Magazine

29-05-2004

How do you encourage people to have babies? One mayor has tried booking a hotel and paying for dinner. Forget the DVD -the cinema train's coming! And, museums seen "in a new light" -after dark. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.

How do you encourage people to have babies? Some say it can't be done. Others are still trying and with the Czech Republic's gloomy demographic trend there's good reason to try. The mayor of Brno has launched a project that has the entire country chuckling. He's booked an entire hotel for one night for couples willing to make babies. The set day -or rather night - is June 12th .It will be the mayor who'll be paying for a romantic dinner, plenty of good wine and a hotel room for 103 couples willing to give it a serious try. The only condition is that contraceptives should not be used. The mayor has promised any couple which are successful in their endeavour that sponsors will pay for everything their baby needs in the first year of its life. So will this get the town more babies? People think not - predicting that the mayor will give a lot of couples a good laugh and dinner at his expense - but then you never know.....

 

Now - more suggestions as to what you can fill your nights with here in the Czech Republic. People not making babies on June 5th can visit a museum after dark. The event is called Museum Nights and is well known in Vienna and other European cities. In fact the number of night visitors to museums in Vienna was allegedly over 50,000 people last year. In Prague you can visit the National Museum, the Museum of Prague, the Museum of technology and many others which will be shown to you "in a different light" as the organizers say. The fee on that one night is voluntary - whatever you feel you want to contribute.

 

The Superstar contest in the Czech Republic has spiralled into a teenage frenzy despite the fact that there are still 4 more rounds of the competition to go. At the launch of a joint CD - a single produced by the top ten stars, last weekend police and security men fought to keep the situation in control. Thousands of teenagers turned up for the event straining to get as close to their idols as possible. "It was bedlam -one of the security guards said later - kids were screaming, crying, fainting all over the place. I haven't seen anything like it since the Beatles." The 10 stars behaved like troupers - signing endless autographs in the midst of the chaos - and saying they loved the attention.

 

Cinema trainCinema train How do you make a festival come to people instead of the other way round. The organizers of the International Film Festival for Young People seem to have found a solution: and it's called the cinema train or "cinema on the rails". In the next few weeks the cinema train will travel around the country stopping in various towns and cities for several screenings a day that kids can attend. The idea of going to see a film on a train is a novelty that will attract kids- and not all of them would be able to come to Zlin for the annual film festival - so we come to them instead, the president of the festival, Viteslav Jandak explained. There is no fee and during screening the train is parked at the railway station of the given town, so there's no danger of your offspring taking off on a lengthy trip without you. The festival in Zlin starts on May 30th, but the cinema train will be in action throughout the month of June.

 

Czech doctors have launched a fight against the annual beauty contests that create the impression that skinny is beautiful. They've sent a joint protest letter to the president of the Miss Czech Republic Beauty Contest informing him about the increasing number of teenagers suffering from anorexia and bulimia. The doctors say many of the contestants are dangerously underweight and that an increasing number of Czech teenage girls starve themselves in order to reach that goal. The doctors insist that if nothing else, the organizers of the beauty contest could at least drop the information about the contestants' measurements.

 

You probably know that the Czech Republic makes Skoda cars -but did you know it also makes tractors? Zetor tractors which worked hard to fulfil the communists' five year plans have been given a major overhaul of course. Today a Zetoer tractor boasts air conditioning, a fridge, a radio, a video and a GPS navigation system. In the first three months of this year Zetor sold over 2,000 such tractors - and almost all of them were sold abroad, primarily to the EU member states. Every seventh tractor made in Zetor ends up in the United States.

 

Czechs are buying more and more medicaments to stay healthy. Last year they spent 52 billion crowns on medicines - up by approximately 10% as compared to the previous year. Since days off with a flu mean a lower salary many Czechs buy loads of over the counter flu medicine, painkillers and immunity boosters to cure themselves on the go. Doctors warn that many people are careless in combining different drugs and suggest that they should have more respect for the advice of the chemist. With the country's EU entry Czechs will have access to even more medicaments that before because an EU registration of the given medicament will now suffice. Doctors' advice that you should take a walk before you pop a pill for your killer headache usually goes unheard.

 

Over 700 preschool and primary school children met in Prague's Holesovice district this week for a belated EU celebration. Each had a balloon on which he or she wrote a message or drew a picture for someone in the EU. 700 balloons reading " Hi there, Europe" or " With love from ..." filled the evening sky as kids tried to see where their own one was heading and wondered how soon they could hope for a reply.....

29-05-2004