A new-born boy was placed into a babybox in Blansko, South Moravia on
Saturday evening. The baby is the 200th infant in the Czech Republic to be
abandoned in this manner.
The babybox system was introduced in 2005 by founder Ludvík Hess. There are now 76 such facilities monitored by doctors across the country.
Thursday marks the European Day of Languages, which is celebrated annually across the continent. It aims to promote the rich linguistic diversity of Europe and raise awareness of the importance of lifelong language learning. Here in the Czech Republic, the European Day of Languages will be marked at Prague’s Campus Hybernská. Visitors can attend exhibitions and lectures as well as special language courses, from Yakut and Yiddish to Faroese and Sarkese.
Linguist and budding historian Martin Neudörfl is on a mission to codify and save two languages from extinction: Sercquiais, a Norman dialect from the Channel Island of Sark only four people speak as natives, and Šumava Bavarian, the West Germanic language of his ancestors from Český Krumlov – where he’s helped revive the Schwarzenberg guard, of which he is the youngest captain in history and official archivist.
Officials at Mělník hospital say a healthy new-born boy was left in their
baby-box on Wednesday evening. According to the founder of the Czech
baby-box system, the boy was in good condition and was given the name
Since the system was introduced in 2005, altogether 188 children unwanted by their parents have been saved through baby-boxes. There are currently 76 such facilities, monitored by doctors, across the Czech Republic,
Masopust (Mardi Gras) celebrations are culminating in many parts of the
country ahead of Ash Wednesday.
The annual carnival in which people dress up in masks and costumes traditionally takes place between the Epiphany and Ash Wednesday, which falls on March 6th this year, when the pre-Easter forty day fast begins.
Although few Czechs observe the fast these days, the Masopust celebrations which were seen as the last chance to eat heartily and make merry for over a month, are extremely popular.
If you visit the Czech countryside at the start of the year you are likely to receive an invitation to attend a "zabijačka" – in other words a pig-slaughter feast; a centuries old tradition that is still observed in many parts of the country. While for some it is a barbaric practice that has no place in the present-day, for others it is an important part of village folklore that brings people together.
Today, nine out of 10 Czech children are learning English at school. It seems strange that for decades English was considered the language of the enemy – first by Nazi Germany, which occupied present-day Czechia; and later by the communist totalitarian regime. This is the story of an extraordinary man for whom English was a lifelong passion no matter who was in power.