Date: 8 July 2022 Author: Jan Hernik

Polish-Czech cultural cooperation

The speakers who took part in this event were: Liliana Śmiech, the vice president of Warsaw Institute; Sylvie Vujtkowa, theatre dramaturg and PR manager and producer and Jan Hernik, editor in chief at the Warsaw Institute. The program was about polish – Czech cultural cooperation. Poland and Czechia are neighbors that share common values, have same Slavic roots so the cuisine, language is similar. The hall event was trying to show this similarities as well as  differences’  stereotypes of polish and czech people were mentioned. The speakers illustrated how this cooperation looks like and how it can  look in the future.

Sylvie Vujtkowa pointed out that there are similarities between Polish and Czech culture and the people who live across the Polish-Czech border  have many in common and there is sometimes a problem to differ a Pole or a Czech person. She mentioned that Poland is much bigger than Czech Republic and that Poles fight no matter what the price is, and the Czechs want to live peacefully. Based on the history, connected with Habsburg dynasty, Czechia lost their gentle in 17th century so the Czechia literature and art, is strongly influenced by peasant culture. Modern Czech female writers talk in their books about the region of Polish-Czech border, about the ethnic diversity in  there. Poles, Jews, German Czechia’s in times of industrialization traveled to this region to apply for a job. The books are translated to Polish, so the main idea of the books can increase the sense of community in Polish Czech region. The reception of culture in Czechia is poor, and Czechs can learn from Poland in this field. The poles could learn from Czechs how to make fun of oneself and  not to be so serious.

Jan Hernik pointed out that the best Polish-Czech cooperation is student exchange, especially Erasmus program. Warsaw Institute has partnership cooperation with many international organizations. So the relations between Poland and Czech Republic is being tightened.

The differences on political field between Poland and Czechia can separate for some time both nations, but the Russian-Ukrainian conflict strengthen Polish-Czech cooperation on the field of common safety in the region. The Two biggest Polish and Czechia cities Warsaw and Prague have capabilities to be the bridge between Polish and Czech partnership in diplomacy and culture, thanks to student exchange and international character of both places.

Liliana Śmiech addressed that Poles and Czechs live nearby, but don’t coexist with each other as much as they could. Beside the Czech – Polish border inhabitants, as a nation Poland and Czechia don’t know much about each other.

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