Czech Republic and Slovakia

GodLovesCats

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I am going to visit these two countries for the first and only time later this month. They are on a Danube river cruise trip. When I read the ccruise itinerary, it included hyperbole about CR as an old country with its own culture despite technically being less than 20 years old. I kept thinking "The Czech Republic is only about 15 years old. Wouldn't Slovakia be the same?" As in same language, currency, cuisine, etc. How much could have changed since hte ciivil war ended? Is it "wrong" to call the dividing line the Czechoslovakian border and say it "broke up" politically?
 

Albion

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The Czechs and Slovaks are very different peoples in a number of ways, which is what led to the peaceful separation of the two a generation ago.

On the matter of the hyperbole you referred to, I do not know what information was given to you, but it is true that the two provinces which make up the Czech Republic--Bohemia and Moravia--had a prominent position in European politics and culture in centuries gone by, long before there was any Czechoslovakia. It only was created following World War I.
 
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dzheremi

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My recently-departed uncle Edward lived and taught for about 25 years in Partizanske (a 'factory town'; he taught English to the workers of the shoe factory there, which also made hockey pucks if you can believe that; I didn't until he brought one to Thanksgiving the last time I saw him, the only time he left Slovakia after moving there, to come home for Thanksgiving one year). From what he told me, the Slovaks are like the more 'rustic' people of the ex-CSSR. I don't know if they'd compare to American 'hillbillies' or not, but do know that he sent me a Christmas card one year with a recent image of some picturesque place in the country (I don't remember where; maybe the town he was in, or some other), and it prominently featured stone streets and a horse-drawn carriage. That's how some people still live in some areas, I guess. It is less economically developed the Czech Republic (or "Czechia", as the government has recently taken to calling it). I imagine that Prague is a destination in people's minds -- they want to go there and see the sites and feel the whimsy or whatever. I'm not so sure that the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava, evokes the same feelings. In fact, I'm fairly certain it must not, because when my other uncle John came to visit Edward years ago, he immediately took John and his wife to Budapest, Hungary, rather than showing them around Slovakia, because there's apparently not a lot to see if you're not into the country life. (Side note: This was already years ago, so maybe things have changed since then, but my uncle told me that he lived incredibly comfortably on the equivalent of $200 USD per month, with a nice flat and everything. So that could be one attraction, if you actually find something to buy.)

I've never been to either place myself, but these are the impressions that I got from my uncle and his stories about the place. Seems nice, if a bit sleepy and underdeveloped.
 
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