I arrived back to Waco from my extended weekend and had to put down the impressions I have from the two latest lectures I gave. The first one was on Friday at the Czech Center Museum in Houston. I absolutely fell in love with the beautifully decorated room where I was presenting my thesis. The stylish wooden furniture, a nice carpet, the festive chandeliers – I would never say that all these „details“ can help to calm you down before you present. Nevertheless, the thing I appreciated the most was the technical background: everyone could see and hear well thanks to the big projection screen and the portable microphone, plus – as you can see in the picture below, I was equipped by a great gadget of the twenty-first century – the wireless red laser pointer that facilitated a lot my work when speaking. Thus, the overall atmosphere was hopefully pleasant not only for the audience, but for me as well.
As always, I shared with people my story and they patiently listened to me. Every presentation is different. I never know how people will react and so promptness and readiness are my best friends at that time I speak. The audience always surprises me, because every group finds hilarious different things. When one group laughs a lot at some point, the other does not. As I say, you had better be ready for everything when presenting in front of Texans 🙂
Anyway, the audience in Houston was very friendly, attentive and at the end they had intriguing questions. One of them was if I can hear any difference in Czech that is spoken by the descendant here in Texas and Czech I speak. The answer is definitely yes. For instance, people here when saying goodbye often use „S pánem bohem“, which is considered ‚old school‘ nowadays in the Czech republic.
My favorite question this time, though, was if the ending -„ová“, that is in my last name (Luňáková), is something trendy or popular now in the Czech language. Even though, I replied that not really and that the language system has always worked like that, I wasn’t completely right. I have learned that in the past there were some areas in the Czech lands, where they were using „ová“ for married women and „ova“ for single ones. Since the nineteenth century they started to use the ending „ová“ for every women, no matter what their marital status was. Isn’t that interesting? How funny or rather ridiculous would it be to use this system nowadays.
I am always very happy when people have questions/comments or when they want to share with me their personal stories. I know how important to them is their cultural heritage and I feel very honored when they travel, sometimes quite far away, to see me. All this truly shows their enthusiasm and pride of being of Czech ancestry and I am glad to be a part of this incredible Czech-Texas phenomenon.
Mami, to koukáš, co se tu najde, co? Musíme v Rokytnici zase na výlet a koupit Krakonoše 😉
Thanks everyone for coming and supporting me. It means a lot to me. Nothing would have been possible without you all!