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  • #347629

    Anonymous

    I took my girlfriend and older son to a Masopust celebration on Saturday for my birthday. It was an excellent night! It was at the Dallas Sokol center, and the turnout was smaller than they were used to, but was very crowded at the beginning of the night. I found that the actual Czechs outnumbered the Czech Americans, which was a surprise, but perhaps shouldn’t have been, as Dallas is one of the ten largest cities in the US. 

    The main entertainment was Eva a Vašek from the Czech Republic, backed by Czech Americans Danny Zapletal and David Slovak from Texas band Czech & Then Some. They played about three full sets of well-known polkas & waltzes, with some pop, country & classic rock thrown in. Good stuff. In between sets, local DJ Andrea Potiska spun mixes of pop, country, and some East Euro pop that sounded very Balkan, and was a lot of fun. Also between sets, Slovak pop-folk singer Ivan Hvojnik played a few mini-sets, and he was REALLY good, even if he dressed like a mafiosi and hit on my girl. I went to talk to him about his music, and he was very nice, though he said something I didn’t quite get: “Yes, very nice to meet you. Next time, I play some Croatian melody to go along with the polka and waltzes, just for you.” Not really sure what that was about, as I hadn’t mentioned Croatian anything, but it was a lot of fun! 

    My son played with a bunch of boys and girls his age, and my girl won a beautiful Bohemian crystal serving platter. She had a GREAT time. The wine and beer was flowing, and about halfway through the night, she says: “Here’s my opinion on your people so far – a lot of drinking and accordion music, the children are ill-behaved, and the women dress VERY provocatively.” I responded: “So, what you’re saying is…we’re Mexicans.” If you’re from Texas, that might actually be funny, hahaha. Oh, and the difference in the dress of the Czech women was pretty provocative: incredibly tight dresses, incredibly short skirts, heels or thigh-high boots. The men – including all the old-timers – really seemed to enjoy it, myself included. 

    Oh, and there was one table with what had to be three Roma gypsies, hahahaha….the absolute DARKEST Czech-speaking people I’d ever seen! I thought they were strangely-dressed Mexicans at first, then I heard them speak.

    #447067

    Anonymous

    No automatic alt text available
    Cool portrait of Jan Žižka above the trophy case.

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    The band.

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    The food: vepro knedlo zelo with green beans. The kraut was the best I’ve ever eaten, though the dumplings were merely passable. My mom’s are much, much better.

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    Later in the night, after many people had left. Still a great time!

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    One of my favorite beers. Just wish it was stronger!

    #447069

    Anonymous

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10evwfjR3GU

    A video of Ivan Hvojnik, filmed in the same venue I saw him in on Saturday, the Sokol Hall of Dallas.

    #447072

    Anonymous

    Cool! Is the Dallas Sokol center named after the Sokol organization or is it just a coincidence?

    #447073

    Anonymous

    It’s a part of the Sokol organization. Such a cool place, too!

    #447074

    Anonymous

    You mentioned a book about the Czecho-Slovak Legion some time ago.
    Does the book contain any information about the Sokol organization?

    With the onset of World War I,
    in 1915 the Sokols were officially disbanded. Many members were active
    in persuading the Czechs to defect from the Austro-Hungarian army to the
    Russian side. Sokol members also helped create the Czechoslovak Legions
    and local patrols that kept order after the disintegration of Habsburg
    authority, and during the creation of Czechoslovakia in October 1918.
    They also fulfilled their title as the “Czech national army”, helping to
    defend Slovakia against the invasion of Béla Kun and the Hungarians.

    #447075

    Anonymous

    That’s fucking awesome. Though I haven’t had time to pick it up in a while, I’m sure the book mentions the Sokols, especially if they were such a big part of that.

    #447077

    Anonymous

    My son was jealous that most of the other kids his age could speak Czech. Looks like I have a parenting mistake to remedy.

    #447079

    Anonymous

    Also, the Sokol members greeting phrase “Nazdar!” was used in the Legion as well.

    The greeting is still used in Czechia and Slovakia today.
    We used this greeting in the gym class with teachers on both “basic school” (~6-15 y.o.) and “middle school” (~15-19 y.o.) and it’s still used in schools. When the class starts, the teacher says “Nazdar!” and students reply with “Zdar, Miss teacher!” At least we did it that way.

    Outside school it’s an informal greeting that you can use with your friends.

    The meaning of the word is “to success” or something like that (my English is limited). Literally “na” means “on” and “zdar” means “success”. It’s written together when it’s used as a greeting.

    #447080

    Anonymous

    My son was jealous that most of the other kids his age could speak Czech. Looks like I have a parenting mistake to remedy.

    If he wants to speak Czech (or any other language), it’s best to start at an early age. You should buy him a book or try some free online courses, whatever works.

    #447081

    Anonymous

    Gonna teach him the few words and phrases I know, and get him a book for starters.

    #447084

    Anonymous

    Awsome, is there no Czech school in Texas , like an after school thing where Czech kids learn the language? Usually churches offer this. 

    #447086

    Anonymous

    @srdceleva

    Yeah, Dallas Sokol offers it on Sundays, but we’re much closer to Ft. Worth. I’ll see about this side of town.

    #447133

    Anonymous

    Well, the plan worked. The mrs. wants to go to as many Czech cultural events/celebrations as we can.

    #448476

    Anonymous

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    The world’s largest hand-painted Czech Easter egg in Wilson, Kansas…because Kansas.

    This is the area my grandfather is from.

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