Czech Courting customs (not wedding customs)

Discussion in 'Culture' started by RachelMacgregor, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. Greetings!

    I am currently writing a short story in which a man from the Czech Republic is in love with a Canadian woman. (They're working in Canada.) I am curious as to what courting customs/traditions might be considered sweet and maybe a little old-fashioned. The character has just fallen in love with her and has decided to court her properly. So what's properly?

    For example: When or if would he bring her flowers? What kinds of things would they do on dates? Would he take her to dinner or would he ever cook for her?

    Would there be anything particular to the culture that would be considered old-fashioned, but romantic?

    I appreciate any insights you might give.

    Thank you.
  2. TallElf

    TallElf Member

    well first, you should change things around. make it a czech female and a canadian male. that would be much more realistic.

    if you want a clue as to what romance means to the typical czech male i would encourage you to watch the verona music video entitled, "jen tobě" :lol: . remember, if it appears in a eurodance video it has got to be true. 8) just go to tobě.

    and yes, this is the type of music i listen to. :D
  3. LOL Alas, it's already partially written. And the female character speaks Czech and once worked in Prague, so the other character has a connection to her, as they are very far from home right now. So far, he's taken her to dinner and gone on walks, and they've seen a movie together. That's it so far.

    I'll take a look at the video, but I've seen some entries into Eurovision in the past. I think I'm scared. ha ha. Thank you for the reply, though.

    Every little bit helps, even if it's amusing...
  4. brook

    brook Well-Known Member

    :lol: Ha...that's funny...I'm going to refrain from making any comments!

    Well, let's see... I had a czech guy who tried to "woo" me by bringing me chocolates on my name day (brook is my 'nom de plume' :wink: ). The really good chocolates - modre z nebe...mmm.... But anway, perhaps if your character has a name day or who's name could come close to a name that has an official name day, then maybe that would work as an extra "courting ritual." :)
  5. Is there any Czech equivalent to Rachel? (It's my character's name, not my real name) It means "ewe" in Hebrew. If not, I guess he could use her middle name, Ann.
  6. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    I am not sure how realistic is that Canadian (who worked in CR) is speaking Czech. Be careful with degree of Czech learned as it is not easy language. Was she teaching English there? You have many here who can give you more detail regarding that. Placing your story shortly after 1990 would give you much more material as things were really changing in CR and being there at that time was very exciting.

    Perhaps you can ask in Language section how much Czech they learned while working in CR. I would think that average person wouldn't learn to converse as everyone she would meet there would want to speak English. If she was there shortly after revolution as lots of people I(we were), courses where she could learn Czech were not available.

    Courting customs very much depend on age of the people and their financial situation. Was he new in Canada or did he lived and worked there for a long time??

    As to "courting by Czech men".........I have been around the block few times (with Czechs and Canadians) and don't have much to say to "romance". Czech men did not strike me as particularly romantic - customary shortest way to have sex (three dates?) and then weasel into situation where they can be "at home" where they both would stay in bed (she would cook meals for him without his help). You can create situation where Canadian woman would NOT cook for him (he would find that rather odd!).....Any Czech woman would start cooking for her man as that is the fastest way how to get man to marry you (some think). Once he would get her there (Czech women cook lovingly and do everything for their man) they would hardly get "out". Privacy shortage used to be problem in CR but I would dare to say that in Canada this would be usual scenario. He would only bring flowers before he gets her to have sex, later just for her Birthday or Name day (good idea, you can check Czech calendar there is name for each day). Then he will start forgeting ...

    It would be Czlech man phoning woman he is interested in and he will be persistent as many Czech women are playing coy and men know they have to "push"....woman will eventually say yes. He will be "showing" on the street where she works or live to meet her by chance. He would take her to movies, for coffee to sit and talk long time (only when courting not after they have sex), walks. In CR he would not usually take her out for dinner just for coffee to nice coffee house). Czechs almost never had their own apartments (lived with parents) so it would be weekend at the cottage of some friends (friends not there) he will invite her to go to get her to bed and have privacy. Going camping in the summer is another way (he would definitely play quitar by the fire and sing "tramp songs" all Czechs know. In winter, it would be skiing (also some friends cottage).

    I know one Czech man who is getting married very fast (now 6 times). It is cheaper, he says than to court Canadian woman. Canadian woman is expecting that he will take her out (dinners) incl wine even after they have sex. So he has this trick after few dinners out invite them to his apartment to cook dumplings for her (not typically Czech for a Czech man). It always works for Canadian woman....very deceiving. However, next time she probably invite him to her place and makes dinner for them. From then on he will find the way how to spend their time in her place. Staying longer and longer...and then not leaving at all.

    I appologize to all romantic Czech men. I know that there are some women on this board who do have them as husbands or boyfriends and they are more up-to-date on their behaviour with woman of other nationality. I personally would not chose Czech man for husband. Traditional role of good wife who works full time and does household and children full time for them is still very much in the back of their minds.

    o.k. girls and (Czech) it is your turn!
    :lol: :lol: :lol:
  7. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    Please note that I am Czech happily married for 25 years to Canadian, so my experiences are not at the present time. I speak from experience of my Czech friends and my own is from long time ago. I do hope that Czech men changed and I am curious to see if it will spark conversation on this theme.
  8. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    One more thing, Rachel. On bottom of the page in "Culture" look for "Previous page" and go all the way back. I just looked through a bit and there is just a wealth of info on cultural attitudes and personality trades of Czech men. You will have lot of interesting comments to read.
  9. gementricxs

    gementricxs Well-Known Member

    Magan, some men changed, some not.
    You are Czech, so you should understand Slovak, right?
    Go to the website of Slovak TV Markiza and at the top menu choose tv archív and then show Zámena manželiek and show from 7.2.2006. I don't know whether you are familiar with this show or not. Basically it's reality show where families "swap" wifes. One wife go for 10 days to the second family and the other wife go to the first family.
    Definitely go to the website and watch it. It's even worse than you're saying.
    The man treat the wife like a maid. He's complaining that she didn't prepare breakfast on time, that she make the bed badly, that the bin is full, that on the mirror is stain and so on. She's really like a maid and DID NOTHING to help her, to help with preparing food and other things.
    I was really astonished whe I saw it, it's hard to believe that it's true. Anyway you'll see for yourself.
  10. Thank you, this is very helpful for my writing! And actually, it's very funny, too. Let me tell you the basic parts of the story so far. It's not a serious thing that I'm writing. And I'm really writing her part, not his part. I'm just doing all the research. (sigh, :wink: )

    She is an electrical engineer, doctorate level. She went to Prague to work on a project in microcircuitry. She lived there for about 8-9 years, and would like to think she learned the language to at least make some friends. Then she moved to another place where English is the main language. OK, it's science fiction, they're on another planet in an outpost. He is also an Engineer, but they didn't meet until right before coming to this outpost. It's an international outpost, many cultures and nationalities work there.

    I find it funny, the things you say, because the person who is writing his part is getting a lot of that correct without even knowing this! They are both in mid to late 30's in modern times. He was in the military, and went to university to be an Engineer. I wouldn't say he's terribly old-fashioned, but he has decided to court her and wants to be a little traditional for that.

    I laugh because of the bringing her flowers before they marry, then forgetting to after that. Hmm, not so different from my ex-husband here in America. I would still love to hear other people's opinions, but this is very helpful. Thank you!

    PS. my real name is Meghan.
  11. Thank you, but I'm American, actually. :D We have a very similar show here, the families are usually very different in social status and personality to make it interesting. I'm amazed at the people sometimes, that they could actually exist. I've seen some who were very rich, and much more cruel to their families than the poor ones. Strange show. I may look at that one, just to see how it is different/the same as our show.
    Thank you for your help.
  12. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    gementricxs: I have been in Prague for three months last Fall/Winter and have seen most of the shows. I found them VERY interesting. After so many years living overseas I am still intriqued by cultural differences between me and my Czech women friends - mainly their attitude towards men.

    I had also experienced my own reality show with my first husband (Czech). :)
  13. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    WOW this is Slovak version of the show. Thank you.
  14. brook

    brook Well-Known Member

    wow. I know not all czech men are like this, but this sounds soooo familiar... (your entire post, not just this part!).
  15. JakiL

    JakiL Member

    Why does TallElf say you should switch it to a CZ woman courting a CAN man? I am a CAN woman married to a CZ man and I find the comment odd to say the least...

    Czech men, in my experience with my husband and also from what I have seen from Czech relatives, etc, are not the most romantic men in the world. They express love more from a place of gentle appreciation than from an overly outward expression of romantic love.

    That being said, I wouldn't be inclined to label Canadian men as the most romantic blokes on the planet either so all is good.... And romance doesn't necessarily mean that a man is a worthy long term life parner, it is a piece in an overall picture.

    Anyways, that is my take.
  16. iluvuma1

    iluvuma1 Well-Known Member

    Courtship? Is there such a thing for Czech men (ha!) My husband of almost two years and I have had our fair share of culture clash and have managed to both compromise.
    He is a very good man, overall- however he definitely has the stated "traits" described in this topic.
    He very much expects me to do all the domestic chores (even though I work full time.) I have him trained to share duties- but he still grumbles when its his turn to clean the bathroom. I think he has washed his own dishes a total of two times in two years.
    Czech men have thier pluses, however. They are to my understanding more apt to spend time with families doing simpler things. Picnics, sports, that type of thing. They are very hard workers- but it is hard to get them to part with money.
    Do NOT expect any kind of greeting card for Valentine's Day, birthday- because if they are there- to a Czech man it is redundant to give a card. And wasteful. Gifts in general are small scale. Czechs are big savers (almost hoarding thier money). My guess is because their parents groomed them to prepare for hard times. It is considered extravagant and unneccessary to spend money on expensive restaurants and presents.
    Hope this helps your analysis for your book...
    Oh, and lastly- no over indulgent affection or saying I love you every day... It is rare for him/his friends to express "love" openly. It is more of a thing that is assumed.
  17. JakiL

    JakiL Member

    I love the latest post - the reference to spending is all too familiar!

    Although my hubby tells me he luvs me a lot :wink:
  18. iluvuma1

    iluvuma1 Well-Known Member

    Czech humor is different than North American humor. (I'm going to lump Canada and US together here.) My husband appreciates irony more than me. He will sit through a lot of American comedies and barely crack a smile. (Slapstick, farting etc. escapes him a bit.) Same goes if I watch a Czech movie that is supposed to be funny.
    Also Czech men are more likely to have an opinion on your clothes, hairstyle, etc. They have more of an appreciation of decorating and in my opinion are a bit more feminine. My husband enjoys decorating cakes, etc. However- it may just be him.
  19. ultraspunk

    ultraspunk Member

    actually...The female is supposed to bring the flower.....We are different that way.
  20. iluvuma1

    iluvuma1 Well-Known Member

    Is that true or are you joking? I am not surprised. My husband has told me that for his birthday all he ever got (or wanted for that matter) was flowers from his mother's garden and birthday cake.

    He in general appreciates flowers/gardening much more so than most American men I know.

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