Czech Update

Items originally published on

Amnesty finds little improvement in Roma discrimination

Unfortunately, a new report from Amnesty International found the situation of the Roma minority as dire as in the past from unequal treatment by the police, through limited access to social services, to negative attitudes by non-Roma Czechs.

Police respond to Prague tourists's needs

A new unit of Prague police will focus on the needs of tourists, particularly in crime prevention but also in helping them get around.
Prague cops set up special unit for tourists - Czechnews - Aktuálně.cz The team will guard the main tourist vein cutting through the centre of Prague. At every moment from 10am till midnight, at least seven police officers will operate on a section connecting Wenceslas Square with the Prague Castle via Old Town Square and Charles Bridge.

Czech Healthcare Update

An interesting write up of the Czech health system in the NY Times.
In Central Europe, Better Health Care Comes With a Cost - For Czechs, who visit their doctors more often than anyone in Europe, it has led to great outrage. In fact, the idea of charging anything at all for health care can generate significant controversy, not to mention abrupt about-faces in policy, here and in other Central European countries.

Google Translate now does Czech, makes for a useful phrasebook

Google Translate is mainly a source of merriment when funny mistranslations occur as they do on almost any text. But if it's all you have to get the gist of a page, it is (marginally better than nothing). And now, you can get Google translate for Czech (and many other related languages).

You can you Google Translate in one of three ways.

Czech Studies teaching job at Glasgow University

An interesting job in teaching Czech!

Glasgow University is looking for a new Lecturer in Czech Studies

The University of Glasgow is advertising a new permanent position of Lecturer in Czech Studies. The successful candidate will have native or near-native knowledge of Czech, will be fluent in English, will have a postgraduate qualification, will be a charismatic teacher, and as a research scholar, he/she will have proven ability to attract outside research funding.

Veselé Velikonoce - Happy Easter (2008)

Image of Pomlázky Veselé Velikonoce roku 2008. You can read a bit more about Czech Easter in this post from last year or in one of the two comprehensive articles below.

The Czech Republic’s Easter traditions are colourful both in appearance and name. The journeys of Captain Oddsocks: Czech Easter traditions

Easter Monday practices, involving boys pouring water over girls and lightly whipping them with braided branches, are the most controversial of Easter traditions. Global Voices Online » Czech Republic, Slovakia: Whipping Girls and Other Easter Traditions

Dušičky - November 2 - Czechs remember their dead

Dušičky (Little souls) known as All Soul's Day in English is the time of the year that Czechs remember their dead relatives. Many families visit their loved one's graves and leave burning candles. Although officially this is part of the Catholic liturgical calendar, most Czechs don't imbue this holiday with a particularly deep religious meaning.

Václav day in Czech land

Today, 28. září (Sept) is the 'svátek' (Saint's day) of Václav (the Wenceslas of the Prague square and the Christmas carol). There are a plenty of famous Václav's the Czech lands have produced (including the last two presidents). Check out the Wikipedia entries below for more information. Below that a picture from some Václav celebrations in the CR.