Celebrating Czech National Day

It’s probably escaped your attention but today is Czech National Day, the anniversary of the date in 1918 when the new state of Czechoslovakia was declared. My wife Vee is half Czech, so we follow these things.

Vee’s father was a famous World War Two pilot, so were were invited to attend the National Day celebration at the Czech Embassy in London. The Czech Ambassador made a short but skilful speech reminding us of the dramatic and different stages that the country has undergone since its formation.

From 1918 to 1938, it was a successful democracy with a thriving economy in  spite of the challenges of a multi-ethnic population and hostile neighbours. From 1938 to 1945, it was subject to brutal Nazi occupation. From 1946 to 1989, it was under suffocating Communist control. In 1993, the Czech and Slovak Republics went their separate ways. This weekend, Czech national elections produced a very messy result with the largest party, the Social Democrats, only managing to win 20.5% of the votes.

Let us hope that the picture looks more promising when the Czechs celebrate 100 years of statehood in five years time in 2018.


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