Pursuing Life's Daring Adventure

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Wealth of Czech Culture

In a handful of weeks, our family of five will be taking the giant leap across the Atlantic to settle into a new life in Prague, Czech Republic. We are all very excited about the adventure that is sure to come with life in a new country and a new continent. In addition to the endless physical preparations, we are doing our best to prepare ourselves from within, as well. This week, we went through cultural training, which not only gave us points of cultural differences to prepare for, but also introduced many wonderful aspects of Czech life to look forward to living and experiencing during our time there.

Since I really didn't know much about Prague and Czech Republic until recently, I’d like to share a few key elements I find interesting.

The Czech Republic is a beautiful, modern country about the size of the state of South Carolina with a population of roughly ten million. The Czech Republic has been a member of NATO since 1999 and of the European Union since 2004, and is bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the East, and Poland to the north. Though the region thrived as an intellectual European center prior to 1948, the government fell to Soviet rule, and Czechoslovakia endured communist regime until 1989. In 1993, Czech Republic and Slovakia split into their respective countries. Amazingly, the Czech people have only been without communism for only twenty years.

Prague, the main Czech city, has long stood as a cultural center for much of Central Europe, hosting artists and musicians and intellectuals for decades. One of my personal favorites, Antonin Dvořák, musician and composer of the New World Symphony and many Slavonic Dances, lived near Prague in the late 1800’s. Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart resided in Prague and found tremendous inspiration there. Today, opera, ballet, and symphony perform regularly in breathtaking opera houses.
Prague is also well known for poets and writers, including Franz Kafka. And since original buildings exist throughout the city, Prague is known for its wealth of architecture: Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Cubist, Renaissance, and Art Nouveau. On a practical level, the city's beauty is everywhere, brought to life in weathered plaster buildings, cobblestone streets, and brightly-colored geraniums planted in quaint windowboxes.

With castles and music and arts and natural and societal beauty, our time in Prague is certain to be a culturally decadent experience. As a writer, I know the rich surroundings of Prague and Central Europe will have a profound impact on my life, my living, and my art.
So much to learn, so much to enjoy, so much to savor and pass on … looking forward to the upcoming years of experiences in Prague, Czech Republic.
Looking forward to sharing it with you …
Enjoy Summer! -Jennifer

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.