American ambassador in the United States Peter Kmec spoke about what Americans could learn from the Slovakians and vice versa.
The United States can not look European, the United States is not only New York, people also work harder and follow the "take it easy" motto. The American ambassador to the United States, Peter Kmec and his wife, Monika, briefly told the US about the life of TASR shortly before they left Washington.
In Slovakia they want to convey positive energy, Americans must enter into the honest interpersonal relations of the Slovaks.
They have lived almost nine years in the United States. Kmec has been a Slovak ambassador in Washington since September 2012. As a deputy ambassador he worked there in 2003-2005.
Another lifestyle behind the Atlantic
"My main nickname or password is that Europeans should not look at America with European eyes, because there is a different way of life, and it divides the Atlantic, so there are differences," said the diplomat.
One of the most striking differences in lifestyle is the fact that life in the US is faster and that Americans spend more hours and holidays at work. They also spend a lot of time driving a car – going to work, but also in shops.
Although there is about four hours of driving in Slovakia, it is close to the US, Monika explained Kmecova. When Americans find their free time, they think that it is mainly with their families and within their community, who practice different sports or lead their children to sports activities. During meetings, Americans are very friendly, even for someone who sees them for the first time.
Open and very accessible
"When making contacts, the company is very open because it is a multi-ethnic society, so you can find their nearby community or the Americans are very open, so friendship is very simple and they are also very open in business contact, they are very accessible to create different partnerships, shops and the like, "says Kmec.
A positive diplomat also assessed the quality of services in the United States, including their digitization. His wife was most impressed with the password or lifestyle "take it easy" (do not worry about it).
"First tune in and then slowly to a situation that hurts or is hectic and with a larger room to solve it, not much to talk about and dramatize, everything can always be solved, it has always worked well, "said Kmecová.
American cuisine? Large portions, lots of sugar and salt
They had to get used to the American kitchen. The diplomat has emphasized the large amount of sugar and salt in American food, as well as large portions to watch out for. During the nine years they worked in the United States, however, the selection of healthier meals has improved.
Kmecovci had to deal with the education of children abroad. Their son and daughter not only had to bump into the American education system, but they also had to deal with the American school and the Slovak school.
However, her son successfully completed high school and her daughter successfully continued her studies at the university. Transitions from one environment to another are challenging for a young person, because they not only have to adapt, but also have to lose friends, but on the other they will strengthen, gain broader insights and improve communication skills.
Monika Kmecová also appreciates the fact that their children are now able to compare and distinguish their lives in different countries, which is better. The move also strengthens the family, such as abroad, the members often rely on themselves alone.
The ability to appreciate the job
The diplomat wants to transfer various things to the United States: the courage to take risks, entrepreneurship and the ability to value the work.
"I think we can learn the risk from the United States and can not go to a number of solutions, of which we are often convinced that they are heading in the right direction, there is only one last step of that risk. ability to be enterprising, to find new things, to find ways of knowing how to advance the country.
It may not only be business-like, but also in terms of culture, interpersonal relationships and sport. So that dragon. And then the third: know how you can appreciate the job. That is why the Americans are very good. They want to appreciate not only their work but also the work of others, so that positive energy can support each other. So transfer that positive energy to Slovak society, "said Kmec.
On the contrary, the United States could learn from Slovakia more sincere, deeper human contact. Americans are smiling from the start, but that relationship sometimes remains more formal.
"For the first time, a man never knows how deep the friends they are thinking, because as they say, they still smile, but for me it was very good when there was a positive energy at the beginning of that contact. nice, so for a stranger, "said Kmecová.
The diversity of America
Finally, the diplomat emphasized the diversity of America. Europeans can not look at that country in the eyes of the European eyes, and he must realize that the United States, not just New York or Los Angeles. There are 50 states, each with their own history, and the impact of immigrants from all over the world is also visible.
"It is an interesting concept and I am very pleased that many people from Central Europe, many Slovaks, young people who come here, are so happy to travel because they know the diversity and it is very interesting to listen to them. And then it is a very different picture of the US if you see it from the inside.
It also sees the much stronger dimension of transatlantic cooperation, since Europe and America are very closely linked, not only traditionally but also values-based, which is of great importance in the future to keep up, "said Kmec. .
The ambassador of the Slovak Republic in Washington will be the current state secretary of the Ivan Korčok diplomatic branch from the autumn.