition, that within a “bigger” event, such as the July Folk Festival, there are a number of minor events or activities happening around, not necessarily in the amphitheater area. It’s mainly various exhibitions, concerts as well as different kinds of creative workshops.
I would like to introduce here a group of children, pupils of the Performing Arts School of Svetozár Stračina in Detva, who participate in different events within the Detva folk festival every year.
Svetozár Stračina, after who the Performing Arts School in Detva is named, was a Slovak composer, whose work was based to a large extent on Slovak folk songs. He composed music for a number of Slovak film projects for children and adults, a great number of music pieces for different instruments; he composed for prominent Slovak folk ensembles. He found great inspiration in the region of Podpoľanie and maybe this led him to composing a theme tune for the Detva festival, which is always played at the very beginning of the festival (as well as each individual program) and in the end, and is so significant for all folklore lovers. After Svetozár Stračina had passed away, as an expression of esteem, the Detva Performing Arts School took his name and became the Performing Arts School of Svetozár Stračina.
Children from this school not only perform on the stage at the Detva festival as musicians and dancers, but they also have their own “event” called Little Artists.
Girls and boys with their teacher Agata Hlinicová placed their stand right in front of the church. They brought their own handicrafts- artifacts they made themselves back at school in their class called “Folk Crafts“. During four years of their study in this class children learn different techniques of Slovak folk craft, such as weaving carpets, lace making, different kinds of needlework, glass decorating, making different items from a wire, wood, leather, clay and many more. Girls in front of the church, dressed in beautiful Detva folk costumes, attracted passing-by people with showing them how skilled they were in making these products.
When there is music, there is more fun. So the little artists invited their friends, children-musicians, who study accordion at the same school. Three accordion players (who are already inseparable as friends and as musicians)-Miška Škodová, Janka Kružliaková and Stanko Smutný-created a very pleasant atmosphere around the folk craft stand in front of the church by playing various Slovak folk songs. Their teacher, Mrs. Hana Hodúlová, who happens to be my mom, was “stepping around” them, giving advice here and there and finally, couldn’t resist, took her accordion and played with them...

This book is in English
The book (350 pages) is divided into two sections.
The first section, the calendar, presents Slovak history from the first evidence about human beings on Slovak territory up to the events that took place in 1998 with notations summarizing important historical events and phenomena.
The second section is an encyclopedic dictionary with three hundred alphabetically arranged entries characterizing the most important concepts, institutions, and events. It includes genealogical tables of the longest reigning dynasties on the Hungarian throne, a list of all rulers and presidents of states to which the lands of Slovakia belonged (Great Moravia, the Kingdom of Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Slovakia).
Six historians from Bratislava prepared this chronology of Slovak history (J. Bartl, V. Segeš, V. Čičaj, D. Škvarna-main author, R. Letz and M. Kohútová).
It is said that the way to the knowledge of the present leads through a knowledge of the past. Therefore, this book can be recommended to all readers, who are interested in the Slovak history as well as to those, who are involved in genealogical research.
We can only welcome this book trying to fill the gap because until now, Slovak history was not sufficiently covered and to a very limited extent in the English language.
It is not frequent to mention the translator’ s name, but an exception in this case is allowed, thank you David P. Daniel for your excellent translation.

Reviewed by: Miroslava Dulová


Please mail personal check to:
Vladimir Linder
3804 Yale Street
Burnaby  BC  V5C 1P6 

For sample issue of The Slovak Heritage Live Newsletter, please send US$8.00
together with your postal address to:

Vladimir Linder
3804 Yale Street
Burnaby, BC,
Canada, V5C 1P6
Phone/Fax: 1-604-291-8065



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Copyright © Vladimir Linder 2007 
3804 Yale Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5C 1P6
The above article and photographs may not be copied, reproduced, republished, or redistributed by any means including electronic, without the express written permission of Vladimir Linder. All rights reserved.