What a wonderful experience for me to present my bachelor thesis about Czech migration to Texas in Temple! Yesterday (August, 9), I had an unique chance to share my „Texas story“ with the Czech descendants who came to listen to my presentation to Czech Heritage Center in Temple. I talked briefly about my study stay abroad in Waco and my first encounter with the Czech culture in Texas (about which, indeed, I hadn´t had any idea before coming there). To put it briefly, I gave them an outline of my thesis and shared some interesting points that I have learned when researching and writing it.
Speaking frankly, I was a bit nervous few minutes before the start, however, all my worries were in vain. The spectators were such nice and friendly people who patiently listened to me, followed my jokes and showed their great interest when both answering questions and contributing to the discussion at the end.
For instance, they wanted us to speak Czech (my dear friend Annie was there as well, so we chatted for a while), so that they could practice their Czech. Some of them were able to understand us very well, which I admire a lot when realizing that these people have been living in Texas whole their life and don´t speak Czech a lot now. Moreover, the immigrants were mainly from Moravia, so the following generations have learned Moravian dialects which is definitely a bit different from what I am used to. So we spoke for few minutes in Czech and everybody was having a good fun.
People also asked me about the recipe for kolaches. This was another funny moment, since I do not know much about the recipes (shame on me), but at least we came to an agreement that the crucial ingredients is yeast :-). Consequently, people started to chat about Czech food, which, by the way, seems to be one of the most favorite topics to talk. They also mentioned sausages kolaches, certainly a mix of Czech and American culture, even though considered by some people as a true Czech recipe.
Anyway, the positive atmosphere that was created during and after the presentation cannot be really captured and described. The presentation was followed by a refreshment and we continued talking. People were coming to shake my hand, say thank you and wish me good luck in my future.
I might repeat myself, but the way the Czech descendants are interested in their heritage and their enthusiasm to maintain it is truly impressive to me. Without any doubt, I was leaving Temple flooded with positive feelings. I am very proud that Czech descendants are such kind-hearted people who don´t forget the homeland their parents or grand-parents are from.
Thank you folks for your support!