Czech Have 2. Constitutional framework, state of emergency and various types of crisis measures
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Standard Czech contains ten basic vowel phonemes , and three diphthongs. Each word usually has primary stress on its first syllable , except for enclitics minor, monosyllabic, unstressed syllables.
In all words of more than two syllables, every odd-numbered syllable receives secondary stress. Stress is unrelated to vowel length; both long and short vowels can be stressed or unstressed.
Voiced consonants with unvoiced counterparts are unvoiced at the end of a word before a pause, and in consonant clusters voicing assimilation occurs, which matches voicing to the following consonant.
In Czech orthography , the consonants are spelled as follows:. Hard consonants are sometimes known as "strong", and soft ones as "weak". Czech grammar, like that of other Slavic languages, is fusional ; its nouns, verbs, and adjectives are inflected by phonological processes to modify their meanings and grammatical functions, and the easily separable affixes characteristic of agglutinative languages are limited.
Parts of speech include adjectives, adverbs , numbers, interrogative words , prepositions , conjunctions and interjections.
Because Czech uses grammatical case to convey word function in a sentence instead of relying on word order , as English does , its word order is flexible.
As a pro-drop language , in Czech an intransitive sentence can consist of only a verb; information about its subject is encoded in the verb. The first slot must contain a subject or object, a main form of a verb, an adverb, or a conjunction except for the light conjunctions a , "and", i , "and even" or ale , "but".
Czech syntax has a subject—verb—object sentence structure. In practice, however, word order is flexible and used for topicalization and focus.
Although Czech has a periphrastic passive construction like English , in colloquial style, word-order changes frequently replace the passive voice.
Pavla is in the accusative case , the grammatical object of the verb. A word at the end of a clause is typically emphasized, unless an upward intonation indicates that the sentence is a question: .
In modern Czech syntax, adjectives precede nouns,  with few exceptions. As with other adjectives, it agrees with its associated noun in gender, number and case.
Relative clauses follow the noun they modify. The following is a glossed example: . In Czech, nouns and adjectives are declined into one of seven grammatical cases which indicate their function in a sentence, two numbers singular and plural and three genders masculine, feminine and neuter.
The masculine gender is further divided into animate and inanimate classes. A nominative—accusative language , Czech marks subject nouns of transitive and intransitive verbs in the nominative case, which is the form found in dictionaries, and direct objects of transitive verbs are declined in the accusative case.
When Czech children learn their language's declension patterns, the cases are referred to by number: . Some Czech grammatical texts order the cases differently, grouping the nominative and accusative and the dative and locative together because those declension patterns are often identical; this order accommodates learners with experience in other inflected languages, such as Latin or Russian.
This order is nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, locative, instrumental and vocative. Some prepositions require the nouns they modify to take a particular case.
The cases assigned by each preposition are based on the physical or metaphorical direction, or location, conveyed by it. For example, od from, away from and z out of, off assign the genitive case.
Other prepositions take one of several cases, with their meaning dependent on the case; na means "onto" or "for" with the accusative case, but "on" with the locative.
Czech distinguishes three genders —masculine, feminine, and neuter—and the masculine gender is subdivided into animate and inanimate.
Nouns are also inflected for number , distinguishing between singular and plural. Typical of a Slavic language, Czech cardinal numbers one through four allow the nouns and adjectives they modify to take any case, but numbers over five require subject and direct object noun phrases to be declined in the genitive plural instead of the nominative or accusative, and when used as subjects these phrases take singular verbs.
For example: . Numbers decline for case, and the numbers one and two are also inflected for gender. Numbers one through five are shown below as examples.
The number one has declension patterns identical to those of the demonstrative pronoun ten. Although Czech's grammatical numbers are singular and plural , several residuals of dual forms remain, such as the words dva "two" and oba "both" , which decline the same way.
While two of these nouns are neuter in their singular forms, all plural forms are considered feminine; their gender is relevant to their associated adjectives and verbs.
The plural number paradigms of these nouns are a mixture of historical dual and plural forms. Czech verbs agree with their subjects in person first, second or third , number singular or plural , and in constructions involving participles also in gender.
They are conjugated for tense past, present or future and mood indicative , imperative or conditional.
Typical of Slavic languages, Czech marks its verbs for one of two grammatical aspects : perfective and imperfective. Most verbs are part of inflected aspect pairs—for example, koupit perfective and kupovat imperfective.
Although the verbs' meaning is similar, in perfective verbs the action is completed and in imperfective verbs it is ongoing or repeated.
This is distinct from past and present tense. The verbs of most aspect pairs differ in one of two ways: by prefix or by suffix.
The most common prefixes are na- , o- , po- , s- , u- , vy- , z- and za-. The present tense in Czech is formed by adding an ending which agrees with the person and number of the subject at the end of the verb stem.
As Czech is a null-subject language , the subject pronoun can be omitted unless it is needed for clarity. In some contexts, the present tense of perfective verbs which differs from the English present perfect implies future action; in others, it connotes habitual action.
Czech verbs have three grammatical moods : indicative , imperative and conditional. This mood indicates hypothetical events and can also be used to express wishes.
Most Czech verbs fall into one of five classes , which determine their conjugation patterns. Examples of the present tense of each class and some common irregular verbs follow in the tables below: .
Czech has one of the most phonemic orthographies of all European languages. Its thirty-one graphemes represent thirty sounds in most dialects, i and y have the same sound , and it contains only one digraph : ch , which follows h in the alphabet.
The characters q , w and x appear only in foreign words. Czech typographical features not associated with phonetics generally resemble those of most European languages that use the Latin script , including English.
Proper nouns , honorifics , and the first letters of quotations are capitalized , and punctuation is typical of other Latin European languages.
Writing of ordinal numerals is similar to most European languages. The Czech language uses a decimal comma instead of a decimal point. When writing a long number, spaces between every three digits, including those in decimal places, may be used for better orientation in handwritten texts.
The number 1,, Jungmann used vocabulary of the Bible of Kralice — period and of the language used by his contemporaries.
He borrowed words not present in Czech from other Slavic languages or created neologisms. The most recent reform took place in Other Bohemian regional dialects have become marginalized, while Moravian dialects remain more widespread and diverse, with a political movement for Moravian linguistic revival active since the s.
This is an academic distinction; most Czechs are unaware of the term or associate it with deformed or "incorrect" Czech. Common Czech has become ubiquitous in most parts of the Czech Republic since the later 20th century.
It is usually defined as an interdialect used in common speech in Bohemia and western parts of Moravia by about two thirds of all inhabitants of the Czech Republic.
Common Czech is not codified , but some of its elements have become adopted in the written standard. Since the second half of the 20th century, Common Czech elements have also been spreading to regions previously unaffected, as a consequence of media influence.
Standard Czech is still the norm for politicians, businesspeople and other Czechs in formal situations, but Common Czech is gaining ground in journalism and the mass media.
Common Czech phonology is based on that of the Central Bohemian dialect group, which has a slightly different set of vowel phonemes to Standard Czech.
Non-standard morphological features that are more or less common among all Common Czech speakers include: .
Apart from the Common Czech vernacular, there remain a variety of other Bohemian dialects, mostly in marginal rural areas.
Dialect use began to weaken in the second half of the 20th century, and by the early s regional dialect use was stigmatized, associated with the shrinking lower class and used in literature or other media for comedic effect.
Increased travel and media availability to dialect-speaking populations has encouraged them to shift to or add to their own dialect Standard Czech.
The Czech Statistical Office in recognized the following Bohemian dialects: . As of , 62, Czech citizens spoke Moravian as their first language and 45, were diglossic speaking Moravian and standard Czech as first languages.
Beginning in the sixteenth century, some varieties of Czech resembled Slovak;  the southeastern Moravian dialects, in particular, are sometimes considered dialects of Slovak rather than Czech.
Czech Egyptology has scored some successes, its main representative is Miroslav Verner. Czech psychologist Stanislav Grof developed a method of "Holotropic Breathwork".
Experimental archaeologist Pavel Pavel made several attempts, they had to answer the question how ancient civilizations transported heavy weights.
A number of other scientists are also connected in some way with the Czech lands. The Czech economy gets a substantial income from tourism.
The low crime rate makes most cities and towns very safe to walk around. The territory was formerly the site of steel production, but now it hosts a technical museum with many interactive expositions for tourists.
All of them are in the cultural category. As of [update] , further 18 sites are on the tentative list. There are several centres of tourist activity.
There are 12 cathedrals and 15 churches elevated to the rank of basilica by the Pope, calm monasteries, many modern and ancient churches — for example Pilgrimage Church of Saint John of Nepomuk is one of those inscribed on the World Heritage List.
The country is also known for its various museums. Puppetry and marionette exhibitions are very popular, with a number of puppet festivals throughout the country.
The total fertility rate TFR in was estimated at 1. About 77, people immigrate to the Czech Republic annually. According to preliminary results of the census, the majority of the inhabitants of the Czech Republic are Czechs As the 'nationality' was an optional item, a substantial number of people left this field blank There were , 4.
Most of the foreign population lives in Prague The Jewish population of Bohemia and Moravia, , according to the census, was virtually annihilated by the Nazi Germans during the Holocaust.
At the turn of the 20th century, Chicago was the city with the third largest Czech population,  after Prague and Vienna.
Christianization in the 9th and 10th centuries introduced Catholicism. Taborites and Utraquists were major Hussite groups. Following the joint Utraquist—Catholic victory, Utraquism was accepted as a distinct form of Christianity to be practiced in Bohemia by the Catholic Church while all remaining Hussite groups were prohibited.
In the wake of the Reformation, Utraquist Hussites took a renewed increasingly anti-Catholic stance, while some of the defeated Hussite factions notably Taborites were revived.
After the Habsburgs regained control of Bohemia, the whole population was forcibly converted to Catholicism—even the Utraquist Hussites.
Going forward, Czechs have become more wary and pessimistic of religion as such. A long history of resistance to the Catholic Church followed. It suffered a schism with the neo-Hussite Czechoslovak Hussite Church in , lost the bulk of its adherents during the Communist era and continues to lose in the modern, ongoing secularization.
Protestantism never recovered after the Counter-Reformation was introduced by the Austrian Habsburgs in Education in the Czech Republic is compulsory for 9 years and citizens have access to a tuition-free university education , while the average number of years of education is Healthcare in the Czech Republic is similar in quality to other developed nations.
The Czech universal health care system is based on a compulsory insurance model , with fee-for-service care funded by mandatory employment-related insurance plans.
Theodoric of Prague was the most famous Czech painter in the Gothic era. For example, he decorated the castle Karlstejn. At the end of the century came a wave of Art Nouveau.
Alfons Mucha became the main representative. He is today the most famous Czech painter. The 20th century brought avant-garde revolution.
The Czech Republic is known worldwide for its individually made, mouth blown and decorated Bohemian glass. The earliest preserved stone buildings in Bohemia and Moravia date back to the time of the Christianization in the 9th and 10th century.
Since the Middle Ages, the Czech lands have been using the same architectural styles as most of Western and Central Europe. The oldest still standing churches were built in the Romanesque style St.
George's Basilica , St. Vitus Cathedral , St. During the Hussite wars , many of them were damaged or destroyed. An example of the pure Renaissance architecture in Bohemia is the Queen Anne's Summer Palace , which was situated in a newly established garden of Prague Castle.
In the 17th century, the Baroque style spread throughout the Crown of Bohemia. Very outstanding are the architectural projects of the Czech nobleman and imperial generalissimo Albrecht von Wallenstein from the s Wallenstein Palace.
His architects Andrea Spezza and Giovanni Pieroni reflected the most recent Italian production and were very innovative at the same time.
In the first third of the 18th century the Bohemian lands were one of the leading artistic centers of the Baroque style.
In Bohemia there was completed the development of the Radical Baroque style created in Italy by Francesco Borromini and Guarino Guarini in a very original way.
In the 18th century Bohemia produced an architectural peculiarity — the Baroque Gothic style , a synthesis of the Gothic and Baroque styles.
This was not a simple return to Gothic details, but rather an original Baroque transformation. During the 19th century, the revival architectural styles were very popular in the Bohemian monarchy.
Peter and Paul in Brno. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries the new art style appeared in the Czech lands — Art Nouveau. Bohemia contributed an unusual style to the world's architectural heritage when Czech architects attempted to transpose the Cubism of painting and sculpture into architecture House of the Black Madonna.
During the first years of the independent Czechoslovakia after , a specifically Czech architectural style, called Rondo-Cubism , came into existence.
Together with the pre-war Czech Cubist architecture it is unparalleled elsewhere in the world. The first Czechoslovak president T.
Between World Wars I and II, Functionalism , with its sober, progressive forms, took over as the main architectural style in the newly established Czechoslovak Republic.
In the city of Brno, one of the most impressive functionalist works has been preserved — Villa Tugendhat , designed by the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Hotel International in Prague is a brilliant example of the so-called Socialist realism , the Stalinistic art style of the s. The Czechoslovak avant-garde artistic movement known as the Brussels style named after the Brussels World's Fair Expo 58 became popular in the time of political liberalization of Czechoslovakia in the s.
Even today, the Czech Republic is not shying away from the most modern trends of international architecture. In a strict sense, Czech literature is the literature written in the Czech language.
A more liberal definition incorporates all literary works written in the Czech lands regardless of language.
Thus Franz Kafka , who—while bilingual in Czech and German   —wrote his works The Trial , The Castle in German, during the era of Austrian rule, can represent the Czech , German or Austrian literature depending on the point of view.
Bible translations played an important role in the development of Czech literature and the standard Czech language.
The oldest Czech translation of the Psalms originated in the late 13th century and the first complete Czech translation of the Bible was finished around The first complete printed Czech Bible was published in Prague Bible.
The first complete Czech Bible translation from the original languages was published between and and is known as the Bible of Kralice.
The Codex Gigas from the 12th century is the largest extant medieval manuscript in the world. The Czech Republic has the densest network of libraries in Europe.
Czech literature and culture played a major role on at least two occasions when Czechs lived under oppression and political activity was suppressed.
On both of these occasions, in the early 19th century and then again in the s, the Czechs used their cultural and literary effort to strive for political freedom, establishing a confident, politically aware nation.
The musical tradition of the Czech lands arose from first church hymns, whose first evidence is suggested at the break of 10th and 11th century.
In , in the beginning of the Czechoslovak state, the song was discussed as one of the possible choices for the national anthem. The wealth of musical culture in the Czech Republic lies in the long-term high-culture classical music tradition during all historical periods, especially in the Baroque , Classicism , Romantic, modern classical music and in the traditional folk music of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia.
Since the early era of artificial music, Czech musicians and composers have often been influenced the folk music of the region and dances e.
Czech music can be considered to have been beneficial in both the European and worldwide context, several times co-determined or even determined a newly arriving era in musical art,  above all of Classical era, as well as by original attitudes in Baroque , Romantic and modern classical music.
The most famous music festival in the country is Prague Spring International Music Festival of classical music, a permanent showcase for outstanding performing artists, symphony orchestras and chamber music ensembles of the world.
The roots of Czech theatre can be found in the Middle Ages, especially in cultural life of gothic period. In the 19th century, the theatre played an important role in the national awakening movement and later, in the 20th century it became a part of the modern European theatre art.
Original Czech cultural phenomenon came into being at the end of the s. This project called Laterna magika The Magic Lantern was the brainchild of renowned film and theater director Alfred Radok , resulting in productions that combined theater, dance and film in a poetic manner, considered the first multimedia art project in international context.
The tradition of Czech cinematography started in the second half of the s. However, dramatic movies were more internationally successful. Another Czech cultural phenomenon came into being at the end of the s.
This project called Laterna magika "The Magic Lantern" , resulting in productions that combined theater, dance and film in a poetic manner, considered the first multimedia art project in international context mentioned also in Theatre section above.
The hallmark of the films of this movement were long, often improvised dialogues , black and absurd humor and the occupation of non-actors. Directors are trying to preserve natural atmosphere without refinement and artificial arrangement of scenes.
He is a self-labeled surrealist known for his animations and features, which have greatly influenced many artists worldwide.
The Czech Lion is the highest Czech award for film achievement. The Barrandov Studios in Prague are the largest film studios in country and one of the largest in Europe with many many popular film locations in the country.
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is one of the oldest in the world and has become Central and Eastern Europe's leading film event.
Since the Czech Republic is a democratic republic, journalists and media enjoy a great degree of freedom. There are restrictions only against writing in support of Nazism , racism or violating Czech law.
The most watched main news program is TV Nova. Newspapers are quite popular in the Czech Republic. The best-selling daily national newspapers are Blesk average 1.
The Czech Game of the Year Awards are held annually to recognize accomplishments in video game development. Czech cuisine is marked by a strong emphasis on meat dishes.
Pork is quite common; beef and chicken are also popular. Goose, duck, rabbit and venison are served. Fish is less common, with the occasional exception of fresh trout and carp , which is served at Christmas.
Czech beer has a long and important history. The first brewery is known to have existed in and the Czech Republic has the highest beer consumption per capita in the world.
Apart from these and other major brands, the Czech Republic also has a growing number of small breweries and mini-breweries. Aside from slivovitz , Czech beer and wine, the Czechs also produce two unique liquors , Fernet Stock and Becherovka.
Kofola is a non-alcoholic domestic cola soft drink which competes with Coca-Cola and Pepsi in popularity. Sports play a part in the life of many Czechs, who are generally loyal supporters of their favorite teams or individuals.
The two leading sports in the Czech Republic are ice hockey and football. The many other sports with professional leagues and structures include basketball, volleyball, team handball , track and field athletics and floorball.
The country has won 14 gold medals in summer plus 49 as Czechoslovakia and five gold medals plus two as Czechoslovakia in winter Olympic history.
Czech hockey school has a good reputation. The Czech ice hockey team won the gold medal at the Winter Olympics and has won twelve gold medals at the World Championships including 6 as Czechoslovakia , including three straight from to The Czechoslovakia national football team was a consistent performer on the international scene, with eight appearances in the FIFA World Cup Finals, finishing in second place in and The team also won the European Football Championship in , came in third in and won the Olympic gold in After dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the Czech national football team finished in second and third place at the European Football Championship.
Czech Republic women's national basketball team won the EuroBasket Women. Czechoslovakia national basketball team won EuroBasket It will take place in Prague for the Group Phase matches.
Czech Republic hosted the EuroBasket Women recently. MTX automobile company was formerly engaged in the manufacture of racing and formula cars since Czech Republic MotoGP is the most famous motor race in the country.
Sport is a source of strong waves of patriotism, usually rising several days or weeks before an event. Czechs are also generally keen on engaging in sports activities themselves.
One of the most popular sports Czechs do is hiking, mainly in the mountains. The word for "tourist" in the Czech language, turista , also means "trekker" or "hiker".
For hikers, thanks to the more than year-old tradition, there is a Czech Hiking Markers System of trail blazing , that has been adopted by countries worldwide.
The most significant sports venues are Eden Arena e. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Country in Central Europe.
For other uses, see Czechia disambiguation and Czech Republic disambiguation. Greater coat of arms. The question is rhetorical , implying "those places where my homeland lies".
Code 42 was shared with Slovakia until Main article: Name of the Czech Republic. Historical affiliations. Main article: History of the Czech lands.
Maximum Celtic expansion by the s BCE. Areas that remain Celtic-speaking today. Main article: Bohemia. Main article: History of Czechoslovakia.
Main articles: Velvet Revolution and Dissolution of Czechoslovakia. Main article: Geography of the Czech Republic. Berounka river valley in western Bohemia.
Beskids mountains in eastern Moravia. Humid continental climate. Oceanic climate. Subarctic climate.
European eagle-owl , a protected predator. Fire salamander , a common amphibian in humid forests. Red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris , a protected animal.
Summer cep occurs in deciduous oak forests. Straka Academy , seat of the Government. Thun Palace, seat of the Chamber of Deputies.
Wallenstein Palace , seat of the Senate. Main article: Foreign relations of the Czech Republic. Main article: Army of the Czech Republic.
Main article: Economy of the Czech Republic. Main article: Energy in the Czech Republic. Main article: Transport in the Czech Republic. Main article: Internet in the Czech Republic.
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Main article: Czech architecture. Main article: Czech literature. Main articles: Music of the Czech Lands and Moravian traditional music.
The National Theatre left and the Estates Theatre right. Main article: Theatre of the Czech Republic. Main article: Cinema of the Czech Republic. Main article: Video gaming in the Czech Republic.
Main article: Czech cuisine. Czech Cuisine. A mug of Pilsner Urquell , the first pilsner type of pale lager beer, brewed since Baked duck with sauerkraut.
Easter bread baked during the celebrations of Easter. Main article: Sport in the Czech Republic. Czech Republic portal.
Czech Republic — Official website. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. Archived from the original on 6 November Retrieved 14 November Article 25 of the Czech Charter of Fundamental Rights and Basic Freedoms ensures the right of the national and ethnic minorities to education and communication with the authorities in their own language.
Act No. The Administrative Rule in its paragraph 16 4 Procedural Language ensures that a citizen of the Czech Republic who belongs to a national or an ethnic minority, which traditionally and on a long-term basis lives within the territory of the Czech Republic, has the right to address an administrative agency and proceed before it in the language of the minority.
If the administrative agency has no employee with knowledge of the language, the agency is bound to obtain a translator at the agency's own expense.
According to Act No. Archived PDF from the original on 9 August Retrieved 2 September Archived from the original on 12 January Czech Statistical Office.
Archived from the original PDF on 21 February Retrieved 23 April Retrieved 29 May Retrieved on 19 December International Monetary Fund.
Retrieved 2 November Archived from the original on 20 March Retrieved 3 July United Nations Development Programme.
Retrieved 10 December Archived from the original on 11 January Retrieved 13 September Countries — 7. Designations and abbreviations to use".
Publications Office. Archived from the original on 20 October Retrieved 31 January The United Nations Terminology Database. Archived from the original on 15 September Czech Foreign Ministry.
Archived from the original on 3 April Retrieved 25 March Archived PDF from the original on 16 January Retrieved 31 October Archived from the original on 28 November Encyclopedia of the Cold War.
Archived from the original on 22 November Retrieved 13 December Radio Prague. Retrieved 22 January Archived from the original on 12 May Retrieved 14 May Accessed on 3 July Collins English Dictionary.
Archived from the original on 16 January Retrieved 19 November American Heritage Dictionary. The places in the United States to which Czech immigrants were drawn included not only large cities but also rural areas, especially in the prairie states of the Mississippi Valley as well as Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas.
In the early s, about 1. The Czech Republic is a fairly densely populated country, with about persons per square mile. The highest population density is in metropolitan Prague Praha , which has 1.
Seven cities have populations just below or above , Overall, about 65 percent of the Czech people live in cities or towns of 5, or more.
The tendency of Czechs to move from rural areas to cities predates the founding of the nation in As a consequence, Prague has continued to grow steadily even though the national population is virtually stationary.
The result is a tight housing market despite the constant construction of monotonous blocks of prefabricated multistory apartment houses on the outskirts of the city.
These new districts stand in sharp contrast to the historic parts of Prague with their great variety of architectural styles.
Some of the city's monumental but stylistically restrained buildings date from the last third of the nineteenth century National Theater, National Museum, and the Rudolfinum concert hall and the first third of the twentieth Municipal House, with a concert hall and restaurants, and the ministries in central Prague along the Vltava.
The Czech Republic is essentially a country of small cities and towns. However, there have always been hundreds of small villages in the countryside, frequently only a few miles apart.
In the past several decades, there has been a tendency to consolidate them administratively. The rooms of Czech apartments and family houses are small, and bedrooms, which usually have no closets, are made smaller by the use of wardrobes.
Family houses are constructed of cinder block or brick rather than wood. Astronomical clock on Old Town Hall.
Food in Daily Life. The traditional Czech diet may be considered heavy, with an emphasis on meat, potatoes, and dumplings and the use of substantial amounts of animal fats, butter, and cream.
Soups are an important part of the noon meal. Potato and tripe soup are favorites, as well as beef or chicken broth with tiny liver or marrow dumplings.
The most commonly used vegetables are carrots, peas, and cabbage. Salads were eaten only seasonally until recent years.
Czechs have always enjoyed sweets. The most common are fruit dumplings made with plums or, in winter, preserved apricots served with grated farmer cheese and bread crumbs browned in butter, with sugar sprinkled on top.
Dumplings often are served as a meal. Popular sweet baked goods include buchty sing. The national beverage is beer pivo ; some good domestic wines are produced in Moravia.
The domestic plum brandy is called slivovice slivovitz. Especially during the past ten to twenty years, marked changes have occurred in the Czech diet.
More fresh vegetables are eaten year-round by those who can afford imported food; vegetable shortenings, oils, and margarine are replacing animal fats; and a variety of mixes are used to prepare soups and dumplings.
What people eat today is greatly influenced by what they can afford: good cuts of beef and pork are expensive, but poultry is much more affordable.
Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Also popular for special meals is roast duck, pork, or goose with dumplings and sauerkraut. On Christmas Eve, nearly the entire country eats the traditional breaded and fried carp, and on Christmas Day, roast turkey is found on many tables.
Basic Economy. In the first half of the s, the Czech economy was transformed from a centrally planned economy to an essentially privatized, market-oriented economy.
Small businesses nationalized during the s by the communist regime were returned to the rightful owners or their heirs; small businesses created during the socialist period were auctioned off to employees or outsiders.
Large enterprises were privatized through the sale of vouchers to citizens over 18 years of age, who then became shareholders.
Some of the heavy industries and banks still owned by the state may be privatized in the future. For basic needs, particularly temperate-zone food products, Czech society is self-sufficient, but it imports oil and gas.
The republic has supplies of coal and lignite brown coal and uranium ore. Well over half the country's electrical energy is generated by coal-fired thermal power stations, some is supplied by nuclear plants, and a relatively small amount is produced by waterpower.
Land Tenure and Property. Prior to World War I, noble families had extensive holdings of farmland and forests for example, the Schwarzenberg family owned , hectares of land.
After Czechoslovakia was established at the end of World War I , the new government considered land reform a priority.
The first land reform restricted considerably the economic power of both the nobility and the large landowners by reducing their holdings of agricultural and forest land.
The land subject to expropriation was allotted to smallholders, farming cottagers, small craftspeople, landless persons, etc.
After , when the communists took over, collectivization and nationalization of land became almost total; by only 2.
Aside from agricultural cooperatives, private holdings of land are now very modest: the rural summer cottages owned by many urban residents generally occupy lots of only a fraction of an acre.
Restitution of property began after the velvet revolution of With respect to the former nobility, restitution has had mixed results.
Many children of the original owners were living in foreign countries and had no experience with or desire to become entrepreneurs in large-scale agriculture or forest management.
In many cases their castles or mansions were found to be in such a state of neglect that restoration and maintenance have been beyond their means.
Nevertheless the heirs and the few original owners still living are pleased to have the option of owning their former homes once again.
Major Industries. The Czech Republic has long been highly developed industrially. The leading industries include the manufacture of machinery, automobiles, chemicals, refined petroleum products, fertilizers, cement, iron and steel, glass, textiles, footwear, and beer.
Many industrial enterprises have been undergoing restructuring to catch up with those in the West. After an initial decline in aggregate output in , modest growth resumed in Under communism, agriculture was almost completely collectivized.
Postcommunist privatization did not result in a return to small-scale private farming because agricultural workers prefer to be shareholders in privatized cooperatives.
The collectivization of the s resulted in rapid mechanization of agricultural work, which is now the most advanced in central and eastern Europe.
Today the agricultural labor force is only about a quarter of a million, or 5 percent of the total labor force.
The most commonly cultivated crops are grains, fodder, sugar beets, rape, potatoes, and hops. Hops, which are used in the production of beer and for pharmaceutical products, are exported.
Livestock production involves primarily cattle, pigs, and poultry. Lumber is another export, especially from southern Bohemia. Under communism, industry was the priority sector and service-oriented industries were neglected; heavy industry's share of output was larger than that in developed capitalist economies.
The neglect of services gave rise to a so-called second economy in which services were obtained by barter or by paying someone on a private basis. In the s, service industries began to grow rapidly.
A consequence of the communist regime's stress on industrial production without proper safeguards against polluting the environment was ecological devastation of certain regions, especially in northern Bohemia in and around the city of Most and northern Moravia the city of Ostrava.
Even Prague is polluted, mainly from the many cars in the city center. The Czech economy is highly dependent on foreign trade.
Exports consist primarily of manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment including automobiles , and chemicals; imports include goods of those types as well as fuels and lubricants.
The Czech economy runs a large trade deficit with Russia, importing energy and raw materials but exporting relatively little.
Because the Czech crown is now freely convertible, there is practically no limit to what can be purchased by those who have the funds.
Since , inflation has been 10 percent or less per year in it was only 2. Classes and Castes. After World War I, when Czechoslovakia became an independent country, the middle class was the largest socioeconomic class.
Poverty and unemployment were most noticeable in the large cities and least prevalent in farming villages. The wealthy included those owning businesses and the relatively few members of noble families, who had lost their titles with the establishment of the republic in but not much of their property, which included castles and large tracts.
Under the communist regime after World War II, the economic status of manual workers rose and that of highly specialized people declined steeply physicians were paid no more than street pavers, who were paid reasonably well.
A new elite consisted of the most active members of the Communist Party. They enjoyed numerous privileges, such as large apartments, access to special hospitals, special stores with merchandise not available to others, and for those in high government positions, state automobiles with chauffeurs.
Ethnicity was of no consequence; what mattered was political activity and dependability. This political elitism ended after Successful businesspeople now have visible wealth: luxury cars, expensive villas, and maids and chauffeurs.
By contrast, older people complain that their pensions do not keep pace with the cost of living; pensioners therefore often vote for leftist parties that advocate controlled prices.
The Czech Republic is a parliamentary democracy. The president is elected for a five-year term and may not be elected for more than two consecutive terms.
The president appoints and dismisses the prime minister, appoints certain high officials, and can veto any bills other than constitutional ones passed by parliament.
The parliament consists of the Chamber of Deputies two hundred deputies elected for four-year terms and the Senate eighty-one senators elected for six-year terms.
The government consists of the prime minister, his or her deputies, and the ministers who make up the cabinet; the cabinet is the supreme body of executive power.
The highest judicial body is the supreme court. Leadership and Political Officials. Since the end of the communist regime, political life has again been characterized by a considerable number of political parties.
In the elections, forty-two parties and movements participated, with eight receiving 5 percent or more of the popular vote.
Because of the large number of parties, no party receives a majority, and the government is formed by a coalition of the parties with the most votes.
Parties range from conservative, to Christian democratic, to social democratic, to communist. The strongest in the election were the Czech Social Democratic Party Social Problems and Control.
The most common crime is pickpocketing, usually in crowded streetcars and subways. Prague is among the European capitals with the highest rates for this type of crime.
Czechs attribute these thefts and more serious criminal acts to non-Czech minorities and citizens of poorer eastern European countries who have entered the republic legally or illegally.
The privatization of formerly state-owned businesses and enterprises has resulted in many cases of embezzlement and, to a lesser extent, bribery.
Violent crimes are more common than they were under communism. Many citizens feel that the police are not as numerous or efficient as they should be and that the courts are too lenient.
Military Activity. Military service of one year is compulsory for all males without physical limitations, but a civilian work assignment of eighteen months may be substituted.
Active duty personnel in totaled forty-four thousand, of whom Military expenditures in accounted for 2. Social programs cover old age, invalidism, death, sickness and maternity, work injury, unemployment, and allowances per child.
Under the communist regime, every person had the right to employment; however, some jobs would have been unnecessary in a market-oriented economy.
There was a saying, "The state pretends to pay us, and we pretend to work. There are few formal social clubs or organizations. Most socializing takes place in pubs or outdoors during summer holidays.
The few organizations that exist are of a serious nature, such as scholarly associations and political clubs.
Sports organizations and groups interested in such activities as fishing and stamp collecting are quite active.
In general, however, Czechs prefer to use their free time according to their own tastes, especially in the large cities. Division of Labor by Gender.
Before World War II, most middle-class women did not work, remaining at home to run the household and take care of the children.
Women constituted no more than a third of the labor force. This began to change during World War II, when the occupying German authorities required many women to replace men forced into work for the war effort.
Under the postwar communist regime, many women worked to improve the economic situation of their families; the state facilitated women's employment by making day nurseries available.
In , about 87 percent of women of working age were employed. The latest available figures show a high proportion of women in the total labor force: The Relative Status of Women and Men.
Women have made significant strides since World War II in terms of employment opportunities and participation in public life.
However, a disproportionate number of women are in the lower half of the pay scale. Women remain concentrated in the traditional sectors of female employment: retail sales, health care, elementary schools, and social work.
While the concept of equality between men and women is recognized, the husbands of women who are fully employed seldom perform half the household duties.
Because a number of the mechanical conveniences taken for granted in the West are not widely affordable, most women work harder at home than American women do.
However, women have a large say in how money is spent and how the family uses its free time and are becoming increasingly active in political life, business banks and insurance companies , and civil service post offices.
For much of the twentieth century, the selection of a spouse has rested with the young couple. Before World War II, socioeconomic standing and education were of considerable importance in the selection of a husband or wife.
Middle-class men usually did not marry until they were launched in their careers, typically in their late twenties or early thirties; women usually married in their early or middle twenties.
More recently, men have begun to marry earlier. There are no legal restrictions on who can marry except for marriages between close relatives.
The number of legal marriages in was 5. This number is low because the percentage of young adults in the age range 15—29 is among the lowest in the world Buildings line the Vltava River in Prague, Czech Republic.
Relative to the low marriage rate, the divorce rate of 3. Czech newlyweds prefer to live separately from their families, but because of housing shortages in the larger cities, that goal is not easy to attain.
Both spouses usually work unless a very young child keeps a mother temporarily at home. Domestic Unit.
The typical household unit is the nuclear family, consisting of husband, wife, and children or stepchildren. Because of the housing shortage, a widowed mother of one of the spouses may be included in the household; she is a valuable addition to the nuclear family if the young couple has children because she can provide child care while the mother works.
In the Moravian countryside, where people own family houses, parents commonly live with their adult children.
Typically, when Moravians build a family house, they include space in it for their parents. The importance of inheritance diminished under the communist regime because all businesses and properties except for family houses were nationalized.
Privatization began after the velvet revolution in , and most property owned privately before has been returned to the owners or their descendants.
Kin Groups. For urban Czechs, the effective kin group is limited to the closest relatives. For most people, collateral relatives more distant than uncles, aunts, and first cousins are seen only on special occasions such as weddings and funerals.
However, most villagers, especially in Moravia, continue to maintain relations with more distant relatives. Descent is bilateral, that is, through both the mother's and the father's lines, but the husband's surname becomes the family name.
Infant Care. The birthrate in the Czech Republic was 8. About 84 percent of children are born to parents who are married.
Because of the small size of a typical Czech family, the birth of a child is a special event. Baby showers are not common, but close friends frequently give a gift when a child has been born.
Before World War II, most women were expected to stay at home and take care of the children and the household. Since the s, many women of childbearing age have held jobs to help maintain a decent economic standard.
Women were given generous maternity leaves—usually six months at 90 percent of full pay and at 60 percent of full pay until the child was 3 years old.
Since the s, the rules governing maternity leave have been much less generous. However, if a new mother has help from her mother or mother-in-law, she is likely to return to work as soon as possible.
During the first two years, children are given much attention. Most babies are bottle-fed, but some mothers still breast-feed their babies until the first teeth appear.
When babies no longer awaken for feedings during the night, they are moved to a separate room if space is available. It is customary to take children outdoors every day in prams or strollers.
In cities, two or three mothers from the neighborhood are likely to be found sitting and talking in a nearby park while their babies are getting fresh air and sunshine.
Child Rearing and Education. Although fathers are usually the heads of families, mothers exercise authority over young children.
Czech children are expected to be obedient after being admonished. They are reprimanded whenever they are considered to be out of line and usually are made to feel guilty for unacceptable behavior.
Praise for good behavior is not dispensed often. Children are taught to be orderly, hardworking, practical, and egalitarian and are expected not to resort to physical violence.
If a family can live on the father's income, the mother stays at home during a child's early years. At about age 3, many children are sent to day nurseries, and a year or two later to kindergarten.
Since , some of these preschool services have been discontinued or have become more costly. Higher Education. Education is highly valued, and academic titles receive great respect.
School teachers used to enjoy fairly high status and wield a great deal of authority on school premises; in recent years, their pay has become relatively low and their prestige has suffered.
Most parents pressure their children to do well in school. For a child to have to repeat a grade is embarrassing for the family. Children begin school at age 6 and must remain in school until age All students attend elementary school for the first five years.
To be accepted at a gymnasium, students must pass written examinations in mathematics and Czech. At the end of the eighth year, they take a final school-leaving examination maturita.
An alternative is to take nine years of basic education with the option of continuing with either the last four years of gymnasium or a four-year specialized training program in schools that prepare students to become nurses, electricians, and so on, or to enter business or management.
Public kindergartens and primary and secondary schools are free. Recently, a few private and parochial schools became available at the primary and secondary levels.
Their quality is good, but not many parents can afford the tuition. University students are not charged tuition but must pay for their textbooks as well as board and lodging.
Social interaction is not much different from that in other central European countries; compared to that in the United States, it is rather formal.
This formality is in part caused by the Czech language, which has two forms of the second-person personal pronoun. The "familiar" form is used to address a member of the family, a good friend of long standing, or a child or by a child addressing another child.
The "polite" form is used in more formal situations. It is not uncommon for colleagues of similar age in neighboring offices to use the formal form when talking with each other.
The tendency toward formal behavior is strengthened by the tradition of using titles. The use of someone's first name is limited to older family members addressing younger ones and to very good friends.
It usually takes daily contact over a number of years before people are on a first-name basis. Much less informal contact reinforces the social distance between people.
Because Czech apartments are small, invitations to visit and casual dropping by occur only among good friends.
Czechs stand at arm's length from each other unless they are conveying information that should not be overheard. Like other Europeans, Czechs do not show as much consideration as one finds in Britain or in smaller cities in the United States when several people are boarding a streetcar, bus, or train or waiting to be served in a store.
Their tendency to get ahead of others may reflect the experience of the socialist years, when people had to stand in lines for scarce goods.
Because there are no significant differences in social equality by virtue of position or ethnic background with the exception of the Romany [Gypsies], who are disapproved of for allegedly committing petty thefts , the rules of etiquette are alike for all members of the society.
Because Czechs emphasize cleanliness, most remove their shoes when entering private homes. They eat in the Continental style, with the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right, and there is no special attempt to converse at meals.
When attending cultural events, Czechs dress for the occasion, and young women try to follow the latest styles. Younger people tend to be more informal and self-confident than their elders.
Religious Beliefs. Christianity was brought to the area of the Czech Republic during the ninth century by missionaries from Germany to the west the Latin rite and the Byzantine Empire to the southeast the Eastern rite.
The missionaries of the Eastern rite were the brothers Constantine later renamed Cyril and Methodius, natives of Thessalonica in Macedonia.
They arrived in , invited by Rostislav or Rastislav , ruler of the Great Moravian Empire, and devised the first Slavic writing system, in which they published parts of the Bible in a Slavic language that was intelligible to the local population.
The arrival of the Magyars in the middle Danube area near the end of the ninth century and their subsequent raids to the north led to the disintegration of the Great Moravian Empire and weakened the influence of the Eastern rite.
By People walking through the public square in Prague, Czech Republic. A breach with Rome took place during the first half of the fifteenth century as a consequence of the reform movement begun by Jan Hus.
After Hus was burned at the stake in Constance in , his legacy became a lasting aspect of the national heritage.
It was reinforced in the middle of the sixteenth century by the attempts of Ferdinand I, the Holy Roman emperor and Bohemian king, to bring the population back under the influence of the Roman Catholic Church.
After the army of the Bohemian estates was defeated by Ferdinand II in the Battle of White Mountain in , Catholicism and Hapsburg rule tended to be equated as symbols of foreign oppression.
Precise numbers of the members of various denominations are not available; approximate percentages are Roman Catholics, 40 percent; Protestants, 4 to 5 percent; Orthodox, 1 percent; and uncommitted, atheists, and agnostics, 54 percent.
Many Czech Catholics tend to be lukewarm in their faith.