VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Czech parliament breaks into dance for Children's Day

June 1 was International Children's Day, and Czech parliamentarians – joined by children in the Chamber of Deputies – danced to a well-known folk song. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 02.06.2023 13:41:00 (updated on 02.06.2023) Reading time: 1 minute

International Children’s Day is celebrated on June 1 in much of Central and Eastern Europe, including the Czech Republic. The chosen date has its roots in the World Conference for the Well-being of Children, which met on June 1, 1925, in Geneva, Switzerland. As part of Thursday's Children's Day festivities, Czech children were invited to the lower house of Czechia's parliament to meet some of the country's senior politicians.

The light-hearted nature of the event was juxtaposed with the recent mood in the Chamber, which has seen fierce debate on women's rights, pensions, and same-sex marriage.

Lawmakers managed to lend some levity to typically dry proceedings by breaking into a traditional Czech folk dance. Top Czech politicians – including Chamber of Deputies Speaker Markéta Pekarová Adamová and Minister of Labor Marian Jurečka – left their seats to take a twirl on the floor of the Chamber of Deputies to Holka modrooká (meaning "Blue-eyed girl").

"Blue-eyed girl, don't sit by the stream, blue-eyed girl, don't sit there. There is a lot of water in the stream, it would be a shame to take you away, blue-eyed girl, don't sit there," are the lyrics of the playful folk song, which became widespread throughout Czechia in the 1960s.

Politicians' closeness with children in the video is emblematic of current efforts to eliminate violence against children and corporal punishment via the Childhood Without Violence Initiative, which the parliament is currently debating.

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