Czech Dialogue puts together Czechs at home and abroad

05-08-2003

Are you a Czech expat who is missing the chance to use your mother tongue? Or maybe you're a second generation Czech who would like to keep in touch with events in the homeland of your ancestors, but you think your Czech is not good enough? Are you interested in Czech history, folklore and humour? Well, there is a chance for all of you - it's called Czech Dialogue and it's a bilingual magazine bringing together Czechs at home and abroad.

For thirteen years, members of Czech expat communities all around the world have had the chance to keep in touch with news from Czech politics and art, as well as stories from the country's past, thanks to a monthly magazine called Cesky dialog, or Czech Dialogue, published in both Czech and English. The mother of the project is Eva Strizovska, now editor-in-chief of the magazine.

"I first got the idea when I was exchanging letters with my friends and schoolmates who had left Czechoslovakia. At the same time I started contributing to an Australian Czech newspaper and I enjoyed the work because we received a lot of feedback, so I thought why not start a special magazine for Czech expats?"

Around 1000 copies, about one half of the print run, are sold in the Czech Republic and the rest is shipped to countries all around the world, but mostly North America where 95 percent of Czech expatriates are believed to live. The readership as well as the authors are varied: people who left Czechoslovakia in the 1950s, after the Soviet invasion in 1968 but also 3rd, 4th or even 5th-generation Czechs - the descendants of those who settled abroad in the 19th century. Some of these people are now searching for their roots, they travel to the Czech Republic and try to learn some Czech.

Over the years, a small community gathered around the Prague-based magazine and started its own activities.

"I started publishing the magazine as a private person, first in Czech. After a few years, Czech Dialogue attracted a faithful circle of authors, contributors and supporters and eventually, an association was established, called the "International Czech Club". It took responsibility of the publication of the magazine and I am now only the editor-in-chief. The club puts in touch Czechs from all over the world - those who emigrated, those who were born abroad or are merely working there. So it provides contact between Czechs abroad and Czechs at home."

If you'd like to subscribe to Czech Dialogue or even contribute to it, you can write to strizovska@seznam.cz. For more information, go to www.cesky-dialog.net

05-08-2003