The Czechmate Diary…


Czech activities in the USA: Calendar for August 07′ July 1, 2007

Filed under: Czech happenings around the USA — Tanja @ 4:55 pm


1. New York, NY (the Czech Center)

  • What: “Meet Contemporary Czech Design” exhibition
  • When: July 07′ – Sept. 15th

2. Astonia, NY (Bohemian Beer Garden)

  • What: Showing of various Czech movies
    • Aug. 5th: Holiday Makers (Ucastnici Zajezdu)
    • Aug. 12th: Bored in Brno (Nuda v Brne)
    • Aug 19th: Skritek (Skritek)
    • Aug 26th: Devided we fall (Musime si pomahat)

3. Prague, Texas (Czech Heritage Society of Texas)

  • What: “Prazska Pout” (Prague Fair) Fair
  • When: Aug. 15th
  • What: St. Cyril and Methodus Catholic Church Picnic
  • When: Aug 26th
  • Where: Cistern, Texas……CLICK ON “MORE ” TO SEE MORE ACTIVITES!! (more…)

Film Festival in Karlovy Vary is on/ Zacal filmovy Festival v Karlovych Varech June 30, 2007

Filed under: Czech news — Tanja @ 2:05 am

kristalovy-globus-karlovy-vary.jpg The 42nd Film Festival in Karlovy Vary has just begun. It will be showing the total of 220 movies, where the best fiction movie wins the Crystal Globe prize (see the photo attached) as well as $20,000. The documentary movies are this year competing for a prize of $5,000 (quite the difference there…). The opening event on Friday was hosted by the world famous movie stars such as Renee Zellweger and Dany de Vito. Pour Renee started her trip to the Czech Republic quite adventurously: she was informed at the London airport that ALL of her luggage had gotten lost somewhere on the way, including her fancy evening dress! Well, let’s hope that Dany de Vito will be generous enough to lend her his toothbrush and she will be able to find something to wear from the Wenceslav Square boutique selection.. (more…)


A little bit of history…Czech Americans and Education (part VII) June 29, 2007

Filed under: Czech-American history — Tanja @ 5:58 am

Czechs always kept education in a high regard, which is obvious from the high literacy rate of the Czech immigrant groups (97% could read and write) compared to the other Slavic immigrants where the literacy rate was only 66%. Because they wanted their children to be taught about their Czech heritage, which was something that public school system could not provide, the Czech American communities would establish their own schools.

Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania The earliest educators that came from the Czech lands were the Moravian Brethren, a Protestant religious group which came to America to find religious freedom between the years 1741 and 1762. They implemented especially the teachings of Jan Amos Komensky in their schooling system and were educating everyone, not just the Czechs. Even in these early years the Moravian Brethren already supported women to get equal education to men as well as the abolition of slavery. They were also the founders of the 6th oldest college in America (founded in 1742), the Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (see the picture attached;in the forefront is the statue of Jan Amos Komensky). (more…)


Czech stuff: calendar for July 07′ June 27, 2007

Filed under: Czech happenings around the USA — Tanja @ 4:51 am

National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library images-1.jpg

Cedar Rapids, Iowa


  • July 4th – UpBeat! Concert Series (Czech Plus Band)
  • July 13th – Czech Village Concert series (Czech Plus Band)
  • July 14th – UpBeat! Concert Series (Leonard’s Reyman’s Accordion club)
  • July 18 – UpBeat! Concert Series (Cedar Rapids Municipal Band)
  • July 19th – Learn at Lunch (lecture on Czech puppetry)
  • July 20th – Czech Village Concert Series (Leonard Reynman’s accordion club)
  • July 21st – Puppetry workshop
  • July 23rd through Aug. 2nd – Traditional Czech Wooden Marionette Making workshop
  • July 27th – Emil Viklicky alive (Jazz band)


Czech and Slovak Heritage Association (Baltimore, Maryland)


Towson, MD

  • July 15th – Sokolfest XXV

Washington, DC
July 29th – TATRA Auto Exhibit


Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden

Astonia, NY

  • Showing of Czech movies
  1. July 1st – Pupendo
  2. July 8th – Wrong Side Up (Pribehy obycejneho silenstvi)
  3. July 15th – Cozy Dens (Pelisky)
  4. July 22nd – Wonderful years that sucked (Bajecna leta pod psa)
  5. July 29th – The Ride (Jizda)



Is Singer Neckar a traitor??!! / Je zpevak Neckar zradce??!!

Filed under: Czech news — Tanja @ 3:31 am

neckar-before.jpg neckar-after.jpg The Czech newspaper “Lidove noviny” released on Monday a disturbing information about a singing legend Vaclav Neckar. The information claims that in 1978 Neckar started working for the communist secret police (called StB). Just to paint you a quick picture about this StB, anyone in those times could be a part of the StB, so you never knew for sure if one of your friends was “with them”. Anytime and anywhere you were you couldn’t stop wondering if you had said anything “inappropriate” out loud and if any one of “them” heard it; this low level anxiety always traveled with you. Once a person did agree to step over to the Dark Side and became part of this secret police network, he immediately received great privileges such as being able to travel behind the Iron Curtain, sending his kids to a university, getting a fine job……So anyway, what was Neckar’s cover name? The Germ (which is also a current name of his band)! His job was to spy on his manager, mr. Bunzel at first. Yet when Bunzel joined the secret police as well, Neckar started collecting information on other musicians, including his co-worker as well as his former wife, Marta Kubisova. When asked, Kubisova did not believe this shocking news and said that “the information source didn’t sound trustworthy enough”. According to Lidove noviny Neckar is unwilling to discuss this surprising news since it could worsen his state of health (he had a brain accident in 2002). Nice little excuse…..!!! Neckar’s new “situation” also threatens his singing career, especially his upcoming concert in Trutnov where he may not be allowed to perform. What do you think, do you believe that Neckar is a traitor??

Here is an interesting YouTube video that I found. (more…)


Miro Zbirka rocks New York / Miro Zbirka rokuje New Yorkem June 26, 2007

Filed under: Czech happenings around the USA — Tanja @ 4:56 am

zbirka.jpg Famous Slovak rock/pop star Miro Zbirka was playing last night at the church of St. Nepomuc in Manhattan, NY. New York is his only stop on this year’s American tour (two years ago he also played in Chicago and Los Angeles) and then he is heading for Canada. Miro rocked the house (well, church…) with the all-time favorites such as Atlantida, Biely kvet( White flower), or 22 dni (22 Days). When the press asked him about how he liked playing in New York he replied: Playing abroad for the Czech/Slovak audience becomes very emotional since a lot of these people left their homeland a long time ago. Some of them have not been back home for seven or nine years. That’s why it’s understandable that a concert like this fulfills not only the musical cravings but it also reminds them the times when they were still at home (=Czech Republic, Slovakia). These kind of people absorb my music on a different, more emotional, level”. What most people don’t know about Zbirka is that his mother is English so he sings in both languages: in Slovak and in English.

By the way, did anyone go see him??


CZ: Znama sovenska rokova hvezda starych a novych casu Miro Zbirka v nedeli rokoval ve slovenskem katolickem kostele sv. Jana Nepomuckeho na Manhattanu. New York je jeho jedina zastavka v Americe (oproti roku 2005, kdy take mimo New Yorku koncertoval v Los Angeles a Chicagu) a pote se chysta potesit fanousky take v Kanade. Kostel se otrasal starymi hitovkamy jako Atlantida, Biely kvet, nebo 22 dni. Zbirka uvedl, ze krajanske obecenstvo v zahranici je jine nez na co je zvykly z domacich koncertu: ” Je to o emocich, protoze je tu mnoho lidi, kteri odesli uz pred delsim casem. Potkavam se tu take s lidmi, kteri nebyli doma sedm nebo devet let. Koncerty jim plni i nektere veci mimohudebni, pripominaji jim casy, kdy byli doma. Takove koncerty vnimaji divaci daleko emotivneji.” Malo lidi vi, ze jeho matka byla anglicanka a proto take zpiva v obou jazycich, jak anglictine, tak v cestine.

Koupil jste si na nej nekdo listky???



Czechs like to splurge / Cesi radi utraceji June 25, 2007

Filed under: Czech news — Tanja @ 5:41 am

money_pile.jpg A European study made by Barometer Cetelem came out with their recent results about Europeans and their attitude toward saving their money. The poll showed that in 2006 60% of Czechs were planing to save up, where as in 2007 this percentage decreased to only 22%. The biggest “tightwads” this year turned out to be the British, where 41% of them want to put their money away; the British are followed by the French and the Germans. Who turned out to be the biggest spenders? It’s the Hungarians! Only 6% of them are thinking about their savings. The Czech Republic placed third in the “hitparade of spenders”. This increased need of buying supposedly increased for two major reasons:

  1. the wages have increased
  2. the Czech Republic has the cheapest loans in the European Union.

What do the Czech want to buy the most? The winners in this category are:

  1. traveling
  2. free time
  3. household electronics
  4. cell phones. (more…)

Prizes for promoting the Czech culture abroad / Ceny za sireni ceske kultury v zahranici June 23, 2007

Filed under: Czech news — Tanja @ 4:12 am

reward.jpg The Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Karel Swarzenberg held this Tuesday in Prague an award-giving ceremony. Who was worthy of this s0-called Gratias Agit prize? Anyone who has been promoting the Czech Republic’s good name abroad. This year’s winners became 2 organizations and 14 persons. Compared to the last year results, however, this year’s champions were mostly foreigners:


  1. Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center – currently building a Czech museum
  2. “Stonozka” organization in Norway – founded by Czech fellow-countryman Bela Gran Jensen; humanitarian organization where the Czech and the Norwegian children help other children from around the world by selling their hand-drawn pictures, where the money raised is used for a purchase of first aid necessities.


  • Jiri Hlinka from Norway – Czech piano player and a music teacher
  • Milos Forman – Czech American film-maker (see my previous post on him)
  • Cahan Rozen from Israel – born and raised in Ostrava, founder of the League for Israel-Czechoslovakian Friendship, also a member of Israeli organization called the Friends of the Czech Republic
  • Irena Kirkland from the USA – Czech-born; activist for human rights, rights of the workers and immigrants (more…)

A little bit of history….Czech-American Institutions from Past to Present: Religion (Part V) June 21, 2007

Filed under: Czech-American history — Tanja @ 5:07 am

last_supperda_vinci.jpg Czech Americans and their relationship towards Religion

The earliest Czech immigrants (the Moravian Brethren) came to America solely to search for religious freedom. The later immigration wave of Czechs (after 1850) was coming for many different reasons such as education, political convictions and others . Yet still the majority of Czech Americans belonged to the Catholic Church – the only recognized religion by the Hapsburg Empire. This Hapsburg re-Catholization of the Czech lands left many Czechs scared, especially since the Czech lands used to be predominantly protestant. No wonder that when these “forced Catholics” came to the free America, about a half of them decided to turn their backs on Catholicism all together. The other half that stayed Catholic and didn’t have a Czech congregation in their vicinity usually joined some German or Polish Catholic congregations. By 1920 America had about 350 Czech priests and about 200, 000 Czech Catholics.

Czech Protestants in America consisted mostly of descendants of the Hussites and Moravian Brethren. Their most famous congregation has been the Jan Hus Presbyterian Church in New York City (founded in 1888).

And then there were the blossoming Progressives and the Freethinkers who refused any kind of religion. These two groups received support and sympathy from the socialists and the atheists and together they established in America many atheist schools, ceremonies for marriages, funerals and other important events. (more…)


New Charles Bridge museum / Nove Museum Karlova mostu June 20, 2007

Filed under: Czech news — Tanja @ 4:23 am

Charles Bridge Are you planning on going to Prague sometime soon? The city has a new sightseeing place for you to see. The new Museum of Charles Bridge is located on Krizovnicke square and will be opening this Sunday. Besides the “Prague exposition” which shows the way Prague looked in the 10th century, visitors will also be able to check out one of the “mlynsky” rocks, which was the authentic corner stone of Charles Bridge. Exhibition will also show the historical wooden machines as well as the tools that carpenters and masons used while building the bridge. Although its construction began in 1357 the whole structure was completed no earlier than at the end of the 15th century. What is interesting is that the bridge was called the Prague Bridge until the second half of the 19th century when it was finally renamed to Charles Bridge. Do you know why is it that the bridge has been standing so steady throughout all these centuries? That’s because the builders would put eggs into the plaster so that the whole structure would stick together better…And that’s for real!

Chystate se do Prahy?? Nove zrizene museum Karlova mostu je situovane na Krizovnickem namesti a jeho bezny provoz zacina jiz tuto nedeli. Krome expozice modelu Prahy – jak vypadala v 10. stoleti – budou mit navstevnici take moznost shlednout jeden z mlynskych kamenu, na nichz byl Karluv most roku 1357 postaven. Vystaveny budou take modely tehdejsich stavebnich drevenych stroju a dobove pracovni nastroje tehdejsich tesaru a kameniku. Samotny most byl ale celkove dokoncen az koncem 15. stoleti. Jmeno “Karluv most” mu bylo prisouzeno az v druhe polovine 19.stoleti; pred tim se jmenoval most Prazsky. A uz jste slyseli, proc je jiz po staleti tak neodolny? Protoze do malty tehdy pridavali vajicka a to aby byla malta extra lepkava!