Articles

3 Things: Czechs And Americans

In Czechs on May 30, 2008 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged:

TODAY: AMERICANS

#1: We should say I Love You more often: If there is anything I think Americans do way often is say things like “I love you, mom” at any occasion in which a mom behaves like a mom and a child behaves like a child. Let’s say a daughter wants to postpone her curfew, she fights with their parents, she is sent to her room, the mother comes up later and recalls her life story how she fought “with grandma”, the two of them talk it through and at the end of the whole thing they hug and the daughter says “I love you, mom”. The mom responds “I love you too, sweetheart”.

Czechs are missing this phrase in their vocabulary. We just don’t say it. We are not used to do that. I think this society could use some emotion ventilation of this kind. However, it should not go as far as Oprah Winfrey-esque scenes in which people like to over-analyze everything.

#2: We should stop kidding ourselves about fast food: Americans invented KFC, Wendy’s, Hardee’s etc. and they know its fast food. They go there because they are hungry. They go there because they are not used to eat with a knife and a fork at the same time twice a day. And they go there because a restaurant that would be considered a daily thing for Europeans is styled as Waldorf-Astoria quite often. Which is not their fault.

Czech families turn a visit to a fast food chain place into a social event. If you want to get an idea of TGIF for kids in the Czech Republic, visit any McDonald’s on Friday afternoon. The kids have been good the whole week, they had some A’s in math, so they deserve their happy meal. We know it is junk food, but kids like it and they should be rewarded by being allowed to have some, the parents say.

#3: High school spirit and everything around it: Most Czech high schools do not have facilities and money to build a sport team, let alone five to six [baseball, basketball, football, soccer, track and field…]. So the schools don’t have their own animal mascot, the school spirit, extracurricular activities, etc. Students are divided into “classes” and they usually stay with the same people for four years.

It is gonna take a while to change this, but there are schools with a potential that might start the, let’s say, enlightment process…

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3 Responses to “3 Things: Czechs And Americans”

  1. I think Kuwait has similar issues. Lack of emotion, unnecessary visits to fast food restaurants and lack of after school activities.

    Good points.

  2. Hello Petr,
    your articles are very interesting. Our readers would enjoy them as much as we do. Would you be interested in exchanging links with us?
    Our site is: http://czechfolks.com
    Thank you.

  3. I grew up in California, and while I don’t live in Brno I do live in Budapest. My daughter just graduated from gymnasium here, and I couldn’t help but compare our experiences.

    For whatever reasons, high school in both countries is a high pressure experience – particularly regarding social pressure. Kids form peer groups that become rigid and hierarchical. In contract, the university environment offers kids the opportunity to recreate themselves and much wider freedom of expression.

    I remember ‘school spirit’ as a very negative part of my high school social experience. High school sports were all about perpetuating the social hierarchy of athletes and cheerleaders. They were the stars. The rest of the school was expected to sit in the ranks and deliver praise and adulation to the elite class.

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