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Slovakia's Good Luck Fish Dish
Trnava
By danubestory
20 Dec 2014

In general, people in Slovakia are not used to eating fish, but around the winter holidays, Slovakians and other eastern Europeans enjoy a local specialty: fried horse-shoe shaped slices of carp served with a mayonnaise potato salad. The horse-shoe shape is viewed as a sign of good luck. The carp are bred in special ponds and then are distributed to specialist shops in all the towns and villages before the holidays. Many Slovakians keep the fish alive in their bath tubs before preparing the traditional meal.

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Slovakia: Bratislava's White-Gloved H...
Bratislava
By danubestory
09 Dec 2014

Donning dapper navy blue uniforms and traditional caps, complete with pristine white gloves, a few of Bratislava’s homeless have revived the role of the traditional baggage porter.

Bratislava Railway Station is a dowdy, yet charming old building with scarce facilities and no modern equipment, making it less accessible to elderly people, families traveling with children, and people carrying heavy luggage. Getting to the train with heavy bags and baby strollers is a real challenge. Meanwhile, outside the train station approximately four to five thousand homeless people face harsh conditions with little chance of find work. A local NGO called Proti Prudu (Against the Stream) works with the homeless, providing them with a street paper called Nota Bene, that they offer to passers by in exchange for spare change. Now, they have launched an ingenious project offering part-time jobs to seven of the homeless they work with to attack both issues. They pay the porters for part-time work helping people with their bags, free of charge. These men who once depended completely on the help of others are finding a bit of much needed economic stability and a new sense of social pride by offering a much appreciated hand to others.

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Slovakia: Bratislava's White-Gloved H...
Bratislava
By danubestory
08 Dec 2014

Donning dapper navy blue uniforms and traditional caps, complete with pristine white gloves, a few of Bratislava’s homeless have revived the role of the traditional baggage porter.

Bratislava Railway Station is a dowdy, yet charming old building with scarce facilities and no modern equipment, making it less accessible to elderly people, families traveling with children, and people carrying heavy luggage. Getting to the train with heavy bags and baby strollers is a real challenge. Meanwhile, outside the train station approximately four to five thousand homeless people face harsh conditions with little chance of find work. A local NGO called Proti Prudu (Against the Stream) works with the homeless, providing them with a street paper called Nota Bene, that they offer to passers by in exchange for spare change. Now, they have launched an ingenious project offering part-time jobs to seven of the homeless they work with to attack both issues. They pay the porters for part-time work helping people with their bags, free of charge. These men who once depended completely on the help of others are finding a bit of much needed economic stability and a new sense of social pride by offering a much appreciated hand to others.

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Inside Slovakia's Traditional Sauerkr...
Svedernik
By danubestory
27 Nov 2014

Every delicacy costs something. Producing real-deal, traditional sauerkraut in commercial quantities means hard work for a group ladies devoted to the craft.

Sauerkraut is full of vitamins and probiotics. It also cleanses the digestive system. However, the forced fermentation of vegetables for supermarkets means that these products don’t contain the C and B vitamins or probiotics that make sauerkraut a balanced food source. In this sauerkraut factory in the Slovakian village of Svedernik, cabbage is naturally fermented, adding only salt and caraway seeds for flavor. Other than these simple ingredients, the factory relies only on huge wooden barrels and hardworking ladies wielding sharp knives to produce its signature kraut.

Sauerkraut has a long tradition in the Balkan countries, in Central Europe and in Germany. People used to conserve cabbage by fermentation to eat during the winter when no fresh fruit or vegetables were available. Many traditional dishes - including the popular Christmas meal for Slovakians, sauerkraut soup - are made from the cabbage fermented here.

For the most part, Italians and other coastal nations in Europe don’t eat it. This seems strange, because in the past eating pickled cabbage used to be the only way for seamen to ensure they had enough vitamin C to avoid scurvy during long shipping voyages.

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Danube Story
Bratislava
By danubestory
23 Sep 2014

DanubeStory tells stories of people and their relationship to the second longest river in Europe, the Danube. Slovakian filmmakers Jana Cavojska and Vladimir Kampf traveled on and along the 3 000 kilometer-long river several times, upstream and downstream, in search of people and practices to tell the story of their country and region. A colorful mix of their lives and livelihoods is beautifully intertwined with the simple story of the river. Despite of the fact that the richest are close to the source of the Danube, and the standard of living goes down with the stream of the river, none of the stories lament a destiny, but rather celebrate this unique mix of lively cultures and practices.

In part 1 of the film viewers will flow downstream in the summer and meet a biofarmer and guardian of a river spring in Germany, a traditional wooden ship builder in Austria, a biologist and underwater photographer in Slovakia, a bridge maintainer in Hungary, an ornithologist in Croatia, a gallery owner in Serbia, a distiller in Bulgaria, a musician in Moldova, a photographer in Ukraine and a frog hunter in Romania.

In part 2 of the film viewers will head upstream in wintertime and meet a hotel manager in Ukraine, a speech pathologist in Moldova, a choir master in Bulgaria, a kayak trainer in Romania, a ferry operator in Serbia, a mercenary soldier in Croatia, a mask maker in Hungary, a shipman in Slovakia, a café owner in Austria and a hat maker in Germany.

This film may also be viewed as a series of 5 minute videos on each character.

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The Kids from Lunik IX
Slovakia
By Transterra Editor
23 Dec 2013

Lunik IX is an apartment complex in the southwestern suburbs of Košice, Slovakia. Originally build as home for middle-class families with a capacity of 2,500 people, the Slovakian government started to resettled thousands of Slovakian people affiliated to the Roma minority in the 1990s. Today Lunik IX is home to an estimated number of between 6,000 and 8,000 Roma making it the largest Roma community within Slovakia.

Over the years Lunik IX evolved into an urban slum. The unemployment rate is nearly 100%, inhabitants aren’t able to pay their water, gas or electricity bills. The waste disposal isn’t working, inhabitants constantly throw their trash right out of the window.

Several buildings are in an unacceptable condition and at risk to collapse. Between my last two visits one complex has been demolished for ‘security reasons’. The toxic standard of the waste disposal has reached a dangerous high level even starting to harm the town’s ground water. Only during certain hours a day people are supplied with freshwater.

The children from Lunik IX are the first who suffer from these horrible conditions and they should be the last to blame for their situation. Lunik IX is overcrowded, more and more flats become uninhabitable, winters are long and cold. Open fires inside the flats, rat plagues, diseases, malnutrition and worse hygiene standards are among the fatal threats threatening the children in Lunik IX.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 21
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Diseases, malnutrition and worse hygiene standards are among the fatal threats threatening the children in Lunik IX.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 20
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Lunik IX kindergarten. An oasis in the middle o poverty and garbage.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 15
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

A Roma boy is standing on a balcony of one of Lunik IX’s abandoned flats. The garbage thrown out of the window has already reached the first floor.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 8
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Roma girl happily drawing in Lunik IX's state-run kindergarten. An oasis in the middle of poverty and garbage.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 6
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Roma girl in Lunik IX's state-run kindergarten. An oasis in the middle of poverty and garbage.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 3
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Roma kids drawing in Lunik IX's kindergarten. A state-run oasis in the middle of poverty and garbage.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 38
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Karmena is a teenage Romni living in Lunik IX. Devastated and frustrated she is standing in a recently abandoned flat in Lunik IX. More and more apartments become uninhabitable.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 37
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

The apartment buildings of Lunik IX where up to 8,000 Romas live under harsh conditions.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 36
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Roma kids play in the back of one of Lunik IX’s apartment buildings next to a several meter thick layer of garbage. The garbage’s toxic level is even starting to harm Kosice’s groundwater.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 35
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

A young roma boy is searching the dumpsite for valuable clothing and other stuff that still can be used.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 34
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Roma girl sitting on the stairs of one of Lunik IX’s apartment buildings.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 33
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Roma girl sitting on the stairs of one of Lunik IX’s apartment buildings.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 30
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

Josip, a teenage Roma boy is standing in front of the house he is living in with his family. Electricity is not working and during winter Lunik IX’s inhabitants heat with self-made ovens.

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The Kids from Lunik IX 27
Kosice, Slovakia
By Michael Biach
23 Dec 2013

A young Roma boy is on his way to collect tap water, which is only available during certain hours.