A Story About the Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square (Příběh Pražského orloje)

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If you would like to see a real historical object in Prague, surrounded by mysterious stories and a long history, you would find such a structure on the side wall of the Old Town Hall. Can you guess which one? If you guessed the Prague Astronomical Clock, you were absolutely right. This clock was built in 1410, by Mikulas of Kadan, and recently celebrated its 600th anniversary.

Mikulas of Kadan was not the only person behind this historical clock tower. He collaborated with Jan Ondrejuv, who was a mathematician and astrologist. The clock was then rebuilt by the master Hanus, who was permanently blinded so he could not recreate such a masterpiece anywhere else in the world. Master Hanus, however, damaged the clock and cursed it against those, who would try to repair it again. The clock became silent for more than fifty years. Continue reading

The Painted Churches of Texas: Echoes of the Homeland (Malované kostely v Texasu: Ozvěny vlasti)

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Praha church

Praha church

Watch this interesting video by KLRU television, a public TV station in Texas that did a story of churches built by 19th century Czech immigrants to this rough but promising territory. These churches transport the visitor back to a different era, a different way of life. The story of these buildings is the story of a people striving to succeed in a new country and still preserve the values and culture of their homelands.
The video, by Tom Spencer, also describes how today’s Czech generations preserve their culture and are proud of their ancestors, heritage and faith. It is almost one hour long but it is worth of watching.

More information about the video can be found HERE.

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Sledujte toto zajímavé video připravené stanicí KLRU, veřejnou televizní stanicí v Texasu, o kostelech postavených v 19. století českýmí přistěhovalci v tomto drsném, ale slibném území. Tyto kostely povedou diváky zpět do jiné éry, jiného způsobu života. Příběhy těchto budov jsou příběh lidí snažích se uspět v nové zemi a přesto si zachovat hodnoty a kulturu jejich domoviny.
Video, od Toma Spencera, také popisuje, jak si dnešní české generace zachovávají jejich kulturu a jsou hrdí na své předky, kulturní dědictví a víru. Video je téměř jednu hodinu dlouhá, ale stojí za sledování.

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WATCH THE VIDEO HERE  

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CF PLUS

Facebook Reunites Czech Mother and Son (Facebook spojil matku a syna)

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There is no denying the influence that Facebook has on the world and how we communicate, but the story that we first came across on Radio Praha really touched our hearts. Ladislava Schroderova didn’t know much about computers just a little over a year ago, but after hearing stories of families being reunited with loved ones on Facebook she set out on a mission to find her long lost son Jiri.

Ladislava was separated from her son in the 1980s when her estranged husband took custody of Jiri and defected to Austria. Continue reading

The End of a Consulate (Konec jednoho konzulátu)

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This year’s month of March did not treat our community overly kindly. The row of friends to whom we said good bye this March is longer than other years. Quite a number of us gathered the last day of the month in Montreal to attend a somewhat different funeral: we lost a consulate. And this was not a run-of-the mill consulate. Which is not to suggest that the Czech Republic (and before that Czechoslovakia) ever had in Canada an unusually high number of consular establishments. But the Montreal consulate had much closer ties ties with the Czech (and even more Czechoslovak) history, than is usually the case.

What goes for the Montreal consulate, goes equally for the City of Montreal: it was in Montreal where in 1924 a group of immigrants from Czechoslovakia – mostly Slovaks – established Československý podpůrný spolek (Czechoslovak Mutual Benefit Society); it was in Montreal where in 1929 two newspapers commenced publication: Slovenské Bratrstvo (Slovak Brotherhood) and Kanadské noviny (Canadian Newspaper) – /the first Slovak newspaper in Canada, Slovenské slovo (Slovak Word), was published in Blairmore, Alberta in 1910/. Continue reading

Joseph Ctirad Vrana

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Author: Josef Čermák (CzechFolks.com PLUS)

Josef Čermák is one of our frequent contributors. Throughout the last 8 months, he has written many articles about our community in Canada and other stories that many Czech and Slovak expatriates relate to. This time his story has a sad tone to it as he announces the death of his friend, Joseph Ctirad Vrana, and one of the Czech immigrants in Canada. Click on the image if you would like to read his personal message.

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Česká verze ZDE

Photo for CzechFolks.com © Marie Zieglerová

Czech and Slovak Textile Folk Art (Textil v lidové tvorbě)

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Zástěra Milotice u Kyjova, 1880 (Apron from Milotice, near Kyjov, 1880)Author: Antonin Vaclavik (CzechFolks.com PLUS)

(Translated by Helena Kaczérová)

 

There are not many countries and nations in the world today which can still boast, of such rich folk art as that peculiar to Czechoslovakia and its peoples. Its immense wealth, endless variety of form, colors – sometimes bright, sometimes soft – its remarkablemony and fineness of work, have won for the art of the Czech and Slovak people the admiration of all who have met with it.

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

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)

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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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CzechFolks.com Celebrates One Year Anniversary (CzechFolks.com slaví 1. výročí)

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Ilustrace: Miloslav HeřmánekToday is a special day for CzechFolk.com, because we celebrate our first anniversary. The past twelve months were really amazing and we can’t wait to see what is ahead of us. Less than 6 months ago, we also introduced another affiliate named CzechFolks.com PLUS that brings lots of interesting articles from our talented authors that live all over the world. That is why we believe it is time to tell you more about our site and introduce to you our team of volunteers that contribute to the site. Continue reading

A Historical Journey in Memory of a Heroic Act (Historická jízda v upomínku na hrdinský čin)

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Exactly 70 years ago hundreds of mostly Jewish Czechoslovak children were saved from their eminent deaths in Nazi concentration camps. All of them and their descendants owe their lives to one man, a Briton named Sir Nicholas Winton, who organized the Winton Train rescue mission from the Czech Republic to Great Britain. Winton, who just recently celebrated his 100th birthday, did not speak about his heroic act for 50 years. Thanks to his wife, the rest of the world could learn about the rail “Czech Kindertransports” that he organized at the outbreak of World War II in 1939. The steam train transport reenactment, with some of the now-elderly “Winton children”, brought lots of emotions and awareness to the rest of the world and reminded everybody that even one person’s heroic act can have a great impact on the lives of many others. Continue reading

Don‘t Miss the Slovak Food Cooking Guide and Sauerkraut Soup Recipe (Nepřehlédněte průvodce vařením slovenského jídla a recept na zelnou polévku)

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Recently, we have been watching message threads by a Slovak student living in the USA. He was trying to locate a store that was selling poppy seeds. “Why would somebody desperately search for poppy seeds that we can find everywhere?” we asked ourselves. Well, today we know and would like to share it with you along with our great discovery of simple and easy to follow recipes from a website that offers weekly Slovak recipes with ingredients that can be purchased in the USA. The site also includes a recipe for plum dumplings, which were discussed in one of our earlier posts; thus, now you can see their preparation with all the necessary details. Continue reading