A Unique Way to Compare Historic and Current Prague (Unikátní způsob pro porovnání historické a aktuální Prahy)

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Would you like to see how Prague used to look like 100 years ago? You may want to go to the website below that shows authentic Prague photos and compares them to real paintings by the Czech artist Jan Minarik (1862 – 1937). The website is well done and easy to use, and allows you to move a bar in the middle of the photo to look at the old painting or the most recent photographs. You will be able to see places such as Havelsky trh, Kaprova and Maiselova Street, Charles Bridge, the National museum building, and many other beautiful places in the capital of the Czech Republic. You will be able to explore a total of 29 photograph/paintings and see, in some cases, dramatic changes in the landscape, and building sizes and orientation. Continue reading

From Behind the Iron Curtain to Membership in the European Union (Z pozadí Železné opony do členství v Evropské unii)

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This is the title of a presentation given by Peter Petrik on November 2nd, 2009 at the University of Texas, Dallas. Mr. Petrik was born in the former Czechoslovakia giving him the insight and experience to deliver a great presentation accompanied by his personal photographs and stories that kept the audience entertained. The lecture describes the transformation of Eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War and its impact on international business. If you are interested in the history of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and other European countries, you should watch the video below. Continue reading

Saint Nicholas and Human Generosity (Svatý Mikuláš a lidská velkorysost)

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December 6th is Saint Nicholas Day in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This day is special for children as well as for their parents. Last year we described what happens when a child meets St. Nicholas, the devil and the angel, but this year we would like to share with you a tradition and a recipe that one immigrant family follows while they share their love with others on the eve of this special day. Continue reading

A Slightly Unconventional Thanksgiving (Trošku nekonvenční Den díkuvzdání)

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Today is Thanksgiving, a harvest festival celebrated in the United States and Canada. On this day people give thanks for the harvest. Even though Thanksgiving is not celebrate in the Czech Republic or Slovakia, many Czechs and Slovaks express their gratitude while living in the USA and Canada or other democratic countries. For them, living in a free country brings with it more appreciation than just during this holiday. Many of them left the country, while it was still controlled by the Communist party and found their freedom far away from their homes, while risking their lives during their escapes. The article named “Giving Thanks for Freedom, Remembering the Czech Revolution” posted on the San Diego News Network by Marketa Hancova, the dean of education at Platt College, San Diego School of Art and Design, speaks just about that and more. The English version can be found HERE and its translation is posted below. Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving! Continue reading

Enjoy the Czech Hospitality of the Past (Vychutnejte si české pohostinství z minulosti)

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Do you still remember going to Czech restaurants and pubs with tacky decorations, dirty walls, sticky tables or dirty tablecloths with set in stains? The food from that era was very simple, maybe too oily or salty, but very cheap. In places like this you could find interesting people and an atmosphere that was much different form the one you may experience today. This week you can find a restaurant like this in Prague 3 called “U dvou Hrabalu” on Chelcickeho 14 Street. The restaurant was re-designed to show what Czech or even Slovak pubs used to look like in the eighties or maybe even earlier times. Until Sunday, the visitors have a chance to go back in time to re-live the past that may have already been forgotten.

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The Velvet Revolution and how the Czech public perceives it today (Sametová revoluce a jak to dnes vidí česká veřejnost)

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Ilustrace pro CzechFolks.com © František FrK KratochvílReaders of CzechFolks.com PLUS have been following a series on what foreign radios broadcasted in last weeks of the totalitarian regime and the early days of the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia. As the recent surveys have shown, it was the media and especially foreign radio broadcasts that had a major impact on sharing information with the Czech and Slovak population. This was confirmed by 86% of respondents in the research, which was done early in the autumn of this year by the staff from the Center for Public Opinion Research (part of the Institute of Sociology of the Cs. Academy of Sciences). Miroslav Sigl was invited to the final data presentation from the investigation of a large sample of 1046 respondents from the age of 15 and older. Continue reading

The Lives and Fate of Our Compatriots in the World (Životy a osudy našich krajanů ve světě) (2/3)

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Kniha Kdo byl a kdo je kdoAuthor: Miroslav Sígl (CzechFolks.com PLUS)

I did not realize how much attention the encyclopedia “Who was and who is” (of Melnik, Kralupy and Neratovice, a region with a total of 76 municipalities) would get. The encyclopedia was published in 2008 by Libri Praha. In its 640 pages one can get to know more than two thousand people. As compatriots they lived or still live, worked or still work abroad. It is commendable that one still remembers them and that many of our towns, villages, schools, institutions or businesses continue to be in contact with them and are met with interest when they visit their native places. Our Czech Institute of Foreign Affairs in Prague pays them great attention, but also the press of foreign countrymen. I briefly mention some of the significant among them, their story is generally very interesting and their remarkable life deserves further interest from the public. Some names are missing some biographical data, I shall welcome (as well as the publisher) any further comments or additional information.

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Pilsen…Ottawa….The story o two monuments to the victims of Communism (Příběh dvou památníků obětem komunismu)

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Obětem zlaAuthor: Josef Cermak (CzechFolks.com PLUS)

The garden of his soul

The Pilsen monument is today known as the Meditation Garden of Luboš Hruška (the author of a book on the monument and its creator, Irena Kastnerová, named her book “Luboš Hruška and the garden of his soul”). It is also known as “The Monument to the Victims of Evil.” Originally, it was planned by its creator as a monument to the victims of communism. This is what he wrote about communism in January, 1998: “Even today we still don’t know all the catastrophes caused by communist power in the world. Tens of millions dead and mentally or physically marked, thousands of disrupted families, a ruined environment, crippled economy, but worst of all, sick human souls. Continue reading

Celebrating the anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia in Canada (Oslava výročí vzniku Československa v Kanadě)

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Photo by: Michel Karpoff - Boris Krajný & Felix SlováčekOctober 28th is a memorable day in the history of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This year, this day marked the 91st anniversary of the establishment of the independent Czechoslovak state. There were many ceremonies happening on this date all over the world, thus the experience below described by Ladislav Krivanek is just one of many that numerous Czech and Slovak compatriots could experience during this celebration. Did you attend one? Just let us know or learn about a unique concert in Canada or the artists below. Continue reading

Totalitarian Regime Does Not Belong to the 21st Century! (Totalita do 21. století nepatří!)

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This is the title of a social event that is taking place in Prague. Some of you may think it is an ironic title since the Communist party rules in the current Czech Parliament; however, the event is reminiscent of the communist era of the last century, when both countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia were united as Czechoslovakia and the country was “sheltered” by the powerful Iron Curtain. The event itself is directed to the public of all ages; however, the major contributors to the event are in fact children and young adults that did not live during this era in Czech and Slovak history.

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From coal miner to largest Czech hotelier (Z horníka největším českým hoteliérem)

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Viliam Sivek“I’ve heard talks about having a bourgeois, or at best, a business origin,” says Viliam Sivek. “The truth is that during the first republic my grandfather was the director of the largest sugar refinery in Bohemia, but unfortunately I only remember that as a kid I only had one pair of pants and one pair of shorts. They were both versatile for everyday wear and festive occasions …”

Most people’s lives just pass through in predefined tracks, however, that was not the case with Viliam Sivek. His family saga is very interesting and would serve as enough material for a fairly extensive novel.

“My mother got married in Slovakia and actively participated in the fighting in the Slovak National Uprising. For example, when fighting by Strečno, she transferred prisoners to the ranks of the French partisans. She did so with 250 prisoners. Continue reading

The Lives and Fate of Our Compatriots in the World (Životy a osudy našich krajanů ve světě) (1/3)

Článek v ČEŠTINĚ dole (Klikněte na “Read the rest …”)

Kniha Kdo byl a kdo je kdoAuthor: Miroslav Sígl (CzechFolks.com PLUS)

I did not realize how much attention the encyclopedia “Who was and who is” (of Melnik, Kralupy and Neratovice, a region with a total of 76 municipalities) would get. The encyclopedia was published in 2008 by Libri Praha. In its 640 pages one can get to know more than two thousand people. As compatriots they lived or still live, worked or still work abroad. It is commendable that one still remembers them and that many of our towns, villages, schools, institutions or businesses continue to be in contact with them and are met with interest when they visit their native places. Our Czech Institute of Foreign Affairs in Prague pays them great attention, but also the press of foreign countrymen. I briefly mention some of the significant among them, their story is generally very interesting and their remarkable life deserves further interest from the public. Some names are missing some biographical data, I shall welcome (as well as the publisher) any further comments or additional information.

Continue reading