Visiting Slovaks and Czechs in Rumania (Abbreviated)

LÉTO 2011 Naši ve světě English
obálka čísla

It took us about 9 hours by car to drive from Prague to Rumania. I was traveling with Mirko Janecek, who was born in Nadlak, Rumania. This town was founded by Slovaks in 1803. Even in those days Czechs and Slovaks were leaving Austria-Hungary for economic reasons, but also to escape national or religious oppression. Jirka speaks Rumanian, Czech, Slovak, German, English and maybe more languages. He lives now in Prague with his family and works as a court translator. He was driving to Nadlak to pick up his 82-year old father to bring him to Prague.

In Nadlak we were met by the parents of my friend Vlasta Lazu. She is the editor and director of the Czech and Slovak Program on Radio Temesvar( (Timiasora).

Next day I took a walk around Nadlak. It is a quiet and pretty town with parks, churches- Catholic and Protestant. In the shops I could speak Czech or Slovak and people understood me very well.. I started a conversation with a lady on the street- she spoke beautiful Slovak.

In the afternoon Mr. Vasile Ciceak, the town mayor, picked me up and drove me to Temesvar. I found out that I would be required to act as a radio announcer today for the Czech and Slovak Radio Temesvar. First I read some news from the Czech Center and then we conducted and interview with Mirko Janecko. I explained that I was particularly interested in the local Czechs. Mr. Janecko asked me whether the Czechs here or elsewhere are the same or different from each other. I said that basically they are all the same- they usually do very well wherever they settle. Many acquire land and farm. They build churches and schools. They keep their traditions and help each other to survive. The Slovaks and Czechs in Rumania kept their original language for more generations than the ones in Texas.

On Saturday Vlasta and I traveled about 15 km to a nearby Czech village called Pereg More. We were invited by a Czech minister of the Evangelical church, Rev. Jaroslav Kalousek (spelled Kalouzsek). He comes from the third generation born here. There was a lot of singing in church which pleased me very much. I also found out that the first Czech Protestants came here from the Caslav area around 1860. They had a Czech school and an amateur theater club. Czech teachers came here around 1948-50.

It was a most pleasant and interesting visit.

Eva Strizovska
Abbreviated translation by Marie Dolanska

Vydavatelem Českého dialogu je Mezinárodní český klub

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