Strange Things are Happening in the World
A lot of strange things are happening in the world. Not only, do some people place bombs on railroad tracks granted, these individuals need psychiatric help, but there are other events that make us wonder where we all stand. In our so- called democratic state of Czech Republic, it is possible for a criminal to register his own political party. This individual, Viktor Kozeny is being prosecuted for defrauding millions. His party is called the Civil Federal Democracy (OFD) and he is planning to run in the June elections for European Parliament. What have the law officials and policemen dealing with his case been doing to let it get this far?
And when I look at the Gallup poll of different agencies I see that the winners are the ODS and Communist parties so why not have the crook Kozeny get his share in this moral mish- mush?
As reported in the media, the Czech Republic has launched its first advertising campaign abroad to attract tourists to our beautiful land. About 30 million crowns had been invested in this venture. Our country is talked about as a restful, friendly place to stay, right in the heart of Europe. The Czech Republic with its historical monuments and beautiful countryside is said to be a safe place to spend a holiday. However, evil tongues in their commentaries say that what is being omitted is information about pickpockets in the Metro, dishonest taxi drivers, and helplessness of the police to ensure order in the streets.
Now I should change the subject so I don’t dwell upon just negative subjects in my editorials as one of my readers from Sweden reminded me. We can always find something positive to write about. (See page 23-24.
There is good news that in the future when a woman marries a foreigner, she will not have to use the ending "ova" or other such endings in her married name. It means that when a woman marries a man with the name of Wilson, she will be able to call herself Mrs. Wilson instead of Mrs. Wilsonova. We shall finally be able to write or talk about Margaret Thatcher instead of Margaret Thatcherova. A battle of words between language experts and members of parliament preceded this decision. At the end common sense prevailed and it was decided that a woman has a right to decide what she wants to be called. It sure seems strange, however, that parliament had to become involved in that "problem" taking into consideration the fact that in other countries it is the woman’s own business not needing anybody’s approval. One of my schoolmates in Switzerland has been called Zuzana Kunstovny since 1968 and another one in Canada, Jana Trnka. One of my friends who had come back to this country from Canada has a Canadian passport with the name of Schultz and a Czech passport with the name of Sulcova. As far as the spelling of the name goes, it’s a long story. When she applied here for an ID she was told that she could not use the name of Schultz because it had been legally changed abroad from Sulc to Schultz because of pronunciation. Thus she had to go back to Sulc with the appropriate ending of "ova". It seems that she now has 2 identities to coordinate with, I suppose, the 2 citizenships that she holds. And here, I’ve not even started to talk about citizenships. Evidently, several of our renowned politicians have two or more citizenships but a Czech friend of mine coming back from Switzerland "lost" his Czech citizenship this year, because in 1997 he had gotten a Swiss citizenship. Well, I must say all this is beyond me, but I shall try to get back to it in future editions of the Czech Dialogue after consultation with appropriate authorities. In the meantime let’s just be happy that we no longer have to change our names if we prefer not to.
Hi Dasa van der Horst in Holland!
Yours truly,Eva Strizovska
Translated by Pavla Schultz
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