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Quintessentially?

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KingEricCantona7
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Post by KingEricCantona7 » Thu January 29th, 2009, 7:51 pm

I consider myself to be Texan first and American second. Is there anyone else who thinks that way?

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Kveto from Prague
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czech/bohemian character

Post by Kveto from Prague » Thu January 29th, 2009, 11:29 pm

jeez, im not sure if i should try this one. it might depress me to try to some up bohemians in a nutshell. the view bohemians have of themselves greatly differs from how others see them.

lets see, the first national characteristic of bohemians is a universal sense of feeling like weve been screwed. somebody screwed us over. a lot of this comes from being screwed by geography. basically sandwiched between two big aggresive nations like Germany and Russia, you basically know that youll have one or both rolling over you every few years. thats probably where our other characteristic comes from-humour in the face of danger. the simple fact of our continued existance in the heart of europe is little short of a miracle.

the best book i can recommend to get a sense of czech character is an old one by jaroslav hasek called the "good solider svejk" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Good_S ... %C5%A0vejk

its set in the first world war when bohemia was part of the austro-hungarian empire. czech soliders were being set to fight for the austrians against the Allied powers. humourous because these Allied powers were fighting to end the Austrian empire and free the czechs. czech were being told to fight against those who wanted them to be independant. this story is about one czech soliders attempts to sabotage the austrian side through complete incompetence. but you never know if hes really really clever or really really stupid. its a hilarious read if you know the typical czech character. its probably also one of the first anti-war novels.

jeez, i knew this would get long.

lets see. every czech owns a cottage in the coutryside where he/she goes to work in the garden and thinks its the greatest place on earth. we say that a worker sits in an office 5 days a week and does nothing then goes to the cottage to relax at the weekend and works his arse off digging in the garden.

its funny cause theres almost a complete lack of patriotism here. but czechs still get an irrational anger that strikes against foriegners who dont know where the czech republic is. a friend once tried to post a letter from london to the czech republic. the woman at the post office didnt know where the czech republic was and asked her collegue, who told her it was in africa.

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Leyland
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Post by Leyland » Thu January 29th, 2009, 11:35 pm

[quote=""KingEricCantona7""]I consider myself to be Texan first and American second. Is there anyone else who thinks that way?[/quote]
Of course. I'm a South Carolinian-American! I've lived in a few other states but mostly in SC throughout my life. I feel a deep sense of belonging within these state boundaries first, then the same way within the US boundaries.

Maybe I'm like a ship with a homeport on the coast of SC.
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams ~ Arthur O'Shaughnessy, Ode

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Thu January 29th, 2009, 11:51 pm

This is proving an interesting thread. I'm enjoying learning about other countires from an inside viewpoint rather than from how others view them externally.
Keny, my auntie by marriage is a German speaking Czech - or she was back in the day. Married a British soldier after WWII and emigrated to England, so my husband's cousins are all half-Czech. Her family were displaced by the war and she wound up in a refugee camp, where she suffered DDT poisoning. She survived and from the things I've heard her mention, the cottage in the country with the garden sounds familiar. I'm sure the rellies she left behind had those.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Fri January 30th, 2009, 12:23 am

[quote=""EC2""]This is proving an interesting thread. I'm enjoying learning about other countires from an inside viewpoint rather than from how others view them externally.
Keny, my auntie by marriage is a German speaking Czech - or she was back in the day. Married a British soldier after WWII and emigrated to England, so my husband's cousins are all half-Czech. Her family were displaced by the war and she wound up in a refugee camp, where she suffered DDT poisoning. She survived and from the things I've heard her mention, the cottage in the country with the garden sounds familiar. I'm sure the rellies she left behind had those.[/quote]

It werent the best time to be round here.

my wifes grandmam was a sudenten (german-speaking) czech. probably about every fifth czech you meet has a german/austrian surname. (same in vienna with czech names).

and ive got rellies in England. spent a summer in a town near plymouth many moons ago.

A friend of mine had a czech auntie who married a german solider during the occupation (not a popular thing to do). before the war ended shed divorced and later married an american solider who was part of the allied army liberating czechoslovakia.

I guess she had a thing for uniforms.
Last edited by Kveto from Prague on Fri January 30th, 2009, 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Fri January 30th, 2009, 3:02 am

The American experience is pretty unique. I have concluded that we do have a national character which is unique to being a nation of immigrants: we are a melting pot drawn from the most malcontented innovators' genes from all over the globe. Except for the Native Americans, of course, and outside of the reservations, the ones whose genes entered the pot are those who decided to get out there and grab what they could.

That's why the rest of the world sees Americans of all backgrounds as brash. loud and pushy. On average, we probably are.

Having been born and raised in California, I feel that this is especially true of my state. The time I spent on the East Coast felt like going backwards two decades. I remember being astonished at hearing that Asian-Americans were a 'minority group'. In Los Angeles, there were so many professionals who were Asian-Americans, it never occurred to me to consider them as anything but ordinary. Ditto Hispanic-Americans, although I did know some of the less-affluent in my school were Hispanic.

It would feel very strange to me to live in a place where almost everybody shared the same heritage and it went back for centuries!

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Margaret
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Post by Margaret » Fri January 30th, 2009, 4:35 am

we are a melting pot drawn from the most malcontented innovators' genes from all over the globe
So true, so true. Except for a few groups (African slaves, for example), most of our ancestors came here because they were too impatient to stick things out wherever they were before. Of course, things were pretty dire in some of those places, so one can hardly blame them - but there were other people who stayed. Our ancestors are the ones who refused to put up with things as they were. The good side - we're genetically hopeful and always think improvement is possible. The bad side - we're a nation of complainers. I'm exaggerating for effect of course, but still ...
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Alaric
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Post by Alaric » Fri January 30th, 2009, 6:58 am

[quote=""KingEricCantona7""]I consider myself to be Texan first and American second. Is there anyone else who thinks that way?[/quote]

I consider myself English despite being as equally English as I am Scottish/Irish. Although this is probably because I did live in England for awhile and had an English accent.

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