15. November 2018 Mariana Scholzová

28th October 2018

We celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Czechoslovak republic together with Míša Zemachová. To celebrate, we made “halušky” and played pretty much all czech songs from our childhood while we lip synced and danced. For the right ingredients we had to go to the Polish store and pay extra few quid for the proper Czech beer in the supermarket. I saw all the posts on Facebook about the celebrations in Prague, photos of freshly poured beer and homemade meals and all I wanted was to go home. One's journalists words stuck with me. He said: “This kind of anniversary is once in a lifetime event”. While this might sound as an empty phrase, it resonated with me. I will never live through such a big one in my lifetime again. And in two days, it is the 17th November, a big date in the Czech history. And I won't be home again.

The topic of homesickness of students who study abroad is often neglected. Now I do not mean missing your family and friends, but missing your country, the Czech Republic. Like buying your groceries in a Czech store, validating your ticket in the yellow box in the trams, and arguing about “lítačka” with an angry Czech lady and visiting your grandma on the weekend to have some poppy seed “buchta”. Like arguing about Czech politics with people with people who at least know about the existence of Václav Havel and not having to translate all the old sayings we have learned in the kindergarten. Like cooking “zelňačka” in the common kitchen without having your flatmates look at you like there is a witch in their flat making secret potions.

When I turned twelve I started to understand English songs and series and I started to turn away from Czech culture. It is lame, after all. I am not going to watch ČT1 (the national czech channel), when I can watch the Simpsons. I started to believe that Czech Republic does not hold any future for me and my only goal was to leave, to go abroad. After a little more than a year of living abroad my point of view changed. With a little bit of hindsight I am starting to realize how much of me is actually “Czech”. And most importantly, that it is not wrong.  The fact that I am Czech is not something I should be ashamed of, but something I should be proud of. I like to talk to my American flatmates about our history and culture - and they listen and ask question. I believe in T.G. Masaryk's value and I am proud to carry them on.

Back to homepage