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.
More than 80 per cent of the people of Slovakia are Slovaks. Nearly 11 per cent are Hungarians, or Magyars, living mostly in the south. Officially, the Romany (gypsy) ethnic group accounts for 1.5 per cent of the population, but the real figure may be as high as 10 per cent. The Romanies are nomadic and therefore difficult to monitor, and many listed themselves as Slovaks in the 1992 census. They are not well integrated into mainstream society, and in Slovakia, as in other countries in the region, they suffer from discrimination.
Smaller groups that are more integrated include Czechs, Carpatho-Rusyns (Ruthenians), Ukrainians, Germans, Poles, Moravians, and others. About 50 per cent of the people live in towns with more than 10,000 inhabitants.
Although Slovakia has industrialized, particularly since 1948, a romantic attachment to peasant ideals and the countryside remains dear to many Slovaks and is glamourized in poetry, literature, song, and dance.
Slovak is a Slavic language, a group that also includes Czech, Polish, and Russian. Hungarian is widely spoken in the south. Slovaks are resisting calls for Hungarian to be given official language status, but Hungarian cultural institutions and media receive some public funding. The Romanies speak Romany, an unwritten language with Indo-Aryan roots, 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. About 60 per cent of the people belong to the Roman Catholic Church, 6.2 per cent are Evangelical Lutheran, and 3.4 per cent are Greek Orthodox. Smaller religious groups include the Calvinist Reformed, Eastern Orthodox, and Baptist churches.
Ďaľšie referáty z kategórie
Slovakia - The people
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