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From an apologetic mod

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Mar. 30th, 2008 | 07:49 pm
location: England
posted by: esmaraldo in prague_press

Hi, I realise that not much has been happening here for quite some time now, but then other Czech communities with the aim and purpose of discussing culture and political events remain equally as empty. Hopefully that will change. And I hope all of you feel comfortable in bringing whatever interests/issues that you wish to discuss to the table/forum.

I've been quite busy since- this community was created a good many years ago now- and I'm about to start university next year. This summer I'll be traveling around for a bit in Eastern Europe (Riga, Vilnius, Berlin). Not Prague, or the Cezch republic regrettably, but I have close friends who are going, for various reasons, because it is cheap, or as a pit stop before going to the Tatras to do some climbing.

Of the vast majority of the young people who go to Prague (which is now known in England for it's stag nights and cheap beer), few will have any awareness of the political and cultural events, such as the Prague Spring or the Velvet Revolution. And this afternoon, right this moment it makes me sad. It does not make me sad all of the time because I know rationaly that I can't except other people to be interested in issues such as human rights, and history- they should be free to value immediate things such as family, friends, social security; also it is a bit double standard of me as I am sure Riga to someone else will hold the upmost symbolic significance, whereas to me, currently it is only a place where I can go to relax with friends, and hopefully learn something about its history and culture along the way.

I think for me Prague will always be at the centre of the symbol of protest against authority. Obviously that is only one short span of it's long history, so I'm interested to know what Prague means to other people. What does Prague stand for, for you?

ETA: I've updated the look of the community as well as the info page- what do you guys think?

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Comments {2}

E Dzungali

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from: problematika
date: Mar. 31st, 2008 01:11 pm (UTC)

To me, Prague stands for home, for great architecture and even better public transportation. It stands for a people whose morale has been worn down by the communist regime and its continuing effects (e.g., on work ethic, trust, envy..), as well as for a minority of Czechs who were not and are not afraid to stand up for what's right. The catch is that I'm Romani. So, for me, Prague also stands for all those people who like to whine about how bad they have it, how everyone else is always oppressing them (i.e., Czechs saying they've been oppressed by Russians, Americans, Roma, EU, whatever) but when it comes to recognizing actual human rights violations against another ethnic group, they're blind - or even worse. Prague stands for a government that tolerates segregation is schools and tramples on the rights of children of all ethnicities by holding on to a cruel and senseless system of orphanages. Prague stands for a good deal of unnecessary suffering that could easily be alleviated if only people had a bit more common sense (give jobs to people who want them, let kids be adopted by foreigners quickly if a home can't be found locally, and realize that the work ethnic and criminality of EVERYONE in the country need to be vastly changed).
Prague stands for broken and demeaned generations of Czechs, Roma and others, with the result that so many of these people of all colors end up acting like total idiots much of the time. Still, Prague is the home I miss because it has an immensely rich cultural history, people who are courteous to mothers (unlike most Americans when it comes to public transport or opening doors for strollers!), and a sizable minority of Czechs who work against prejudice even in the face of their families' and friends' disapproval. These people are heroes in the same way as American Whites who helped the civil rights movement.

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from: clairejohnson
date: Apr. 28th, 2008 11:36 am (UTC)

Maybe tourists don't care about Prague Spring and Velvet Revolution, but people who come and stay here at least for some time, feel importance of such events. Now it is 10 years since a police crackdown, which came a week after the fall of the Berlin Wall, prompted hundreds of thousands of Czechs to pour into the centre of Prague to demand democracy. I saw On Prague's Narodni Trida on Wednesday, where the first demonstrators gathered, Czechs quietly laid flowers and candles at a small memorial to the students' peaceful resistance.

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