nedeľa 22. novembra 2009

Interview with Matej Haško, a former student of Grammar school in Levice Slovakia, who was active during Velvet revolution in 1989

Interview with Matej Haško, a former student of Grammar school in Levice Slovakia, who was active during Velvet revolution in 1989

How did you live out 17 November 1989?
In 1989 I was a student of the second form of Grammar School in my hometown Levice and I spent the evening at the disco on 17 November 1989. When I returned home, my parents, both teachers, were listening to the programme of the radio station Voice of America and they were searching for fresh information about what was going on in Prague on foreign TV – Sky News. We also got some news from my mother´s acquaintances who lived in Prague, Czech republic, the centre of historical revolutional events. I was very interested in this news, too.

What were the active students doing first days after 17 November?
Immediately during the first week after 17 November, we – Grammar School students, met our older former schoolmates who were studying at universities in Bratislava, the capital of our country. They were mediating us new information what was going on in Bratislava. Me and my classmate Števo Dobrovolný were rewriting things brought from Bratislava all night. The next morning we were distributing the leaflets with new information because there was nothing written in the newspapers that time, it was the censorship in newspapers, radio and TV first days after 17 November.

Did you discuss and cooperate with your teachers in your activities?
There was created a kind of moving group of students at our Grammar school. First, teachers did not know how to act, they were reserved, what seemed to us - actively and revolutionarily attuned students – really weird. Nowadays I understand them. They allowed us to to work out the requiremets what we want to change. I remember one of them. We wanted to change the foreign language we were learning. It was Russian, we wanted to learn other foreign language. I refused to take Russian A-levels.

How do you remember at those revolutionary days now?
I think those days were full of entusiasm of people who longed for democratic changes in our country and whole socialistic block. A lot of positive changes have happened in our country and finally both Czechs and Slovaks reached their freedom and democracy, though it is always necessary to fight against many negative things in our society, e.g.corruption.

Matej Haško is a director of the Private Language School in Levice and a successful interpreter now. He is a good and active citizen of the Slovak republic.

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