Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The 20th Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution

Yesterday the whole republic were celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.
So we´ve had 20 years of democracy. And yesterday many people have realised that there are still many things to learn. But we after all we can learn them freely. No one would decide instead of us.
Last year I was also writing of this event which changed our lives and the whole country. You can read it here.

It was an amazing week in 1989. The whole nation came together and in that frozen week there were people in the streets and squares, and they were protesting, non-violently. There were usually about 500,000 people, sometimes even 1 million, on Prague´s main square (the Czech Republic has only about 10 millions people, so it was really a lot).

Because the television studios in capital city were occupied by the communist powers, and there were no chance how to get people in the other parts of the republic know what was happening, many people were crossing the whole country by their own cars and telling people that the history was going to change.

Also the people on the squares were there every single day to let people in passing cars (which were honking at them to support them) know the news. Literally all people came together and supported each other. That was the most amazing thing about this revolution.

The other amazing thing was that the whole revolution was started by students, artists, and the intelligentsia. So the whole revolution is an evidence that even art can make the difference. And when Václav Havel, the playwright, became a president (chosen by people), it was a pure happiness. And even nowadays all call him President Havel (although he is a president no more).
Here are the news (from USA) describing what happened in the whole then communist Europe, but there is also a big part dedicating to our Velvet Revolution:


And here is a slideshow of some photos from those days. The song accompanied the slideshow is sang by Karel Kryl, and it is his very famous song called Close the Gate, Little Brother. Karel Kryl was very popular Czech singer-songwriter and performer of many protest songs in which he strongly criticized and identified the shortcomings and inhumanity of the Communist regime.

His song were banned, of course. And I remember how I felt as a small girl, when my parents were listening to them, we sang them together, and even now I can sing these song by heart.

I have read an article in the newspaper where somebody had written: "to understand the Velvet Revolution is like to understand the Czech mentality". Well, maybe.


Paula said...

Congratulations, Namnet, it must be a wonderful day. The other day I was looking at my post, "The Ground We Walk On", which mentions your post last year and was inspired by the anniversary.

Canadian life insurance companies said...

Twenty years is a long time. Yet, not long enough for countries to be perfect. You are right, there is still so much to learn. Luckily, I never had to live in communism here in Canada. I'm so thankful for that.