The Czech Republic

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      The Czech Republic is a country in Eastern or Central Europe, established in 1993 after the Velvet Divorce of Czechoslovakia, with a population of 10.5 million people. It currently ranks among the top 40 in the latest Human Development Index, the only former communist country to do so along with Slovenia (and Germany if you want). Most of the population is atheist with a Catholic minority.

      The official language is Czech, a Western Slavic language. It is mutually intelligible with Slovak, and, as with all Slavic languages, quite easy to learn if you know another Slavic language. Czech is one of the few phonetically written languages, which means that words are written pretty much exactly how they sound. This does lead to some very strange words, and is probably why the Czech sentence "Strč prst skrz krk" is considered one of the most difficult tongue-twisters on Earth.

      Just like the Central African Republic and the Dominican Republic, it is one the few countries that has "Republic" in its colloquial English name. "Czechia" never caught on (except in a very few other languages).

      Very famous for its beer, the Czech Republic has the highest beer consuption per capita. The first monastic breweries in the area started operating in the 12th century. The most well known international brands are Pilsner Urquell (Plzeňský Prazdroj) and Budweiser Budvar (Budějovický Budvar).

      When Czechs are mentioned in anglophone fiction, expect an inevitable Czech/Check/Cheque pun.[1]

      It also notable for being one of the most conservative nations in Europe (and possibly *the* most conservative in the EU) with very loose gun laws and major movements towards privatization.

      History[edit | hide | hide all]

      A collection of a number of different ethnicities[2], Czechoslovakia was formed after the Treaty of Versailles, but its diversity made it unstable. The Germans and Hungarians wanted the self-determination doctrines paraded by America but not delivered at Versailles. After the First World War, people in other countries like Britain started to feel sorry for the Germans, who weren't maltreated but didn't have any political autonomy, but this sentiment was hijacked by Those Wacky Nazis and used as an excuse to take control of Germany, then the German-populated Sudetenland, then the Czech lands, and Slovakia split into a fascist state.

      Prague was comparatively untouched. The Czech people were not. Hundreds of thousands went to the death camps, and the Lidice massacre, one of the most notorious war crimes of the war, took place as revenge for the assassination of the Nazi lord Heydrich/Heidrich. As Slavs, the Nazis considered the Czechs sub-human and useful only for labour.

      After World War II the Germans and Hungarians were expelled en-masse and Subcarpatian Ruthenia was annexed by the Soviet Union. In 1948, the Communists seized power through a coup d'etat, and dissident elements, including the Church, were quickly purged. Czechoslovakia was a founding member of Comecon (Soviet bloc economic organization) and the Warsaw Pact.

      In 1968, a Slovak reformist, Alexander Dubček, came to power and started a short period of liberalization, the Prague Spring, which lasted a few months until other Warsaw Pact countries (except Romania) invaded the country. When the Czech army was told they were being invaded, they ran to fortify the Western border, because invasion from their allies was inconceivable.

      In 1989, as part of Hole in Flag, the Velvet Revolution took place, the Communists were overthrown, and Czechoslovakia became a democracy. Three years later, the Czech and Slovakian halves separated in the "Velvet Divorce", with much of the national property (such as the Su-25 ground attack aircraft) being split 2:1 for the Czechs because of their larger population.

      The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.

      Prague[edit | hide]

      Prague is the capital of the country and a global city. The Barrandov Studios are a popular filming location for Hollywood movies such as xXx, Blade II, |Mission Impossible and The Bourne Identity. Prague is a popular tourist destination and a major European cultural centre.


      Famous Czechs[edit | hide]

      • Václav Havel, playwright and the first president of the country after the fall of Communism
      • Jan Svankmajer, animator and director
      • Eva "Hello Boys" Herzigová, model
      • Franz Kafka, author (wrote mostly in German)
      • Karel Čapek, author
      • Milan Kundera, contemporary author
      • Milos Forman, film director
      • Bedřich Smetana ("Moldau"), composer
      • Antoní­n Dvořák ("New World Symphony"), composer
      • The Plastic People of the Universe, famous dissident rock band from The Seventies.
      • Olympic, another famous band with origins in The Sixties, with members like Peter Janda, Jiří Korn, František Ringo Čech, Pavel Bobek, and many others.
      • Josef Švejk (fictional), from the famous novel The Good Soldier Švejk (pronounced roughly as "shveyk").
      • Dr. Radek Zelenka (fictional), from Stargate Atlantis.
      • Madeline Albright, U.S. Secretary of State (1997-2001)
      • Martina Navratilova, Tennis Player

      The Czech Republic and its predecessors in fiction[edit | hide]

      • In the MacGyver episode "For Love and Money, Mac must rescue someone from a Czech "mental hospital" (yep, they did what the KGB did).
        • The Czech Republic still uses "cage beds" to restrain mental patients - J. K. Rowling was involved in a campaign on the matter.
          • They were forbidden following above-mentioned campaign. Instead, in order to calm/restrain unmanageable patients, they use bed straps and drugs, as there isn't any other way to manage more of them at once without injuries to both sides.
      • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the most famous John Le Carre novel, is partly set in Brno.
      • Stripes.
      • xXx
      • Blade II
      • |Mission Impossible
      • Casino Royale
      • The best-known version of the Golem legend is linked to Prague, as portrayed in the movie The Golem.
      • The film Little Otik takes place in the Czech Republic.

      Czech Popular Culture[edit | hide]

      The Czechoslovak New Wave is considered the golden age of Czech cinema. Films such as The Shop on the Main Street and Closely Watched Trains are associated with this era.

      The vast majority of foreign TV Shows and films are dubbed, and all that are shown on television are subbed. Most theaters have both subtitled and dubbed screenings. The alternative youth channel ČT 2 sometimes shows subbed shows and movies meant for a narrow audience.

      Some video games have been developed in the Czech Republic, such as Mafia, Hidden & Dangerous, Vietcong, Operation Flashpoint and Arm A.

      Music in the Czech Republic is infinite. The saying "Every Czech is a musician" appears to be true.

      Links[edit | hide]

      http://prague.tv/ Great site for entertainment and expat living in Prague.

      http://http://jizdnirady.idnes.cz/vlakyautobusy/spojeni/ Public transport timetables.

      the flag of the Czech republic[edit | hide]

      Flag of the Czech Republic.svg
      1. For example, a young Czech immigrant is getting picked on by some of the other students and is trying to hide from them, so she asks the teacher, "Could you cache a little Czech?"
      2. (Czechs, Moravians, Slovaks, Germans, Hungarians, and Ukrainians, and several stateless minorities like Jews or Romani)