Tea sales in Czech supermarkets have been decreasing over the last three years, the Czech News Agency reported on Wednesday quoting supermarket chains, tea retailers and the Nielsen consultancy firm. Between December 2012 and November 2013, 3,362 tonnes of tea were sold in the Czech Republic, which was 1 percent more than in the previous period but one percent less than two years ago, according to Nielsen. However, sales of loose tea in specialized shops have grown; the largest Czech loose tea retailer, Oxalis, reported a 12-percent rise in turnover last year. Black and fruit teas remain the most popular with Czechs accounting for 75 percent of all sales, with lemon-flavoured tea topping the list.
Education Minister Pavel Dobeš has confirmed that a school inspection team will visit an elementary school in Prague 13, after one of its teachers suggested during a recent TV broadcast that sex education there was being taught in an inappropriate manner. The school’s principal, Pavel Petrnoušek, is a contributor to an Education Ministry-recognised guidebook for teachers on how to teach sex education courses. The manual dates back to 2009. According to the teacher, Arjana Shameti, some students at the school complained to her about the sex ed. course – expressing embarrassment over some topics discussed or the methods used. Principal Pavel Petrnoušek has reacted by filing a lawsuit against the teacher, saying she had breached her contract and damaged the good name of the school. The incident has raised questions over how sex education is taught in Czech classrooms.
The Christian Democratic Party has criticized the Education Ministry for an internet guide that provides guidelines on how to teach sex education in schools. The party’s deputy leader, Michaela Sojdrova, says that the guidelines, written by two prominent Czech sex-therapists, are too clinical in their approach to problems such as unwanted pregnancies, STDs, different sexual orientations and sex deviations. The Christian Democrats want the guidelines revised and are pushing for girls and boys to be instructed on the subject separately.
Cardinal Miroslav Vlk has addressed the recent wave of accusations of child abuse against the Catholic Church, saying that it is necessary to reanalyse the way priests are trained in sexual morality. Writing on his website, the head of the Czech Catholic Church called the alleged acts of abuse an offence to God and primarily a gross violation of the human dignity of helpless persons. He also concurred with the Vatican that the institution of celibacy is not to blame for the scandal. Czech priests have not been implicated in the new scandals, in which hundreds of allegations of child abuse have been raised against Catholic priests in six other European states. Cardinal Vlk wrote that in the 20 years of his leadership of the Diocese of Prague he has never received any word of a case of child abuse by a Church official.
The Czech national beverage is unquestionably beer but, more and more Czechs are taking a fancy to quite a different liquid – tea. Not only does the Czech Republic have the highest number of tea rooms per person in Europe; Czechs have recently become the first Europeans to join the prestigious World Tea Union, an association joining tea experts from all over the world.
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Take some new age music, mix it with Turkish rugs, Moroccan tiles and Chinese lanterns and finally, add some tea - what you get is a typical Czech cajovna or tearoom, a place which has gradually won its place alongside Czech pubs. Not that tea could ever pose a serious threat to beer - the most popular Czech beverage, but its position on the market seems to have become unshakable over the last two decades.
While the spread of AIDS is becoming increasingly difficult to contain in some parts of the world, statistics suggest that the Czech Republic is a fairly sheltered country in this respect. To date 807 people are registered HIV positive, 76 are AIDS sufferers and 118 people have succumbed to the disease. But do these statistics reflect the real picture or merely the tip of the iceberg?