Slovakia: Country and Foreign Investment
History, Population, Language and Culture
The people of Slovakia are descended from the Slavic peoples who settled in the Danube river basin in the 6th and 7th centuries BC. Throughout history, the Slovak people have been subjected to rule and domination by invading tribes or armies, notably the Magyars.
In more modern times, the Slovaks joined the Czechs to form the new republic of Czechoslovakia in 1918. After World War II, Slovakia became part of the Soviet bloc, though still within a united Czechoslovakia. Following the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989, Czechoslovakia separated into the Czech Republic and Slovakia – the Slovakia republic subsequently came into existence on January 1st, 1993. In 2004, Slovakia joined NATO and became a member of the European Union.
The population of Slovakia is estimated to be 5.48m (as at July 2012), consisting of 85.8% Slovak, 9.7% Hungarian, 1.7% Roma, 1% Ruthenian/Ukrainian, and 1.8% other and unspecified (2001 Census). The national language is Slovak.
Slovakia's culture is steeped in tradition, and folk art and craft continues to be handed down the generations, supported by the Centre for Folk Art Production. Slovak literature was late in developing in the absence of a literary language – the first Slovakian novel was written by Bajza (1755-1836). The early 20th century saw the rise of the Slovakian Modernists, led by poet Ivan Krasko (1876-1958). Modern cultural development was hampered by communist rule, particularly in literature and film-making; however, Slovakia now enjoys a vibrant cultural scene. Music, however, has played, and continues to play, an important role in Slovakia's cultural history.