Showing posts from March, 2018

Easter Celebration Without the Resurrection

We recently found that Prague has Easter markets in several squares around the city. Similar to the Christmas markets, the little wooden booths are set up in open spaces (often in front of churches) several weeks before Easter to sell seasonal decorations and products. They bring some color to the early spring atmosphere. Every market we've seen has an Easter egg tree decorated with colorful ribbons and giant eggs. Chicks, baby bunnies, and colorful eggs abound in these markets. Colorful spring decorations for your house can be purchased from several vendors. There are also vendors selling food and drinks. One of the vendors was dressed in a traditional Czech costume, so he could sell his Czech food. Among all these wares that could be purchased at the Easter market, one thing was missing. Nothing explained the reason for the Easter season. No mention at all of the death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. At least in the Christmas markets, a ma

Think it "Ova"

How do you like my new name? Did you see it in the document on the left? Connie Cortrightova. I didn't know I'd have a new name when I moved to the Czech Republic. According to tradition, all females have the suffix "ova" added to their last name. It quite literally means "belonging to", as in belonging to a father or husband. Not quite politically correct, according to feminists in the US. What do you think Hillary Clintonova would think of it? How about Meryl Streepova or Julia Robertsova? I hear that things may change - even in the CZ - in the near future with the more modern approach to life, but who knows how long the government will take to make a pronouncement on this topic. This long held tradition does cause some problems for women or girls born here. I've heard of several cases where confusion caused chaos because of this. A Czech-born woman was having a baby in England. Of course, her birth certificate had "ova" at the

The Babe on the Bill

March 8 is known as International Women's Day here. The holiday is equivalent to Mother's Day in the US, but was instigated during the Communist era for Russia and Eastern European countries. I went on a walking tour of Prague that day to learn a bit more about the history of the Czech Republic's famous women. One of these women now appear on their money - 500 korunas. Her name is Bozena Nemcova. Since she's on one of their bills, one would think that she was famous for something during her lifetime. That is far from the case, however. She died penniless at the age of 42 from a terminal disease. She lived from 1820 - 1862 while Prague was part of the Austrian Empire. At that time, the land around Prague was known as Bohemia, and the common language was German. The Czech language had almost entirely disappeared during the 18th Century because the Austrians demanded the use of German in their empire. Statue of Nemcova in a park Earlier in the 19th Century, the

Czech Cooking

In all the months that I've lived in Prague, I've learned to cook only one Czech recipe - Segedinsky Goulash. I thought I'd share it with you today. Goulash is the main stay for food in the CZ. Wherever we go to eat out, goulash is always on the menu. We tried it shortly after moving to Prague. My opinion of goulash is that it's very boring. Our co-worker Ben suggested that we try Segedinsky Goulash. The sauerkraut in the recipe takes it out of the boring category. He helped me make this tasty dish and then handed me a copy of the recipe. The trouble is that it was from a Czech cookbook. I made the recipe in my kitchen later, but had to try to figure out what the directions meant in English. I'll spare you the original Czech language and try to give you directions on how to make it. But if you really want a taste of Czech, here is the list of ingredients: masa, mouky, oleje, cibule, papriky, bobkove listy, koreni, pepre, vina, zeli, and zakysane smetany.