Check out your ancestors! A burial site offers the chance to conduct DNA tests. Czechs tolerance regarding sex stops short when it comes to their own children, and the girl with the longest hair rebels and has it cut off. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarová.
The inhabitants of Netolice are being asked to participate in a unique scientific experiment. After the discovery of a well-preserved Přemyslid burial site dating back from the 11th to the 13th centuries they asked the locals – especially the old settlers whose families had lived there for generations – to give DNA samples which would be compared to DNA samples acquired from the remains found in the burial site. The locals could thus find out if their distant ancestors were Přemyslids who lived in this settlement thousands of years ago. Despite a lot of initial excitement around the project, scientists say they are disappointed with the subsequent lack of interest. They handed out 150 DNA testing kits to the old-settlers in town – and only thirty handed them back – of that only 15 were usable since the others had not adhered to the simple instructions. A second more urgent appeal has now been made to the public. Archeologists say they have good reason to believe that they would be successful in establishing a definite link. The given area was inhabited by a big Premyslid settlement and its inhabitants were not given to migrating. Moreover, the skeletons uncovered in the burial site are very well preserved and afforded many DNA samples for the comparative study. Unfortunately, the living are far less eager to cooperate.
Should kids get the benefit of sex education from an early age? Experts say absolutely – in order to prevent abuse and unwanted pregnancies. However despite Czech society’s generally tolerant attitude when it comes to sex, people are far more conservative when it comes to their own children. When the Education Ministry published a sex-education brochure intended to help teachers tackle the subject in the classroom there was an uproar. Six thousand parents signed a petition against it – slamming it for being too graphic and talking openly about things like homosexuality, masturbation, orgasm and oral sex. They moreover insisted that any sex education given to their children should be closely consulted with themselves. An attitude that is likely to make teachers – already nervous about having to broach the subject of sex – even more so. Funnily enough, the only unperturbed party in all this are the kids themselves – who appear to know a great deal more than their parents would dream of and who talk about it using a vocabulary that would make teachers cringe.
Tea-lovers should not miss the second annual ČajoMír Festival due to be held in Prague’s Vyšehrady park on August 21st. The festival of tea and peace will begin at sunrise and last until dusk with tea-masters performing their rites for the public. People will be able to sample teas from different parts of the world and learn about the ancient art of making and serving tea from Korean and Japanese masters. This year the festival will focus especially on Korean tea culture, which is largely unknown to those outside of Asia, and the festival is being held under the auspices of the Korean embassy in Prague. Last year the festival was attended by over 2,000 people. A ticket to the grounds will give you access to all the accompanying events and free tea samples.
Stuntman Petr Fiedor this week wowed the public with another of his incredible feats. He filled his sandals with shards of broken glass from a smashed beer bottle and proceeded to walk up Křemešník hill in them, setting a new Czech record. He said the walk was merely a warm-up for a much bigger record he is planning to set – ascending the three best-know Czech mountain peaks –Snežka, Říp and Blaník – in glass filled sandals within the space of 24 hours.
The ruins of an old castle at Helfenburg, southern Bohemia, will be the site of a goat festival at the weekend. Although people are invited – they will have to take a back-seat. Goats will be at the centre of attention at events that include a Miss Goat beauty contest – to which breeders can enter a maximum of two goats – and a sale of goat products – both edible and inedible. Helfenburg itself has a number of goats kept to graze the grass because the hilly, rocky terrain is not ideal for lawnmowers. Unfortunately, the herd has become so popular with tourists and the goats are so adept at begging and even stealing food from tourists that they are no longer willing to graze. For some reason goats are very popular in the Czech Republic – there is a Prague based Friends of Goats society, a bar called At the Little Goat and a square named after this domesticated animal. Moreover a very popular Czech beer is labeled The billy goat!
And, the girl with the longest hair in the Czech Republic -14 year old Kateřina Vojkůvková – has rebelled against her princess image and had it cut short. Her first-ever visit to the hairdressers left her parents in shock since it was their idea she should grow her hair as long as possible. Katka says that her place in the Czech Book of Records –for hair almost one and a half metres long – was not worth keeping – hair that length being both impractical and unfashionable. Now she says she’s ready to start a new life –without the longest mane in the Czech lands.
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