Fri 28 Oct, 2005 09:33 am
hiya, nimh ;-) (i presume not many others will venture here)
so today is the anniversary that was so important when i was growing up among other national holidays. Czechs still have this day as their national holiday. We do not. In fact, I browsed the main Slovak dailies and there is NO mention of it today. One two-minute spot on our news TV (slovak version of CNN that only a fragment of population watches). Sad to see.
sigh, i have to answer my own unanswered post. so sad.
Hah! Musta passed me by the first time round, but indeed, you wake this thread up and bam, here I am. God I'm predictable ;-)
How come Slovaks don't, Daggles?
Do they hate the Czechs or something?
Many Slovaks feel that Czechoslovakia was not their state. "Pragocentrism" - that is really tight centrally directed state from Prague, where most of leadership was Czech, was an added cause for rising autonomist movements. In fact autonomy or federation were the main issues for the Slovaks all the way through - from 1918 till 1993 when we did split up. It's not the Czechs per se, it's more of an issue of completion of a national self-determination.
That, by the way, is what I believe majority thinks. I don't. I miss Czechoslovakia, and I believe it could have been a viable country if we stayed together.
What I expected...but I thought something like that might have been regarded as shared history.
It is hard for we New Worlders to "get" these divisions.
yes. technically, it is shared history. emotionally, it isn't. (well, it is for me and some people). Or it is to the extend that people say "yes, but..."
Yet its funny ... I mean, from the restoration of democracy in 1990 up to the very point of break-up in 1993, either a very large minority or an outright majority of Slovaks wanted Czechoslovakia to remain, according to the polls.
I remember that at one point, there was a greater percentage of Czechs for separation (let those bothersome Slovaks be gone already) than Slovaks. The split-up must have been one of the few among the post-Soviet dissolutions that might well have been rejected in a referendum, had one been held.
Yet, once the break-up did occur, most all Czechoslovak allegiance dissolved?
the polls, if i remember, were about 65% of slovaks and 55% of Czechs (or vice versa) against the split.
I actually interviewed a former prime minister, Jan Carnogursky about this. He is a family friend from pre-1989 times, so he gave me the inside scoop. Apparently Meciar with Klaus were meeting in private while a larger group of other leaders were holding talks in another room. These were the "castle rounds" - as they would meet repeatedly in various castles around the republic.
Well this one time when they all met together after Klaus and Meciar, the other group announced they shook hands on separation. Meciar, having separation in his program (not that he really wanted it, he was using it more as a threat, a blackmailing tool) could not really back down and was thus called on his bluff. at least this is the story Meciar himself told Carnogursky over coffee once. And since we're no rebellious people, we obliged politely and humbly. "In Slovakia, it is so" (very very very popular slovak saying).
I'm interested...but only just saw this post. As you can see below my avatar, I'm now living in Prague, working in the local office of the same firm I was with in London.
What's interesting to me is that (despite the split of CZ and SK) my team is about 40% Slovak and 60% Czech - for the rest of you, it may come as a surprise that the languages are different but each can understand the other without having to modify their speech.
Our business operations cover both CZ and SK and the team moves between the locations as necessary.
I look forward to finding out more of the history of these countries as I live here and travel in the region (the plan is to stay until June 2007)...there's certainly a lot of history to discover!
I never really understood why it split up after the Ruskies went. How is Slovakia doing on it's own? Would they have made a better go of it if they had stuck together?
kp, it will most certainly be a blast. what is your company doing, if that's not a secret?
ellpus, strangely enough slovakia's macro economy is now doing better than czech economy. it hasn't quite translated into standard of living, which is slightly better in the czech lands, but overall we are doing a bit better now. probably due to all the heavy industry - steel and cars. we are the 'Detroit of Europe' - quite a compliment, ain't it?
The main figure of Czecholosvak independence is Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, isn't he?
That's about all I know, except that Presidente Masaryk Avenue is the most posh and uppity in Mexico City.
And one thing we have to thank the velvet divorce for is that Czecholosvakia would have been even tougher to defeat in the next football World Cup.
Reading along with interest. KP, my husband and daughter are checking in at their hotel in Prague at this minute. The orchestra group is giving a final concert tomorrow evening before returning to Chicago on Sunday.
I hope your husband and daughter had a great time here. If I'd got your post before today (Monday) I might have tried to find out where they were playing.
The floods which have been serious in other parts of Cz have not hit Prague, which is lucky for us...it could have been messy!
I was there during the last flood (2002?). It was disastrous. Lots of statues were swept away from Mala Strana, ancient Jewish quarter was flooded, including one of the oldest synagogues... Billions of crowns in damage. Floods seem to get worse every year in Czech Republic and Slovakia - perhaps Gods' wrath for the illegitimate divorce or whatnot.
Hey, I was in Prague too, during the flood!
My wife and I had gone to Karlovy Vary for a couple of days, and when we came back to Prague, the pension (with our suitcases) was closed, we were stranded. But we managed quite well.
Hey, maybe we even met on a street somewhere!