In my last letter I was having a grand time gathering mushrooms and pine cones and I promised that I would write nothing about the unending battle between the two leaders of political parties - one of whom clearly winning, the other close to winning, however still losing, which he ignored, and was furious.
However, the beautiful summer had ended and I had to return to Prague, to reading newspapers, listening to the radio, watching TV and taking care of a lot of e-mails. Many of you know me as a woman thoroughly positive and optimistic, sometimes even idealistically naďve, so believe me it really means something when I say that the political "culture" that reigns in this country, really makes me sick. They all are trying to grab as much as they can for themselves while more and more new scandals are coming out. Decisions dealing with money and power, are made by police and courts evidently corrupted, and killers are hired to get rid of uncomfortable witnesses. I don´t want to write any more about it. I´ve just remembered one of our readers from Venezuela who came to Prague in the middle 90s. She told us that things here were not really that bad but that they definitely could get worse because those in power will use any measures to hold on to it. When somebody in their country becomes bothersome they invite him on a boat trip down the Amazon River; by sheer accident he slips and falls into the river and the piranhas make sure that he never bothers anyone again.
However, there are more positive things I´d like to write about; special events that took place here in Prague.
On September 14, on the Jan Masaryk St., no.22 a memorial plaque and bust commemorating the 120th anniversary of the birth of this great man was unveiled. His tragic death after the 1948 Communist coup d´etat still remains a mystery. The solemn festivities closed with a concert of the Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra in the New Town City Hall.
The next event was the "Week of Czechs Living Abroad". There were 200 of them who came from all over the world, the East, West, North and South. There were so many pleasant meetings and get-togethers with old acquaintances and friends, so many lectures dealing with issues of Czechs abroad. However, sad to say, in 3 years none of the final resolutions except one had been realized. The exception is Czech broadcasting abroad, thanks mainly to Czech Radio. Complete lack of interest of journalists and reporters concerning this year´s event, gives a true picture of the situation.
On the other hand, activities of Czech organizations, especially of individuals in the field of communications media are a positive feature. There are 2 new Czech and Slovak TV stations in the USA. Radio broadcasting from post- communist countries especially via the Internet, is gaining momentum. The third day of the conference was devoted to the topic of Czech Media in the World, and was certainly the most interesting and inspiring.
Last but not least, we had just celebrated the feast of St. Wenceslas. By the way does anybody know how many statues and churches there are in Prague dedicated to this, our national saint? The person who sends the correct answer will get a nice book as a reward.
And finally, we still have very pleasant almost summery weather?Eva Strizovska Translation by Paula Schultz
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