1918-2018: Czechoslovakia, Between East & West

By Maeva Chargros

How odd coincidences are, sometimes! On Friday [26.10.18], the French President, Emmanuel Macron, declared that “there is no division between East and West in Europe”. I had just written the draft of this article dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the First Czechoslovak Republic – stating the complete opposite and calling for more efforts from the Western part of our continent.
Therefore, allow me to seize this opportunity to turn this article into an answer to a declaration I know is wrong.

Czechoslovakia” might not exist anymore, but the ideals of this state, as well as its struggles, are still very much alive. The Prime Minister of the Czech Republic was born in the Slovak part, when it was still called “Czechoslovakia”. Born in Bratislava; Prime Minister in Prague. Usually at this point, for the amusement of the readers, the writer tends to add a comparison that turns out to be a joke. However, there is no comparison to make here, even less as a joke: the Czech and Slovak common history was not made only of laughter and joy – it was also made of betrayal, loneliness, and struggle for the right to exist together, or separately. There happens to be only very few similar cases – please name a case of two different nations uniting under one flag, one state, one President, just to have the right to exist and try their luck at this. And when it fails the first time, they try again a second, a third, and a fourth time. Only after the fourth attempt, they agree on a peaceful separation, though not tearless.
If you’re from Western Europe, I might have lost you already at “Czechoslovakia”, at the very beginning of this paragraph: “where is it by the way?”. If you’re Czech or Slovak, I might have lost you with the “four times” – and you’re probably arguing about this number. See the division now, Mr Macron? Here it is.
To clear this point quickly with Czechs and Slovaks (and especially those born as Czechoslovaks): I include in the “attempts” not only the usual 1918, 1945 and 1990, but also the additional attempt with a more federal system during the Communist period. You may disagree, I’m not even sure I agree with myself here. Let’s not lose the focus of this article, though – the division, between East and West. Continue reading “1918-2018: Czechoslovakia, Between East & West”

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Editorial: Way back home

way back home editorial

The 3rd Edition of The Euroculturer

March – May 2013

Helen was right when she said that it was about time to ask Euroculturers the question: Where is home? Is it possible to feel at home in the city that you will live for only a few months? It sounds difficult to answer until Liga says: Home is where love exists, and you can make anywhere home as long as love follows wherever you go. Sounds like a simple answer except it’s difficult to find… No? What Edith suggests sounds a bit easier: My kitchen is your kitchen! Home is where the kitchen is. Yes, definitely! Mi cocina es tu cocina también! Speaking about kitchens, Maaike wants to tell you about German au pairs who are making pancakes in the kitchen for their Spanish host kids. Don’t say buenas noches, say gute nacht so that the kids can learn German. A Greek girl, Penelope, is also learning German, and very intensively. But she says: Not tonight, because I have to go out with my friends! Yes, she says that the future and even the MA thesis can wait, especially tonight. Paul seems upset by the unfair reception of the EU in the UK, making his point by introducing the English city of Nottingham. If you have only one minute to live, what would you think? Rashid seems to know the answer.

The third edition of The Euroculturer starts with the theme of Home and will continue with a special feature on Asia, and other themes such as Trend, Future, Humanities, and the IP 2013. Don’t miss the chance to read our wonderful articles one by one every few days and have lots of Euroculture fun. Shall we begin?

Eunjin Jeong, Editor-in-chief