Did you know this about 17.11?
The Czech Republic or Czechia as it is officially called these days, celebrated yesterday their 3rd independence day for this year, did you know that? The first takes place on international hangover day, 1st of January when they officially in 1993 split with Slovakia. The second is of course 28.10 when independent Czechoslovakia was formed 1918 after being a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. And yesterday was time for number 3, the start of the velvet revolution, 1989, or as it officially called, Day of struggle for freedom and democracy and International Student Day. But did you know that 17.11 has roots in the modern history that starts already 1939? As you can guess by the official name it involves students, natzis and 28.10. For those who are interested, I’ll put a Wikipedia link below with a short and clear background to the events that took place then, if you want to read more about it.
Celebration in the wrong place
Yesterday was a big day, as it should be. At the memorial plaque in Narodni trida we saw once again the descent of flower wreaths, speeches were made by important people, and also by some not so important, food and drinks were served, a lot of music, the media’s present was enormous. But did you know that the place at Narodni trida is actually the wrong place? The Velvet revolution got its start in Albertova, on Friday 17th of November when about 500-600 students/people gathered for an anti government protest that started at 16.00. There is a memorial plaque at Albertova also, and it gets its own flowers and candles, but compared to Narodni it’s nothing. There you have again some nice to know information that you can brag with when speaking with your neighbor about your trip. 🙂
A most place to be
Unfortunately, like so many similar events like this, one gets the feeling that the real reason why you are here is forgotten. Because all of the people in 1918, 1939 and 1989 and their efforts are the reason why we can walk the streets of Prague as free men and women. Today it seems more important that you were there, not why. The day is made if your friends got a glimt of you on the TV, I hope I’m wrong but… This of course doesn’t go for everybody, there are exceptions. I was walking around Narodni a couple of days before Friday just to look at the preparation when I spotted an old lady by the Narodni memorial plaque. She was there with her nurse to light a candle. It was clear why, she could barely walk, no way could she have managed the crowd yesterday. It made me think, maybe you should also?
Here for the Wikipedia link Link in Czech, use your translator.