February 8, 2009

Foreigners = strangers?

It's funny how in both Czech and Romanian, the word foreigner also means stranger. It might have to do with a common pre-judgement that whoever comes from a different country is not awarded the same neutrality that the americans give for instance (their whole nation is based on 'foreigners') but they're rather treaded with a certain degree of suspicion.

What's the connection with the gracious ice skater in the poster? Well, the show has a foreign name, traditionally Czechs don't really appreciate things that can't/won't be translated because the Czech language is rather conservative, although among the young there's a similar english-ifying frenzy as is with romanian 'corporatists'.

However, one should not judge harshly a bewildered and outraged inhabitant of Sidliste Dablice, a panelak neighborhood at the outskirts of Prague, who, eager to manifest his dissaproval of spoiling the list of cultural events in Prague displayed in the bus stop with this uninteligible event, wrote a warm 'up yours, foreigners !!' in a meticulous marker caligraphy. Notice the double underline!