Us Europeans

Czech Cuisine

Potatoes, bread, meat, cream, cumin seeds and cabbage. Those are the main components of the Czech diet, whether they come unprocessed or disguised as dumplings, pancakes, schnitzels, sausages, sauces or soups. Traditional Czech food is invariably rich in saturated fat and therefore considered unhealthy by nutritional standards. What do the Czechs themselves think about what they eat?

Posted by Bruno

In most countries across Europe, it would be advisable for secondary school pupils to think about continuing their educational career for another four years or so. In Finland and Sweden, it would be hard to find a job without a third-level education diploma. Young Slovenians will utterly disappoint their parents if they choose not to go to university. The situation in the Czech Republic is a bit different. Here`s an overview of the Czech school system, which partly explains why so many start working right after finishing secondary school.

Posted by Bruno

Tourism in Prague (I)

Very few people would argue about whether other not Prague is a beautiful city. Its centre remained largely untouched during World War II. Monumental buildings have been carefully maintained since the fall of communism. No wonder that so many tourists find their way to Prague. Today, I am asking a couple of them how they experience the city.

Posted by Bruno

Life is full of worries and obligations. Going on holiday serves as a popular strategy for people to clean up their hard disks. For some obscure sociological reasons, all these people looking for relaxation come together at locations that are even more crowded than whatever they are used to at home. What consequences do their intentions have on the life of others ? or more precisely: how do inhabitants of Prague feel about the way foreigners have taken over the city centre?

Posted by Bruno

Anyone counting the number of churches in Prague would be very likely to conclude that the Czech Republic is a deeply religious country. The simple act of asking a couple of Czechs quickly reveals that the opposite is true: if there is one uniting factor when it comes to religion in the Czech Republic, it`s a widely shared preference to stay away from it.

Posted by Bruno

Euro 2008 expectations

The Czech national football team has a solid international reputation. As the Czechoslovakian football team, it won the 1976 title. Czech Republic qualified for most of the recent European and World Championships and, at several occasions, made it to the best four. Expecting that the upcoming European Championships will be an exciting event for the Czechs, I hit the street today with the purpose of asking them about their expectations for the tournament.

Posted by Bruno

In Czech Republic as much as in Hungary, questions about `ambition` and `inspiration` lead to shy smiles and superficial answers. While communism erased personal dreams by the nature of its ideology, the current situation makes people almost voluntarily forget about their dreams, at the expense of longing for money and authority.

Posted by Bruno

Superficial ambitions?

Being a traveling photo journalist isn`t always an easy job. Beside the work it generates, it takes quite some effort to find a way around language barriers and to interpret people`s answers correctly. How much are people`s answers limited by foreign language skills? What do they think about me as an inquisitive stranger? How can I know they are not just bullshitting, taking the piss or making me write something completely ridiculous? How can I know I am asking questions to people who are at least to some extent representative for the entire country?

Posted by Bruno

Meet and greet

Some countries on this planet have made smiling a moral obligation. No matter whether the smile is authentic or not, paste one onto your face and you will make it through the day. The opposite is true for many people in the Czech Republic. Their `by default face` seems to programmed to display active disinterest, with distress and dislike as optionally added flavours. Czechs need to know each other before they open up, and below article sums up a couple of unwritten rules which should be observed in attempts to find out what hides behind the first impression.

Posted by Bruno

Different people have different ideas about what constitutes a nice evening out with friends. Some of the ideas are, at least partly, culturally defined. Spaniards will not start their parties before the time pubs in England have already closed. While Italians will try hard to impress members of the opposite sex, Slovenians try to sheer away from interacting with anybody that is not already part of their group of friends. But what about the Czechs?A night out

Posted by Bruno