nedeľa 17. marca 2013

Juraj Jánošík

17. March 1713 was the day, when Juraj Jánošík, in a cause of banditing, was sentenced and hanged on rob. That makes this day a 300 anniversery of his executon, so I decided to devote todays article to him.

Juro Jánošík, how we Slovaks call him famillary, is one of the most significant icons of Slovak culture. He is one of the few characters in Slovak history, who is still rembered and very popular. I can say myslef, as a native, that every child knows him, no matter what, and until he is in our minds, as an enteral hero of miserable Slovak nation, he will survive. In Slovakia, we have a wonderful (not that I like to hear it) phrase for "miserable Slovak nation" - "zbedačený slovenský ľud", very common phrase, especially in historical themes.
   Juraj Jánošík was born in Terchová (Terhely, small village in central Slovakia now, formerly Turózs county in Kingdom of Hungary) before 25. 1. 1688, as this is the date of his baptism in village register of Varín (Várna), because Terchová didn´t have its own rectory in the time. He comes form a liege family and from his childhood, he worked with his parents (as most of the habitants of Upper Hugary - now Slovakia) on lands owned by Ján Jakub Lowenburg from Teplička nad Váhom (Vágtapolca). As 18 yeas old young man, he was recruited to rebellion against the emperor Karol - Carolus IV. (as king of Hungary Karol III.) and all Habsburgs led by František - Ferenc II. Rákóczy. The rebellion failed in the battle near Trenčín (Trencsén) in 1708 and Jánošík fled home. But the punishmet was waiting wor him, and so, to serve imperal army for a few years. You are maybe surprised by such a low punishment for, in every word meaning, treason, but the emperor knew that most of the rebels were actually just young men forced to join the revolt. Anyway, they made him a prison guard of popular highwayman, Tomáš Uhorčík, who they finally caught. But you know, the word gave a word and before long, they both ran away from Bytča Castle, they both were prisons of in 1711. The legendery adventure can start.
   Uhorčík convinced Jánošík to join his group of bandits and soon, after Uhorčík left, he became a captain. With his group, they raided merchants and lords in Trenčín, Orava, Liptov counties as well as in Poland and Morava. After a year military caught him in a pub where Uhorčík was innkeepering under the name of Martin Mravec. In March 1713 they caught him again. He was quite lucky to have a court hearing in Liptovský Mikuláš (Liptószentmiklós) and an advocate but that didn´t help him. The mitigating circumstance were his young age, that he was the youngest in the group, that they didn´t kill or hurt anybody, and that his crimes weren´t as horrible as crimes of others bandits, but as I said, it didn´t help him. Jánošík was sentenced to death in the most painful way - hang on a rib. He was only 25 in the time.

And that´s all we know. Anything else you think you know is probably, the most sure just a legend. The legend that was created in the time of the strong national oppression of not-hungary nations in Kingdom of Hungagy by people. And then, during the Slovak National Revival by national revivalist who was trying to do absolutely everything that was possible to rise the courage and awareness in slovak people. That was the time of romantism in our literature. The most popular oeuvre is Smrť Jánošíkova (Death of Jánošík) by Ján Botto. And that´s why we, Slovaks and Poles and Czechs see this man as Slovak Robin Hood. Who stole from rich and give it to poor. Because if the legend is true or not, we needed it. We needed a hero like this. To survive with a flame in heart and Slovak language on tonge.

The Icon of Juraj Janosik: More of a tradition than a history, more hero than a man.

nedeľa 10. marca 2013

February, thanks for courage!

God must be loving me!
Yes, I feel loved. I feel loved by the new fresh spring air, by my family, by my guinea pig, by the "old good times", by my friends, by slovak and english language, by my hair, by all the world! I know it´s March already, but it was Febuary that gave me courage to make the brave decisions. 
So, where to start? It happend so much in Febuary. Well, let me open my notebook...  this is another great reason to have one exept for feeling like a lady...
I passed my own psychological test. In the beginng of the month, in school we had an opportunity to do psychological test to find out, what are we good in and what to decide to do in the future. It took about two hours maybe even less and it was just testing our verbal, logical and memory ability. Try to guess how it ended for me. Exactly how I sussposed! The "man" I have no idea how to call him told me precisely what I thought about myself. That I am pedant, stickler, artist,  inteligent oh stop it you... and very uncommon person... that I should continue in art and history studying and very possibly work film as an art - supervisor. Fine, those were my expectations, I told myself sitting on jumpy chair in front of him. But then he told me to become a teacher or a journalist and I started to feel precariously. The tests were supposed to help make people sure about what to do in their future but acutally, it made me ask myself  that dangerous question: "What if..."
But I have an answer for one "What if..." What if I didn´t go to ´revival´? I definitely wouldn´t meet so nice people and so unpleasant as well and spend great 2 days with them. From now on I´m looking forward to my confirmation.
Aaaand now, the most expected news at least for me it was our school english drama group which I joined this year and we started preparation of performing Pygmalion by Bernard Saw in February. I was really not afraid to say scared of how am I going to handle this and work with so many unknown people and play with them but we did it absolutely fabulous, we won the competition and we are getting ready to "higher level". Actually I don´t really care if we win or not, we had so much fun and it was a wonderful experience for me. This definitely deservs its very own article
Nah, it was really a long month not only because of these events but also because of the spring holydays we have in Slovakia. Long wished free week ´recharged my batteries´ like we prefer to say in Slovakia. Well, February, thanks for courage, support, rest, confidence and the question:

"What´s to become of me?"

Liza Doolittle (My Fair Lady)