Vappu - Valbårg - May Day
My long-time dream has been to go see a classic ballet performance. And what would be a better place for it (after Russia maybe) than the Slovak National Ballet performing Swan Lake. I had proper clothing crisis before going there and I had about an hour after work to figure out my hair and what I could wear. Eventually I had to be very happy for the blazer I found in Zara earlier this year because it makes any outfit look good, with high heels obviously.
What I really like about Slovakia is that Slovak people want to look good and they understand the unspoken dress codes in different events. For ballet people dress up. Maybe not in a ball gown but people had definitely put some effort in their outfits: men wearing suits and women cocktail dresses or office chic outfits. I approve! When in London we went to see the Phantom of the Opera I thought that the dress code would be similar to what I saw this Wednesday at the ballet. I can't describe how horrified and disappointed I was when people there in Her Majesty's Theatre were dressed in broken jeans, dirty T-shirts and carrying backpacks... basically the lobby of the theatre looked like a train station.
People dressed up gave a nice base for a fantastic and beautiful experience, Swan Lake. I used to dance Jazz, which is based on ballet, for many years so I truly appreciate what those dancers are able to do on stage. How can someone be so graceful while twisting their body into a position that it isn't designed to twist to. I thought that the story would be difficult to follow but not at all. I would highly recommend this experience for anyone. And I myself am going again as soon as I can find someone to go there with!
Friday 1st of May was a day off in Finland as well as in Slovakia. This is the first ever Vappu I was not in Finland. End of April, beginning of May, aka Vappu, is an enormous excuse for celebrating and getting completely wasted in public with eeeeeverybody. Students have sort of taken over the entire Vappu and when thinking about it the first thing that comes in mind are the University students wearing colourful overalls.
I thought that I would find it hard being here alone (because everybody went away from Bratislava for the long weekend) knowing that back home people are gathered together to celebrate. But turns out my friends are quite scattered this Vappu, traveling or celebrating somewhere else but in Turku.
Even though here Vappu isn't known, Slovaks do celebrate May day, the official beginning of summer. There was a big festival on the other side of the river with concerts, food and local beers and wines. I, once again, joined the Nordic customer care team and went to see what was going on. I'm used to festivals in Finland: they consist of areas surrounded by fences and people are drunk out of their minds behaving like 3-year-old children in a fit of rage. This festival here had no fences, the area was nicely open and people were enjoying drinks in civil way. There were a lot of young people, relatively sober, behaving like normal people should. The only people who were probably visibly drunk were me and my Finnish colleague, of course :D It was a nice evening in good company. Didn't really feel like Vappy because the colourful overalls were nowhere to be seen, but nonetheless, I didn't miss Vappu in Finland at all.