Every time I am visiting Slovakia or Czech Republic, I always buy these handmade traditional corn husk dolls. Not just for me, but I give them as small gifts to friends and family. I like them very much. They are cute, interesting, small and very light-weighted, so its easy to carry them with you home. You can use them as a home decoration and a small souvenir to remember the country you had visited.
A little bit of the background
I didn’t find much information. Just that during the second half of 20th century, the production of corn husk dolls had developed and turned into a traditional industry in former Czechoslovakia. As the name implies corn dolls, are made of dried corn husks which are joined together with thread – all made by hand. Some of them even carry small objects like flowers, basket, bread – made with real dough e.t.c. Slovak rural life was a big inspiration when creating the dolls, so it became the main theme. They are sold in souvenirs and folklore shops.
My mum has a lot of corn husk dolls. She created a small miniature village with corn people on a shelf in her living room! These photos are from her collection.
I don’t have space in my apartment to place them – as small as they might be – so I keep them in a drawer. I know, not a good place to keep them. They should be in plain view. Some day I will find them a place! But I have a corn lady bookmark that I use when I am reading a book.
A small memory of Slovakia!
I should admit that I’ m not a big fan of tea! I only drink tea when I’ m sick, when I don’t find anything else to order or when I visit friends and they offer tea. However, if I am going to have tea, I do prefer herbal green tea or fruit flavoured.
We are often going to this cafe – Coffeeshop Company – close to our apartment next to a shopping mall. I think is an austrian cafe branch here in Bratislava.
The other day we went there for a coffee and I saw a leaflet of their new fresh herbal tea. It looked fantastic and it seemed like the kind of tea that I could drink. I was curious so I gave it try. It was savouring!
Of course the same evening I had a sore throat and I got a flu. So I realized that this was the reason why I wanted to have tea at the time. Needless to say that I passed the next days at the Coffeshop drinking tea! Without a doubt, it was the best tea I ‘ve ever had!
When I was walking around Bratislava, I passed through a small pedestrian bridge – before the entrance of the old town at Michael’s gate. On the railings I saw a lot of lockers with some initials and hearts on them. I saw the same thing on a platform near the river Danube. So I took some pictures and as soon as I got home, I searched for information about that habit.
And here’s what I found
A love lock or love padlock is a padlock which couples lock to a bridge, fence or a gate to symbolize their love. Usually the names or initials of the couple are written on the padlock, and its key is thrown away to symbolize unbreakable and everlasting love.
The history behind that tradition comes from a sad tale located in Serbia at least 100 years ago, and it refers to the Bridge of Love (Most Ljubavi) in the town of Vrnjačka Banja.
And the story goes like this:
Nada, a local schoolmistress, fell in love with a Serbian officer named Relja. After they committed to each other, he went to war in Greece (World War I), where he fell in love with a local woman from Corfu. As a consequence, they broke off their engagement. Nada never recovered from that devastating blow and after some time she died due to a heartbreak from her unfortunate love.
So young women from Vrnjačka Banja who wanted to protect their own love, started writing their names together with the names of their loved ones on padlocks and place them to the railings of the bridge where Nada and Relja used to meet. The keys are thrown into the river below, so they cannot be found ever again. And evidently the bridge acquired the name Bridge of Love.
In the rest of Europe, love padlocks started appearing in the early 2000s.
This year I created a bucket list with my goals – which I haven’t done for many years. One of those items written in the list, was to create my own website. So it seems that I ‘ve made the first step and here I am trying to make it work!
Bucket list is a number of experiences and achievements that a person hopes to have or to accomplish during their lifetime. It is a list with goals to be achieved, dreams to be fulfilled and experiences to be lived.