This week has been devoted to our people living abroad. On Wednesday September 16th I attended a Senate session and listened to declarations of men of wisdom. They dealt with a new book by Tomáš Grulich and Stanislav Brouček. Possibilities in connection with forming a modern ex-patriot dispersion, ethnological research of Czechs abroad, cooperation of Czechs abroad, in shaping the domain, etc. I must admit that most of those reports were far too long. As usually happens, it was the gentlemen who wished to hear themselves. I don’t understand for example why the scholar from the Museum of Czech Literature felt compelled to explain to us at length the meaning of a literary item or a book box. Then he went on to explain the increase of those items in the library, as well as the decrease. It would have been more acceptable had he said “We received some books by Milan Kundera, by Josef Švorecky etc.” However, there were two pertinent reports, one by Miroslav Krupička, director of Czech Radio 7 – “Czechs abroad and the Czech Republic and in the media world,” and the other by Lucie Slavikova-Boucher. The director gave us a tour of the Internet and introduced us to different possibilities of viewing the greatest number of Czech magazines, activities, and events from abroad. Lucie informed us about a new opportunity of teaching Czech to children abroad. She had opened in the Czech center in Paris a language school for those children, and it has gradually spread to other countries for example to Australia and now she is striving to have the school classified onto the level of Czech education.
Now I must thank Miroslav Krupička, Dagmar Takacsova from Košice and Vlasta Lazu from rumanian Temešvár for their words of thanks and support of the Czech Dialogue and the International Czech Club.
I had met at the Conference a number of great friends and people from many countries. Mrs. Krausova from Sudan, Zuzana Hahn from Canada, who is trying to create an anti-communist information “route”, so that people from various countries come to understand what evil we are dealing with. Further, I met Jaroslav Trombik from New Zealand, Miroslav Jiránek from z Adelaide in Australia, the chief of Sokol in Sweden Pavel Mrázek, friends from Switzerland and Slovakia, Germany, Rumania, Ukraine, and the USA.
A discussion followed and those present had a chance to state their views with a time limit of 3 minutes. The very first participant Mr. Adolf Mocek woke up the drowsy assembly with his speech. He came back to Czechia right after the Velvet Revolution from Benat in Rumania. He took into consideration the invitation of our government asking the Czechs abroad to return. What a disappointment it was for him when after years of life in Rumania where he was a foreigner, because he was Czech, he is here now called a Rumanian. Same as the Vietnamese, he must wait years to get his Czech citizenship. He also regrets that the majority of people here had thrown away their belief in God. It was the Kralicka Bible, he said, that had held the nation together for many generations, striving to keep unity in the Czech nation.
Mr. Charles N. Wiener from Switzerland expressed himself even more strongly stating that it’s not even atheism (the word Theo meaning God) but ignorance. The speech by that Czech-Jewish-American- Swiss participant was to the point as well as humorous.
Opening of the Czech Festival took place the next day.Eva Střížovská
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