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FW: Close and Cooperative Relationships

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  • Kotrla RJ (Richard)
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31, 2001
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      > 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
      > chapter.
      >
      > 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
      > situation.
      >
      > I found his thoughts on this subject interesting and thought I would
      > share.
      >
      > Richard Kotrla
      >
      >
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