The government endorsed its Migration Policy report up to 2020 on Wednesday 31 August and on the occasion interior minister Daniel Lipsic made a few comments about how foreigners in Slovakia should behave.
Lipsic noted how Slovakia did not welcome people here who would live in their own separate communities, saying “we view them as guests, and so they should act accordingly”. He said that the people of Slovakia would not change their customs, values or traditions for foreigners, and so foreigners should respect this.
Lipsic feels that people coming to live here should embrace Slovak culture and learn the language. He said the multiculturalism project had failed and that “a requisite of migration should be complete integration to Slovak society and acceptance of the country’s culture and traditions”.
In terms of economic migration, Lipsic said that Slovakia was committed to attracting qualified experts to the country who could fill positions where there is a lack of Slovaks for the same jobs. He says the actual kinds of job posts that this refers to would be decided on by the Ministry of Labour.
Slovakia already has large local foreign communities from the likes of Vietnam, the Arab states and even South America, and they do tend to stick together, some more than others. This is hardly surprising considering their own shared culture and traditions, and the fact that they can speak their own native language.
The same is true of many Slovaks living abroad, as they also tend to group. In Canada and the US there are large communities, even villages, of Slovaks congregating together, and Slovaks residing in the UK and Ireland sometimes don’t pick up the language because they are in contact mostly with their fellow countrymen.
So as foreigners, we are expected to respect the values and traditions of Slovakia. Unfortunately, many would question what those values are and if Slovaks themselves respect them. Let’s pray that eating the national dish Halusky does not also become compulsory.