Mentality of Czech people

If you just moved to the country, you may have to deal with social behaviors that might seem quite different from those you’re used to. Language could constitute a great barrier too, that’s why we recommend starting learning Czech as soon as possible and attend one of our #MeetUps to familiarise with Czechs and expats with a longer experience of living in the context. Cutting to the chase, in now time to show you what we call Czech social awkwardness, and how Czechs really are!

Social awkwardness

  • Common way of socializing is to go to a local pub (hospoda) after a day at work to have one beer (na jedno). Needless to say it never ends with just one.
  • If you’re old or pregnant (or both) your chances of getting a seat in a public transport are incredibly high. It’s considered good manners to let old people or pregnant women sit down.
  • Czech people apologize all the time 🙂 At least it looks like “excuse me” or “pardon me” (s dovolením / pardon) are the most frequently used phrases. You’ll hear it the most in public transport, especially Prague metro. For example, when people try to get on/off the train or when you’re blocking the left side of the moving stairs.
  • Czechs are a little obsessed with doing sports. So in a random conversation you’ll definitely hear how someone went cycling (in summer) or skiing (in winter).
  • Ice hockey topic is always appreciated, not only during Ice Hockey Championship. You’d better know the names of the main players, or at least Jaromir Jagr. It also might come in handy to be aware, that two main football teams are Slavia and Sparta.

what are czech people like

How Czechs really are?

  • Czechs seem rather reserved when introduced to a new person. Usually, they do not trust people they do not know.
  • Their behavior may appear formal – the reason may be the use of the second-person in Czech language, the ‘polite’ form. It is used with people whom you do not know, in a formal social interaction, or when younger generation is addressing the older one. Another reason for the distrustful behavior comes from the communist era, when many people were forced to betray even their closest family members or friends.
  • Czech sense of humor or a general life attitude may be perceived as ironic or sarcastic. The same reason goes for maintaining their personal privacy and being intimate with people they know.
  • Czech people are naturally very polite and do not tend to be overly direct in communication.
  • They generally avoid confrontation – informal straightforwardness in dealing is common.
  • After getting to know Czechs better you become to love their cheerful and helpful character and you can experience what a warm and firm friendship is about.
  • They are very hospitable and enjoy to be a nation of realistic and very practical people.

Annie Fed

21 thoughts on “Mentality of Czech people

  1. Hello Anna , i will be visting the beautiful city of Prague for the 1st time in September, i have no fiends there and will love to make some acquaintances before i get there… Kindly assist in this regard .

    Thanks

  2. Thanks Anna for sharing such details…. I agreed with your points and I have seen this during my visit to Czech Republic in last 3-4 years.

    I feel Prague (or Czech Republic) as my second home after India…I feel safe, happy & ease during my whole travelling or stay…

    Czech people are very helpful and nice….

  3. I am a Vietnamese living in America and I LOVE the beautiful Czech people. I’ve been to your lovely land three times and will come again to preach the Holy Bible with a Czech brother in 2017. Your culture is so beautiful!!

  4. Hi people,
    Im greeting from czech republic. Like typical czech I will firstly apologize my bad english. Simply czech person 😀
    Honestly I was really surprised about this article I can say that its rly truth, u caught our nature well. Maybe better that czech people. But I must say that like in every country it always depend on locality. Despite a many faults which my country have, I love it here and mainly are language is beautiful. You all who want visit czech, are welcome and Im sure u back to home full of enjoyments

  5. You also have to mention that a big number of Czechs don’t really like or get along with Germans. This might be due to historical reasons but also the younger generation is acting differently towards them than to other nationalities.

    1. You are alright, but more than Germany, we really don’t like Russia. It’s because the history, they occuped us in 1968. It’s stronger, because there is still a big amount of people who remember it.

  6. Hello,
    I am from Czechia (Záchlumí, Pilsen region). When I read this article, I was very pleased. I am very happy, that you think this sabout us. We will welcome everybody, that want experience czech culture. If I can recommend some beautiful places (without famous), so Loket castel, Koněpruské jeskyně (caves), Mariánské a Františkovy lázně, Pilsen and maybe Ještěd (in winter). Thank you very much for beautiful article.

    1. Hi, Bara, I’ll do my best to answer your question ”Why are Czech people ashamed of being Czech”. As a Czech person, who has been living abroad for the last four years (U.K) I went through this ”not-good-enough-because-from-Czech times” myself. First of all, NO ONE in the Western Europe sees us a bad as we do see ourselves through our own eyes. None. Over the last years, when I had the chance to meet thousands of people from all over the World (no exaggeration here) – nearly all of them reacted extremely positive when I shared my origin. P O S I T I V E – so positive that I was always shocked by their enthusiasm. ”Yes, I am Czech, no big deal so calm down hun” always went through my mind. However, once some time passed, I started realising that some qualities that we as a nation possess (and take for granted) are ENTIRELY ABSENT in other places & cultures. First one worth mentioning is *high intellect & common sense* – it takes awhile to comprehend why others don’t see what’s pretty much obvious to you – they simply don’t have the capacity, or they never had to challenge their brains enough to observe the situation from different angles. *simple life*. Secondly, an enormous practicality – which is given us through our living conditions (lower wages/similar expenses). – So to be able to live within the means, in Czech you have to be able to use your resources precautiously – things like a meal deal for £2-3 (minimum salary £7.50/hour) don’t exist. Therefore there is no time for laziness in Czech, you need to be practical as hell to handle your finances, expenses and bills – and this requires some skills and pragmatism – which is not so common over here. Any Czechs who think about themselves this way needs some exposure to the World beyond the Czech borders so that they can find out, that the low-esteem has nothing to do with the actual skills, intelligence, looks or education. It’s just a habitual way of thinking passed on by the older generations. No, the western grass isn’t any greener than the Czech one. Period. Hope that you find this useful, Bara, there is no reason to feel like less if you know what the ”little” outside the borders is like. Have a nice day, dear. 🙂

      1. *high intellect & common sense*… ROTFL. Common sense is a flower that does not grow in everyone’s garden, and certainly not in a Czech one. As for high intellect, it can only be the result of the exceptionally good system of education in the Czech Republic. I really would like to see things from your point of view but I can’t seem to get my head that far up my ass. ROTFL.

    2. My Dad’s parents were from Czechoslovakia. I would LOVE to go there to visit. My first cousin just got back from her first visit there. I have always been very proud to be Czechoslovakian!

  7. Social skills below zero.Friendliness ,humor below zero.Formality,typicality 9/10.
    Aka Very Boring

  8. I came across this blog trying to find out about Czech characteristics. My mother was always referred to as German/Czech. She was born illegitimately and her surname was Turner (umlaut ‘u’), her mother’s name. I understood that as a German name so where was the Czech element? She was born in Brno, so that must be it! Her father’s name was Matthias Bunzl, which I assumed was German. All my life I have held the belief I am half German but I now believe that is incorrect. My 50% German has been reduced to 12 1/2%, I think.
    Firstly I discovered that my great’german’grandmother was Czech, and secondly that Matthias Bunzl was probably Czech also (though, I would like to confirm this). So that now makes me 37 1/2% Czech, hence my interest in Czech characteristics. If anyone has any advice on how I might find out more about my grandfather (apart from the little my mother told me), I would be very grateful as, so far, I can find nothing.

    1. Get a DNA test done through Ancestry.com. It tells you what Nationalities that you inherited, and will hook you up with relatives of yours that have taken the test. Your relatives might be able to shed some light also.

  9. Sorry cech people are so weird, I was once there and when I politely ask some person for an adress info they didn t even look me, I ve visited a lot of country but this behavior wan t nowhere just in Czech, they are so rude and weird

    1. They probably didn’t understand you. I don’t agree with you.
      We can find rude people all around the world so don’t judge all Czech pople on one bad experience.

  10. Love Czech culture and people, was blessed to be there for studies. Very easy to make close friendships quickly but have heard from some older expats who’ve lived in CZ long time that the friendships while deep & warm strong connections at the time tend to be more superficial not lasting long-term, disappearing during adversity and hard times. Hope this isn’t true as I love my Czech friends but it hasn’t been long enough for me to know. Would be interested to know if anyone else can comment on that aspect.

  11. Hi! Im from Czech Republic and I rly like your text.
    I would just like to comment about taking the seat to someone- we offer seat always to someone who truly needs it ( in because of their state of health also😊) – for many people (especially for olders) its sign of good manners.
    Using polite version of addressing (vykaanii) there is still in the times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, when the Czech had an Emperor. if you saw the films of the Emperor’s Baker and the Baker’s Emperor (the legendary Czech funny fairy tale, inspired by Empire times), you have seen the Emperor say something like ‘WE are the Empire, WE are the monarchy’. That was the time when vykání get label of respectfull and polite version of adresing. Until then there was no difference in it.😊

  12. Wow. ‘Naturally very polite’ and ‘avoid confrontation’. Clearly, you haven’t lived here very long. Otherwise yes, good description.

  13. Why do Czech people stare at women who have their legs out?? It’s so creepy and everyone does it?

  14. Additionally, I came to Prague with my friends who are mainly girls and since I’ve been here, I’ve seen men and worm glare at my friends up and down like they’re pieces of meat and that they’ve never seen a pair or legs before. It makes me feel sick seeing this from every person and even more that these people are with children (which sets a great example for them to look at tourist) and other people. Apart from that the buildings and country is beautiful just avoid the locals.

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