> Dear fellow Czechlisters:
> Over the past several months, we have discussed about the close personal
> relationships we have on this list and as Czechs in general.
> Texas A&M University professor Robert Skrabanek, a few years ago, authored
> the book, "We're Czechs." Although I have been aware of the book for a
> long time and even had him as a professor, I had not read the book until I
> purchased it at the recent state meeting in Rosenberg from our Fort Bend
> He has an entire chapter on this subject:
> I would like to share with you some excerpts from that chapter:
> "Loyalty to one's family and kin was a carryover from the Old Country.
> Our European ancestors endured many hardships, which led to a certain type
> of closeness which comes from sharing the same kinds of adverse
> experiences. The fact they were viewed as dumb greenhorns in a new
> country also served to intensify their feelings of closeness. Even in our
> own community, the Americans did not call us Czechs, but instead,
> Bohemians. It was a designation we deeply resented. I never knew if they
> did it because they just did not know any better, but I suspected it was
> their way of putting us down. Papa said it was because they knew we were
> better than they were, and this was their way of getting back at us...."
> Dr. Skrabanek went on to write:
> "The Americans intermarried with persons of different stock well before
> the 1920s, which tended to break down their loyalties to one another. On
> the other hand, we remained pure Czechs much longer... Thus the
> traditional ways of doinbg things were perpetuated through continual
> intermarriage and remained more intact among us Czechs than they did among
> the Americans."
> He also notes:
> "Another factor that contributed to the preservation of our close
> relationships was that we were self-sufficient dirt farmers as opposed to
> our American neighbors and their less intensive agriculture pursuits.
> This situation called for close cooperation among all family members and
> working together as a team on an around-the-clock basis. We spent lots of
> time together, shared our experiences, and had few secrets that were kept
> from each other. With us, it was more of a one-for-all-and-all-for-one
> I found his thoughts on this subject interesting and thought I would
> Richard Kotrla
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