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How to win Czechs over?




Okay, so I am a little overwhelmed by reading all these posts by expats complaining about local hostility towards them. There doesn't seem to be a consensus on the issue, the anecdotal evidence is too polarised and I guess the truth of the matter would be subjective, at best. Thus, since there's nothing that can be done to change the local perception of foreigners, I would like to ask all native Czechs reading this to suggest ways a brown-skinned 22-year old male Pakistani/Iranian can improve his chances of being accepted by the local population? Besides learning Czech asap, what can I do/not do to be welcomed by the Czech community? How can I make friends and just win people over? To tell a bit about me, I am sufficiently well-read (if I may say so myself), I am coming to Prague for the culture, to gain a new perspective on life. I am deeply interested in the arts, philosophy and religion (am an agnostic atheist) and ppl describe me as a quiet, shy, introverted type. Blast away people, I am open to any and everything suggestion.

15:55:49 09.12.2012 sysyphus

I think you need to stop obsessing over it, get to Prague and just be yourself.

23:58:08 09.12.2012 animaleyes76

Quote: animaleyes76I think you need to stop obsessing over it, get to Prague and just be yourself.

Youthful innocence! He needs time.

01:15:40 10.12.2012 en23288

Quote: animaleyes76I think you need to stop obsessing over it, get to Prague and just be yourself.

Although I can empathize with where you are coming from, you have to understand it is a BIG deal for me. This move to Prague has been years in the making and for me, nothing can go wrong. I am wary of significant cultural differences between my life here and the life which awaits me there. For this very reason, I ask all native Czechs and Moravians to give me feedback on how I can assure my stay in Prague is a fulfilling one. I can be nothing but myself (believe me, I have tried) but I can always tune my behavior to accommodate local expectations. I will be in someone else's homeland, and I need to ensure I understand and observe their way of life to successfully integrate into the Prague society.

10:45:26 10.12.2012 sysyphus

I think Animaleyes76 has already said all there was to be said. Just be cool and you'd be fine. But I understand, it's normal as we all feel the same way when moving to an unknown land. But one thing to note is that: As you'll be coming from Pakistan/Iran, you'll be in for a huge shock due to cultural differences; and there are no two ways about that. But then I think the way you get over that would then depend heavily on your personal ability to adapt. This is not to scare you, rather trying to get you prepared for the unknown... And no any amount of advice/suggestions you get now that's gotta change anything. But like I have earlier stated in your previous post, you have nothing to worry about due to your skin color. As far as I know, the CZ is not known for her mistreatment of people of other races; they'd rather stay a pole away from you if it comes to that.

11:56:28 10.12.2012 ConfusedMan

Quote: ConfusedManI think Animaleyes76 has already said all there was to be said. Just be cool and you'd be fine. But I understand, it's normal as we all feel the same way when moving to an unknown land. But one thing to note is that: As you'll be coming from Pakistan/Iran, you'll be in for a huge shock due to cultural differences; and there are no two ways about that. But then I think the way you get over that would then depend heavily on your personal ability to adapt. This is not to scare you, rather trying to get you prepared for the unknown... And no any amount of advice/suggestions you get now that's gotta change anything. But like I have earlier stated in your previous post, you have nothing to worry about due to your skin color. As far as I know, the CZ is not known for her mistreatment of people of other races; they'd rather stay a pole away from you if it comes to that.

Confusedman, thank you once again for your feedback. You are always around to offer your opinion. Your words aren't scaring me, they are exactly what I was looking for; constructive feedback. Let me explain a bit about my situation. I have lived in a tight-knit social circle, which is composed of liberal, westernized people. It is one of the reasons I am travelling to Prague because the majority here views me as a blasphemous, amoral non-conformist. If I do not have to worry about my being a brown boy, integration wouldn't be a problem, the culture shock will be anticipated and welcomed. I just believe there are always things exclusive to a particular society, customs and attitudes that are the norm; which must be followed to transition seamlessly into the new way of life. I was only seeking suggestions/feedback on this front only. But I feel much more comfortable already, after your post. :)

15:52:48 10.12.2012 sysyphus

Humility and patience are all you really need.

16:28:06 10.12.2012 Footbiscuit

Quote: FootbiscuitHumility and patience are all you really need.

Humility is one trait I have in abundance. Patience is something I need to work on. I tend to get dishearted easily.

16:44:36 10.12.2012 sysyphus

Quote: FootbiscuitHumility and patience are all you really need.

and loads of money!

18:43:47 10.12.2012 praguepivo

Quote: sysyphusOkay, so I am a little overwhelmed by reading all these posts by expats complaining about local hostility towards them. There doesn't seem to be a consensus on the issue, the anecdotal evidence is too polarised and I guess the truth of the matter would be subjective, at best. Thus, since there's nothing that can be done to change the local perception of foreigners, I would like to ask all native Czechs reading this to suggest ways a brown-skinned 22-year old male Pakistani/Iranian can improve his chances of being accepted by the local population? Besides learning Czech asap, what can I do/not do to be welcomed by the Czech community? How can I make friends and just win people over? To tell a bit about me, I am sufficiently well-read (if I may say so myself), I am coming to Prague for the culture, to gain a new perspective on life. I am deeply interested in the arts, philosophy and religion (am an agnostic atheist) and ppl describe me as a quiet, shy, introverted type. Blast away people, I am open to any and everything suggestion.

based on what you have written, you sound like an alright bloke. I'd go for a drink with you anytime. anyways, I think as a liberal, non-religious, educated fella you'll fit in very well. Sadly, czech is one of the most secular places in the world. (i am a christian so to me its sad, to some it may make no difference) Also, you seem to speak excellent english - which is always a bonus in any european country (not just theUK) knowledge of czech is also important but that will come with time so no need to rush it. skin colour? - i seriously doubt it even matters to anyone. it's all about you , yourself. And if you want to integrate as you say, then noone will care about silly things like that. besides they see them everyday.

20:17:22 10.12.2012 BenTennison16

Quote: BenTennison16based on what you have written, you sound like an alright bloke. I'd go for a drink with you anytime. anyways, I think as a liberal, non-religious, educated fella you'll fit in very well. Sadly, czech is one of the most secular places in the world. (i am a christian so to me its sad, to some it may make no difference) Also, you seem to speak excellent english - which is always a bonus in any european country (not just theUK) knowledge of czech is also important but that will come with time so no need to rush it. skin colour? - i seriously doubt it even matters to anyone. it's all about you , yourself. And if you want to integrate as you say, then noone will care about silly things like that. besides they see them everyday.

BenTennison, we are so going out for drinks once I get there, lookin forward to it :) I wonder if Praha has any of those breathtakingly beautiful medieval churches scattered across Europe?

08:37:55 11.12.2012 sysyphus

Lots of them here. Btw, google.com

09:56:42 11.12.2012 ConfusedMan

'Sadly, the Czech Republic is one of the most secular places in the world' I have so many things to say in response to that, I don't even know from where to start.

10:32:19 26.12.2012 fantozzi

Quote: fantozzi'Sadly, the Czech Republic is one of the most secular places in the world' I have so many things to say in response to that, I don't even know from where to start.

Fantozzi, I am undecided whether you agree with BenTennison's statement or are revolted by the Czech secularism. I'd still tentatively go with the former. I dream of the day when I can experience a society where religion has nothing to do with the affairs of a state, where I can sit at a roadside cafe and discuss the improbability of the god hypothesis without fear of getting my head chopped off. A secular world is our only chance of establishing lasting peace. I hold the Czechs in high esteem just because of this very fact.

11:23:08 26.12.2012 sysyphus

Sysyphus,I was being critical to what BenTennison said, especially his use of 'sadly' at the beginning of what I quoted. I am in complete agreement with what you've just written. I can be very critical myself of some the aspects of life here in CZ,on the other hand, the secularistic mindset that prevails is by far it's greatest attraction to me :)

10:56:28 28.12.2012 fantozzi

Fantozzi, I am glad to know we are on the same page :) It would be naive to see any society through rose-tinted glasses. I don't come seeking a utopia nor am I unprepared for societal dysfunctions of a kind different to what I have experienced in life thus far. But the fact remains that you can reason with human beings, never with a divine force that is egotistical, vengeful and misogynistic at best.

11:27:49 28.12.2012 sysyphus

Quote: sysyphusFantozzi, I am undecided whether you agree with BenTennison's statement or are revolted by the Czech secularism. I'd still tentatively go with the former. I dream of the day when I can experience a society where religion has nothing to do with the affairs of a state, where I can sit at a roadside cafe and discuss the improbability of the god hypothesis without fear of getting my head chopped off. A secular world is our only chance of establishing lasting peace. I hold the Czechs in high esteem just because of this very fact.

Anyway, that CZ Rep. is a secular country doesn't actually mean that any CZ would sit back and discuss religion or politics with you. These are "uncomfortable" topics, therefore...

11:31:13 28.12.2012 ConfusedMan

Quote: ConfusedManAnyway, that CZ Rep. is a secular country doesn't actually mean that any CZ would sit back and discuss religion or politics with you. These are "uncomfortable" topics, therefore...

Confusedman, are you saying religion as a topic of debate remains a taboo over there? Pray explain a bit more, help me understand better.

11:35:18 28.12.2012 sysyphus

Dont worry sysphus, you will not get arrested, deported or interrogated becasue you openly discuss politics or religion here :) However, for many people in Europe, topics as religion are personal and mostly get discussed among good friends, not with strangers at the bar :) As an atheist, I tend to steer clear of the religion topic, as it tends to develop into heated discussions :) Don't worry, you'll be just fine here.

13:02:33 28.12.2012 hypmos

...exactly what hypmos said... Anyway, I really like to brag and discuss EVERY topic under the sun; but quite sad at how cold and withdrawn people can be here when you raise topics other than where you had the best beer how many packs of cigs you burn at night...

13:41:29 28.12.2012 ConfusedMan

..totally agree confusedman :)

13:59:08 28.12.2012 hypmos

we can always meet up every Friday in a beer garden and have the weekly rant discussion :D

14:00:08 28.12.2012 hypmos

I think if you stick with people who are well-read and open-minded, you will be fine. Of course some people will be prejudiced (like everywhere), but it is possible to avoid them.

20:49:18 28.12.2012 wintershoes

Quote: wintershoesI think if you stick with people who are well-read and open-minded, you will be fine. Of course some people will be prejudiced (like everywhere), but it is possible to avoid them.

I am hoping my classmates at AAU would be the liberal, educated friends I am looking for! And don't worry I have an inner-radar for avoiding the prejudiced like the plague! A lifetime of practice at it :D Confusedman and hypmos, now I have a clearer view of what to expect. If no one else befriends me, I'll hunt down the two of you for a rant-session over beer,lol.

10:27:23 31.12.2012 sysyphus

Did you try drinking wine under the Charles Bridge as you once stated ? :D You might befriend a few of the homeless fellas that way easily. That being sad, the key is to be yourself, to be good and open hearted, sooner or later the ice melts. It ain't easy, though !

10:27:30 18.01.2013 SeoKungFu

Quote: SeoKungFuDid you try drinking wine under the Charles Bridge as you once stated ? :D You might befriend a few of the homeless fellas that way easily. That being sad, the key is to be yourself, to be good and open hearted, sooner or later the ice melts. It ain't easy, though !

Well...I was thinking more along the lines of running into a hauntingly beautiful emotionally-damaged member of the female species, but an homeless drunk sounds just as much fun. He'll most assuredly have far incredulous stories to share than any boring, functional member of society! :D Trust me when I say this Kungfu, I cannot help but be my self. I am coming with arms wide open (the way Creed meant it lol) and I know just the secret to win the affections of the locals - Learning Cesky and that I have already started doing!

20:03:26 18.01.2013 sysyphus

Quote: sysyphusWell...I was thinking more along the lines of running into a hauntingly beautiful emotionally-damaged member of the female species, but an homeless drunk sounds just as much fun. He'll most assuredly have far incredulous stories to share than any boring, functional member of society! :D Trust me when I say this Kungfu, I cannot help but be my self. I am coming with arms wide open (the way Creed meant it lol) and I know just the secret to win the affections of the locals - Learning Cesky and that I have already started doing!

I know dude, and can tell that you're good person and open hearted, just don't get quickly disappointed when you meet the hostile coldness that prevails around. That's what we're warning you, the rest just takes time, most of the folks here are not quite the friendly type...I started calling the practice of keeping the good vibe and working towards building the bridges "melting the ice".

15:07:10 20.01.2013 SeoKungFu

Well...I was thinking more along the lines of running into a hauntingly beautiful emotionally-damaged member of the female species, but an homeless drunk sounds just as much fun. /QUOTE] A little gentle admonition is due here! :( For a guy who is wondering whether the colour of his skin will subject him to prejudice and isolate him in the society he is about to enter, you'd be well advised to leave some of your own cultural baggage behind. We don't dehumanize women here. We don't think of women or treat women as a separate female species? :( I won't even get into your same sentence comparison to homeless drunks under a bridge. Keep thinking and talking that way and that boulder your mythological namesake is rolling up the hill is gonna' roll right back down and flatten ya. Stop trying so hard kid. You're constantly sending out so many messages that you're running the danger of clogging up your receptors. :confused: :)

00:39:03 21.01.2013 en23288

Quote: en23288[Stop trying so hard kid. You're constantly sending out so many messages that you're running the danger of clogging up your receptors. :confused: :)

This!! ^^^^^^^^

12:24:03 21.01.2013 animaleyes76

Actually, I've given up.....I don't think for me it is possible. I once did.

18:21:35 25.01.2013 english-exactly