Prague, Czech Republic – The government has moved to introduce an official “Day of Czechs abroad” to recognize and highlight the role played by Czech expats and communities in foreign countries.
The “Czechs Abroad Day” is also meant to help them reconnect with their homeland on a dedicated day, celebrated annually.
So when will it be, you ask? Well, that’s for you to decide.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has launched a public online poll to select, out of five carefully chosen and symbolic days, when the Day of Czechs Abroad will be observed. People have until the end of the month to vote.
Here are the different options:
February 4 (1628): commemorates the day philosopher, pedagogue and theologian Jan Amos Komensky, widely recognized as the founder of modern educational practices, left the Czech lands to advise leaders, reformers and governments across 17th-century Europe.
March 7 (1850): birthday of T.G. Masaryk, founder and first president of Czechoslovakia, who spent a great amount of years abroad to garner support for the First Czechoslovak Republic, that saw the light of day in the aftermath of World War I. “Masaryk Day” is celebrated on that day since 1934 to recognize the role of Czech and Slovak communities abroad in the establishment of Czechoslovakia.
April 17 (1826): commemorates Vojtěch Náprstek, a journalist, leading figure and first “consul” of the Czech diaspora in North America, who played a crucial role in encouraging Czechs in the US to self-organize and keep their culture alive, including through the publication of their own Czech-language newspapers.
July 1 (1932): opening day of the first Congress of Czechs and Slovaks abroad, held in July 1932.
December 23 (1989): in memory of the day Foreign Ministers Hans Dietrich Genscher and Jiri Dienstbier simultaneously cut through the barbed wire and crossed the once-closed border at the Rozvadov-Waidhaus crossing, in the aftermath of the Velvet Revolution that toppled the communist regime in Czechoslovakia.
At the time of writing, February 4 was in the lead with 42% of the votes, followed by the December (25%) and March (15%) dates.
To cast your vote, it’s right here!