I had traveled around the world a great deal- as our readers know - yet - the more I learn about other countries, the happier I am to come back to the beautiful places of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia whose charm I really appreciate now more fully. All the natural loveliness of the green hills full of raspberries, blackberries, mushrooms and the wonderful peace and quiet; fields full of grain waving in the breeze, running streams, little lakes surrounded by willows bending over the quiet waters, bubbling brooks, old castles and chateaus, Gothic and Baroque churches, romantic farms, folk creativity, sparrows and finches romping in the orchards, deer on the meadows in the woods, as well as the historic heritage of our wise ancestors recorded in poems, books, paintings, sculptures, architecture, or simply in happenings that remain in the memory of places, regions, and provinces.
CHODSKO is a very original and beautiful region in the SUMAVA. It is famous for example because of the story of the heroic Jan Sladky Kozina who opposed those who wanted to rob the proud Chodsko people of their ancient privileges. The well-known picture of the tall and robust Kozina in a long fur coat with a dog at his feet became a model for a sculpture of him on a hill called Hradek near Kozina’s birthplace Ujezd. On top of another hill named Vyhledy stands another sculpture – that of a priest and writer Jindrich Simon Baar - also a Chodsko native. An anniversary of his birth will be celebrated here next year. You can learn more about him in our 2009 Czech calendar. Another important native of Chodsko is the musician and composer Jindrich Jindrich, the well known bagpipe artist Konrady (and Milan Cvach of Nebraska who bought a bagpipe from him).
In Mrakov you may see every Sunday people in beautiful local costumes going to church Grandmothers and children are the most colorful. The local priest told me that his church is visited quite often by Germans who come across the border to take part in the Czech service.
The Czech writer J. S. Baar relates in his book “TOWARD GOD” what the Czech preacher Josef Panek told his American children on his deathbed:
“What shall we promise you, Father?”
“First of all- that you shall not forsake your faith and – that you shall not denounce your mother tongue. Those two things must go together. All of you know English – but that should be only the language for business. At home, in the family, and in church always talk only Czech, which is the sacred language of our forefathers. We brought you up in those two – in the faith and in our mother tongue. Never be ashamed of either one – and you will be happy and prosper.”Eva Strizovska
Translated by Marie Dolanska
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