LIVING SLOVAK
THE CHURCHES, CENTRES OF ACTIVITY
THE ORGANIZATIONS
WILL YOU SPEAK SLOVAK?
THE UNKNOWN ARTS
SOCIAL NEEDS
COMMUNICATIONS
IS IT TIME TO GO BACK?
IT'S ONLY POLITICS
YOU'VE GOT TO BE THERE
WHO WILL SPEAK FOR US?
REMEMBERING THE PAST
THE WIRED COMMUNITY
PROJECTS TO CONSIDER
SPORTS TIMES
A PLACE TO SHOW OUR STUFF
THE STRUGGLING ARTS
COME TOGETHER
WHAT YOU MUST DO
SLOVAK SOM, AJ SLOVAK BUDEM!

Slovaks in Canada
in the Year 2000

by John V. Stephens, Q.C.,
Honorary Consul, Slovak Republic


THE WIRED COMMUNITY

As we approach the year 2,000, we must prepare ourselves for the different society we will be, and the different lifestyle we will lead.

Not all parts of the globe will be advancing at the same rate as North America and Europe, but the advances being made in communications will affect every person on this planet.

For some years, there has been a significant drop in attendance at meetings of every organization, business, religious or fraternal, and not just in the Slovak community. It's happening everywhere. There are just too many things of interest going on, and not enough time to attend them all. Besides the couch is so appealing after a hard day's effort.

In recognition of what was happening to our society, corporate law was change to permit directors to hold meetings by telephone because it was becoming so difficult to schedule at a time when all could be present.

Today meetings are being held by video-teleconferencing in which people, go to centres to watch the proceedings by satellite television. A few weeks ago, I watched one company wanting to make an announcement to its employees in New York and Los Angeles using a two-way satellite hook-up so employees in both cities could see and hear what was happening and speak back and forth to each other, and to see themselves as they did it!

The number of university courses now available on satellite is astounding and by telephone one can contact the teacher to get clarifications and explanations while the teacher is teaching, just as if one was in the traditional classroom.

In our Slovak communities, it is not unusual to have just a handful of members show up at fraternal or other parish organization meetings. In the year 2000 these meetings will involve participation by computers through Internet. While the personal contact will be somewhat diminished, the true feelings of the community about topics will be better known because more people will be participating in these kinds of meetings from the comfort of their homes.

In addition, services such as Internet, are making more readily available information that was buried in libraries and museums. With the push of a button, one can get access to major libraries, universities and commercial information providers. All of this makes of the people of 2000 very informed in making decisions.

Our Slovak communities are making their presence felt on Internet. Even as this is written, there are directories showing more than 200 entries for things Slovak. Even Slovakia is preparing a page in the WEB (World Wide Web). Our Embassy in Ottawa is currently developing a page giving information about Slovakia.

The Slovak Canadian Information Centre opened a centralized home page whose address is http://www.slovak.com/scic/ as part of Slovaks and Slovakia WEB site managed by Ondro Mihal. On this service one can get information about Slovakia in overview (history and statistical information), Slovakia viewed from the outside (Ondro Mihal's pictorial view of Slovakia), Slovak Cultural and Information Centre activities and resources, Slovak Art in Canada (works by Miroslav Dvorksy and Jozef Stefanka now on it) and Slovak Related Internet Resources (Slovak related users around the world).

In a matter of months more than 1100 users had logged on, and the usage will only climb.

While this is happening our people have to adapt themselves to these new technologies. Our presence on Internet proves our Slovak community will thrive into the year 2000 and beyond.

Copyright of "Slovaks in Canada in the Year 2000" 1996 - John V. Stephens, Q.C.
All other contents & photographs 1997, Ondro Mihal.
All comments should be forwarded to
Ondro Mihal at omihal@slovak.com.
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Last update on
May 29, 1997.