Cultural traditions Tag


Mila Saskova-Pierce

There were two reasons. One was they wouldn’t let me continue at school, and of course I knew that it was somewhere some farming cooperative that I would have to go to; and/or that I wouldn’t have a chance to grow intellectually and understand what was happening to my whole nation. To the literature, to the music, to the film. To the people, to their relationships.

Bohuslav Rychlik

It was just singing songs. I was even collecting tramp songs for a long time. I really liked it, because those are truly, truly romantic songs about America, which people in America have no idea. It’s just funny how people romanticized this country.

Monica Rokus

they were training with wooden guns, and the Russians took them, took these, it was an organization of young boys that were not army trained yet, because they were too young. And he was in the archipelago, in Siberia for eight years in captivity.

Paulina Porizkova

So my parents got on a motorcycle and they escaped across the border to Austria, like many other people were doing at the time, and I suppose this was quite a dangerous trip so they didn’t want to take a three year old on a motorcycle between them, so they left me with my grandmother. I wasn’t going to see them again, my mother for three years and my father for six years.

Pavel Paces

Next thing you know, my mother was arrested, January 25, and was detained in Pankrác in solitary confinement for two months. At that time, we didn’t know this story – when we were here in the States. My family didn’t really talk about what they went through in Czechoslovakia

Jarek Mika

I have very fresh memories of walking by a grocery store or pharmacy and seeing empty shelves, or seeing a line of people waiting outside. The practice was that, if you saw a line in front of a pharmacy, you immediately went and stood in the line because something arrived that was never available, and it was the bizarre stuff you’d expect.

George Mesko

That was the so-called kádrovanie, you know the sort of political… x-ray, you know, who you really are. But the funny thing is, they didn’t find out who you really are. I was lucky that my father was dead. If my father was not dead, I am out of medical school. You know, that’s what your origins are – you know, your belief, your religion – this is what counts. If you were not on their side, on the left side then, that’s it.

Anne McKeown

You were very cautious about everything you did. With my mother’s first cousin, Oliver, he was probably about 60, we were in our 20s. And I can remember crossing the Austrian border and there was a border patrol, one gentleman at the Austrian border in a shack and he saluted us and he said, ‘Good luck.’ We go into the bridge into Bratislava, and everything there is machine guns, soldiers. There’s not a tree, there’s watchtowers every thirty feet. It was so frightening. They’re looking under your car with mirrors, they’re opening your car – frightening, frightening.

Lucia Maruska

They had machine guns, but my mother kept yelling ‘Italiano!’ She thought they were Italians, she was hoping they were Italians. They were not, unfortunately. They took us back to that little house, and on the other side of the road they had caught a man who was Polish, trying to escape. And these soldiers were young kids; they were 18 to 21, they were kicking this man, they were beating him on the floor.

Daniela Mahoney

I remember this unique experience that people would actually go to the stores and buy socks. They were woolen socks and you would actually take the socks apart and you would recycle the yarn, and so they would knit or crochet a sweater, and then, when I would grow, they would take the sweater apart and add more yarn, but they were still using these socks.