Story of writer Zuzana Palovič: Slovakia is unique to me, because it is my homeland

Authors Zuzana a Gabriela
Authors Zuzana a Gabriela

Zuzana Palovič, a successful writer born in Slovakia, raised in Canada, dedicates her career to raising public awareness about her Slovak homeland. Thanks to living in many different places, the world has become her home. She turned her knowledge and expertise into various books about Slovak history.

How would you describe your job?

I would say that I’m a writer, I’m a champion on behalf of my homeland, which is Slovakia. We’re a very young country, and we’ve been waiting for our sovereignty for 1,000 years. I feel like I was born at the right time in history to help codify this nation’s story into a global language, English, and share it with as many people in the world as I can.

I GET TO LEARN FROM THE PAST AND THANKS TO THAT, SHAPE THE FUTURE OF TOMORROW.

How did you become a writer?

I was doing my PhD at that time, and I would always think how sad it was, that after my doctoral studies were over, all the research would only stay in my dissertation. I really wanted it to be used and made accessible to the public. So that’s when the idea of writing a book was born. Me and Gabriela Beregházyová, the co-author, strongIy believe the books will long outlive us. They are a legacy and one day will become an important piece of Slovak heritage.

Variety of books

Variety of books by authors Zuzana Palovič and Gabriela Beregházyová

What do you write about?

We share Slovakia’s story. Different aspects of the country’s history, but all of our books have a specific objective- to empower and educate Slovaks and those interested in Slovakia.

For the greater majority of history, we were under the influence of different empires and regimes, most recently it was the Soviet Bloc and Iron Curtain. We never really had the opportunity as a country to interpret our story and create a narrative. I want to help change that, which is why I partnered with Gabriela. I applied all my experience growing up in Canada and living all over the world with her deep knowledge of growing up in Slovakia to create a powerful national story that is attractive to foreigners and Slovaks alike.

Authors Zuzana and Gabriela

Authors Zuzana and Gabriela

Every book has a different target audience. The Legend of Linden is a really great introduction to the history of Slovakia. The book is really ideal for Slovak descendants who want to better understand their heritage and roots. On the other hand, Super Slovaks was written for the younger generation. It’s written for teenagers to better understand Slovak history.

MY BIGGEST INSPIRATION WHEN WRITING IS SLOVAKIA.

Czechoslovakia Beyond the Iron Curtain is perhaps our most popular book. We get monthly emails from readers that have no connection to Slovakia but they are fascinated to discover how the communist apparatus took over a democratic country seemingly overnight. Then, there is The Great Return, a book I firmly believe will one day be in Slovak schools, educating the youth about the importance of freedom of movement, both in terms of self-discovery but also learning.

Lastly, our most recent book, Slovak Settlers, covers the great emigration journey of Slovaks to America at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. This was a unique time in Slovak and American history, when one third of our nation, at one point some 750,000 Slovaks left their homeland in search of hope across the ocean.

Zuzana with her book

Zuzana with her book The Great Return

How would you convince young Slovaks to stay in Slovakia?

As far as I am concerned, 10% of our population lives abroad. That is a huge portion of human capital! What is more, some 20% of our university students are studying at foreign universities. This is a tremendous outflux of talent! Many, once they graduate, they stay on in professional jobs, they contribute their energy, skills and mostly minds to a foreign country.

I believe it’s good for our young people to go abroad. They need to be exposed to different cultures, to see the world, to experience cosmopolitanism, to learn languages and so on. But I think, it should be in Slovakia’s interest to attract them back. Maybe not all of them, but at least a key part of them. This can be done through outreach, bridge-building with the Diaspora, but also through strategic policies that make Slovakia an attractive destination for entrepreneurs and families.

IT IS A VERY SOBERING EXPERIENCE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO SEE THE REALITY OF LIVING ABROAD.

What is your favourite part about Slovakia?

Zuzana with the Slovak symbol

Zuzana with the Slovak symbol

I love our roots, our agrarian past and common sense and in a way ancient wisdom the people still have. A lot of this has been eroded in the West, but Slovakia only began to experience industrialisation as late as the 1960s. But of course, Slovakia is unique to me, because it is my homeland. It’s my mother culture and language. I feel some kind of loyalty and affinity to this country. I want to serve Slovakia. I want to honour her.

I CONSCIOUSLY DECIDED TO SET UP BASE IN SLOVAKIA, BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN THIS COUNTRY’S POTENTIAL.

 

 

Authors Zuzana and Gabriela

Authors Zuzana and Gabriela

To find out more, visit:

https://www.globalslovakia.com/

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