The most interesting thing about the annual Constitutional Day celebration at the Slovak Embassy in Ottawa is that it had the biggest crowd it has ever had. The Lord helped by making the weather hot, so that people could go on the outside to eat and drink and celebrate. There was really not enough space inside to fit them all in. Many more diplomatic and business outsiders were there than ever before. Is Slovakia - at last - actually recognized as a real and important world country? Also likeable was that plenty more people of Slovak origin came in Slovak costumes than in previous times. And many more of them were younger adults instead of older generations this time.
Ambassador Andrej Droba's opening speech praised some Slovak artists in Canada. One was particularly important. It brought attention to those non-Slovak important people how important a Slovak can be in art work uniquely Canadian. Droba told them that our sculptor Esther Bryan just a few months ago got the Governor - General's award for her giant work 'Quilt of Belonging'. That work would cover several walls in any display building. It is composed of small square 'quilts', each one made for and by Canada's ethnic peoples. Bryan persuaded them to show in art who they are and how we all belong. Nearly three million people have seen it in all across Canada and the United States. Some Europeans now seem to be interested in seeing it... after all, many quilts are of European people origins.
Also something new was that the Ambassador had a Canadian diplomat - Mrs. Alex Bugailiskis, Assistant Deputy Minister for Europe at Global Affairs Canada, congratulating and welcoming all in a speech after him. No outsider has ever been a speaker before before.
Of course, the main events - other than enjoying Slovak food and wine - were discussions between attendees for friendship, business, politics or world affairs. Some Slovaks even remarked that they heard and even helped non-Slovak business and political figures talk to each other, exchange identify cards, and even discuss economic and political connections and meetings.
Let's all Slovaks work to make this kind of real advance work in future forever.
Jan George Frajkor, photos Tibor Dej