SLOVAČKA – SLOVAKIA – SLOVENSKO

Moderna poslovna zgrada na obali Dunava-A modern office building on the Danube

Moderna poslovna zgrada na obali Dunava-A modern office building on the Danube

Mihalska ulica sa istoimenom kulom i prolazom ispod nje-Michalska Street with Michael's Tower and Gatehouse

Mihalska ulica sa istoimenom kulom i prolazom ispod nje-Michalska Street with Michael’s Tower and Gatehouse

Mladenci ispred zgrade Slovackog narodnog pozorista-Newlyweds in front of the Slovak National Theatre

Mladenci ispred zgrade Slovackog narodnog pozorista-Newlyweds in front of the Slovak National Theatre

Glavni trg u Bratislavi sa starom gradskom vecnicom i Rolandovom fontanom-The main square in Bratislava with the Old Town Hall and Roland Fountain

Glavni trg u Bratislavi sa starom gradskom vecnicom i Rolandovom fontanom-The main square in Bratislava with the Old Town Hall and Roland Fountain

Crkva Svete Trojice-Holy Trinity Church

Crkva Svete Trojice-Holy Trinity Church

Bratislavska tvrdjava-Bratislava Castle

Bratislavska tvrdjava-Bratislava Castle

Bratislavska tvrdjava - Bratislava Castle

Bratislavska tvrdjava – Bratislava Castle

Apolo most i setaliste kraj Dunava-Apollo Bridge and the promenade by the Danube

Apolo most i setaliste kraj Dunava-Apollo Bridge and the promenade by the Danube

Zamak u Bojnicama-Bojnice Castle

Zamak u Bojnicama-Bojnice Castle

Zgrada skole s pocetka XX veka u Bratislavi-School building in  the capital

Zgrada skole s pocetka XX veka u Bratislavi-School building in the capital

Turisticki brod plovi ka Becu ispod Novog mosta-A tourist boat heading to Vienna

Turisticki brod plovi ka Becu ispod Novog mosta-A tourist boat heading to Vienna

Turisticki brod plovi ka Becu-Tourist boat heading to Vienna

Turisticki brod plovi ka Becu-Tourist boat heading to Vienna

Turisticki brod plovi ka Becu - A tourist boat heading to Vienna

Turisticki brod plovi ka Becu – A tourist boat heading to Vienna

Posmatrac-The Watcher

Posmatrac-The Watcher

Moj brat Milan i Danko Prokic, tada ambasador u Bratislavi-My brother Milan and Ambassador Danko Prokic

Moj brat Milan i Danko Prokic, tada ambasador u Bratislavi-My brother Milan and Ambassador Danko Prokic

Nova zgrada Slovackog narodnog pozorista-A new building of the Slovak National Theatre

Nova zgrada Slovackog narodnog pozorista-A new building of the Slovak National Theatre

U bivšoj zajedničkoj državi koja se tada nazivala Čehoslovačka, kada bi vam
neko uradio nešto dobro ili samo bio ljubazan prema vama, često bi se
reklo:”On je Slovak”. I u današnjoj Evropskoj uniji Slovaci su ostali u
istoj meri dobri i ljubazni, fini i tolerantni prema svima, pored ostalih i
prema Romima, koje nikada nisam video da tako opušteno žive i uživaju visoki
standard kao u ovoj zemlji.
Glavni grad Bratislava je prijatno centralnoevropsko mesto, u koje sam došao
sa mojim bratom Milanom na kongres plastične hirurgije. Danko Prokić je
ambasador Srbije u Slovačkoj i prijatelj iz detinjstva, koga često
posećujemo tokom njegovih diplomatskih službovanja. Prva i nezaboravna bila
je poseta Indiji pre dvadeset pet godina, potom Španiji i Bugarskoj, i uvek
je sa njim doživljaj neke zemlje poseban i drugačiji. Ne umem da objasnim na
koji način on upoznaje i nama tako lepo, slikovito i jednostavno predstavlja
zemlju u kojoj boravi, a ipak suštinski prodire u mentalitet naroda koji
prihvata kao svoj. Možda je to svojstvo proniknuća i prisvajanja najboljih
svojstava naroda način ličnog i iskustvenog obogaćivanja iz koga proizlazi
ljubav prema zemlji u kojoj trenutno živi.
Ulice Bratislave često su prazne, za razliku od Beograda ili nekih drugih
gradova u kojima uvek vrvi od života. I za tu pojavu Danko uvek ima neko
opravdanje: ili su na poslu, ili se odmaraju posle posla, ili su, ako je
vikend, otišli u šoping u susednu Austriju.
Uglavnom, Slovaka nema na ulicama, ili bar ne u onoj meri u kojoj to
očekujete u jednom glavnom gradu. Nova vremena, nakon dugog perioda
socijalizma, pružila su im najsavremeniju arhitekturu tržnih centara i dugog
šetališta na obali Dunava, odakle se, iz brojnih restorana, posmatraju
turistički brodovi na putu ka Beču. Sedimo jedne večeri u nekom od njih i
posmatramo hiljade crvenih kineskih lampiona koji, nošeni toplotom sveća u
njima, lete iznad naših glava kao šarene meduze.
Na brdu iza nas, u izmaglici sutona, nadvio se iznad grada beli bratislavski
zamak, ili jednostavno, Hrad. Nastao je još u X veku kao centar Velike
Moravske, postao renesansni zamak u srednjem veku, a potom kraljevsko
sedište Marije Terezije. Sa njega se pruža pogled na Dunav, koji nam se
nekako čini malim u odnosu na naš, beogradski.
Ipak, najatraktivniji u skoro čitavoj srednjoj Evropi je zamak Bojnice, koji
je njegov tadašnji vlasnik na prelasku u XX vek restaurirao tako da liči na
romantične zamkove u dolini Loare u Francuskoj. Ako u cipelama čuvene firme
Bata prošetate ovim zamkom, ostavljate poseban trag s obzirom na to da je ta
porodica bila poslednji vlasnik ovog zamka do Drugog svetskog rata, da bi ga
posle toga komunisti, naravno, konfiskovali. Brojni drugi zamkovi i
srednjevekovne građevine širom Slovačke svedoče o burnoj prošlosti ovog
naroda, na prekretnici evropskih istorijskih zbivanja.
Duh starog grada Bratislave oseća se u uskim i često strmim uličicama u
kojima, u laganoj šetnji, upijamo centralnoevropsko poimanje lakoće
postojanja.
U tranziciji ka boljem životu u novoj Evropi Slovačka se veoma lepo snalazi,
ali i čuva svoj identitet.

Septembar 2010.
___________________________________________________________

In the old common country that was called Czechoslovakia, if someone did
something nice for you or was just simply kind to you, people would say: ‘He
is Slovakian.’ In today’s European Union, the Slovaks are still equally good
and kind, polite and amiable, tolerant to everyone, including the Roma
people, who live in a relaxed way enjoying the high standard in this country
that I have not seen them enjoy anywhere else.
The capital, Bratislava, is a pleasant Central European town which I visited
together with my brother Milan in order to attend a plastic surgeons’
congress. Danko Prokić is Serbia’s Ambassador in Slovakia and a childhood
friend and we visit him often at his various diplomatic stations. The first,
unforgettable visit was to India, 25 years ago, then Spain and Bulgaria, and
experiencing a new country with him is always a special and unique
experience. I cannot even explain the way in which he gets to know the
country and then presents it to us in a nice, simple and picturesque way,
and yet he gets deep into the people’s mentality and accepts it as his own.
Maybe this trait of discovering and then accepting the best from each nation
is his personal way of enriching himself, which results in his love for the
country he is in at that moment.
The streets of Bratislava are often empty, unlike the streets of Belgrade or
some other cities which are always lively with hustle and bustle. Danko has
an explanation for this phenomenon too: people are either at work, or they
are having a rest after work, or, if it is a weekend, they may have gone to
neighbouring Austria for shopping. Anyhow, Slovakians are not to be seen on
the streets much, or not at least as much as you would expect in a capital
city. After a long period of socialism, recent times have provided them with
the most up to date architectural solutions in shopping centres and a long
promenade alongside the Danube; there you can observe tourist boats on their
way to Vienna from numerous restaurants on the river. One evening we are
sitting in just one of those restaurants, looking at the thousands of
Chinese paper lanterns flying above us with the aid of hot air from the
candles in them; they look to me like multi-coloured jellyfish in the sky.
On a hill behind us, in the sunset mist, a white castle sprawls above the
city; it is the Bratislava castle, or simply, Hrad. It was built in the 10th
century as the centre of Great Moravia, it became a Renaissance castle in
the Middle Ages, and then the Royal palace of Maria Theresa. A view across
the Danube stretches from the castle, but somehow it does not strike me to
be as wide as the one in Belgrade.
Yet the most attractive castle in the whole of Central Europe is the Bojnice
Castle restored by its owner at the turn of the 20th century to resemble the
romantic castles of the Loire Valley in France. If you walk around the
castle wearing famous Bata shoes, you will leave a special mark on the
floor; the Bata family was the owner of the castle until the Second World
War, when it was, of course,  confiscated by the communists. Many other
castles and medieval buildings bear witness to the turbulent past of this
people, at the turning points of European history.
The spirit of the old Bratislava is felt in narrow and often steep
alleyways, which we stroll through leisurely, soaking up the Central
European feeling of the lightness of being.
In the transition period to a better life inside new Europe, Slovakia is
accommodating itself really well, but at the same time it is keeping its
identity.

September 2010

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