Results of the Radio Prague Competition
640 Radio Prague listeners took part in the competition. The task was simple - to write a short text answering the question WHO OR WHAT COMES TO MY MIND WHEN I HEAR THE WORD 'PRAGUE'?
It was very difficult to decide but the winner has finally been chosen - it is Nikolai Loginov from Russia. You can read his letter as well as the runners-up on this page.
The prize for the winner is a week-long trip for two in the Czech Republic including free return flights. The trip is sponsored by Staropramen - Prague's favourite beer - and the flights are sponsored by Czech Airlines - At Home In The Skies. The runners-up will receive Radio Prague souvenirs.
You can find the details about the rules of the competition here.
Prague, Prague... What comes to my mind when I hear this name?
Several things. Various objects, events, places.
My first memory comes from my childhood, my birthdays. On those days there was always a "Prague" cake on the festive table at home. At that time I did not know Prague was the beautiful capital of Czechoslovakia. So during my childhood, Prague was a lovely cake for me. Moreover, there were two varieties of "Prague" because my mother had two recipes: One from the "Rabotnica" magazine and the other from a tear-off calendar.
My second memory is that of Victory Day. My father would don his uniform with medals and distinctions. He had many of them but there was one he valued the most - a medal for the liberation of Prague. For my father the Second World War ended on May 9, 1945 in the newly liberated Prague. Thanks to the stories my father told me, the celebrations of Victory Day are closely connected with Prague in my mind. It was he who told me about "Golden Prague", its beauties and the goodness of its citizens.
Another memory is connected with the term "democratisation". For me it started in 1968 along with the "Prague Spring". I was at high school and I already followed world events. I understood that what was going on in Czechoslovakia was very important and the events had great significance for the improvement of ordinary people's lives. My assumptions were being reassured by the "hostile propaganda" I was listening to despite the radio jammers. Several of my friends were doing there national service at the time, and they had to take part in the "international assistance" to Czechoslovakia. When they returned home they told us about the real events in Czechoslovakia and that people did not welcome the Warsaw Pact troops with flowers but leaflets and barricades made of cars and buses. The "international assistance" to Czechs and Slovaks was in fact an occupation meant to prevent Czechoslovak citizens from living differently. The "Prague Spring" was suppressed, but without it the democratisation of Eastern European countries in the 1980s and 1990s would not have happened.
Prague comes to my mind also in connection with the Arbat quarter in Moscow. I go there every time I come to Moscow. I walk alone or with my wife along the legendary street. And what is the first thing one sees after getting off the underground? The "Prague" restaurant. One cannot get into Arbat without passing Prague. So in my mind Arbat equals the "Prague" restaurant.
And finally a recent association: radio. Radio Prague, of course. There is no evening without Radio Prague and on weekends I listen in the mornings too. So my radio too means Prague.
So this is what comes to my mind when I hear the word Prague.
Simon Mason, England
Amela Omerspahic, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Eric Cunningham, England
Michael Popovich, USA
Ikukoyi Olufemi Olukayode, Nigerie
Bob Rankin, USA
Michael Stevenson, Australie
Solveig Lindblom, Sweden
Jaakko Haapamäki, Sweden
Michael Burden, United Kingdom