On December 1st, 2015, I entered the Santé Restaurant on Rideau street with the Slovak ambassador Andrej Droba and his wife Daniela Droba. The first thing I noticed was a lovely poster of Slovakia and several brochures. The thoughts that went through my mind were how I missed the High Tatra mountains and how much I still have left to learn about Slovakia. As I passed the entrance, I noticed the lovely Slovak dolls made from corn husks laid out on the tables for all the guests to keep as souvenirs. There were lovely prizes to be won as well, including Double Cross Vodka, wine and a traditional ceramic vase.
I spoke to the first two guests to arrive. They were not Slovak. They were celebrating a birthday and wanted to learn more about Slovakia. They asked me about my dress. While they admired the detail, I told them Hyacinth Belloni made it by hand. I explained a few of our traditions, but above all I corrected them to say Slovak not Slovakian.
I walked by them throughout the night to see how they were doing. They, along with everyone else who attended the dinner, enjoyed themselves thoroughly. Quite a few people had some Slovak ancestry and spoke to me about how their family lived in the small villagesin Slovakia. They all dined on delicious Slovak food made by the Chefs of Santé Restaurant in conjunction with the chef at the Slovak Embassy, Lubos Ondejka. Andrej Droba gave a few speeches about Slovakia and spoke about the country with passion. The piano was played by Alena Beckerova-Rosochova and the "fujara" was played by Andrej Stolarik. All in all, a lovely night.
Text: Barbora Dej, Photos: Tibor Dej