My name is Boudewijn Dekker – just your regular Dutch guy, living and working in Slovakia (Bratislava); married to a beautiful Slovak woman; and absolutely enjoying my time in this country.
If anything, I am naturally curious – curious about what make people act, say, believe, support, enjoy; and, the other way around, what makes them to do quite the opposite.
I am trying hard not to live in Slovakia as a “foreigner”, even though I know I will always be one. I want to experience the Slovak culture, habits and history; I want to learn the ways of Slovak society; one day I want to be able to speak the language; I want to feel the importance of what Slovaks feel as important – put differently: I want to understand what it means to be Slovak.
At the same time, I want to understand why so many Slovaks are trying to hide to fact that they are Slovak; some are even ashamed of it (!!). Whenever I tell them that I decided to build my life here and that I really like living here, they look at me as if I just juggled 10 beer bottles while riding a unicycle on a tight rope between the mountain peaks of High Tatras. Many Slovaks seem to have difficulties with priding themselves on being Slovak.
So…I started a new initiative, that this blog is a fruit of. I want to find the answer to the question “why am I here” – not the existential one, the one that should tell me, non-Slovaks but especially Slovaks why Slovakia is a country worth living in, being appreciated and being proud of.