Hi Everyone/ Ahoj vsichni,
This is the 3rd part of Ivana’s research paper on a current situation of Czech-Americans (myself included). I found these results rather intriguing (question no. 10) and also found myself pleasantly surprised at times (question no. 11 and 12). Check it out:
CZ: Zde je treti cast Ivanina veledila zabyvajici se situaci soucasnych Cecho-Americanu. Jsou to opravdu velmi zajimave vysledky, zejmena otazka c. 10 a otazky c. 11 a 12 mi udelaly velkou radost. Mrkntete na to:
• Question no. 10 asked about the knowledge of the Czech language among respondents (159 total). More than half, 82 answered positively, 77 acknowledged their inability to speak Czech. Out of the 82 respondents with knowledge of Czech language 31 also use it at home, 23 were relearning the language in courses. 11 respondents mentioned the way the knowledge of Czech language disappeared in their families, they all concurred in the assimilation forces and their parents desire to blend fast in the major American society from which arose the disconnection of passing the language to other generations.
• The question no. 11 is curious about the Czech holidays or festive days which today’s Czech-Americans still celebrate with their families. 77 respondents do not celebrate Czech holidays and do not keep any Czech traditions, Christmas meant Santa Claus for them, 68 do celebrate and keep some, Christmas meant Jezisek for them, 13 celebrate Czech as well as American holidays and keep traditions of both cultures, Christmas meant Santa Claus and Jezisek for them, 1 did not answer. The Czech traditions they named in the survey were Czech Easter traditions – decorating eggs with hot wax for this festive day, vendage celebration in Fall, All Souls’ Day, Three Kings in early January, Hus Day in July, The Establishment of an Independent Czechoslovak State in October 28, and typical Czech celebrations of the Name day. The surprising fact was the broad knowledge of St. Nicholas (Mikulas) celebrated at the beginning of December. Majority of 159 respondents were familiar with Mikulas and nearly the same amount keep this tradition in their families.
- The 12th question was interested about the maintenance of Czech cooking in today’s Czech-American families. Surprisingly 133 admitted cooking Czech meals, 9 confessed the lack of ability to cook Czech food at their homes, on the other hand were regular customers in Czech restaurants, 16 did not cook any Czech cuisine, and 1 did not answer. Among the culinary favorites were roast port with dumplings and sauerkraut (vepro-knedlo-zelo), kolache, fruit dumplings and dumplings as such, pastry, baking “buchta”, “vanocka”, strudl, and “cukrovi” for Christmas, goulash, home made sausages and kraut, then “svickova” and roast pork. The recipes are passed from mother to daughter and the same system functioned with passing the whole cookbooks.
The second part of this question asked about the traditions the respondents keep and that they would consider Czech. Aside from the already mentioned Easter and Christmas traditions the love for music, singing and dances, especially polka and waltz were stressed, then Three Kings initials written on the front door and camping were mentioned. Paradoxically the Czech customs that are not often even recognized as purely Czech were remarked, such as showering at night and taking off the shoes inside the house :0))