Norwegian killer of 76 innocent people, Anders Behring Breivik, mentioned Slovakia in his manifesto of a New Europe as something of a haven thanks to its lack of multiculturalism.
This thought has brought some people in the country to question why exactly, others to worry about what it means, but also others, unfortunately, to feel almost privileged that this crazed man from the north was on their side. Breivik’s manifesto put Slovakia on top of countries “least indoctrinated with multiculturalism”, while he put Germany at the bottom of the list.
Breivik believed Slovakia was least tolerant of cultural or ethnic differences, but his analysis was not based on anything specific and he had not spent any time in the country. And let’s not forget, the guy was obviously disturbed. In any case, it has aroused a bit of introspection in Slovaks, something that we should all do more often.
Right-wing and nationalist tendencies have possibly not yet fully surfaced in Slovakia, even though those staunch groups are always present at every meeting of “sick” gays or “Magyar” enemies. Just how many people sympathise secretly with such groups in Slovakia will never be known, though.
As Africa and the Middle East spill out into Europe, more and more people are starting to worry about the consequences and more and more are becoming paranoid, some to the extent that they blow up streets and shoot people on a camping holiday.
Racism and cultural intolerance could never cure anything, but many people in Slovakia are not even aware that they are “racist”, when in fact they are, like the guy on the Farma big-brother style programme who said “I am not racist, but if I even hear the word nigger I …..”.
I will not even mention the attitude toward the Roma here, because it is so widespread and ingrained into most non-Roma Slovaks, that it will probably never disappear. Since coming to Slovakia I have been in heated arguments many times with people who believe they have the right to hate or despise this particular part of the population, simply because they are different.
It is maybe only through the realisation that nobody is so different from anyone else that things will improve, but funnily enough, it is always those who are farthest away from “those others” that are ready to condemn, like all the people in the north of Slovakia who have an aversion to Hungarians, even though many of them have only seen Hungarians on TV.