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Czech Republic: Second Most Negative Country

Why was the Czech Republic recently named one of the most pessimistic countries in the world?

COMMENTS (113)
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PUBLISHED 10.09.2013
LAST UPDATED 10.09.2013



Czech Republic: Second Most Negative Country



One of the troublesome things about living in the Czech Republic is not the alleged poor service, xenophobia, slowness of the bureaucracy or any other complaint we expats have. It is the tendency for Czechs to be negative, often exceedingly negative, toward their fellow countrymen and women. People have a right to their opinions and a certain self-deprecation is welcome over rampant national pride. In fact it can be refreshing. But over the years I can’t help but think the negativity might be a little too extreme and that it has implications for a country I currently call home.


Modesty vs. negativity

Coming from Australia, a country where boisterous nationalism is practically a default setting, I’m aware that any opinion about one’s country which doesn’t include people wearing flags as capes or reminding anyone who will listen how much better everything is at home will possibly appear slightly derogatory. Furthermore, there is a saying here, “small but ours”,  which tends to play up the modesty. (Of course not all people live up to these ideas.)

But the negativity I have encountered was not misconstrued modesty; it was unequivocally hostile. A number of Czechs I’ve met have voiced a clear dislike for Czech people and/or the Czech country either directly to me or around me. The comments have come from a range of people who aren’t always connected.

A family friend upon meeting me at a gathering asked, “Why do you want to live in this s#!t republic?” An older man from the same social circle complained about having to drink with the Czechs, when he himself was Czech. I’ve had a woman repeatedly tell me she doesn’t like it here, though she’s lived here for the better part of her life and a younger man tell me he wished he wasn’t Czech. And I overheard one Czech colleague say to another Czech colleague “Czechs are stupid,” in Czech of course.

Some of the comments can be less severe. But it’s remarkable how often it comes up. I’ve been told numerous times how Czechs “know how to get around laws”. When going to a bank for the first time, the clerk warned me that Czechs steal. I’m not sure how that was meant to make me feel more reassured about leaving my money with them.


Academically speaking

I thought that maybe it was just me and my skewed view. (I’m willing to concede that in part some of it may still be that.) But Ladislav Holý’s book, The Little Czech and the Great Czech Nation, contains research which corresponds to what I’m talking about. Holý pointed to two polls, one conducted in 1990 and a second carried out two years later, which asked Czechs to describe themselves. In the earliest poll, the most common traits were all negative: envious, conformist, egotistical, and cunning. Two years later, the results changed little. Cunning replaced egotistical as the third most common response and all the traits were remarked upon more often. Only one positive trait “hard-working” entered the top four responses in the later poll.

As much as the data seems to directly confirm the prevalence of negativity, the findings are over two decades old. What do more recent surveys show? While none address this question specifically, a number of other surveys reveal that negativity of one sort continues. However, the picture is complex.

Sixty four percent of respondents to a Stem survey in 2008 said they didn’t trust their fellow citizens. A poll from last year showed that more than half of Czechs wanted to live abroad. Among the young the figure is as high 70%. The old Czech saying “Všude dobře, doma nejlíp” (Everywhere good, at home the best) might not apply anymore.

Jan Červenka from the Sociological Institute of the Academy of Sciences (Sociologický Ústav Akademie Věd) was less concerned about the later point.


“This yearning [to live abroad] is, for young people who don’t have their own family, typical enough,” he said.
However, he didn’t dismiss the negativity toward the social and economic situation so readily. Though results show a drop from the pessimistic highs (or should that be lows) at the turn of the millennium when 72% of people thought the economic situation was bad or very bad, a significant chunk of society – 45% – remain pessimistic about the situation. A slightly smaller number (36%), admittedly from a different survey, are dissatisfied with the direction the country is heading. Even more, 41% said the country was heading nowhere.

This mood ranks the Czech Republic as the second most pessimistic nation on Earth in 2012. Greece, with its collapsed economy, is first. Even post-earthquake Haiti rated as less pessimistic. It can be argued that the economic crisis, which has left a record number of people unemployed, and the political situation are fuelling the feeling.

Yet, some data shows a silver lining around the grey clouds. The Center for Public Opinion Research at the Sociological Institute revealed that Czechs display pride in history, arts, music, literature, and above all sport. To that I would add – at least based on personal experience – Czech films, industry, and, of course, beer.

Why care?


I was motivated to look into this because the negativity alarmed me but I also wanted to put that alarm into some context. I hope Mr. Červenka is right when he says that the feeling isn’t permanent. Even if it isn’t, it’s hard not to see the negativity as being a barrier to integration. It’s hard to settle here when a large chunk of the people you meet ask you constantly why you want to live here and don’t seem satisfied with the positive reasons you give.


It also has to impact on the economy and social development. Will people bother to be innovative and take risks – which improves lives for locals as much as expats – if they have ill-feelings toward others?

“As for the question of whether negative attitudes can affect the economy, I think it has influence because of our attitudes and expectations affect our behavior,” Mr. Červenka said.

I’m not suggesting flag waving jingoism is the answer, but a shift toward the center has to be better than the current mood. Maybe a little more pride is the missing ingredient.

What have been your experiences? And do you think the negativity has an influence on or is it merely part of the culture?


User comments


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presle (Guest)Published: 07:07:40 27.08.2014
I see it when I come back for a visit. I think that big factor in that is media. Basically it works on a principle where Czech people a fed by media the paradise image of The Outside World and the image of how everything is bad in Czech. People are used to good news so these bad news all the time must mean that everything is going bad, right? Because they don't see the good stuff on TV so it cannot exist anymore, right? In the end they get the image of the Hellish Czech Republic on one side and lush green grass with unicorns and rainbows abroad on the other side. And they want their unicorn as well but do realise the zero probability of getting it. The next step is "It's not fair, I want my rainbow unicorns too!!" and they start looking for the responsible person. Which are the minorities. Those, who realise that minorities are not the ones who decide, will conclude that it's the other Czechs who are standing in the way of having rainbow unicorns just like those abroad in Czech Republic. Top it with politicians always saying things like "it's a fault of the unemployed / retired / ... people because we have to give them money and we can't invest that money into creating jobs...", the still surviving sense of helplessness against those in power and ingrained fear that next time it's going to be you. And voila. You have the negative untrusting people. On the other hand I would agree with an opinion lower: We are entitled to say anything against Czechs but you as an outsider are not. The same goes within family, friends etc. If you want to have some more good things: the Czechs tend to be cautious from the beginning but if you manage to get through the surrounding coldness you get a friend you can count on. And most of the Czechs are proud of their traditions. Especially the Easter which is quite unique.
Martin(CZ) (Guest)Published: 11:45:06 05.06.2014
I believe that for the Australian it must have been a sharp contrast :) On the other hand, being a foreigner, one attracts especially those individuals who are somehow dissatisfied and willing to share their frustration with foreign nationals who their admire. Therefore, the perception of expats might be slightly distorted. Nevertheless, it's an ill behavior indeed.
Praguer (Guest)Published: 09:09:31 30.05.2014
To Brodrik (and others): You all think that patronizing attitude towards Czechs is OK. And if some Czech native, in this case me, doesn´t agree with such colonizer-like mentality, you all think how close-minded and xenophobic is he. IMHO, opposite is true. If I lived in your country I would never dare to patronize your people the same way as you patronized Czechs. Believe or not, I would respect their mentality and cultural traits.Even if I found some of their habits repulsive, I would always remember that this is their country and I am just guest. So who is close-minded and xenophobic?
Comment from: BrodrikPublished: 11:33:42 30.05.2014
'Praguer', you are ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS! :) Such as a comic book without a back cover :) Lots of education are needed in Czech Republic to the so-called Czechs by people from other countries. Full stop! You are very far away from what you called 'adult'.
Praguer (Guest)Published: 10:09:05 29.05.2014
to staringinthesun: I don´t want to be told how awsome architecture or beer we have. After all, Prague architecture is largelly built by Italian architects and Czech type of beer was invented by Bavarian brewer Josef Groll. And of course there is quite a lot problems here (corruption, low political culture, etc.) I have to be blind and brainles if I didn´t see it. But this is primarily our problem and it´s up to us to fix it. As for other things you all often complain, i.e. socks in sandals, not much use of deodorants, absence of smile on public, too much smoking and drinking, too much unhealthy food, not much openmindenes, I don´t think it is something inherently negative. It is just what we are. I primarily reacted to comment of kumaking that we, due to these aspects of our mentality, want to be educated. Educated from who? From you? As I said previously, we are adult and svéprávní and you are not any kind of teachers or missionaries. I also reacted to baltykgdynia who said that older people are some kind of problem. I have never liked an opinion that problems will be fixed whe older people die out. Actually I find it totally repulsive. BTW: You are neither allowed to stay here nor baned from stay in this piece of land. You are here from your free will and nobody neither keeps you here nor kicks you out.
Praguer (Guest)Published: 07:30:41 28.05.2014
To Baltykgdynia: Yes, I confess, I am moron. I should read it more carefuly. My statement was based on the fact that your comment was dated 2014. But of course you were talking about an event which happened four years ago. So yet again I acted like moron and I apologize. All I wanted to tell in my previous comments is that we Czechs have certain mentality and certain cultural traits, which are neither better nor worse than - for example - British mentality or British cultural traits. That´s all. Yes, we maybe don´t smile, don´t use much deodorant, we wear socks in sandals, we are reserved and suspicious, we smoke in public and eat too much pork and dumplings and too little vegetables. I don´t think that there is anything inherently wrong on it. That is just what we are. If anyone of foreigners find it repulsive, nobody keeps him here. Yes there is huge problem with corruption in public administration and quite bad legislative. But it is primarily our problem and it is up to us to fix it. We are neither primitive tribe nor defeated Nazi Germany, and your are neither colonizer or missionary, nor allied administration.
Megaherz (Guest)Published: 03:55:59 28.05.2014
I hate to say it but the most part of the negative comments below is true. I am a Russian guy and I hate the locals' attitude towards foreigners. They just definitely hate you because you "are not from their village". I have many friends from Asia (Taiwan, PRC) and they all agree such xenophobia can hardly be found somewhere else. And I can feel it even more because I understand 100% of their language. They are just afraid of everything.
Comment from: baltykgdyniaPublished: 02:19:06 28.05.2014
Prague you are indeed a total moron :) Yes I needed a translator like you said... 4 years ago!!!! Guess what, in 4 years you can actually learn a language on a communicative level. I showed your posts to my Czech friends and that's what the said: Curak curakem zustane i kdyz mu nikdy nevstane lol. They all are ashamed of Czechs like you. Something to think about maybe? Because with posts like this you just dig your grave deeper and deeper and believe me, 6 feet deep is deep enough :)The conversation ends for me here. Have a nice life living in your perfect bubble.
Comment from: Rob_Prague_2004Published: 01:26:23 28.05.2014
Dear oh dear, I think they should change the rules so that you force people to have an account before you post here (as is the case with the forums...) @ Praguer: The trvaly pobyt/ wife translating occurred 4 years ago, it is perfectly feasible he learned the language competently in the intervening period. Speaking Czech is not speaking Czech is not a binary state of affairs. There are those with zero Czech and all levels up to native fluency. I don't think it's "arrogant" to not have native fluency, as most "expats" are here working full time and don't use Czech in their work. I can complete day to day transactions in Czech, though often I'm treated like a retard (I suppose the same could happen in the UK if a foreigner staggers through poor, ungrammatical English). When I make comments about improving customer service here, I don't mean it in a patronising way, it's just an observation. Try getting served in a restaurant 10 years ago and compare the experience to now - there is a difference. I feel sorry for those who feel "imprisoned" here. Do they have other experiences in foreign countries and how did they find that? I found France was much tougher in terms of dealing with the people - here you are pretty much left alone.
Praguer (Guest)Published: 11:42:50 28.05.2014
To baltykgdynia: I checked your nick in discussion treads here at expats.cz. I just wanted to know whether you have or have not actual negative experiences with Czechs - and to my surprise, I discovered this: "I got my trvaly pobyt about 4 years ago but I didn't have to pass any tests. Was it different back then? Actually the whole process took about 5 minutes at the cizinecka policie office AND MY WIFE WAS THE TRANSLATOR." So you have Czech wife as translator! When you said that you are able to speak 5 languages including Czech, you LIED! For basic conversation, you need a translator! You live here and behave as you were in Thailand or Mexico!!! You have contempt for Czech nation and especially for older generation. And if you are in argument, you lie! Yes, Baltykgdynia, I totally hate foreigners like you!
Praguer (Guest)Published: 08:10:03 27.05.2014
To Balticgdynia: If you are so linguistically competent, I humbly apologize. I based my presumption on the HARD FACT, that vast majority of expats live here for quite a long time and they don´t bother to learn Czech which I consider quite arrogant. Well you are exception. But if you understand Czech you should have no problem to read bolshevik slogan I wrote in my previous comment. And then compared this slogan with your point of view to Czechs (especially older generation). To Anders: Nobody keeps you here.
Anders (Guest)Published: 01:59:33 27.05.2014
I have lived in Czech Republic for four years now. The company I was working for sent me here and I was very excited to learn about a new culture. So, I have been dealing with Czech People on a daily basis and I have also been experiencing their legal system. Also, I have many Czech friends. Due to my work I have to travel a lot and meet people from all walks of life. It is my experience that Czech people have an odd mentality. I cannot manage to understand Czech people, to be honest. I thought first that it was due to the communism that had made them like this but after some research I know now that Czech were the same long before communism. There is actually some information about Czechs that you can find on internet and it will always be the same things is being said about them. There are many Czechs with good hearts and truly different in a good way but unfortunately most of the Czech you meet will chock you when they open their mouth. It is sad to experience this and I feel sympathy to all other foreigners who will be in trouble with the law here. Of course there are many Czech that are modern just like any other Westerner but a huge and much much bigger portion are not. Many Czechs have no imagination and cannot seem to be able to solve problems, that is so true. They may have a good education and be polite and normal but they don't act like it. They act like wild cave men some of the times and you see this often in politics. You will find horrible acts by authorities like the police and the courts and other institutions. And, you will meet this behaviour almost everyday. They will try to get more money from you when you pay for your bus, when you buy a service and so on, it is exhausting. What is most sad about them is that most of them do not understand that they are like this and they will deny it and verbally abuse you. Many Czech that I have met who are good people are ashamed of the vast majority who behave shamelessly corrupt or ignorant. But what good is that? I do miss Sweden so much and I just want to move away from this country. I feel like in a prison here. Unfortunately I have to be here for one more year....
Comment from: baltykgdyniaPublished: 08:37:10 27.05.2014
To Praguer: you presume? Are you a psychic? I speak 5 languages and Czech is one of them. Your post just shows how arrogant and blindfolded are you...
Praguer (Guest)Published: 06:38:02 26.05.2014
To baltykgdynia: It always depends to particular person whether he or she will or will not change. Nobody will change through next generation. By the way I am not as old as you maybe think. But thank you for your implicit statement that older generation is a problem. I won´t forget tell it to my father (born in 1955) and mother (born in 1960). They spent 34 and 29 years of their lives in socialism! Just imagine how psychologically castrated (term coined by Kumaking, not me) they are. And I have good news for you. My 92 years old grandmother died last year! I presume you don´t understand a single word in Czech (despite living in the Czech republic, what a typical arrogant behavior!), but if you used google translator, you would understand this lovely bolshevik slogan: „pryč s tím starým harampádím, co tu ještě překáží a vadí“. I am afraid you are definitely not in disagreement with such slogan.
Comment from: baltykgdyniaPublished: 09:29:38 26.05.2014
Praguer you are so wrong, yes you can change and believe it or not you are changing. I can see it through the younger generations. I don't know how old you are, but the youngsters are much more friendlier and positive then you. It's just like kumaking said, it takes time but it will happen and you can just stay bitter and aggressive if you happy with it but it won't stop the others.
Comment from: BobbPublished: 11:36:31 25.05.2014
Being immature doesn't mean inferior.. you should stop getting offended by virtually everything and try to see the positive. you cant fix a problem if you refuse to accept. we can help because we been there and we know how to deal with it. we (those westerners with conscious) are not afraid to admit we were s*** before and we are still s*** in many ways. but we are working on it... you can either open up and talk and try to find your way out or you can shut down and cover your problems with aggression and bitter sarcasm..... its up to you...
Praguer (Guest)Published: 05:54:48 25.05.2014
Bobb: You are not 19th century colonizers and we are not some kind of primitive tribe! You are guests in our country so you are at least supposed not to be arrogant. Every nation, British, French, Germans, Czechs, have its positive and negative sides. But it does not mean that these nations are in any way inferior. We are just what we are. If you find our national mentality to be wrong, it is your problem, not ours. We will not change. Definitely not due to you.
Comment from: BobbPublished: 02:39:49 25.05.2014
Paternalistic - correct word for it is patronizing. Yes we patronize you because you do need to mature as a nation.. You can deny this fact as long as you want. But it doesn't change the reality.. Remember the Lenin philosophy - material is primary and sensation/perception is secondary... Live with it.
Praguer (Guest)Published: 11:28:04 23.05.2014
kumaking: I always wonder that expats like you think that such paternalistic attitude towards us Czechs ("they need time, a lot of educating") is OK. If you wonder why we Czechs have negative attitude towards foreigners as you, you maybe should try to find mistake in your arrogant behavior.
Comment from: kumakingPublished: 03:47:52 16.05.2014
Time, time time....that is the key. Czechs are negative, very negative towards foreigners....but if you treat them in the same harsh coldness then they soften up and you can get nice and cosy with them. But iust takes time. Czech have already lost 40 years of freedom because of communism. Their minds have been castrated for all that time....and they are still adjusting to the opened curtains of the democratic world. You can not really blame our Czech friends for the way they are so racist and cold. They have communism to blame for that, and even the Czechs will use that in their defence. They even label the Chinese and Vietnamese as the "Yellow People" and you can get the cold negative treatment towards blacks, asians, etc. You could say that Czechs are also getting spoilt now with all this western influx of people here and business, brand names they never had before. Foreigners exploit Czechs....but Czechs exploit the foreign wealth a lot more. Time....they need time, a lot of educating about the wider world and cultures. Patience is the key.
Comment from: MateyPublished: 12:21:05 16.05.2014
The Czech Republic is a lost cause. 25 years after the revolution and these guys haven't even fixed the D1. This country should be evicted from the European community. It is nothing more than a dysfunctional kleptocracy siphoning off EU funds. The people here are incapable of organizing anything. Setting up businesses, projects, or even building a home - it's all a waste of time.
Comment from: DowntownManPublished: 12:44:44 30.04.2014
The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.
Comment from: Rob_Prague_2004Published: 11:56:43 30.04.2014
Well said jezovec! Let these positive thinking expats be an example to us all! I see that one of them is not even "stuck" here but it in the process of relocating from the UK to here. So it can't really be all that bad then, can it?
Comment from: jezovecPublished: 09:17:04 30.04.2014
Fortunatelly, with constant influx of friendly and openminded expats like Bobb or staringatthesun, who know that to change somebody's attitude is possible only by setting a positive example, and who do set such an example indeed, the case is not lost and Czechs will slowly learn how to behave, eventually!
Praguer (Guest)Published: 11:15:22 29.04.2014
OndrejV, you said: "This entire talk about how czechs should be more like their western counterparts is like saying to 14year old that he/she should act mature..." Its a nonsense! If you think that lack of friendliness or openness of us is some kind of fault and that we should change, or grow to be mature, I say that the alleged lack of friendliness or openness is just part of our culture. We used to be such during Hapsburg monarchy, during first republic, during nazzi occupation, communist dictatorship and we are such until today. Every nation either remain the same or demise. Jsme jací jsme, jiní nebudeme a komu se to nelíbí, ať si p*del políbí.
OndrejV (Guest)Published: 09:02:14 29.04.2014
I am Czech and will have been living in Ireland for 10 years in October and I was truly amazed by the friendliness and openness of natives at the beginning (and all the way along). But as I always say, your neighbour, from the same country, city and street, can be the biggest asshole you've ever met. Well, it is not easy for many Czechs to live in Czechland, not to mention foreigners... It's tough, but when you get to know people, you'd get deeper realisations about what people are on about and how they conduct themselves. ... This entire talk about how czechs should be more like their western counterparts is like saying to 14year old that he/she should act mature...
Praguer (Guest)Published: 12:44:53 27.04.2014
Bobb and staringatthesun: Reading your comments I conclude that you obviously consider us Czechs to one of the worst nations in the world. So I have just one question: Why do you live here?
Comment from: BobbPublished: 12:11:08 27.04.2014
I've read few pages of the comments and didn't see the explanation.. Its very simple really.. Czechs are way too envious and arrogant. This complex brew creates the ideal environment for the negativity and low productivity, lying and deceiving. Czech think that others live much better doing much less and that's envy and arrogance. Envy doesn't let them see that others don't live better (there are large areas in the UK who lives worse for example). But they don't know that because of the arrogance - whatever you try to tell - they don't listen and never believe. Basically they see the whole world in black and white. I think this is national tragedy. There are Romanians and Bulgarians who have much less and they are more cheerful and less paranoid. Half of Poland went to the UK to work and are happy. Only Czechs think they were robbed by the World. So they are like children - threw their toys out of the crib and crying so very loud that actually hurt themselves... While nobody cares.. Because we all have our own problems here.. You are not Haiti or Sudan. You are not dying of starvation.. There is also another component (which I just recognized). The pride is really false.. They so upset of not getting 'enough' because they also thing of themselves too big.. Here is the example - the guy commented here on this page - that Czechs are actually smartest Slavonic nationality.. that's just laughable. As the americans say - if you are so smart.. why the f%ck you are so poor?
gcc4.7 (Guest)Published: 08:08:30 25.04.2014
DON'T GO TO CZECH HELL...In the beginning everything looks like you come to a damn communist country. Czechs are very intriguing people and like to show their pride. This country is not made for foreigners REALLY. It's my biggest mistake coming here and PAYING for education. It's bullshit how they say the education is good here. I went to study medicine in Charles and it's like we do only theory and everything looks very unpromising because doctors in CZ are payed only 17000 czk. The other schools are a BIG dissapointment. The teacher likes to make you feel down all the way. They are very theoritical, just old communist style. Don't go to czech for studying you will be only dissappointed by the quality.
Comment from: baltykgdyniaPublished: 10:09:13 23.04.2014
Well, you on the other hand are not very smart. Copernicus was polish and had nothing in common with the czechs!
Harald Forkbeard (Guest)Published: 03:14:37 23.04.2014
I often wonder why Czechs are so smart. They are the smartest Slavs. Think Kopernicus and Ian Guus, the latter getting himself killed because we was so smart.
Comment from: FootbiscuitPublished: 03:21:59 25.03.2014
There is a big difference between understanding and apologizing for. Context is everything.
Comment from: FootbiscuitPublished: 02:48:48 25.03.2014
STS has to be the most consistently negative person in the country. His mere presence is created a bad reflection on his host country and I suspect the national negativity meter they keep in the Carolinum would drop to its lowest point since 1989 should he every get offended enough to leave.
Comment from: jezovecPublished: 11:14:59 25.03.2014
Prague was historically "multinational" or "multicultural" - from its early days. It was the second half of the last century that changed it: first Nazis annihilated Jews and Gipsies, then Czechs expelled Germans. Now its getting back to its normal slowly.
Harald Forkbeard (Guest)Published: 08:27:43 25.03.2014
Czechs were part of Austro-Hungary for too long. Prague was as much a German city historically as Czech.
Comment from: Marie @Published: 05:15:12 24.02.2014
What I think is that the negativity comes from "Communism". Czechs still blame Communism, almost 25 years now, but still Communism, it's all their fault. I wonder if they will ever get over it. They should, otherwise negativity stays. Doesn't really matter, we call CZ, East, West or Central Europe. It is Europe and they are on the right way. Just a little bit more effort is needed. I love Prague, almost 5 years here, but still adore it. And I am thankful that this country is hosting me :)
Comment from: SONIASLANSKYPublished: 03:57:03 08.02.2014
all i have to say is thank you,i thought i need it to go to some mental institution to fix me up.i must find the way here ,how do not know,but thank to expressing what many of us are experiencing here daily.Even my Czech husband so it not just me .do not know why?
CitisenX (Guest)Published: 06:23:54 10.11.2013
My favorit artist called 40 years of communism as "genetic experimetnt went badly". Young generation is in my opinion much more optimistic, modest and even they speak english! Often when I am reading expats rants I think many of you is not aware that Prague is not whole Czech republic. After 15 years in Prague I moved to small town on northwest and I am after two years still in passion about safety, cleanliness and politeness of people . In communism we were all equal and into average population advanced many people who are in Western countries marginal and even not noticed by major population. It will take some time. We are mostly complaining to foreigners hoping they will box up their belongings and leave our secretly happy country :)
Comment from: brodeurPublished: 01:57:32 27.09.2013
@Praguer: Your projecting a particular Czech obsession - endlessly wondering what foreigners think about the country (see for example the Lidovky Cesky Sok series which has probably interviewed about every foreigner in the country on their opinions about living in the Czech Republic) on these other countries. There's no way anyone there would care what a few individuals on a message board were posting. I'll say again to you and Jana and others, you need to toughen up if you think anything here is tough criticism of your country.
Praguer (Guest)Published: 07:14:07 26.09.2013
I absolutely agree with the comment of Jakubcovag: "These click-bait articles are becoming a little predictable now - Why are Czechs so negative? Are Czechs xenophobic? Do Czechs care about customers service? Ad nauseum. I find it insulting that this 'expat' site more or less constantly moans about their hosts. If such a site existed in the UK, America or Australia, there would national outrage and howls of: 'well if you don't like it, go bloody home then."
Jana (Guest)Published: 01:02:00 23.09.2013
As a Czech currently living in the UK but moving back to Czech I found it quite an interesting read. I would agree with some points, disagree with others. However, the reason I decided to leave a comment is that I am frankly outraged by some of the comments made. Me and a lot of my friends share the same opinion - I can say bad things about my country and its people but if you're a foreigner and you do the same, you're in for a fight (only a verbal one, of course). I'm actually at a point when I feel more entitled to give my opinion on life in UK than in Czech, and I get angry when my fellow foreigners complain how bad things are in the UK and how much better they are back home but seem to be quite happy living here. I think that it's fantastic that people from all over the world come to live in Czech; it's a beautiful country that has a lot to offer even if it's a bit lost at the moment. And I like that there are more and more foreigners in Prague. I know for sure I'll be seeking the English community when I get home/UK sick. But to those expats who don't like living there, I'd say one thing - if you don't like Czech and Czechs so much, why don't you just move away? If you think that the ONLY good thing about the country is attractiveness of its people (@Wahey), is it really worth staying?? My opinion may be a bit black and white because I don't have a family to consider, but I believe that if anyone wants to live abroad, it's only their choice. If you don't like the country to the point that you can see only one good thing about it, you may want to consider relocating. If I didn't like living in the UK, I'd have been gone years ago. Btw, the same advice goes for Czechs who sooo hate living in Czech. And btw, when 'Eastern Europe' and 'Czech Republic' stop being used in the same sentence, I think that it'll help a lot of people being more positive. Czech IS NOT Eastern Europe! You want Czechs to stop hiding behind their history of oppression, stop throwing it in their faces! Anyway, when I'm moving, I'll pack all the positive attitude I can and will make it my mission to spread it over Czech cities and villages whether the people like it or not :-)
Comment from: ukrberserkerPublished: 09:14:36 21.09.2013
I guess because they had never been to Ukraine!
Comment from: gazza is backPublished: 04:34:24 19.09.2013
Well your a barrel of laughs!! :) :) :) I have traveled quite a bit (22 countries to be precise) and some I have lived in. I see Negativeness in a lot of country's depending on their social well being. True some Czechs are very hard to get on with and are not very approachable, but that goes for a lot of cultures also. Maybe its more with the older generation that harks back to communism (I know that's been used as an excuse on too many occasions) But take for example the Youth here. They have a respect for authority and everyone else. I walk past a group of teenagers and they almost always dobrý den me. On a visit recently to the UK same situation and it's "what the feck you looking at" As for they don't know how good they have it. Have you seen the salary's here? Sure they might complain a bit. But don't we all? I don't witness this Negativity as some of you obviously do. But as soon as thats around me I have already moved on and forgotten about it ;)
Comment from: BenTennison16Published: 03:41:30 19.09.2013
Boy, is this article spot-on or what?!! As someone who is proud to be able to wield the Czech passport after becoming a naturalized citizen all I can say is - Czech republic is a great place to live except for most of the Czechs. We should kick them out :) @No, surely you jest"...is probably what you're thinking....and yes, I am merely joking. However, I left Czech republic back in 2006 when I was 18 simply because of the short-sightedness and arrogance I had to face on daily basis. Czechs have NO IDEA how good they have it. First off, the country is ranked in top 20 in the world for living standards and even the HDI index ranks it around 27 or so (on par with the United Kingdom). Sure it's not Scandinavia. But how could it?? With all this negativism. Okay, I am now living in CHINA !!! and inspite of what our Western media feeds us with, China has a LOOoONG way to go to catch up with the West. Not talking economy, but culturally, the way people think etc. In the czech republic (as elsewhere in the region), if you have a family, you get unemployment benefits, child benefits, subsidies, discounts whereever you go - not to mention free health care, dirt-cheap and reliable public transport (UNlike the UK where you practically have to be a member of the UPPER-CLASS to be able to afford train tickets.!! In China, people have NOTHING - if you have no job, you have no income unless your family supports you - pensions for elderly have started in china only recently and they are measly! The CZECHS are an ungrateful, boring bunch (please forgive me if you don't fall in that category) that are too lazy to visit anywhere further than Germany which is the only country they compare themselves to. (and austria of course) Yes Germany and Austria have even HIGHER standards of living but why is that? LACK OF NEGATIVISM!!!! Or not so much anyway - although it's funny hearing stories from my German,Austrian friends and family and how much people complain in those 2 places as well. It's astonishing!! So it's not just the Czechs, But I digress - czechs are a very sad bunch - hard-working ? Yes, they are but negativism DOES effect economy , no doubt about that!!! The GDP has been stagnating since its peak in 2008. around 27,000 which is not bad but it's LOWER than neighbouring Austria. So Czechs - Start thinking positively or else I will not come back. You live in one of the most peaceful places on the planet. No wars, no natural disasters (earthquakes, tornados, massive heatwaves, draughts...) except for some occasional floods maybe. You have mountains, (or super high mountains in Austria,) mild climate (but still continental enough to experience a good proper summer as well as SNOW in winter. Seriously, I love the Czech republic - it's a great place to live as long as you stay away from some of the people there. Thanks for reading this rant :)
Krom (Guest)Published: 06:10:16 18.09.2013
@Gazza : I'm really happy for you that you're surrounded by such nice people. But everybody has his own experience and until now this is what I've got. Maybe the life will prove me or anybody other wrong in some time.
Comment from: bobsmithPublished: 10:59:19 17.09.2013
Yes, Czechs may be negative - but I think this article doesn't look at the context, and picks only a few unusual (and thus irrelevant) cases to compare to. If you look at countries in the region - all with similarly tough historical pasts and a turbulent and uncertain future for many individuals - people will tend to be not overly optimistic. Do you blame them? You might ask why the future looks uncertain for people. If you're living in an expat bubble, or look at superficial economic indicators, you might easily delude yourself to believe everything's fine and dandy. But wealth accumulates in the hands of few, and the majority of the population doesn't benefit from "growth". You might counter that in more optimistic countries - say the US - economic disparity is probably worse. True, but while the US (and even Haiti) has maintained a similar system for many generations, the Czechs have been thrown from a system of stability and relative social equality - with plenty of drawbacks, of course - to the unpredictability and inequality of a market economy. Add to this a past of repeated conquest by foreign powers. Is it really such a surprise that people are negative?
BlueBoss (Guest)Published: 02:45:26 13.09.2013
I am Czech. The good thing about my pessimism are all the pleasant surprises when things work out instead of being disappointed every time you expected something more. From my personal experience I have learned that the less I expect, the more I get. I have lived abroad for almost 5 years and am happy to be back at home. Another Czech saying says "Všude chleba o dvou kůrkách" - Everywhere there's a bread of two crusts, meaning each country has its pros and cons. I would recommend to all of my moaning compatriots who have neither lived oversees nor speak a foreign language (even if they say so) to give it a try.
Comment from: gazza is backPublished: 02:33:58 13.09.2013
So then maybe it is a City dwellers problem :)
Comment from: gvkbPublished: 02:22:44 13.09.2013
I'm completely with gazza on this one. I've lived in the CR now for 14 years, but unlike many I go back to the UK for about six months of every year. So I have a direct, immediate comparison. I live in a village in the CR, and count myself blessed to have made many new friends, both male and female and nearly all of them Czech, in my old age. Their ages range from young enough to be my children to people in their late 70s. I have met little negativity over the years, certainly no more than I meet in England. What I do find is that Czechs are very hesitant to put themselves forward in situations where they are uncertain, what we used to call "backward in coming forward". Once they have overcome that initial reaction (and yes, smiling a lot helps a great deal) then they are incredibly warm and helpful. There is no way, for example, I could have set up my small dolls house museum this year without a massive amount of positive help and input from local Czechs, and others. However, amongst people of my own age (early 70s) there can be a depressing tendency to sit and wait for death. The idea that "70 is the new 50", and that you can still have many exciting years ahead of you that is prevalent in the UK, is not yet much to be found in the CR
Comment from: gazza is backPublished: 12:38:21 13.09.2013
@footbiscuit a smile goes a long way :) :) Negative people bore me lol
Comment from: ConfusedManPublished: 12:29:57 13.09.2013
He smiles? Wow give 'im a pat on the back. LOL
Comment from: FootbiscuitPublished: 12:10:00 13.09.2013
I've pointed it out a few times, but it seems that how you behave has something to do with the reactions of people around you. Of course, I'll get labelled as one of those people who refuse to see anything negative about Czechs, but I just came back from PRE to change my billing details and the service I received was polite, cheery and efficient. I suspect it is because I smile.
Comment from: gazza is backPublished: 12:05:42 13.09.2013
Its obvious from the posts here we all have different experiences. But as for socializing with Czechs in CZ I thought it was rather common no? :)
Comment from: ConfusedManPublished: 11:38:22 13.09.2013
"Vinoradian". Is that the name of some wine brand or what? Who know?
Comment from: micktronixPublished: 11:24:44 13.09.2013
I'm with Gazza on this one. I live out of Prague never had any negativity or seen it. infact we all just get on with life here. It is probably a Vinoradian thing ..........
Comment from: Curus10Published: 10:53:41 13.09.2013
@Gazza: I'll definitely not hang around the Jeremy Kyle show group myself even if they are ready to pay me for my friendship :-). Cheers!
Comment from: gazza is backPublished: 10:30:37 13.09.2013
@curas10 I can understand that mate. I don't know what it is. When I first came here I only ever hung out with Expats and had virtually nothing to do with Czech's per say. Maybe its an age thing (I will be 50 soon) or maybe it's that since I have started a family and now live outside of Prague I am meeting Czechs in a similar situation. We have a lot more in common and as I said enjoy our free times with hardly hearing Negativity at all. 90% of my past friends have moved on so I am moving in a different circle (Kids and the like) Butt some of these statements are like brandishing all English as the type of scum you get on Jeremy Kyle. :) I have Czech friends at work also that we often go for a drink or watch a Ska band and I just don't hear the type of things that have been mentioned in this artical and by members. Maybe I am just lucky or my ears automatically shut off around the type of Negative vibes :) And statements like "who actually socializes with CZs" is in my mind absurd.
Comment from: Curus10Published: 10:03:43 13.09.2013
@Gaza: I've not lived here as long as you and don't have any family connection too but in my first month living in your negative England, I had a friend, we go to work together, go 'bird' hunting together, and we even share car for years before I left. Believe it or not, we're still in touch and friends 9yrs after our first meeting at a student job interview room!! I made my first Irish friend on a Dublin bus! I can't imagine that here! I've lived here for almost 4yrs and can say confidently that Czechs have issues and it has nothing to do with realism.
Comment from: gazza is backPublished: 09:44:24 13.09.2013
No not a cigarette break, as I usually go with my English friends for that lol I don't live in Prague but in the subs. I have a lot of "FRIENDS" that are Czechs that live in the same village. We visit each others houses for Meals, BBQ's, party's in fact we even went with a Czech family for 2 weeks holiday. There are some Czechs that I can't get along with and I have met some very stereotypical Males. Not my cup of tea so I don't socialize with them at all. So from my perspective (the ones that I know) are all doing quite well for themselves, have great immediate family's and very rarely moan about anything. Denial?? I am stating from my own perspective and the ones i know. I don't usually have much time for negative people. And yes I am talking about the Males as well as their wife's and kids. You have a problem with ALL Czech males?? That's your frigging problem. Get over it
Helior (Guest)Published: 08:16:00 13.09.2013
@Gaza let's face it it sounds very hypocritical when you said " they are all optimistic about their futures and are rarely negative." Hell NO they are all NOT optimistic. That's an $%$#$ of a statement to make and it makes you look like someone in denial. And who actually socializes with CZs? You mean going for a cigarette break? Good you did not actually use the word "friends" because I cannot think of any foreigner here who have CZ male FRIENDS (again I don't mean the ones you take cigarette breaks with!) NOTE: Socially speaking CZ women are a different breed (in comparison to the men) as they can be very outgoing and not timid (as the men) to actually get to know and meet people who are foreigners.
Comment from: gazza is backPublished: 07:02:33 13.09.2013
KROM you are living in a strange strange world!!! I have not experienced anything like what you have written below. And no I am not around my own English community except on here. I have a lot of Czech friends and 90% of my working colleagues are Czech. We socialise with each other and they are all optimistic about their futures and are rarely negative. I find a lot more Brits negative than I do Czechs "they know it's bad and they want to CHANGE IT." What the feck are you going on about PMSL! !!
Krom (Guest)Published: 06:22:51 12.09.2013
@ConfusedMan - I'll tell you, who the hell cares. People, who live here, care. And foreigners, who have moved here and had gone through some unpleasant racist situations, care, because this Czech attitude towards anything in the world is not "realism", as others say, it's unhealthy and unbalanced pessimist which hurts and harms everyone around, including Czechs themselves. So this is, why some people CARE - they know it's bad and they want to CHANGE IT. I hope I've given you the full answer to your question.
Krom (Guest)Published: 05:55:40 12.09.2013
I agree with this opinion - I have lived in Czech Republic for 17 years, I even grew up here and the only thing I want is to leave or find a better community in CR. I still find it very hard to fit in the Czech society and as far as I know thanks to visiting other countries, their mentality is really as it is described in this article, very pessimistic and full of hatred against other nations (!) and against themselves, and very careless (for e.g., Czech nation is considered to have the highest rank of divorces from the whole Europe, which can say alot about the country you live in). And basically - I just don't feel very well here, there aren't so many possibilities for young people , as they are in Germany or Switzerland, for example, but this is not the main point. Almost every of my friends or people, who came to visit CR or have moved here, told me that they don't like Czechs, they don't understand their hostility and the feeling that "everything you or I do, is useless, nothing will ever change". I've heard it's differend in Slovakia, the neighbour country, so I don't know, what is wrong with Czechs. If you are a foreigner living here, you will feel okay in your own national community, but if you don't live in such a community, you will probably struggle... This is my personal opinion and experience, there are always exceptions and so on, but as far as I know, many situations have always proved me that I'm right.
Comment from: gazza is backPublished: 02:44:18 12.09.2013
OK OK keep your Wig on ;)
Comment from: ConfusedManPublished: 12:32:41 12.09.2013
@Gaza: Anyway, I have not said anything approving or disapproving of the original article. My opinion on this topic is a big fat "WHO THE HELL CARES". I am not from this country, and the fact that the natives are NOT trouble makes (and so do not get on my way) is another reason I feel like "WHO THE HELL CARES".
Comment from: gazza is backPublished: 12:07:10 12.09.2013
Hey ConfusedMan I am married to a Czech and I have a lot of non negative Czech friends. I also don't see much selling potential with the Czechs unless I do a Gulas pie ;) I just find it hard to agree on something that I don't recognize.
Kath (Guest)Published: 12:03:25 12.09.2013
Expats.cz has got nothing better to write nowadays?
Comment from: Bad Mr FrostyPublished: 11:57:41 12.09.2013
Yet another poorly written flamebait article. Poor show, very poor indeed.
Comment from: ConfusedManPublished: 11:36:57 12.09.2013
Seems like Gaza thinks it's necessary that he defends and says "good" things about his host country; hoping this affects his pie business initiative positively. Way to go mate!!!
Comment from: gazza is backPublished: 10:51:34 12.09.2013
And where are you? Blighty?
Comment from: BrodrikPublished: 10:37:20 12.09.2013
Gazza, I can write lots of articles of the pies that we have here where I am. Lots of meat and vegetables inside them, already for more than 10 years.
Comment from: gazza is backPublished: 10:25:42 12.09.2013
No idea but anywhere that has finer qualities :)
Comment from: BrodrikPublished: 10:19:02 12.09.2013
Gazza, where?
Comment from: gazza is backPublished: 09:59:06 12.09.2013
jakubcovag Well said :) Brodrik WTF are you doing here?
Comment from: BrodrikPublished: 09:53:59 12.09.2013
Jakub, it is not possible to write articles on all the 'fine qualities of Czechs and the Czech Republic'. Simply because they do not exist.
Wahey (Guest)Published: 09:19:56 12.09.2013
@Jacobcovag: There are so many articles here already about Czechs ingenuity, including the one about how Czech girls bit other European girls to the game of attracting the best men. What about that?
Comment from: jakubcovagPublished: 09:04:07 12.09.2013
These click-bait articles are becoming a little predictable now - Why are Czechs so negative? Are Czechs xenophobic? Do Czechs care about customers service? Ad nauseum. I find it insulting that this 'expat' site more or less constantly moans about their hosts. If such a site existed in the UK, America or Australia, there would national outrage and howls of: 'well if you don't like it, go bloody home then.' Here's a novel idea - why not have an article dedicated to the many fine qualities of Czechs and the Czech Republic (and not the usual cliches vis a vis Smazak, beautiful women, beer and hispter bars). What about that marvelous survivor spirit of Czech people who have had to endure centuries of foreign rule? What about the Czech Republic's glorious freedom from religious superstitions? What about the Czech people's seminal contribution to linguistics? What about Czech people's world-renowned literary and artistic tradition? What about the fact that this modestly-sized country has produced so many sporting heroes? What about Czech Republic's refreshingly low rates of violent crime? What about the fact that so many Czechs are extremely welcoming to immigrants and are glad to interact with them? etc. etc.
Comment from: gazza is backPublished: 08:39:11 12.09.2013
It seems some have experienced more Negativity than others lol As I said earlier I have been here 10 years and I have not noticed it at all. The odd moan now and again but were all guilty of that. Do you think they just make up crap on here because they have run out of meaningful stuff??
Terka (Guest)Published: 11:22:48 11.09.2013
I agree. I lived abroad 2 years and we are. And it is not political issue. It is our caracter. We tend to complain about everything. That is the fact. We live at the peaceful country, we have enough of everything (less the sea), we have generous social system and security system, we have beautiful cities etc. but even that....we still complain about every stupid thing and we are not able to see that on the world there are so so many countries that do not have social system, do not have good public transport system etc. Countries where you do not get help if you do not have social security number. Countries where you afraid about your security and the security of the love ones. Countries where violated woman does not get help etc. When you ask Czech person: how are you? The most of them will start: "aahh, well...it is ok...but could be better...." Almost none Czech person will respond: "Im great!" And my dear Czech mates, it is not about the politics, it is not about the age. It is about us. And it is the fact.
Elle (Guest)Published: 10:39:57 11.09.2013
O please, when will you stop blaming communism in all problems of this country? it's rediculous! Czech are not negative, at least not more than other East Europeans. They complain about this situation ("oh this sh%t could happen only in Czech republic") because they are sure that in "really european" countries situation and life are totally different. typical mistake...talk with Russians or Ukranianes, you ll see the same...Problem is that Czech are not ambitious and active, they are quite lazy and do not want to work too much. That is why they don't achieve a lot though there are many oppotunities. And after complain...I saw the same both at work and in university...
MK (Guest)Published: 10:32:20 11.09.2013
Your profile: "He keenly follows local politics but please don't ask him about the hockey." Maybe if you cared less about politics and pay more attention to hockey, beer, beautifull women, weed, czech movies, literature etc... you would notice that Czech Republic isn't negative country at all. I love it! :-)
Comment from: Published: 08:04:03 11.09.2013
I experienced these things ten years ago when I last lived there. I used to say the national phrase was 'not my problem'. I had several ask why I was there. I still dreamily think of it as my paradise, and when there I couldn't understand why folks seemed so negative on things. Perhaps it could be due to having no experience elsewhere and hearing romantic exciting stories of the west while younger under communism ingraining a built in grass is greener mentality. I would hope as time moves on this fades away, as Giri notes it seems to be doing. I would imagine Barunnka's experience would be typical... you get out see the world and realize what you have is pretty great. I had the opposite experience, I didn't even intend to stay in the Czech Republic as long as I did... and just fell in love with it (and wish I was still there). Politicians, I would imagine, are the same world over. A few gems here and there to stand out in history; but the rest ... well just are not as amazing. But I was disappointed to read about the racist goings on there.
Jan (Guest)Published: 07:43:44 11.09.2013
Hi, OK maybe we are not so positive as the others. However, this is probably more visible because we are no used to show our emotions so much. And negative emotions are more intensive and thus more visible. First, about national pride - I must say I am very pleased when I hear that a Czech company produced lifts for some skyscraper in Dubai or when I see Czech trams in Jerusalem etc. However I do not like the strong national pride as you can see in USA - it looks false for me, I am not used to put hundreds of flags on my house etc. Second, someone mentioned here the atheism. Please do not mix religion with this. I am atheist and do not have problem with other religions unless they try to "recruit" me or saying that only their religion knows the only right way... I think this is one advantage and the Czechs are also very tolerant to other religions and to things like stem cell research or even interruptions. I do not like the American prudishness and hypocrisy, where easily accepted in contrast to showing a naked body and that many people are declaring their religion and going to church only because the other do it too or because they do not want to have problems because of being atheist. "Will people bother to be innovative and take risks" This is probably remain of communism, where all differences were suppressed and people were forced to behave uniformly according to some norms/expectations etc. Unfortunately, in our schools we have many old teachers which were teaching using these methods many years and resist changes (and sometimes actively suppress them when young colleague tries to do them). But I hope this is going better :-)
Posiman (Guest)Published: 07:38:43 11.09.2013
I have to agree on this. Being an incorrigible optimist (even the internet nick i use for seven years now is derived from "positive") I sometimes even meet with agression when talking about politics I try try to point out that things are not s fucked up here and how many things work perfectly (or at least well enough) here. I think it's our folklore. Similar to when British people meet and complain about weather just out of courtesy, it's polite to bitch about politics together here...
Vit (Guest)Published: 06:13:35 11.09.2013
It's a national sport to complain about anything here. There were times where people had no other option than to swear and complain and they had to do it in quiet. Nevertheless it's not often meant as seriously as it sounds. I am Czech and I am surrounded by people who are really enjoying being Czechs. It's such an easy life here maybe because complaining is preventing us from extreme and radical actions and that makes this country so peaceful in general :-). Look for the people that are happy and easygoing and their friends will be probably the same. I know a lot of them and they surprisingly Czechs ;)
Comment from: Johnp304Published: 04:14:02 11.09.2013
I love the comments regarding the politicians here. As a Brit, do you really think ours are any better? Everyday the news usually has some story running about arrested/charged Members of Parliament, idiotic decision/policy making, disconnected from the 'average man on the street'. If it is not expenses scandals, it's affairs, if it's not affairs, it's sexual assaults, if it's not that, it's incompetence or perjury.
Comment from: skydogPublished: 03:37:43 11.09.2013
you left out the racism
Barunnka (Guest)Published: 02:31:53 11.09.2013
I completely agree with Alexandra. I am also a native Czech, who had lived in abroad for some time. There I found out I am glad and proud to be Czech - I love our countryside, culture, humour, my friends and family. I feel home here and living is good here, better than in so many places around the world (including such a countries as Germany, Britain or US). Morover, living in Brno, the city is becoming more cosmopolitan as a lot of expats live here, thanks to universities is also culture and intelligence very much developed. But this great atmosphere is unfortunately only in bigger cities. Lately I am deeply disappointed by recent events, especially in politics. When I see that so many Czechs are so stupid and primitive and voted for contemporary president Zeman, I feel very ashamed, as well because those racist disturbances. So, to sum up, usually I defend my country and people here. But this year I am loosing my hopes and faith - people here are truly stupid. The sad thing is that stupid people are everywhere. It's just who you choose to live with.
Eva (Guest)Published: 12:56:38 11.09.2013
Interessting article... I find myself being quite an optimist :) It really depends on people you meet and what's the state of national hockey/football team (politic situation, taxes...). As for Zeman being the president... Well, just slightly over a half of the votes were for him, the rest voted for Schwarzenberg who is the absolute opposite. This clearly show there are two 'camps', ones that want a change and those who are satisfied the way it is. For me, I have tendencies to move out but it's understandable, I'm still young. But I love the place where I live, it's my family heritage and I take interest in local community. It is hard to change anything, that's certainly true, especially when you are facing a huge investment corporation. But look, so many locals now meet at farmer's market, attend an exhibit about the future developing of the area... It is changing, slowly, but it is still a change. To be honest, I met many negativists in my life (my ex-partner being one of them). And I avoid Czechs when on a vacation but that's simply because I want to meet the locals! And I tend to correct people when abroad that it's Czech Republic, not Czechoslovakia :D Looks like I've written enough, hehe. See? Not all of us are moody idiots ;) Hope you'll find better companions and happier people around :) Cheers
Comment from: GiriPublished: 10:50:25 11.09.2013
Regardless of historical/social reasons for negativity and unfriendliness in the Czech republic, it definitely exists on a level I have never experienced elsewhere. That said, it is changing. I know countless younger Czechs who embrace and openly exhibit a friendly, positive, enthusiastic approach to life, society, and the world at large. Lead by example and be the change you wish to see in the world…
Comment from: Gibbe84Published: 10:31:48 11.09.2013
I love Czechs. I hate nothing more than false happiness and positivity you experience for example in the US. I like how Czechs are brutally honest with you, how they'll tell you if they don't like you and how they get to the point. Yeah sure sometimes they might bitch and moan but the fact that they are how they are and don't try and hide it is one of my favourite things about this country. We can all choose who we surround ourselves with and it's not too difficult to find positive friends rather than those who drain us of positivity.
Comment from: cheprahaPublished: 10:19:56 11.09.2013
I think your hanging around some fake ass czechs. I agree there attitude can be negative but nothing like going to New York or LA, compared to here it's nothing. As an African American from the south I don't see any problem here compared to home. The Czechs I know, in which case I know many and work for a Czech company love this country, and love them some Czechs..My wife is 100% Czech, loves her people and her country. The reason i said being fake, is I don't have much respect for people who dislike and talk bad about their country, no back bone in my eye. I'm American and my country is as screwed up as the rest but I love it to death, love the people the good and the bad.
Comment from: dodgerx2Published: 09:18:08 11.09.2013
They strike me as being negative about their political system and I don't particularly like their attitude towards me as a foreigner who wears bright clothes and is unable to walk properly. On the other hand, I haven't learned their language so I can understand their attitude a bit. I actually find my Czech students/ friends have a positive attitude towards life in general. They appear to be motivated, highly active and interested in acquiring new skills. Due to my job I probably meet the 'middle-class' ones, maybe it's different in other social groups and cities? I am English and often accused of being negative. I reply by saying that I am realistic. I'm not American so I won't greet the same people everyday as I would any of my best friends who I haven't seen for months. I believe Czechs are quite modest about their abilities and are quite self-deprecating. Several of my students generally believe their country is the best in the world and never want to leave. Is that pride in their country or a fear of somewhere new and different?
Alexandra (Guest)Published: 09:10:26 11.09.2013
Oh, we definitely are a negative nation. But I don't think it's because of the past; the current pessimism is mostly based on the political situation and our inability to pick leaders who'd lead this country forward. There's a short period of interest during the elections, and then comes the resignation over "the new idiots in the government" and life goes on. Really, we just should get more invested in politics, but ask any local pub 'expert' on the current situation and not one of them would actually get up and join any party. And yes, that part is obviously our Communism trauma, because we just have to have one. Mostly though, it's waiting for how much more ridiculous we can become as a nation. People here would rather have more stuff to complain about than do something about it. Speaking of complaining: we do that a lot, don't we? Mainly because we can. I get how annoying that must be for foreigners, but the fun part is that when someone who's not 'ours' starts complaining too, Czechs tend to turn defensive. Even so - I don't know how it is with the people in your social circle, but from my own experience (and mindset), it usually has one more aspect. We complain, about everything, a lot, but it tends to end with a spoken or unspoken version of the "small but ours" - it's not perfect, but it's my job/nagging wife/always loosing football team and that means I'm going back to it and nobody's taking it from me. I'd say it's the Czech way of coping - vent, then shut up and endure rather than trying to change the hand we were dealt.
Comment from: gazza is backPublished: 09:03:07 11.09.2013
Well I must be the only one in 10 years of living here that has not experienced this NEGATIVITY. Sure some Czechs complain about this and that now and again. But who doesn't?? I have a lot of Czech friends and they are all positive thinking.
Wahey (Guest)Published: 08:44:29 11.09.2013
I have lived in this beautiful country for more then 5 years now. And frankly speaking, the ONLY good thing here is that most of the people look physically attractive(although only at young age). Other then that...This is the biggest gathering of a people with the worse personality traits in the world. Just look around in the metro, buses, trams, place of work and find that almost all look miserable and depressed. People say it's because of Communism. Just like someone else has just mentioned, I have lived in Africa myself, and have visited some Asian countries: even though these are the poorest continents in the world (and who also have the worst history then Communism), but they are some of the most happiest and most optimistic people I've ever met. I hope the truth has to be said and that most younger Czechs are reading. But shout out to the little amount of Czechs who understand this reality and speak out about it. Hezky den...
Comment from: Door#3Published: 07:47:51 11.09.2013
Czechs deserve to be exceedingly negative. They are the only country that has ever endured Communism and a long history of constant invasion. Oh wait.
Tervicz (Guest)Published: 02:43:27 11.09.2013
Born in Prague. Atheist and usual pessimist. For likeyakn0w ... sure you cannot hear such phrase in America. Maybe you won't believe that but I think that so far it is not possible to exceed c. But to do the rest I don't need blank phrases and hi-fives. Nobody pushed to me how good I am. And I'm glad for that. I don't need happy people to motivate me by bullshitting. If somebody is fine we can have good time. No problem to party hard, or love. Yet if half of planetary population is either herded, manipulated, naive or just bad, I do not cheer too much. Take a deeper look at Facebook herd e.g. I told myself one day to become a pilot. So I did and I love it. I lost a child. Sad but you have to get over it. That's life. If somebody is an idiot I call him idiot. If I do a mistake I call myself idiot. Maybe working hard to fix it... That's reality. No need to be positive by default. Btw I have a couple of friends in Australia both Czechs and locals. Great parties with these... And check Estonia for even more pessimistic mood and beautiful blond women. Go for some good party with proper folks. Enjoy Autumn sunset. The ladder itself is pretty much ridiculous bullshit at all. And Jimmy, please, nobody cares about your personal problems. Have a good luck.
Lenka (Guest)Published: 12:39:13 11.09.2013
there was very popular joke during the past times in czech: the optimists are learning English, the pesismists learn Russian and the realists learn how to shoot. it just came to my mind while reading so many comments that we Czechs are realistic....
Max (Guest)Published: 11:21:19 10.09.2013
Bloody well true! I survived 14 years in the Moravian countryside while becoming a well-known eco-pioneer. At times I've had to self-ordinate myself a healthy portion of positivity by heading back to friends in USA for a brief period, and a large reason for my survival was out many international visitors, interns and online contacts. This spring we decided to take a serious break; min. 2 years. A large reason was due to our own mental health from dealing with rural 'you can't do that' attitude, significantly among bureacrats/town hall, but also as it's important for us that our child doesn't get poisoned by this lethal Czech virus. We've now been 4 months in a tiny Norwegian village. Folks walked up to us, introduced themselves, offered their hand and thanked us for moving here. People look us in our eyes. Folks here are consistently avoiding to mention names and are talented at being objective if they refer to interpersonal issues [read: gossip] . Majority of folks here have some kind of enterprise going, be it farming or patching tires, researcher often along with steady job, folk get together and volunteer time for village infrastructure ...this weekend we'll all get together and herd the sheep back down from the mountains.. ...I could go on, but I think you get the drift....The glass here is always min. half, if not half full. Anyone wants to buy 17 hectares and a self sustained farmhouse in rural Moravia?
Sébastien (Guest)Published: 11:12:21 10.09.2013
I mainly agree with the article. I will just make a short comment, but I could talk a lot about it. I lived 7 years in Hradec Kralove, work in small village in this region, and then moved to Prague one year ago. I can feel a kind of frustration from czech people, maybe because of the communist period. They could seems nice and welcoming at first, but usually it is because they want to show how good they are (or they were before USSR). One sentence I often heard was "this is a shit, this can happen only in czech republic", or "we would not see it in the West". Czech people are complaining a lot, but don't fight to change things. They are willing to solve a problem, but when it comes to hard, they give up. And they often just forget to think above surrondings stuffs, at least not at a long term. That's surprising when you see how smart thay can be, finding out the failure in a system. Anyway, that s in general, not all are like that, and I have some goods friends here. But true, I don't think the country is building anything, looks it is heading nowhere. I see it both at a profesional and at personal level. On the other hand, it gives more opportunity to us. Different culture, different way of thinking can bring a little help to build a good team :-) Despite of it, the country is a nice place to live in. I really like Prague, but for me, but it s better to live out of Prague to really understand in which country you live it. Important is not really where you live, but want you build up around yourself.
Comment from: JimmyRiggingPublished: 10:12:19 10.09.2013
Thanks for writing this article Ryan. Personally, I'm really looking forward to taking my children out of this frigging miserable country. No wonder it is also the 'Drunkest country in the world'. My Czech Ex almost turned me into a raging alcoholic by her constant bitching, pessimism, and general stupidity. She was also lacking the one good trait of most Czechs (hard-working). I watched a Czech movie recently that opened with a quote 'Czech people hunch over while riding their bicycle'. (Adolf Hitler) Horrible man, but no dummy.... Czech people are not forward looking, going in circles, just bitching about the same thing every day and not doing a thing to change it. Look at the current President 'Semen'! An utter disgrace if you ask me, stumbling around drunk in a church, yet they voted for him. Nevermind the previous one... 'Hey, I'm just going to release thousands of convicts overnight' Klaus. If these are the types of people elected to lead a country, what does that say about the citizens? The fact that they suffered under a nasty regime is no excuse. I work in West Africa and recommend all Czechs spend a year there, then we will see an attitude adjustment, I promise you.
Comment from: animaleyes76Published: 10:09:57 10.09.2013
I totally agree with Petr Vomelka
Prefer not to tell (Guest)Published: 09:04:49 10.09.2013
I basically agree with your observations. Envy, distrust, and overall "negativity" are widespread; talented young people go abroad to study and often find out that they do not have a place to return to: old friends don´t want to reconnect (envy?), and jobs for the most educated are still scarce (or the wages ridiculous compared to the wages abroad - look at academia). When you read the news and see widespread corruption, scandals, populism and who knows what else, you really should not be surprised. Long-needed reforms never pass because the average voter does not understand the urgency of the situation, and guess which faculty has the worst reputation: the one supposed to educate future teachers! And yes, this negativity (maybe realism - as some other readers put it) certainly has impacts: Not only that the young and talented without dependents have very clear incentives to move abroad, but also those who want to stay and change the situation often have to face distrust and ridicule, eventually losing the stamina to carry on fighting.
Petr Vomelka (Guest)Published: 06:42:04 10.09.2013
Negative, don't think so. More like realistic. Take Americans, they tend to be all PC and make you feel all is well when they feel different alltogther. The same goes for the British. Same old thing. At least the Czechs realize what the world is really like.. and don's spread honey around your lips making you believe all is pink and winderful.
Comment from: RockiePublished: 06:40:50 10.09.2013
To understand this, you have to look back into history. Czech nation didn't have many reasons for optimism and happiness. Most of the time Bohemia (and Moravia) were either invaded by some nation or usurped by other. The only way to survive was to keep your mouth shut and try to express only in privacy (your family circle). If you spoke up, you got punished. So people learned to vent their frustration by complaining and also by a black humor. So based on their history I can say, Czechs aren't negative, they are realistic.
Comment from: jezovecPublished: 06:32:25 10.09.2013
As a native Czech, I know this attitude quite well. There is a paradox here, the "we are the most stupid country in Galaxy" is kind of perverse nationalism too ("at least we are the best in something!"). You can witness it in ocassional eruptions of hysteria when a Czech team wins some major trophy or tournament. However, the extent (or existance) of this phenomenon also depends on what kind of people you socialise (voluntarily or not so voluntarily in work or family). I think that there is a strong connection to Czech society inherent inward-ness - even the elites here, cultural and political ones, newspapers - are typically uninterested about any wider context then local affairs. This is not unique: Germany, Austria are the same to certain extent I think - it can really be some Mittel-Europa curse. Well, this attitude of my fellow countryment bothers me a lot. I confes when abroad, I generally avoid Czechs; and here, and I select my social circles not being of this kind here - it si not that difficult. However, I do not think "we are the worst" along, and while I could live abroad (and did for some short periods of time), this is my home. And, as yet anoter Czech saying goes "jaký si to uděláš, takový to máš" ("you have it the way you make it").
Comment from: IndigoPublished: 05:10:25 10.09.2013
Usually (or generally) when a Czech says “Why do you want to live in this s#!t republic?” etc etc. It is more or less is telling the other person that they are an idiot.
Comment from: gazza is backPublished: 04:36:52 10.09.2013
I don't think national pride is the answer to the negativity of the Czechs, I actually believe it is one the reasons they are so negative. Especially in big cities (Prague, Brno) where there is a fair amount of expats, the locals feel like they are being invaded, like their nation is being stolen from them. What a load of Hogwash lol
Comment from: Chiheb KefiPublished: 04:29:23 10.09.2013
I don't think national pride is the answer to the negativity of the Czechs, I actually believe it is one the reasons they are so negative. Especially in big cities (Prague, Brno) where there is a fair amount of expats, the locals feel like they are being invaded, like their nation is being stolen from them. I also think that the reason the locals ask "why do you want to stay?" is not because they are negative towards their country but because they don't want to stay... It looks to me like you are mixing two things: the pessimism of the Czech people and the negative opinion towards the country. I, for one, believe that the reason the Czech people like to complain so much is because during the Soviet occupation, when someone answered the usual question "how are you doing" by "Good", it was suspicious because no-one was doing good back then.
Comment from: asif.saleemPublished: 03:46:27 10.09.2013
Are you serious, let's be very practical. It depends where you are in Czech and also just because someone speaks Czech does not mean he/she is Czech, many Russians, Ukrainians live and work in Czech Republic too. I do not speak Czech, been here 5 years and know many foreigners who do not speak Czech, does that mean we are ignorant then?. It depends where you are in Czech as well, like if you were in Moravain part, people extremely helpful and nice. We do know the numbers of foreigners living in Prague that speak Czech does not make them Czech. People are cold in Czech but its not the Czechs I see a problem, its due to what happened here in the past, Thank you to USSR. Also, when you get to know Czech, they are very nice and social. If Czech were negative, trust me, we would not have Czech gf's wifes :). Completely disagree with this article, rubbish.
Cestmir (Guest)Published: 03:10:11 10.09.2013
We aren't negative, or pesimistic . . . We are just realistic.
Comment from: likeyakn0wPublished: 02:47:27 10.09.2013
As an American expat, the one phrase I hear over and over again is "it's not possible." It is a response to everything. Even when something is exceedingly possible, the reply is the same. It's a phrase that really grinds my gears and something I am unaccustomed to hearing in the States.

 


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