Slovakia is in the middle of an identity debate as there has been a bill put forth to compel more identification with Slovakia--more anthem-playing, more flag-waving, etc.
The really interesting thing is that there is a fair amount of push-back:
Earlier this month, nearly a thousand students, teachers and parents took to the streets, chanting, “No to Patriotism!” in front of the palace of the president, Ivan Gasparovic. Some, dressed in traditional Slovak folk costumes, defiantly sang the national anthem — whose words, nationalists had complained, many of them did not know.Enough folks see this as the empty (yet costly, compelling schools to buy flags and other stuff) posturing that it is. On the other hand, this seems pretty familiar--I remember saying the Pledge of Allegiance growing up in the US although I don't remember flags in every classroom.
It does sound like Slovaks have a sense of humor about it:
When Mr. Hudak recently made fun of the bill on his program, calling the coat-of-arms a “portrait of white antenna planted in three scoops of Smurf ice-cream” and the national anthem a “not very well done poem about bad weather over the Tatra mountains” the vice-chairwoman of the right-wing Slovak National Party, Anna Belousovova, called him “perverted” and threatened criminal charges. His ratings soared.And the young folks are pretty bright:
The law has attracted the particular ire of students. Veronika Kosnirova, a 19 year-old senior at Mr. Kyndl’s school, said that being forced to listen to a recording of the national anthem would inspire giggles rather than pride. “You can’t force identity on people,” she saidThis is where I would make the predictable remark that the parties in Quebec don't get it.
* HT to Sherrill S for the fb link.