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Education in Czech Republic

Czech Republic - education

The Austro-Hungarian tradition of the school system was adapted from the more centralist Soviet model from 1948, but after the system change in 1989 there has been extensive democratization, decentralization and to some extent also privatization while renewing goals, content and structure.

Education in Czech Republic

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Following a free pre-school for 3-5-year-olds, followed by 90% (1997), the nine-year compulsory and free primary school, základní Škola, for 6-15-year-olds follows. Both types of school are municipal, while the subsequent educations are most often state or private.

Almost all young people go on to upper secondary school, which can be four-, six- or eight-year- olds, to Střední odborné učiliště, which offers two- to five-year craft courses, or to Integrovaná střední škola, a five-year technical education that combines theory and practice in crafts.

There are 23 state universities. Univerzita Karlova in Prague was founded in 1348 and thus the oldest in Central Europe. With 29,000 students, it is also the largest. Furthermore, from the mid-1990's, a number of state or private vocational schools have been established, offering short higher education (1998).

POPULATION

OFFICIAL NAME: Czech Republic

CAPITAL CITY: Prague

POPULATION: 10,400,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)

AREA: 78,870 km²

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Czech, Slovak, Romani and others

RELIGION: Catholics 10%, others 1%, without religious affiliation/non-specific religious affiliation 89%

COIN: crown

CURRENCY CODE: CZK

ENGLISH NAME: Czechia, Czech Republic

INDEPENDENCE: 1993

POPULATION COMPOSITION: checks 64%, mothers 5%, Slovaks 1%, others 30%

GDP PER residents: $ 18,020 (2016)

LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 76 years, women 82 years (2014)

INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.870

INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 28

NATIONALITY MARK FOR CARS: CZ

INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .cz

Czech Republic, (Czech Česká Republika, by Čechy 'Bohemia'), a republic in Central Europe surrounded on all sides by mountains. The country was the most economically developed part of Czechoslovakia and has been rapidly and economically approaching Western Europe since its partition in 1993. The Czech Republic became the first former Eastern bloc country to join the OECD in 1995. In 1999, it joined NATO and in 2004 joined the EU.

Czech Republic - Constitution

The Constitution of the Czech Republic dates from 1993. Legislative power lies with a two-chamber parliament: the Chamber of Deputies has 200 members, elected by direct proportional representation for four years; there is a cut-off limit of 5%. The Senate has 81 members, elected by direct election in single-member constituencies for six years with the replacement of one-third every two years. The Chamber of Deputies has priority in legislation, while the Senate has limited deferral options.

The president, who must be 40 years of age or older, is elected by direct universal suffrage for five years and may be re-elected only once. His powers are limited; he appoints the Prime Minister on a proposal from the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, has the right to take part in discussions with the government and parliament and has restricted the right of veto in legislation. The Prime Minister has the executive power. There is a constitutional court of 15 members appointed for a ten-year term by the president with the consent of the Senate.

Czech Republic - social conditions

With the change of system in 1989, the financing of social services collapsed. A social legislation from 1992 places the main emphasis on social insurance, which is linked to occupational employment. The pension schemes, which include old-age and invalidity pensions and survivors' pensions, are a unitary scheme to which an insurance contribution of 26.5% of earned income was paid in 1999. The insurance took over the pension obligations from the communist system, and this leads to differences in pension payments that reflect differences in pension terms for different job groups before 1989, but an attempt is made to arrive at the size of the pension for the individual determined by the number of years of employment. the previous earnings. Pensionsand unemployment benefits are modest for many citizens; as the lowest safety net, there is a need for emergency care. There is a tight-fitting health care system with hospitals and clinics funded through public health insurance, for which an insurance premium is paid on the taxable income; people without income are also entitled to health care benefits.

Czech Republic - health conditions

Life expectancy in 1997 was 70.6 years for men and 77.6 years for women. Infant mortality fell from 12.3 per 1,000 live births in 1986 to 5.9 in 1997. The most common cause of death is cardiovascular disease, which has been declining slowly since 1970. However, it was with 526 deaths per. 100,000 in 1997 about twice as high as in Denmark. Cancer is the second most common cause of death, and mortality has remained largely unchanged since 1970; it is at the same level as in Denmark.

The Czech Republic has had a healthcare system with management and funding from the government and with an emphasis on the hospital system and many doctors. Since 1990, the country has focused on decentralization and financing through insurance schemes. Expenditure on health care in 1987 was 4.6% of GDP; they rose in 1994 to 8.3% and in 1996 were at 7.3%. The number of hospital beds fell from 109 per. 10,000 residents in 1980 to 88 in 1997, of which almost 10% were private. In 1997, the Czech Republic had 31 doctors per 10,000 residents, of which approximately 20% worked outside the hospital system.

Czech Republic - military

The armed forces are (2006) 22,272 military and 17,858 civilians. The army is at 16,663 and the air force 5609. The civilians are part of the joint defense support structure. The forces' equipment is Soviet or locally produced, although a squadron of new Swedish Saab 39 Gripen fighter jets is now also available. The army has one mechanized reaction brigade and one additional mechanized brigade. Upon mobilization, 14 territorial defense districts are set up. The Air Force has 40 fighter jets, 22 transport aircraft of various types, 32 armed helicopters and 24 transport helicopters. Border guards and security forces are gathered at 5600. As the Czech Republic is an inland state, it has no navy.

Following the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the partition of Czechoslovakia in 1993, as well as the Czech Republic's accession to NATO in 1999, the Czech Republic's military forces have undergone a major overhaul.

Czech Republic - Libraries

Nationalbiblioteket, Národní knihovna České republiky, holds approximately 6 mio. volume and has large and rich collections on, in particular, Central European and Slavic culture; it is housed in the large baroque building Klementinum in Prague and was created by merging several libraries with Karlsuniversitetet's library, grdl. 1366, as the oldest. The country's second largest library (approximately 4 million volumes) is located in the Národní museum. The Strahov Monastery in Prague with book halls from the Baroque period contains the Czech Literary Archive.

A law on municipal public libraries in Czechoslovakia was passed in 1919, but the development was halted by the German occupation in 1939. After 1948, the entire library system was organized according to a highly centralized Soviet model, but has since 1990 been developed according to Western European patterns.

Czech Republic - mass media

Czech Republic has a vibrant and varied press with approximately 90 dailies (1995), of which ten are nationwide and more than half are foreign-owned.

In 1994, the first private, advertising-financed television channel in a former communist country, Nova TV, began broadcasting. Two years later, it had a viewership of 70% and was thus far more popular than the state-licensed television, Česká televize. Of the more than 60 radio channels, the two state-owned are still the largest.

One of the Czech Republic's leading newspapers is Mladá fronta Dnes (Youth Front Today), grdl. 1945 (circulation 391,000 in 1996), formerly Young Communist but now independent. Právo (circulation 370,000) is the successor to the former leading communist newspaper, Rudé právo (Red Justice). The liberal Lidové noviny (People's News) was re-established in 1988 and is preferred by many intellectuals. Despite a limited circulation of 110,000, it has great impact. The largest is the Swiss-owned boulevard newspaper Blesk (Lyn), grdl. 1992 (circulation 470,000).

Czech Republic - literature

The oldest literature in the Czech and Slovak territories consisted mainly of religious texts in the first Slavic written language, Old Church Slavonic, created by Cyril and Methodius, who were sent from the Byzantine Empire in the 860's to serve missions in the Great Moorish Empire.

After the end of this empire, Latin was for a long time the dominant written language in Bohemia, but in the heyday of the 14th century. developed here a rich literature in Czech, which included several genres such as saint legends, historical chronicles, allegories, satires and knightly poetry.

During the Hussite conflicts with the Catholic Church in 1400-1500-t. the amount of actual fiction was reduced in favor of practical as well as religiously and professionally emphasized texts, of which Jan Hus ' and other authors' socially critical and ethical writings became of great importance for the Czech nation's self-understanding in modern times.

After 1620, when Bohemia lost its independence to the Habsburg central power, both the Czech language and literature experienced a sharp weakening, not least due to the recatolization, which forced many intellectuals into exile. Among these was Jan Amos Komenský (1592-1670, Comenius), who in addition to his pedagogical writings is known for his allegory The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart (1631).

During the national revival around 1800, literature came to play an important role in raising the awareness of Bohemia's Czech population. A period followed with translations and retellings of other languages ​​as well as classicist poetry, by Jan Kollár. Suddenly, purported medieval, but in reality forged manuscripts appeared with poetry about a glorious past.

From the 1830's, an original and innovative Czech romantic literature emerged with names such as Karel Hynek Mácha, Karel Jaromir Erben and Božena Němcová, who during the harsh political climate of the 1850's were supplemented by Karel Borovský Havlíček's sharp satires.

In the 1860's, a period of political freedom in which the Czech national and cultural identity was finally restored, the most important part of the literature dealt with describing the society and its norms at that time, thus with Jan Neruda.

But in the 1870's and 1880's, some writers, under the impression of political adversity, again turned their attention to specifically national subjects, while others asserted the principle of literature for the sake of literature itself.

The period was partly marked by a high-sounding neo-romanticism, whose lack of contact with reality and renewal the young generation in the mid-1890's rebelled against, spreading it to several realistic as well as modernist directions, not least inspired by French literature.

In addition to realism as in Petr Bezruč and naturalism, there were impressionism (Antonín Sova), symbolism (Otokar Březina) and decadence. Later, World War I provoked reactions in the form of life-affirming poetry and confrontation with militarism, not least with Jaroslav Hašek.

The establishment of Czechoslovakia as an independent state in 1918 provided good preconditions for an even more fruitful development of literature, if possible, most often with authors who, based on various ethical and political views, were deeply involved in social conditions.

In poetry, in addition to Catholic writers, it was especially a large group of innovative left-wing avant-garde writers who made a name for themselves around 1920 as proletarian writers. Then it is seen within the Czech "poetism" (Jaroslav Seifert), which would provide the working class qualified entertainment based on imagination, and finally in the 1930's with surrealist poetry (Vítězslav Nezval).

In prose, Vladislav Vančura's linguistic experimentation, Ivan Olbracht's psychological and socially critical narratives and novels, and the humane and often humorous works of democratic writers, including especially Karel Čapek's novels and plays, are a warning against a runaway dehumanized society. An important innovation was Jan Werich's and Jiří Voskovec's (1905-81) "The Liberated Theater", which played political satires in revue form until 1938.

From 1948, the development of literature was severely hampered by the Stalinist regime's assertion of socialist realism as a literary ideal. The relatively few established authors, who agreed to the terms of the regime and thus were allowed to publish, did so at the expense of quality.

With the beginning of the thaw in 1956, it became possible to portray the everyday problems of ordinary people, and the period 1963-68 brought a liberalization, where hitherto unpublished authors such as Bohumil Hrabal could have their works published, and where the form could be experimented with. A large number of novels, including by Josef Škvorecký and Milan Kundera, dispelled the myths and missteps of Stalinism, and Czech acting experienced an exciting development phase with absurd pieces by Ivan Klíma and Václac Havel, where the inspiration of Franz Kafka can be clearly felt.

After the invasion of the Warsaw Pact countries in 1968, there was again a severe tightening of the conditions of literature. The publication of religiously oriented literature was again prevented, and authors who had engaged in 1960's liberalization and the Prague Spring were hit by a publication ban.

Many emigrated in 1968-69 (including Josef Škvorecký and Arnošt Lustig), others went or were forced into exile through the 1970's (including Milan Kundera, Pavel Kohout, Jiří Gruša (1938-2011) and Jiří Kolář (1914-2002)). The books of the banned authors disappeared from the libraries and their names from the literary histories. A few quality writers declined and were pardoned by the regime (most prominent Bohumil Hrabal), and from around 1980 poets such as Jaroslav Seifert, Jan Skácel and Miroslav Holub (1923-1998) could be published again by official publishers.

Although a few firm craftsmen gained some reader popularity, however, official literary life was marked by stagnation. Instead, Czech literature unfolded extensively at domestic samizdat publishers (the two most productive were run by Ludvík Vaculík (1926-2015) and Václav Havel) or in exile, led by Škvorecký's publisher Toronto 68 Publishers. There was also a not insignificant exchange between the two environments.

The amount of unofficial publications increased from the mid-1980's, when a streak of young writers unfolded, often in conjunction with a broader underground scene; a selection can be found in the anthology Prague Children (da. 1989). Among these, Zuzana Brabcová (1959-2015) and Jáchym Topol (b. 1962) in particular have established themselves among the Czech Republic's leading prose writers after 1989.

The fall of communism in 1989 meant a total upheaval of the conditions of literature. In 1990, almost 2,000 publishers registered, and the book market was flooded with publications. Chronologies and traces of development collapsed when 40 years of neglect were sought to be made up in a few years, and in the new open society, literature rapidly lost its privileged position as a medium for public value debate.

This has been reflected in rapidly declining circulation figures for all but a small handful of bestselling authors (eg Michal Viewegh, Halina Pawlowská (b. 1955) and Petr Šabach (b. 1951)), whose popularity is often supported by work film adaptations or skilled self-staging in the media.

The framework and role of literature has thus gradually been "normalized" in the Western European sense; poetry has become a marginal concern for enthusiasts, while prose offers a weave of genres and styles.

Autobiographies and biographies have enjoyed great popularity since the mid-1990's, female writers occupy significantly more than before 1989 (among others Daniela Hodrová (b. 1946), Irena Dousková (b. 1964), Květa Legátová (1919-2012), Petra Hůlová (b. 1979)).

Postmodern grips, such as style and genre mixes and the use of motifs from popular literary genres such as suspense, horror, etc., are widespread, but most often without standing in the way of "the good story". Many names include Jiří Kratochvil (b. 1940), Miloš Urban (b. 1967) and Michal Ajvaz (b. 1949).

German language literature

From the Middle Ages to 1945, the Czech Republic (Bohemia and Moravia) had a large German-speaking population and consequent German-language literature. Czech literary historians have often neglected this literature, while German literary historians have overlooked the German-language writers' ties to local culture and simply classified them as "German" or "Austrian".

Bilingualism was widespread in the 1800's, and for example Karel Hynek Mácha wrote his first poems in German before breaking through as the great poet of Czech romance. Also Karel (Karl) Klostermann (1848-1923), who was inspired by Adalbert Stifter, changed languages ​​from German to Czech during his writing career.

Even when the Czech-German antagonisms in Bohemia were radicalized in the late 1800's, several cultural mediators were found between the two language and cultural environments, especially in the Jewish environment. Many Bohemian Jews were bilingual (eg Franz Kafka, whose Czech was almost flawless), and often members of the same family chose to orient themselves towards different milieus, some towards the German, others towards the Czech and others again towards the Zionist.

Parts of Rainer Maria Rilke's and Gustav Meyrink's writings are marked by their time in Prague, but the foremost exponents of German-language Prague-Jewish literature in the early 1900's. is given to Franz Kafka, Franz Werfel and Max Brod. Max Brod in particular worked intensely for a Czech-German cultural rapprochement.

In the interwar period, one finds, conversely, German-language writers with sympathies for the new Czechoslovakia, which after Adolf Hitler took power granted asylum and citizenship to Thomas Mann and Heinrich Mann.

The Nazi racial and occupation policies and the subsequent expulsions destroyed the Jewish and since the German-speaking cultural element in Bohemia and Moravia, but communist persecution created a new type of Czech German-language literature from the 1970's, when several Czech writers began writing after emigration to Germany or Austria. in German. This includes Pavel Kohout, Jiří Gruša (1938-2011) and Ota Filip (b. 1930). Others, such as Libuše Moniková (1945-98), first began publishing after emigration, thus debuting in German.

Czech Republic - theater and drama

Theater activity can be dated to the 15th century in the form of liturgical mystery plays and intermezzi, and from the 16th century profane satirical scenes are known. František Bulla (b. 1754), director of the Prague Theater, played from 1785 in Czech as part of an approximately 50-year-long cultural revival.

There was strong support for the creation of a national stage in Prague, which succeeded in 1881. From the beginning of the 19th century, a flourishing puppet theater also existed. As in other European cities, free intimate scenes emerged in Prague in the 1890's.

In the time between the 1st and 2nd World War, the theater was represented by the allegorical dramas of the brothers Josef and Karel Čapek.

In his own theater, D-34, the director Emil František Burian (1904-59) in the 1930's, among other things. Jaroslav Hašek's novel The Good Soldier's Adventures Up.

During World War II, theater was still played, and Czech theater was partially intact after the war, when playwrights such as Pavel Kohout, Milan Kundera, Ivan Klíma, Bohumil Hrabal and Václav Havel became known, among others. for absurd theater.

Best known since the 1960's was the director Otomar Krejča (1921-2009) at the Divadlo Za branou theater and the set designer Josef Svoboda at Laterna Magika. In 2000, Prague had more than 20 well-attended theaters.

Czech Republic - dance

Circle dances danced by women at weddings and sword dances performed by men in connection with carnival in Sydčechy (švertance) and Morava (pod šable) are among the oldest living dance traditions.

In the 1500's. revolving dance (točivé) arose with numerous variants such as sedlácká and staro světská in Morava and ověnžok in Silesia (Slezsko). In the late 1700's. a number of local dance types were developed, such as hulán, valasky and kalamajka. IN

1800-t. it was dances based on polonaise, mazurka, polka and csárdás that came into vogue, while local dances were given the status of national dances, such as furiant, kalamajka and rejdovák.

After World War II, the traditional dances have been practiced in amateur groups, which include performs at the world-famous festivals in Strážnice (Morava) and Strakonice (Čechy).

Czech Republic - music

The country was Christianized by Byzantine missionaries in the 800-t. As early as 885, it was forbidden to celebrate the Mass in Slavic, and during the 900's. the Roman (Latin) Mass became dominant, which has meant that the oldest surviving Czech religious songs are not liturgical, eg Svatý Václave (Václav the Holy) from around 1200.

The earliest musical life unfolded especially in connection with the monasteries, Benedictine monasteries, which were established around 1000. Only with the founding of the Univerzita Karlova in Prague in 1348 was a chair established in music, giving music theory and composition a foothold in the Czech Republic.

During the Hussite Wars of 1419-34, many monasteries were demolished, and the worship of music took place in the city churches and later also in the city schools, the Jesuit colleges and at the university. During the Hussites, Czech-language joints were included in the Mass, just as the Czech clerical lied was developed; it came to form an important foundation in the development of German Lutheran church singing.

Under Emperor Rudolf II, Prague 1583-1612 housed the court chapel from Vienna and thus became one of Europe's music centers. Around 1600, the polyphonic church music experienced a climax, inspired by the contemporary Dutch and Italian style.

After the Thirty Years' War, contact with the Catholic countries Italy and Austria was resumed, which led to the exchange of musicians. Among 1600's church musicians must be mentioned Adam Václav Michna (approximately 1600-76), in whose hymns and masses the influence of folk music can be traced. In Jan Dismas Zelenka's works, which includes church music, there are also elements from Czech folk music in addition to imaginative instruments of not least contrapuntal and harmonious nature.

In 1612 the court relocated to Vienna. An important and lush part of music life unfolded in private chapels and castles, where outstanding musicians such as Heinrich Biber, Pavel Josef Vejvanovský (approximately 1633/39-93), Zelenka and Giuseppe Tartini served.

When many Czech composers emigrated due to religious and linguistic constraints and a lack of attractive positions, the music culture was in the late 1700's. in sharp decline. Among the emigrated composers were Johann Stamitz and his sons, Georg Benda, Josef Mysliveček (1737-81), Jan Ladislav Dussek, Antoine Reicha, Pavel Wranitzky (1756-1808) and Franz Krommer (1759-1831). The conditions also meant that the Czech singing game was especially cultivated abroad (by, among others, Adalbert Gyrowetz (1763-1850) and Benda).

Particularly prominent in church music were František Xaver Brixi (1732-71), Karel Blažej Kopřiva (1756-85) and Jakub Jan Ryba (1765-1815). Brixi has left behind a colossal amount of vocal music, while Kopřiva primarily considered his own instrument, the organ. Ryba enriched the Czech genre pastorella, where elements from the folk song are mixed with a simple classical movement. In classical music, instrumental music was cultivated by Vaňhal, Krommer and Koželuch, all of whom contributed to the development of the sonata movement form. Within piano music, Dussek, Václav Jan Křtitel Tomášek and Jan Václav Voříšek (1791-1825) stand out with a number of character pieces that anticipate the romantic piano style.

In the first half of the 1800's. took a Czech national culture form, based on extensive collection of folk music and the resumption of Czech as a language of song. Significant steps were the founding of the Prague Conservatory in 1811 and the premiere of the first Czech opera, František Jan Škroups (1801-62) Dráteník (The Boiler Flicker) in 1826. However, a real national music culture was first realized by Bedřich Smetana, whose operas formed the basis for the national Czech opera, and whose orchestral cycle Má vlast (My Fatherland) was followed by a series of symphonic poems by Antonín Dvořák, Zdeněk Fibich (1850-1900), Josef Suk and Vítězslav Novák. The Czech National Romantic Symphony, like chamber music, had its most prominent representative in Dvořák, who in his works incorporated stylistic features from Brahms, and which gave Czech music an international breakthrough. But also as an opera composer, Dvořák contributed to the tradition, which since Fibich, Leoš Janáček and Jaromír Weinberger (1896-1967) enriched.

The recovery in Czech music that took place with Smetana and Dvořák was supported by developments in music life. Thus, the National Theater in Prague had been opened in 1881, and in 1892 the internationally famous Bohemian String Quartet was founded. Finally, in 1901, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra became an independent institution.

As an extremely prominent figure in Czech opera in the early 1900's. stands Janáček, who descended from Moravia; in his works, folk musical elements are used in an original way. Opposite this are a number of composers who predominantly adhered to a late romantic style inspired by Dvořák. This was the case with Suk, who in orchestral and chamber music works created music characterized by monumental weight and great expressive power, based on a developed harmonica and a dense polyphony. Weinberger, who fled to the United States in the 1930's, enjoyed great success with his folklore- inspired opera Švanda Dudák (Schwanda, The Bagpipe, 1927). Ervín Schulhoff (1894-1942) and Viktor Ullmann (1898-approx. 1944), who in the 1920's cultivated expressionism, both perished in concentration camps during World War II (see EntarteteArt (music)). A radical break with tradition represents Alois Hába, who used microtonal scales.

The symphony, which had flourished in the late 1800's, was only sparsely cultivated in the early 1900's. Only with Bohuslav Martinlav's six symphonies (1943-53) did this situation change. Martinů lived most of his life outside Czechoslovakia, but especially his works from the years around World War II have a strong bond with the national. The orchestral work Památník Lidicím (Memory of Lidice, 1943) is a shocking expression of the horrors that befell the village of Lidice during the Nazi occupation.

During the communism of 1948, several composers were affected by the ban on "formalist art", Hába and Martinů, but after Stalin's death in 1953, conditions gradually eased so that both the dodecaphony and the avant-garde of the 1960's could be represented in Czech music. These tendencies experienced a violent setback after the Prague Spring of 1968, but after the Velvet RevolutionIn 1989, the trend towards a greater opening to the outside world was resumed. Among the composers who have influenced Czech music since World War II are Miloslav Kabeláč (1908-79) and Jan Novák (1921-1984). Novák, which has included serial elements in its works, settled after the upheaval in 1968 first in Denmark, later in Italy. Petr Eben (1929-2007) has attracted international attention with his organ and choral works, which are characterized by elements from folk singing as well as Gregorian chant.

Czech Republic - Music (Folk Music)

Czech folk music exhibits in the west and east two very different styles. In Čechy and parts of western Morava, the songs, due to Western European influence, have a regular melodic structure, a symmetrical structure and a tonality characterized by a triad sound. The melodies are most often of an instrumental and dance-like character in three- or two-part bars; in the border country with Bavaria, there are also rhythm-changing dance songs and instrumental melodies, eg furiant, known from e.g. Smetanas and Dvořáksadaptations. In East Moravia, the connection to the West Carpathian music culture is felt. The songs have looser structure and freer rhythm than the western ones. The scales are modal, mostly with a mole-like touch. Some melodies are influenced by the pastoral whistle tones, which include a section of the harmonic scale with the magnified quarter. The most important folk instrument in the Czech Republic is the bagpipe (called dudy or gajdy), which since the 1200's. has remained almost unchanged to this day. Dance is accompanied by small ensembles with bagpipes, violin, flute or clarinet in various combinations, in Morava also with three-stringed bass or chopping board. After 1850 wind orchestras came into vogue, and in the 1900's. dance orchestras with saxophones.

Czech Republic - Music (Rock Music)

One of the first successful Czech pop singers was Karel Gott (b. 1939), who in the early 1960's released a number of cover versions of American pop songs. In the second half of the 1960's, the bigbeat period in Czech rock music followed, with a host of music groups and scenes emerging. In the time after the Prague Spring of 1968, a number of groups were banned from performing, and this led to a number of concerts in secret. A notable band from this period is Plastic People of the Universe. A lawsuit against the group was instrumental in the formation of the civil rights group Charta 77in January 1977. In the 1970's and 1980's, guitar rock groups Vladimir Mišik, ETC. and Garaž. After 1989 came a boom in Czech rock and pop. A number of groups were restored and records were released, and there was a greater diversity on the Czech music scene with ska, reggae, punk and hip hop. An exciting aspect of the Czech music scene around 2000 is that the groups' many virtuoso instrumentalists are not afraid to experiment with arrangements and rhythm changes. It is seen among others at Vltava and Už Jsme Doma.

Czech Republic - film

Czech film production began in 1898. In the 1930's, several films became internationally known, including Gustav Machatýs (1901-63) erotic Ecstasy (1933) with Hedy Lamarr (1913-2000).

In 1948, the film industry was nationalized, but despite political control, directors such as Jiří Weiss (1913-2004) with Romeo and Juliet in the Dark (1960) and Vojtěch Jasný (b. 1925) with A Day Came a Cat (1963) managed to make personal film art..

In the mid-1960's, a new wave broke through, also internationally, with Jiří Menzels (b. 1938) Oscar- winning Sharply Guarded Trains (1966) and Miloš Forman's satirical comedies.

After the 1968 invasion, several film artists, including Forman, in exile, and Czech film became more conformist. Despite financial hardship after 1989, new instructors have made their way through, e.g. Jan Svěrák (b. 1965) with the Oscar-winning Kolya (1996).

The Czech Republic has a special tradition for animated films with the puppet filmmaker Jiří Trnka as the main character.

Czech Republic - beer

The Czech Republic has the world's largest consumption of beer [Pivo] per. population (158 l annually, 2005). Although the Czech Republic has very old brewing traditions, it is the relatively young lager that has made the country's beer famous.

The most famous breweries are Plzeňský Prazdroj in Plzeň (Pilsner Urquell) and Budvar in České Budějovice (Budweiser). Before the collapse of communism, there was a brewery in every Czechoslovak city of importance, but the market economy has meant that the number has been greatly reduced. Plzeňský Prazdroj is still a leader with an annual production of approximately 10 mio. hl beer (2000), closely followed by Radegast and Staropramen. After the Velvet Revolution, however, there has been a sharp growth in the number of microbreweries. Here, the Czechs' preferred types are brewed (lagers and dark lager beer), but also a number of specialty beers. In Praguethere are thus five micro or restaurant breweries (2006). The increased interest in beer after the year 2000 has led to a large import of Czech beer in Denmark, so it is now possible to get the well-hopped lager beer and the dark lager beer in many places, among the latter eg Kozel from Pivovar Velké Popovice near Prague.

 
 
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