I wanted to write something different about Vaclav Havel and his passing than the meager media disappointedly covered. Media have a tendency to explain people by shortcuts, finding a label everybody recognizes and then placing a person into the box with that label. For Vaclav Havel who disliked these labels of being a playwright turned dissident these categories are insufficient and inaccurate. The problem is not only one of scale but also of historical significance and meanings. Theater has had a special significance in the Czech and Slovak history because it is associated with national awakening that may have saved the Czech language from extinction. Anybody who is associated with this tradition is not writing just for entertainment of people, but for a cause of solidifying national consciensness. He prestige of the theater touched nearly everybody and people started creating an entire network of voluntary theater clubs and traveling puppet groups that still exist today and that neither the Nazis nor the communists could control. Being a dissident is relatively common with many examples from individual countries like Burma, China, India, Ukraine and many others. In comparison with these dissidents, Havel was a global dissident who challenged the entire Soviet empire that ruled almost half of the world on issues on which this empire was based, namely to turn everybody into one type of a socialist personality, to gain compliance through fear and to punish those who do not fit this model.
Archive for January, 2012
You are invited to join us for a unique learning experience. Jake Slegers, Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce will speak (via SKYPE) on the Economic and Political Development in Slovakia over the past 15 years and the role of the American Chamber of Commerce in Business Affairs.
Family Night will take place on Sunday, January 15th, 2012 from 4:30-6:30 pm at C.S.P.S. Hall, 383 Michigan Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102. This is a fun event for the whole family. Come and enjoy Czech and Slovak conversation and fellowship. We all will make animal masks and play “vybíjená”. Please bring a dish to share for the potluck dinner.
Donation of $5.00/Sokol or CSCC members, $10.00/non member families is appreciated.
- Click [HERE] to list pre-registered families