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February 1, 2023

The Czech Republic: 96 years of independence, 25 years since Velvet Revolution

100 years ago at the outbreak of the WWI, Czech exiles led by  Tomás Garrigue Masaryk and a small circle of supporters started the emancipation war against the multi-national Austro-Hungarian Empire in order to gain the independence for their country. Four years later, Czechoslovak independence was declared on Wenceslas Square on October 28, 1918, beginning a new era for this nation.By the year 1992, the political leaders of Czech and Slovakia decided to separate their ways and celebrated 28th October as their National Day. However, Slovaks do not celebrate 28th October as their National Day, but Czechs still continue to sing their national anthem, carry out processions and enjoy grand dinners on this day. People decorate the streets and make arrangements for a grand dinner which they share with the neighbors at night. Firecrackers and explosives are arranged to dazzle the night to sustain the celebration spirit in the heart of the Czech people.

For the Czech Republic, this year’s celebration of the National Day is particularly important, as the country also celebrates 25 years since the Velvet Revolution  that led to the bloodless and non-violent transition of power in the then Czechoslovakia . What began in November 1989 as students, artists, and union members peacefully gathering in the streets of Bratislava and Prague  – armed with flowers and the plays and essays of Vaclav Havel – became freedom for all Czechs by December.
Today, 96 years on from the declaration of Czechoslovak independence and 25 years after the Velvet Revolution, the country lives challenging times. On their National Day, the Czech people honor their past and make plans for their future. They have countless reasons to be proud of: the country has respected roles in NATO and European Union and  its economy has started to recover. In addition, from touristic point of view,  thanks to its location at the crossroads of various cultures, the Czech Republic has countless cultural and historical points of interest.The capital city is one of the most favorite destinations for visitors from all over the world, being a magnet for waves of tourists from every corner of the world. The city is considered to be one of the most beautiful world capitals with an exquisitely preserved historical center. Yet, the Czech Republic is a country of great historical and cultural importance, a country where historic monuments and entire towns have been included on the World Heritage List.
Over the centuries a whole number of Czech men and women have become famous throughout the world – Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, reformer John Huss (Jan Hus), the “Teacher of Nations” Comenius (Jan Amos Komensky), composers Bedrich Smetana, Antonin Dvorak and Leos Janacek, writers Jaroslav Hasek, Karel Capek and Franz Kafka, Nobel Prize winners Jaroslav Heyrovsky and Jaroslav Seifert, opera stars Emmy Destinn and Jarmila Novotna .Worth mentioning for their contribution to the world patrimony, from scientific point of view are also biochemists Gerty Cori (1896-1957) and Carl Cori (1896-1984)  who won the 1946 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine, for their studies on sugar metabolism. The physician Joseph Goldberger (1874-1929) discovered a cure for pellagra, which he correctly attributed to diet deficiency, against the prevailing view that it was due to infection. Frederick George Novy (1864-1957) made important contributions to the field of microbiology. Joseph Murgas (1864-1930) was a pioneer in wireless technology who, although never able to amass sufficient resources to carry out his research, shared research with Guglielmo Marconi that contributed to the invention and patenting of the device.
For all these reasons, the  Czech can not be otherwise than very proud of their country and all names and values that make their country respected in the world.

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