The international service of Czech Radio 
14-11-2019, 06:13 UTC
Living Czech

Lazing on a sunny afternoon...

Listen in RealAudio: Streaming - Download

Hello and welcome to Living Czech. I'm Nick Carey, and I am here with Linda Mastalir. Today's subject in Living Czech is the weekend or víkend. Well, at least some ways that the Czechs spend their weekends, and some of them are fairly unique.

Now, most Czechs tend to go away for the víkend to their chata, or country chalet. The majority of Czechs in big cities, especially Prague, own a chata, and this is a fairly unique phenomenon. Over the víkend thousands of Czechs leave Prague for their chata, and the roads leading into Prague on a Sunday are jammed with people returning from their víkend away. If you own a chata, then you are a chataø. This is not to be confused with a chalupa, or country cottage, which tend to be older buildings where people lived over the centuries. Chaty are most often one-room wooden huts built by the chataøi themselves. If you drive through the Czech Republic, you can often see small colonies of chaty by the roadside.

Those who own a chata are referred to in a derogatory manner by those who can't afford one, or those who prefer the rugged outdoors, as païouøi or mastòáci, and this also includes those who go for a drive at the víkend that will include a short walk. They are not real walkers, and prefer rest and relaxation in their chata.

There is another, special group, who call themselves trampové, who prefer to live rough, as they are generally poorer than the chataøi, or who literally like to tramp around the country. They are also vandráci, or wanderers, or even èundráci. The trampové are traditionally dressed v zeleném in green, or even military fatigues, with a kovbojský klobouk, or cowboy hat, with a li¹èí ohon, or fox's tail hanging from it. They also wear kanady, literally Canadian boots, which are military style black boots, or farmáøky, literally farmer's boots, which are dark yellow or brown.

The trampové are also traditionally distinguishable by the fact that they have a l¾íce v botì, or a spoon sticking out of one of their kanady or farmáøky. This is because when wandering through the woods, they may come across fellow vandráci making soup, a traditional dish as it is cheap to make. The soup is made in a huge can, that is too big and too hot to hold, so you have to use a l¾íce or spoon to eat it. The tradition is that is you don't have a spoon in your bota, or boot, then má¹ smùlu, tough luck, you won't get any food.

One of the other traditions for the trampové over the weekend is to kalit, or drink heavily. This actually comes from a term used in a smithy. Kalení is the Czech term for putting a red hot piece of metal into cold water to cool off. Over the years it has also taken on the meaning of drinking, and it has a certain logic to it, I am sure.

Well, that's it for this week. Next week we have a look at Czech schools, from primary, through secondary to university. So, until then, mìjte se fajn, or take care.

In order to properly view letters from the Czech alphabet it is necessary to set your browser to Central European languages (ISO 8859-2).