The times when Czechs spent hours in queues waiting for newly published books and passed around forbidden publications are long gone. Nowadays, bookshops are packed with books of all kinds and you can get almost anything you like - without waiting, but for significantly higher prices. However, Czechs enjoy reading as much as ever. According to a recent survey conducted by the Czech National Library, they rank among the most avid readers in Europe.
Excessive red-tape and arrogant civil servants have long been a problem in the Czech Republic. A recent study conducted by the Prague-based Westminster Agency indicated that little has changed in this respect in the last 18 years. The agency says that it is not the performance of civil servants that's at the core of the problem - it is their attitude and the fact that little has been done to change it.
The first-ever fashion show on Wenceslas Square. The nation's patron saint got an eyeful! A baboon from Brno Zoo enjoyed a highly publicized four day outing before the police caught up with him. And, the Pardubice town hall is practicing its bows and curtsies for Princess Anne. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.
Jaroslav Foglar's children's stories of adventure and mystery are beloved to at least three generations of Czechs. Banned under communism, his fiction nevertheless found its way into the homes and subsequently hearts of countless young Czechs, and created memories which for many linger long into adulthood. But with the increased exposure of children's literature in the Czech Republic to new and often international trends, is his popularity beginning to wane?
Visitors coming to Prague from Holland or Scandinavia may get the impression that Czechs don't like cycling. Seeing bikers in the streets of the Czech capital is not a rare thing nowadays, but compared to other European cities, there are still very few of them. Besides, you almost never come across bicycles parked in the streets. Yet, strange as it may seem, statistics say that every second inhabitant of Prague is a bicycle owner and Czechs claim that cycling is their favourite sport.
Back when I was in my early teens one of my favourite books was J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, which I must have read at least a dozen times. Along with more adventurous passages, one of my favourite chapters was "A Short Cut to Mushrooms" - in which the hobbits make their way across Farmer Maggot's fields and the greediness of hobbits' love of mushrooms is described. That description, I've always felt, would also fit well for mushroom lovers in the Czech Republic, including myself. Mushroom picking here has a long tradition and is something
Beauty pageants are by no means just a Czech phenomenon, but the do enjoy a popularity here unparalleled in most of Western Europe. There are scores of different Miss competitions, from the big nationals like Miss Ceske Republiky and Ceska Miss, right down to the more specific titles of Miss Deaf Czech Republic, Miss Roma Czech Republic, and Miss Orphan Czech Republic, to name but a few.
Over the last seventeen years Czechs have gotten increasingly used to fast food and now many accept everything from hamburgers to hot dogs to pizza as part of their regular diet, if not every day than certainly from time to time. Forgotten are the days when there were only one or two international franchises in town: there are increasingly more venues to choose, with ever more variety.
Archaeologists unearth seven graves dating back to Great Moravian Empire
Czech Republic bracing for wind storm Sabine
Ron Perlman: Cinema is a much bigger art-form than superhero movies represent
Valentine’s Day 1945 - When the Americans bombed Prague
“Einstein in Bohemia” – part 1: how a Prague sojourn sparked his theory of general relativity, journey of self-discovery