Prague Spring in 1968 brought to Canada about 21,000 Czech and Slovak immigrants. How are they doing now? They are just fine but their kids seem to have forgotten their Czech roots. Why is that? It certainly cannot be for the lack of exposure because Toronto is simply overflowing with Czech “fingerprints”. Here are some examples:
- Masaryktown quarter
- Czech library
- Czech restaurant
- “Czech” park – favorite meet up place of local Czechs
- Czech theater
- Czech newspaper Novy domov
- Czech schools for children
and the list goes on….
Radio Praha interviewed couple of these Toronto “kids” ( they are about 20 years old now) to see what the cause of the lack of interest toward the Czech herritage was. Some of the “excuses” are listed bellow:
- the Czech activities are too far, they live in the center
- there are other fun, no-Czech activities to do around Toronto
How do they feel about reading a Czech book?
- it’s too hard
Radio Prague also asked a historical expert Roman Zaoral about this “problem”. He seems to blame it on the parents (probably true). Mr. Zaoral also adds that this kind of disinterest seems to be very common with the 2nd generation of Czechs. However, the 3rd generation has completely integrated into the Canadian lifestyle.
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