« Human rights are universal and indivisible. Human freedom is also indivisible: if it is denied to anyone in the world, it is therefore denied, indirectly, to all people. »
Václav Havel, Czech national hero.
Two days ago at the moment I’m writing this article, I fell in love. I fell in love with Prag. Or rather the spirit of this city. The three days I have spent there were like a burst of fresh air in the middle of the Saharan desert that was my life as a student in Germany. I felt alive again.
There, people were so quick to crack up a smile at any occasion. Seeing people happy makes you happy, I think that should be a theorem. In Prag, I found myself wandering in the streets daydreaming with a gigantic smile on my face for no apparent reason. That’s the better therapic treatment I can give to people who are a little bit down. Book a ticket and go! Sometimes it’s nice to take a break and see how things are done in another country or city. Go, discover, enjoy, learn and come back (or not).
While in Czech Republic, I learned so much about the Czech people and their history. The history of Czech Republic such as other small and landlocked coutry narrates a fight against oppression and imperialism of great countries surronding them such as Germany and after the Soviet Union.
During my stay, I went to the Museum of Communism (a must see if you are visiting Prague by the way). And it blew my mind. The exhibition is explaining how communism were forced onto the Czech citizens and the effects of the Munich Agreement.
I do not want to take you away the surprise of the exhibition but basically the Munich agreement of 1938 was an agreement made by France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany to give up the Suedetes land which was a part of Czechoslovakia to the hands of Hitler to prevent World War II from happening. By doing that, the country of Czechoslovia was basically erased from the map and became part of the Third Reich of Hitler.
This event was only the beginning of what will be a series of betrayals, unjustice and greed towards Czechoslovakia. And at the end, Czech republic survived and became the country we know today. A country with a thriving economy with the fewer rate of unemployment in Europe. No one would have bet on them, but Czech people did it, they survived to German imperialism and the Soviet Union.
That is why to me, Prague is so much more than a beautiful city, it is the epitome of resistance and perseverence.
I want to end this article with a song by Karel Kryl, a Czech singer. It is called « Děkuji » or « Thankful » in english. His song really struck a cord in me. I think this song is a great reminder to always be thankful of whatever is thrown into your life. Sometimes, it may seems like the worse is happening to you but in the end, those moments will always teach you a lesson and make you a better person like it made Czech republic a more resilient country.
You will find the lyrics of the songs translated in english below the video.