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

Remembering Our Mothers (Na památku našich matek)

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Today is Mother’s Day and many of us visit our mothers, mothers-in-law, grandmothers … to spend more precious time with them and celebrate their motherhood before these moments only become distant memories. Jana Reichova, a well known Czech author of articles in the magazine Pozitivni Noviny that lives in Australia, wrote a touching story about her mother. We believe it still applies to many of us around the world:

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The Foreigner’s Guide to Living in Slovakia (Průvodce životem na Slovensku od cizince)

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Our website was originally created to close the gaps between Czechs and Slovaks abroad and their home country. Little did we know, that it would also serve as an information source for other people that are interested in our country and people, or that the interest in our articles would be bidirectional – read by our countrymen in the Czech Republic or Slovakia. Our site is not, however, the only site that offers information about both of these countries. About six months ago, we discovered a site that offers exquisite information about Slovakia from the perspective of a foreigner, therefore, giving valuable information to everybody that is planning on visiting the country for fun or even business.

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Slovak President Re-Elected! (Znovuzvolení Slovenského Prezidenta!)

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Finally, the “election fever” in Slovakia is over and the country can welcome its re-elected incumbent Ivan Gasparovic. As you may already know, Gasparovic was running for the Slovakian President post against Iveta Radicova. The first round of the election ended up with 46.71 percent of votes for Gasparovic and 38.05 percent for Radicova. The second election round resulted in the majority of the votes (55.53 percent) for the current president and 44.47 percent for his opponent.

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Do You Celebrate IWD? (Slavíte MDŽ?)

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March 8th can be remembered differently amongst Czechs and Slovaks at home or abroad. This day used to be known as International Woman’s Day (IWD). It started as a political event and later it was mostly associated with the communist regime and red carnations. This holiday is similar to Mother’s Day and St. Valentine’s Day. It disappeared from our calendars for a while, but now it is back to bring awareness of the struggles and achievements of women around the world. Will you be one of people, who celebrate this day?

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Democracy in the Czech Republic Improved but Worsened in Slovakia (Demokracie v České Republice se Zlepšila ale na Slovensku se Zhoršila)

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How would you rate democracy in the Czech Republic and Slovakia on a scale from 1 to 10? The question is not that easy and it requires consideration of many variables and a large pool of data. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has completed such study and according to their results, the Czech Republic showed a slight improvement in the EIU Index of Democracy in 2008. On the other hand, Slovakia’s index declined, compared to last year’s study results. The study was done in 167 countries and focused on the electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties. Based on the total ranking numbers from all five categories, the Czech Republic fell in the full democracy range, whereas Slovakia fitted into the flawed democracies range.

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Another Commercial St. Valentine? (Další Komerční Den Svatého Valentýna?)

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(www.dmrf.org)

St. Valentine’s Day is still a relatively new holiday in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This day was originally associated with love and feelings, but today it is mostly associated with shopping. This year might be different, though. Even though the Czech market is overwhelmed by items associated with this holiday, the Czechs will probably spend less and instead of going to restaurants, they will probably eat at home instead. The neighboring Slovaks won’t shop as much either but a recent public opinion poll showed that it will be probably due to their disfavor of this holiday. No matter what your financial situation is or how you feel about this holiday, there are other meaningful ways that you can celebrate this day and maybe do something good for others.

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Only Good Things from TV Noe (Pouze Dobré Věci od TV Noe)

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It is not the first or last time that we have talked about different opportunities that will keep you connected with the home country. One of the most requested and popular ways to stay in touch with our language and happenings at home is, of course, the television. That is not a problem these days since we can watch Czech and Slovak movies, documentaries, news, or popular TV series through the Internet. Why not add to our list of online television stations? Today, you can read about TV Noe (Noah) – Good News Television that will keep you entertained, while opening your eyes and bringing new values to your lives.

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Other Countries Fire Back on Entropa and Humiliate Czechs (Ostatní země Reagují na Entropu a Ponižují Čechy)

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To mark its presidency over the EU, the Czech government wanted to create a sculpture of all countries, named Entropa, of the European Union. These pieces of art were supposed to be the work of artists from each country of the union. David Cerny, a Czech artist was selected as the leader of this project that would be displayed in Brussels, Belgium. When the final work was revealed, it not only shocked everybody due to the fact that the only author of this work was Cerny and his affiliates, but the sculpture itself humiliated several countries, such as Germany, Latvia, or Bulgaria. Many European artists wanted to react to Entropa and created caricatures of the Czech Republic through their eyes.

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Twenty Years Later – Europe Still Occupied by Russia (O Dvacet Let Později – Evropa Stále Obsazena Ruskem)

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It has been twenty years since the fall of communism and when we look back, we are amazed how different we used to live. It may seem that the former Eastern Bloc countries have moved on towards independence and freedom, but is it really true? The recent affair with Russian natural gas showed us again how much these countries are still dependent on this powerful country. This was a tough time for Europe, but it showed that EU countries could overcome this burden by helping each other during tough times. What will they do to make sure this won’t happen again?

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Tips for Legal Travel to the USA (Tipy pro Legální Cestování do USA)

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Airport (www.airdirect747.com)

The fact that the Czech Republic was added to the Visa Waiver Program is probably not new to you. You may not know, however, that many other countries were added to this program just recently, including countries that did not previously require visas to enter the USA. This has caused lots of problems for people that were not familiar with the new travel policy. For example, citizens of the United Kingdom would unknowingly still travel without this permit and then face deportation in the United States. Most Czechs and the Slovaks are probably already acquainted with this new process but maybe don’t know what it takes to obtain the permit. The information below could be helpful to many of you and can serve as a checklist to make sure you receive the permit and will be admitted to the United States of America.

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Slovak Movies Online (Slovenske Filmy Pres Internet)

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Fontana pre Zuzanu

One of our latest posts in December was about Czech films online. Our article today is about Slovak movies over the Internet. Rental fees are very similar to Czech TV prices, but you can only rent each movie just for one day and not for one week. You can, however, watch some titles in the Slovak language and some are even free. A list of known Slovak titles includes, for example, Fontana pre Zuzanu, Modre z neba and so on.

All information about the service and movies for rent can be found at the end of our article.

Enjoy!

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