INTRODUCTION TO CZECH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE COURSE in MANILA
11.06.2012 / 10:12
As part of its cultural offerings for Viva Europa 2012, the Czech Embassy Manila recently held the first ever "Introduction to Czech Language and Culture Course" in Manila. The month-long course, which saw two runs this summer in March and in May, saw a good mix of students and professionals – from teachers, lawyers, cultural workers and enthusiasts - trooping to the Czech Embassy once a week for their fill of Czech grammar and cultural history.
The course introduced conversational expressions in various practical settings (ie. at the airport, ordering in a restaurant, etc.) as well as days, months, numbers, and colors; with each session supplemented by presentations on Czech food, history, geography, arts, and literature.
Aside from learning the rudiments of a Slavic language, the fun and informal course also proved to be experiential.
The topic on Czech film and cinematography included a screening of 1997 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film “Kolya” in U-View, Fully Booked, Bonifacio Global City. This heart-warming film featured the work of multi-awarded director Jan Svěrák.
While the twin themes of Czech gastronomy and beer were marked by a visit to Bravo’s Restaurant and a tour of its Pivo Praha Czech Microbrewery in Angono Street, Makati where an authentic Czech dinner of bread, pork knuckles and goulash were complemented by rounds of Czech beer in Classic, Light, Dark and Weizen variants for a truly enriching Central European experience!
The course highlighted the Czech Republic’s significant contributions in the fields of science, music, film, literature, even modern pop culture. This land-locked country of 10 million people boasts of well-known and prominent personalities, among them Nobel prize winners Jaroslav Heyrovský(Chemistry) and Jaroslav Seifert (Literature), composers Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana, sports personalities Jaromír Jágr, Petr Čech, Ivan Lendl and Martina Navrátilová, famous authors Franz Kafka and Milan Kundera, film director Miloš Forman, illustrious personalities Václav Havel,Madeleine Albright and Ivana Trump, international models Eva Herzigová, Karolína Kurková, Pavlina Pořízková, and Petra Nĕmcová - who was recently the face of a top Philippine clothing brand.
Discussions also touched on the historical connections and ties of the Czech Republic to the Philippines, most significantly Jose Rizal and the participation of Czechoslovak soldiers who fought in the Philippines during World War II.
The classes were taught by Ms. Monika Kazdová, Consul and Head of the Cultural Section at the Czech Embassy Manila. Ms. Kazdova holds a Master’s degree in English and Spanish Languages and Literature and Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and European Studies from Masaryk University Brno in the Czech Republic. As a student, she was a scholar of the EU Socrates Erasmus Programme in Universidad de Zaragoza in Spain. Ms. Kazdová has extensive experience teaching languages to the youth.