Living in Central Europe may seem… homogenous. But I can assure you, it’s far from that! My experience living in Prague, the capital city of beautiful Bohemian region, proved me something completely different! Let’s dig in into this subject a little bit…
Of course the most visible (and hearable) group are tourists. Moving in tribes or at least paired, they are exploring mostly the heart of the city with its magnificent architecture and wonderful landscapes, but you can meet them in other, less popular parts, where they want explore more of insiders’ approach – having coffee in small café in Holesovice, trying wine from Moravian vineyard in Vinohrady or having a picnic in Letna park. Good for them!
Another vast group of people are foreigners, who work in Prague. I, myself, consider a member of this assemblage. It’s incredible how city is changing not only regarding the infrastructure, but also when it comes to human factor – different kind of experts and professionals are being draft in to Prague, which now is one of the leaders in start-up market! In many international companies work people with different origins creating an unique mosaic of culture! Subgroup, which I’ve found the most surprising was Slavs, people coming from Balkans are quite numerous and feel here very well. Many of them learned Czech language since it’s the same linguistic family. However I must say, that every time I meet a foreigner coming “far away place”, who speaks the local language, I hold this person in high esteem, since it is so hard to learn!
Last, but not least – Vietnamese community, who is very developed especially in Prague. Believe it or not, they run most of the grocery stores in the city. So whenever you feel a bit lazy to go to supermarket, you will have a chance to encounter them in the local shop. What is interesting, many of them live in Czech republic for many years, long enough, that their children graduated from schools and their native language is Czech. What the city inherited from Vietnamese are many Asian restaurants with original and tasty cuisine. Definitely worth to try it, when you overdose delicious, but heavy Czech meals.
If you ask me about one place that shows the diversity of the city, I would recommend Lennon Wall. Named after the famous Beatles, it is the visible sign showing human variety. Very vibrant and always changing it’s an example of freedom of expression – basically everyone can add its own content. But what is also important, you can meet there everyone: tourists walking to or from the Charles Bridge, white-collar employees from nearby office or students hanging out after school. I hope that when in Prague, you will have a chance to explore its beauty and diversity!
Autor: Natalia Szelachowska