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Do Czechs Hate Foreigners? Part 2

Do Czechs Hate Foreigners? Part 2

Is xenophobia more widespread in the Czech Republic?

Do Czechs Hate Foreigners? Part 2

Do Czechs Hate Foreigners? Part 2

Is xenophobia more widespread in the Czech Republic?


Published 27.11.2012
Last updated 27.11.2012
COMMENTS (58)

VIEWS (27951)


Part Two in our “Do Czechs Hate Foreigners” series is all about the X-Factor – not the antics of talentless wannabes from that British TV talent show or even their counterparts from Československá Superstar – but the altogether trickier topic of xenophobia.

Is it true that Czechs are more racist than other nations? If xenophobia is more widespread here, is that simply an inevitable by-product of having been sealed off from the outside world during Communism? If you don’t happen to be Caucasian, should you think twice about making the Czech Republic your home?

Finding an objective measure of xenophobia levels in different nations on which to base a discussion is tough. However, such evidence does exist – and may surprise some. According to a 2001 study by Masaryk University,   levels of xenophobia in the Czech Republic are average when compared to other European countries. While foreigner phobia is typically high in post-Communist states – Romania, Slovakia and Lithuania top the report’s xenophobia index – Czechs are more tolerant than most of the former Soviet bloc.

The report’s statistics also show Czechs to be more accepting than some in Western Europe: while 9.6% would not want to live next door to someone of a different race, 15.6% of Italians and 12.3% of the Irish would not want anyone other than white as a neighbour.

Despite these findings, there is a perceived prevalence of casual racism in the Czech Republic, which can be something of a culture shock.

When it comes to those ethnic diversity forms, I tick the plain old boring White British box. If I didn’t, I could have encountered that latent prejudice first-hand, as some of my friends have.

An Asian friend born and bred in London was yelled at in English by an elderly gentleman while taking the tram to work. His suggestion? That she go back to the Colonies. A French teacher with an Indian father I met told me she’s given up asking anyone over forty for directions in the street: they’ll just assume she’s a Roma and stride off.

However, a British friend with Caribbean roots feels she’s never experienced any direct racism while living in Prague. Although the staring can get a bit wearisome, she regards this as naïve curiosity rather than outright hostility.

During a summer weekend away in South Bohemia, being the only black girl in the village meant she quickly became the centre of attention in a positive way. My pal managed to upstage the annual tractor festival as the locals crowded around her to roadtest their English, relishing the chance to encounter someone they considered exotic.

It’s obviously true that due to their recent history, Czechs have less experience of interacting with outsiders. In the 2008 documentary, Rodina od vedle (The Family Next Door), which tracks a project where a hundred families across the Czech Republic invited a foreign family to lunch, at least one Czech participant cites the country’s isolation under totalitarianism as a reason for lingering prejudice.

However, his explanation overlooks the fact that the Soviet regime did welcome certain groups of foreigners. My Czech partner’s mother often natters about the Vietnamese who came to their small town and made hard-to-get jeans on their sewing machines — and the Cubans who stole people’s wives. The reason for xenophobia in post-Communist countries is not simply a lack of exposure to foreigners — the strongest antipathy is directed towards the Roma who are, after all, Czech citizens.

I found the intensity of negative feeling directed towards the Roma disturbing; when I had my phone stolen, however, I began to understand how these feelings might have been reinforced in the eyes of some. I’m not making a lazy assumption about who committed the theft: I know the perpetrator’s ethnic background, because after calling my number I met up with the guy responsible. He gave me back my SIM card but would only return my mobile in exchange for hard cash. I understood then how the Czech anti-Roma prejudice might be better thought of as ‘postjudice’ – an antipathy based not just on stereotypes but having those stereotypes, whipped up by the media and extremist groups, confirmed by first-hand experience.***

It can be argued though that the Roma who resort to petty crime do so because they are socially excluded. “They are at the bottom of our society and live in the worst conditions you can imagine,” says Jitka Králová, an anti-racist activist. “Yes, the lifestyle of Romas isn’t same as ours and is full of criminal activity, but that is because they don’t have any stable background or family who would encourage them not to do such things.”
When it comes to ripping off the Czech nation, the powerful white men in suits who receive mysterious wine boxes stuffed with millions of crowns are guilty of thefts far greater than those committed by any Roma pickpocket, as Miroslav Hudec argues in the provocatively titled “How to learn hatred for poor Romani people”.

According to the academic study I kicked off with, Czechs tend to divide foreigners into three categories. There’s the ‘relations’ – Slovaks and Czech émigrés – who are broadly accepted. Then there are “the most foreign foreigners”:  “Arabs, Vietnamese, Chinese, people from the former Yugoslavia, Russians, Ukrainians, Blacks and particularly the Roma” who despite often having resided here for years and possessing Czech citizenship are still regarded with suspicion. The third group? So-called ‘capital’ foreigners who are seen as acceptable: “e.g Americans, French, Germans.”

No-one deserves to be the victim of racial prejudice. However, the fact remains that unlike many foreigners, most Expats.cz readers remain very privileged migrants. We also possess a powerful asset – cultural capital – which goes a long way in cushioning us from the fallout of lingering xenophobia.

Read also: Do Czechs Hate Foreigners? Part 1 - First impressions from new expats
Read also: Do Czechs Hate Foreigners? Part 3 - Or do foreigners hate Czechs?
Read also: Czech Society and its Roma Minority

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They are racist, plain and simple. Read the article by the oldest Czech Jewish survivor of the holocaust, she preferred the Nazi officer living near her to her Czech neighbors.

16.45.35 18.05.2016

Bob(Guest) Published: 03:20:53 05.05.2015
yes they do.. if you compare it to the UK or Germany (very much so). No they don't.. if you compare to North Korea... most difficult questions most often have quite simple answer.. however some shicophrenical internet trolls might want to muddle the waters. and @Canadian - I think you are immigrant there and live in deprived area in some Ukrainian or Chinese enclave.. eating 'salo' drinking vodka listening to ussr rock ansamble Kalinka... have no idea what this life is about... but (luckily for us all (not!)) you have internet! wow!..
Mansur(Guest) Published: 05:26:01 02.05.2015
I have been living in Prague for more than 15 years and should say that some Czechs, particularly middle age male and females really hate foreigners. What is interesting they will not respect you if you speak their language. On the contrary they will respect you if you speak English, French or even Russian. The attitude changes immediately! Of course, it depends on the subject too. If you tell them something uncomfortable in English they will point out that it is Czech Republic and I MUST speak Czech. In sum a part of the society is xenophobic, but is hiding its' hatred until first event.
Nelvel(Guest) Published: 11:09:22 12.02.2015
WTF? Leave the Czechs alone if you dislike them, none of them ask foreigners to go and live there, except the exploiters who want cheap workers and the cultural marxists who want to destroy every nation and genocide the Whites. This article is so full of hate against the beautiful, smart and cultured czech people that it's a shame. Now it's time to make an article about the way Jew hate non-Jews, and why.
Comment from: Published: 09:42:40 29.06.2013
The problem for us white English speakers is that Czechs have 'positive racism' towards us. If you want to speak Czech in Prague, you have to fight for it because they will speak to you in English pretty much automatically. On the one hand, they get English practice. And on the other, they also get to prevent us from learning their language and therefore staying in their country longer. I can only recommend that we all stick to our guns and learn the language regardless.
Comment from: Published: 11:34:16 20.05.2013
Thanks for the lulz Praguer. You have to love the almost knee-jerk excuses that Czechs use to explain why their fellow countrymen walk around acting all butt hurt. It's either A. WWI/Hitler B. Communism C. It's probably this bad or worse somewhere else or D. All of the above. I'll take one out of the Czech book of responses and tell you "if you don't like what you read here, go someplace else and don't let the door hit your arse on the way out".
Sebi(Guest) Published: 07:34:38 19.05.2013
Wrote a blog post on how Czechs treat foreigners from countries like mine, Romania, here http://www.testalways.com/2013/05/10/xenophobia-in-czech-republic-it-environment/ Basically they do anything possible to allow promotions of foreigners. You can't work with Czechs when they are a very big majority. Even when there are many foreigners like in IBM they still gather togheter and split the promotions/advancements etc.. Normal or not, I don't like it so I work as a freelancer. Like any white country it will always be a chance of extremism also, like we encountered many times in other places too.
Alisa(Guest) Published: 03:40:38 06.03.2013
I have been lucky enough to visit Prague when it was part of Czechoslovakia(19740 and as the Czech Republic(2010). During the days of communism, there was hesitation and distrust from the commoners. Now, as with any country in Europe, Asia and the Americas, if you show an interest in it's heritage, customs and people - they will welcome you and want you to enjoy their city/town/country. When you come in acting as though you are better than everyone, you get what is deserved. I truly enjoyed my time in Prague, it was and still is one of my most favorite cities in Europe. If you take the time to really get to know it, there is very little prejudice.
Comment from: Published: 02:34:08 21.02.2013
I take offense to what this article says about Romanians. We are a very hospitable people and our nation is known for accepting foreigners into our groups with open arms. Why is the blame being dumped on other countries is beyond me.
Comment from: SpawnMeister666 Published: 02:27:46 20.02.2013
I just left Prague after living there for almost 5 years. I didn't leave because of anything any Czech people did or did not do, I left for the reason most male American and British expats move to Prague, because I met a girl! In my 5 years in Prague, the only bad experiences I had personally were with fellow expats, although a guest of mine also had his car broken into. I have no idea who was responsible for that, but I did tell him beforehand that leaving all his stuff in the car was asking for trouble, so in my opinion it was his own fault for ignoring that advice when he could have put his things in my flat. I think it's a fact of life that no matter where you are in the world, if you have a car with foreign registration plates and you leave it quite clearly full of your belongings, somebody is likely to see you as an easy target. My hometown is Manchester in the UK, and there were two occasions there where foreign bands playing at my bar had equipment stolen from their vans overnight. Back to the main point of Czechs hating foreigners, as stated, I've only ever had positive experiences, and that includes several visits to a bar outside of Prague that is owned by a Roma family, and 90% of their clientele are also Roma. Nobody in that bar speaks English, yet I was still made to feel welcome on all my visits there. My point here is that a negative attitude will attract negativity in return. If you only go to the bars and restaurants in the center because you want to speak English, these places are full of idiot tourists and the staff are run ragged, so of course they will be less friendly than you might expect. Meet these same staff in their local bar in Zizkov though when they are relaxing and having fun, and they are completely different people.
Comment from: Published: 11:26:19 18.02.2013
Czechs are generally not racist and dont hate foreginers; but those foreigner, who come here does try even to speak some Czech are not interested in anything Czech, does not respect, Czech manners and Czech customs, for those is better to return home
Cocodrille Canada(Guest) Published: 11:50:58 27.01.2013
What Praguer says makes sense. I mean, if it is SO BAD and xenophobic in here...why you all keep living here?
Cocodrille(Guest) Published: 11:47:15 27.01.2013
Being a foreigner, nowhere in the world you are treated as an equal, unless you prove what you are and deserve it. Czechs are no different than Austrians, Americans etc., when it comes to this.
Michal(Guest) Published: 08:39:51 20.01.2013
Get help! Praguer. You obviously don't respect foreigners and others opinions.
Comment from: Published: 04:01:54 16.01.2013
Hey, let's say It was a conversation between 2 persons few years ago so might be far away now ;) I tell you, I left my country, I love my country but I can't stand my country people.. so it is really shocking if somebody is mentioning that.. plus I think angry people write this kind of things.. they got a bad adventure and they come here and write mean comments.. but is doesn't reflect their opinion.. otherwise they would leave the country immedialty... there are many things to enjoy in this country, including the people. Of course there are bad people, but honestly which foreigner has never experienced run into a random bar, get a tap beer, start chit-chat and share good vibes.. myself, I went to some Sparta bar last week only foreigner.. guess what people were super friendly ;) about czech language, I'm telling you it is very difficult to learn, just making the sounds is difficult for me.. so what about the sense.. ! And take it as a joke: when I speak english language people answer to me in czech... when I try to speak czech people answer to me in english .. but I keep trying.. :)
Praguer(Guest) Published: 03:20:27 16.01.2013
Jamel, I fully respect foreigners if they respect Czechs. Unfortunately I encountered so much disrespect towards Czechs that now I confess I am bit xenophobic. Few years ago I read some discussion thread here on expats.cz when virtually everyone expressed his hatred towards Czechs. One blockhead even told that "Prague would be perfect city without Czechs". I was shocked. So I at first express my disagreement with this widespread opinion about these evil Czechs. By the way can you tell me why there is so much foreigners ten or more years and can not speak a single word of czech? Isn´t it quite disrespectful?
Comment from: Published: 11:20:56 16.01.2013
Praguer, you make a lot of wrong interpretations. You read what you want to read and I would recommend humor as a vector of communication. Also do not forget this site is called EXPATS.CZ which is not your case so please respect us a little
Praguer(Guest) Published: 10:02:36 15.01.2013
Alexczech (and many other stupid commentators) said how beautiful the Czech republic is and how awful czech people are. So according to you, the Czech republic would be nice country without Czechs.
Comment from: Published: 03:07:49 14.01.2013
Thanks dude, humor is necessary sometimes ;) anybody has a better hand than Hitler ...?
GodwinsLaw(Guest) Published: 07:20:30 11.01.2013
Whew! Thank you Praguer. I had been reading the comments for almost 20 minutes and was beginning to think nobody would bring up Hitler. Good on you.
Praguer(Guest) Published: 04:40:13 10.01.2013
Alexczech, if there is some foolish comment, it´s comment of you. You state that you neither hate nor despise Czechs but simultaneously you show extreme amount of hate towards Czechs (at least towards vast majority of Czechs). According to you Czech republic would be nice country without the evil Czechs. Some guys many decades ago told exactly the same. Their names were Hitler and Heydrich. If you consider my comment to be foolish, you are not obliged to answer.
Comment from: Published: 04:34:02 09.01.2013
Dear Praguer, Czech republic has been described as garbage can of Europe not by me or any expat but by Czech tv chef celebrities and Czechs themselves. I just mentioned a fact which is being mentioned by your own people in media, i am afraid you've been sleeping or drunk. Attachment: My best friends are from Czech republic but they all chose to live outside czech republic, czech republic has beautiful nature which i am very attached to, so am i attached to my extended family there. I agree with you than many foreigners are hostile, arrogant in Prague but they are not expats they are (TOURISTS), try visiting South East Asia, you will see tourists from the wild side falling into trouble at every junction, but you can not justify behavior of Czechs towards Czech expats by comparing tourist can you? FYI We have 5 kids and all are Czech nationals, speak Czech LOL, further for your info 2 of them are lawyers in CZ trying to make a difference. You just made an example of yourself by speaking without knowing facts, rather reacting with emotions. Keep a check on your emotions or visit the nearest doctor, don't presume or assume. I will not reply further to your foolish comments!!!!
Comment from: Published: 12:03:51 09.01.2013
Hi dudes, you don't look so far from each other :) So I would say both Czechs and Foreigners are not so bad. There are many places in Prague with good service, just need to find them.. if a waiter is too bad I tell him politely and I never go back to the place, plus I go on tripadvisor to mention it. I think this kind of places they make much better business, so there should be more and more. Foreigners on Vaclavske are pure tourists, they come and stay together and they can not be compared to expats who live here permanently. I think the consideration is not so bad as described, just being a tourist sometimes change the people.. Look to Asia or Africa, I think tourism there is very arrogant.. also think back about czechs who go abroad as tourists, and sometimes bring their own food.. this is difficult to understand for locals. So I would recommend to not let bad feelings take over, you know somebody who yell at you is somebody who is very unhappy. It is true the work culture is pretty different, but there are benefits too like finishing early. because I believe when you behave good, you encourage people to go the same way..
Praguer(Guest) Published: 08:01:41 08.01.2013
Alexczech, look at the discussion thread here. You can read loads of anti-czech hate. If you do not hate our nation, than you maybe feel disdain to us. I do not think you feel any attachment to Czechs when you describe our country as garbage can. You said about alleged czech arrogance. Every time I am in Prague center I can see loads of arrogant foreigners who behave like some kind of superior race. Maybe they consider us to be primitive tribe. And then they wonder that we are hostile towards foreigners. I do not know any european country where foreign tourist behave in such arrogant way. Unfortunately there are also many Czechs who are too servile to foreigners and even hate their own nation. I afraid your wife is among them. If you have children I presume they even do not speak czech.
Comment from: Published: 04:33:30 08.01.2013
Dear Praguer, I do not hate Czechs and nor do i approve of any expat to hate Czechs, because when we choose to become expats in any country, we have 3 course meal of patience every day. My Wife is Czech who actually hates Czechs for their famous customer service, outstanding hospitality, grave hostility, not to mention the arrogance. I am an Expat who does not live in Czech but do visit very often and try to mingle with locals at restaurants etc, but the feedback is blank looks as if i am Jupiter. Also at many times spoke to Czech staff at TGIF (excellent customer service experience) but unfortunately they all had common goals for their future, "Buy one way ticket out of Czech republic" because hostility towards young and well educated Czechs by Czechs. At the end of the Day i don't think any expat hates Czechs rather it is the Czechs who are busy hating each other and leave this negative impression on expats, including tourists & Diplomats. Example: Prague Airport, where Immigration officers refuse to speak in English with foreign Diplomats because they don't have language skills but they refuse to hire simple language translators at the Airport or pass the opportunity to younger people. Your Judgement is wrong.
Praguer(Guest) Published: 06:36:40 07.01.2013
Alexczech, there is many foreigner who hate Czechs. You are clear evidence. Why do you wonder when Czechs are equally hostile to you. If you hate Czechs than do not wonder when Czechs hate you.
Comment from: Published: 06:18:03 07.01.2013
You are absolutely right Jamel but have you ever seen these people outsize Czech republic? I have and i can tell you precisely, they seem like they missed a century with eye wide open, jaws dropped, realizing that the world has developed while they have just been living in a Pond or Garbage can of Europe. If you meet some Czech people outside their pond, treat them with pity as they have been deprived of the wonderful world out here.
Comment from: Published: 09:53:02 07.01.2013
Like everywhere you have bad and good people. The point is when you have an issue with a 'bad' one (like a tram driver or a casher in supermarket) no matter if you try to be nice and ask to some locals to help solving in a quiet way you will receive no help from nobody. That is the bad point which makes life difficult, because here you feel that things will never change. The good point: when you visit any other country you will find people lovely in comparison. My question: how to treat czechs when they visit MY country ?
Nathalie(Guest) Published: 02:57:46 04.01.2013
Every Asian expat here has been humbled by the xenophobic Czechs. They've been called "ťing ťong", some have been thrown the stones at, others are refused at jobs... But in general, the Czechs behave badly towards each other, they are extremely negative, forgetful and they don't accept the differences. This is my objective point of view, and I've been living in the Czech Rep. for 15 years.
Comment from: Published: 03:38:43 28.12.2012
The Bottom line of Czech society is that it is built on jealousy of not just other but also their own kinds. This is in their genes and nothing can be done about it. They are Jealous that you live better than them, you have better education then them, you have better exposure than them, you have better knowledge of the world than them, you live better life than them. They have also reached out and made a mockery of themselves in the European Union and in my opinion they should be excluded from EU fundings. Lets see how far they will go.
Realitky(Guest) Published: 04:51:29 17.12.2012
Seen on a random rental advert today: "Ne Cizinci, Kuřáci, Svobodné matky a páry" Self-explanatory, isn't it?
Comment from: Published: 10:29:40 10.12.2012
Having lived in Prague for 2.5 years I have lots of Czech and Slovak friends. I have seen some racism against other people. But on the whole I have found them to be helpful, although they can be a bit snobish! They are however not a pleasure to work with, in my last Company they made the foreigners life's hell. I know it is their country but I pay my full tax and healthcare. i also use local shops, restaurants etc. I would like to have stayed in the Czech Republic but I felt as if I would not be accepted on a work level.
Mel(Guest) Published: 05:39:45 06.12.2012
I am a Turkish lady who happened to be married to a Czech. I find it very difficult to accept the looks with full of hate that I get on the streets of Czech Republic. I suggest them all going to Turkey to see how friendly people can be to foreigners. There is a reason for it though: they think that foreigners or tourists are their guests! You wouldn't be rude to your guests, would you?
DU(Guest) Published: 10:13:42 05.12.2012
What a worthless article. Seriously, what is the point of this? Actually, who pays people to write this kind of thing. Obviously they have more money than capabilities
Guest(Guest) Published: 09:34:12 05.12.2012
@Ferda (comment 1?): Ferda, Ferda, Ferda ... I am British - born, educated and employed. I have walked the paths that few do and most can only envy. Sadly, what have I seen? While there is political correctness, it is not out of "white liberal guilt" for their "slave owning" past - it just makes it easier to manage the current slaves - the population en-masse. Everyone of consequence is still as corrupt and immoral as ever, except now it's hidden and managed much more effectively. There are the large scale land owners, industrialists and then the workers (those who need a mortgage to buy a home, including doctors, dentists and other so called thought of 'people of calibre'). Anyone who'll tell you different is either sorely misinformed (i.e. a slave) or is selling something. Sorry. Everyone else: Regarding the Roma issue, I have gone out of my way to communicate with these people because of the adverse publicity I've heard about them (personal assessment to identify the truth) and like with all people, I've seen good and bad. Actually, I've seen more questionable British and Americans than Roma (who can at least hide behind the fact that they are marginalised and under-educated [a symptom of being marginalised]). The Czechs should address that issue - it is the one major blot I see on an otherwise beautiful landscape. Other than that, Czech's are generally OK - (now that's a generalisation)!
Snob-payback(Guest) Published: 08:21:51 04.12.2012
@Sandrilinka: typical answer expected from another blunt native, what are you doing reading articles in a language you despise alongside people who actually speak it better than you (it's "than" not "then", in this case), thus you'll do us all a favour to take your snobbishness elsewhere and to go back to read your Czech websites
ranndino(Guest) Published: 05:47:28 04.12.2012
I've spent a total of about 4 months in the Czech Republic. I'm originally from Latvia, but my native language is Russian. However, I've resided in the US for decades now. Overall, I didn't have too many negative experience (of course, I'm white) & had a few very positive ones, but I would say that the level of service in the Czech Republic is rather appalling. Explaining it away by having a communist past doesn't work because that is, for example, not the case in Poland or Latvia where foreign tourists are treated with the respect their importance to the local economy deserves. I simply don't get why it's so hard for the Czechs to understand that the tourist industry is one of the drivers of their economy. Having said that, part of it might be the fact that the Czechs working in the service industry have very long hours, get paid very little & don't have any sense of pride in their work thinking of their employers as fat cats who get rich off their hard work. Overall, I've noticed a major trend in Czech society. Successful people are hated with a passion & are automatically assumed to have bribed & stolen their way to riches. I understand that often that is indeed the case (most of the real estate in Prague is owned by former communist party honchos who bought it for laughable amounts during the Velvet Revolution), but this culture needs to change if Czech Republic, as a nation, wants to succeed in the future. There's way too much dwelling on the past. Lastly, on the subject of Roma. The article is way too politically correct in that regard. The fact is that they're hated for a reason. They're nothing, but a burden on the Czech society. Aside from getting all kinds of benefits from the government that other Czech citizens don't receive (which allows them to multiply like cockroaches) they're responsible for the majority of street crime. I feel sorry for the part Indian person you mentioned, but there's a reason most Czechs run away from anyone who looks like they might be Roma. People value their safety over how their actions might be perceived by the politically correct crowd.
Comment from: Published: 05:19:10 04.12.2012
@ Ferda~~re: "white liberal guilt". I'm a white guy and don't feel any "guilt" for anything which I haven't done. Those who get sucked into that are buying into something that didn't begin as theirs. I wasn't alive when there was actual slavery so that was never mine. Again @ Ferda, " If you are educated, sophisticated and middle-class, you don't go to Croatia." I'm originally from Chicago, a major city in the midwest of the U.S. I'm a white guy who goes EVERYWHERE in all kinds of neighborhoods. I'm middle class, own a home and business and NOT TO FULL OF MYSELF TO FEEL SUPERIOR in the way you seem to be from what you said. @ fld: "Besides that is only half the story, a lot of European countries were quite happy to let different ethnicities come in their country during the 60s and 70s, for one reason only. To do the jobs that no one else wanted to do. Now when things are tight they are a burden on these countries? You can not have your cake and eat it too." Sounds like the haters here in the U.S. lol @ Krizzkin: If you're having a miserable time, you're probably missing the point. That point is that lawyers the world over deserve what they get BECAUSE they are lawyers;~) As for me, everywhere I've ever been, I've talked to strangers because I'm friendly and look that way so, people just seem to pick up on that. Those who don't have their own little problems. If you can laugh at yourself firtest and mostest, you have an advantage over those who can't/won't. BTW-I'm Czech/German and, all the best cooks in my family were Czechs. I'm off to the gym for a couple hours. mir, ya'll
Comment from: Published: 04:47:41 04.12.2012
hello all, I am from Turkey and I also came to Czech Republic to study. I am here for 7 years now. When I arrived in Zlin, I didn't known any single word in Czech language, including 'AHOJ'. As a foreigner I had also bitter experiences, and yet as I was a student of animation, I decided to make a short animated film about it. In this way, I tried to cure myself, I saw it as an art therapy. After all, although it was tough, I take it as a tragicomic experience, because I learned to make fun of myself and look at it from the positive point of view :) You can have a look at it at: Nazli ve Zline / Lost in Translation https://vimeo.com/16620569 I am sure you will find something familiar with yourself :)
Berry(Guest) Published: 04:14:37 04.12.2012
The article by itself is pretty good and sincere. The author mentioned that the 'privileged' foreigners (americans, canadians etc.) in the CR do do not face the reaction usually other nationalities usually have to deal with. There are interesting comments as well. Do not agree with Ferda, thinking that only the shame or guilt for colonial past or blame makes nations be tolerant to foreigners. Very interesting theory, but doesn't explain many things, the most tolerant European countries never had colonies as well, am i wrong? I've been living here for 5 years, I studied in 2 different universities, i speak well Czech, and to be honest, the kindest and the most helpful czech people i met were exactly those who were born and grown between 1948 and 1990 and i don't believe in a communist impact on this matter. I see often often cases of passive expression of xenophobia. Many times i witnessed a sincere conversations of local people in czech nearby who were sure i don't understand them. With confidence i can say that the way you are treated by czech people, first of all, depends on the country you are from. Czechs love americans, brits, they like western european countries, or people from any rich country. They hate russians for communism, they don't like vietnamese and all short-eyed asians bacause of them, they don't like all muslims, in common people from poorer countries. There IS a huge problem of intolerance in the czech society. And hiding it is not a solution. For those czech people who say "go to your country if you don't like" i would like to say - we will go, but will the Czech Republic be better without foreigners, think about it.
Comment from: Published: 02:52:13 04.12.2012
From the view of one Czech: I just don' t want to speak english or any other language then czech in my country. And I am not obligated to answer the foreigners asking for something in english. Usually I am tired, going from job or school, and I just don' t want... I am currently living in France, and I had to learn french very quickly. So learn the language!- it' s a good first step.
Comment from: Published: 11:27:35 04.12.2012
There is a quite big difference between former Communist block and former Soviet Block....
Comment from: Published: 11:26:27 04.12.2012
Blue midget: "generally speaking, Czechs are either very intolerant, or very stupid" talk about national stereotypes:)
Comment from: Published: 11:04:35 04.12.2012
I wish every other article on whatever subject would not justify bad things, or as in this case, shameful things, by Communist invasion. Is there a point when the writing folk of Prague abandon this explanation and maybe, just maybe, dig deeper? Even the scarcity of quality restaurants or food diversity is explained by Communism. Can we get over it already? This is simply no longer true as there are a number of countries who have overcome their Communist stigma many years ago. If you go to Georgia (the country, not the state) people are mostly curious and friendly. I have never heard anyone say "occupant pig" phrase until I moved to Prague. But what does it have to do with Communism? What does willingness to approach strangers and call them names and the feeling of self-entitlement to do so has to do with Communism? It is lack of manners and a defect of upbringing. What it has taught me however is to be more open minded, to try to set a positive example, to go past blind agression. It is in your hands.
Comment from: Published: 10:44:13 04.12.2012
I am Latino, and me and my Czech wife got robbed. They cleaned out our storage room and when I told my students ( I was a teacher back then) the story their reply was "Roma". And replied by telling them the truth "a couple of Czech junkies who were caught, and let go by the police. They were white.". But my students would reply saying "that's impossible, they must have been Roma.".
Comment from: Published: 01:42:35 04.12.2012
Ok then, guys, I am that f***ing RUSSIAN!!! I study currently in Prague, and I shall say that you probably know nothing about the gloomy looks of Czechs. The point is that I am a girl, a lawyer, who came here to study on the international program, polite, intelligent and sensitive - but nevertheless I get treated like sh*t.. At first when I arrived and expected to find myself in smiling European country, that was just a shock to me. Later I had to face real problems with living here and communication (no matter that I speak 4 foreign languages), and I cried practically every day and felt miserable: like I am hated by the majority and ignored by the rest... Now I cannot find a room to rent and already got used to the answer, that the owner accepts no Russians.. Want to go home to my sweet and open-hearted Moscow so much!!!
cernovek(Guest) Published: 04:55:01 02.12.2012
Just a small test: Pick any random native and mention two words to them: "German" and "Russian", even if they come from younger generation, you know what to expect. Good luck
Comment from: io_sweetie Published: 09:50:29 01.12.2012
I have lived in Romania for 30 years and i can say that peope are much more tolerant than Czechs are. There are lots of asian, african, arab people living there since the 80's and never had a problem. there are africans with own tv shows, actors, etc.
Comment from: Published: 03:51:15 30.11.2012
Great article. Coming from Canada I had already encountered the Czech flavour of xenophobia in Quebec. Incredibly I was once refused a fishing licence because my government issued ID was not in French. The Czechs have been more accepting of me than the French are in my own country. The Quebecois are dear to me and a part of Canada, much the same as the Czechs are to the European Union. But I have learned that people bristle when faced with cultural extinction, which is a fear nestled deep in the hearts of many Czechs. The acid test is the whole baby situation...
John(Guest) Published: 10:40:42 29.11.2012
I'm a dark skinned foreigner whose lived in Prague for about 10 years. I know there are certainly very tolerate people, racially curious, some fearful, and a small percentage who actively hate. When I came here in 2003 I had people stop me ln the street and show me pictures of Native American they carried, I've had people yell at me for speaking Englsih. That doesn't happen so much anymore. But I don't think Czechs are any worse than most any other place, though their directness may make it appear so. I do think if Czech are more xenophobic it's because of their history. Foreigners in the past have come to these have tried to dominate their culture and wipeout their language. It's a natural human reaction for people to wary of the unknown or run the risk of yet another bad experience with another foreign group.
Comment from: Published: 02:14:23 29.11.2012
@Ferda. You have totally mis-read the entire article.... if you read it all. I would suggest you go back and and start again.