Sokol -The Sokol Slet of 2006
This was the third SOKOL festival since the Velvet Revolution of 1989. It took place at the Rosicky Stadium at the Letna in Prague in July. The weather was perfect, even though a bit too hot. Yet it did not dampen the enthusiasm and élan of the participants or of the visitors. It is always a pleasure to be there, because you meet so many nice, kind and well- behaved people! Men, women and children of all ages present their gymnastic routines to music that is often composed specially for this occasion.
The festivities started with a parade through Prague in which all the units participatethe local groups as well as those coming from other lands. The streets were full of happy and excited onlookers and it is always an unforgettable experience for all. For me each festival is one of the happiest times in my life. Allow me to tell a personal story: My mother was an enthusiastic member of Sokol for many years. She took part in the Sokol Slet of 1948 - the first Slet after the communist takeover. The unpopular communist president Klement Gottwald sat on the main platform. The Sokols decided to turn their heads AWAY from him while marching by to show their protest . After arriving home, my mother related the whole episode to the family. I remember my father saying: "Just wait, you are going to pay for this!" And he was right: We did pay and how! The communists cancelled the whole organization and imprisoned most Sokol leaders for many years. Some of them decided to flee the country never to return. This is one of the reasons why I always take part in every Sokol festival - to honor all the Sokols past and present and also the Sokol founders Tyrs and Fugner.Jana Volfová Translated by Marie Dolanska
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