Czech Republic

Prague at sunset

Country Information

In the Czech Republic, familes like hiking, skiing, bicycling, visiting historic sites, attending the theater, and participating in cultural events. Prague, the capitol city, is world-renowned for its support of contemporary artists and the bohemian lifestyle. Outside of Prague is a wonderful countryside full of farms, forests, ponds, fairy-tale villages, and rustic hills sheltering castles.

Lifestyle and Family

Families are hospitable and friendly. They are usually close-knit, and it is not uncommon for members of the extended family to be living at home, especially grandparents. Like most Europeans, Czechs must deal with limited space. This influences the Czechs’ perception of distances. Even a one-hour drive is a significant undertaking. On the other hand, Czechs like to travel within the country as well as internationally. The vast majority of the population, even in small towns, lives in apartment block buildings.

Czechs are very conscious of the cleanliness of their private environments. When entering a home, shoes must be taken off. Modesty is aslo an important value. For example, a proper response to a compliment is not to say thank you but to disagree. Parents are protective of their children and expect them to help with the housework and to keep them informed of when and where they are going.

Teen Life and Sports

Czechs enjoy various sports like hiking, bicycling and swimming in the summer and skiing in the winter. They also like to visit historic sites, go to the theater and art galleries, and participate in cultural events. Teenagers can participate in extracurricular activities at school such as sports, drama, and computer sciences. In addition, community and youth organizations organize many out-of-school activities. Czech teens socially will not go out later than 8 p.m. and often as early as 6 p.m.

Diet

Czech cuisine is basically Central European, with German, Hungarian, and Polish influences. Meat is the main dish, along with big portions of dumplings, potatoes, or rice topped with a thick sauce and a heavily cooked vegetable or sauerkraut. The standard quick meal is knedlo-zelo-vepro (dumplings, sauerkraut and roast pork). Caraway seed, bacon, and lots of salt are common flavorings. Table etiquette is very important.

Language and Religion

Czech is the language of the Czech Republic. It is important to distinguish between formal and informal language and among situations to determine appropriate forms of address. Different forms of address are used even among people of same age. The predominant religion is Roman Catholic.

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