Czech culture has a distinct flavor that makes it stand out from its European neighbors. From a love of beer, dumplings, and mushrooms to an appreciation for history and nature, there are many hallmarks that define Czech identity. If you identify with some or all of the following traits, you might just have a touch of Czech in your soul.
So, how Czech are you really? If you find yourself nodding along to these signs, you’d fit right in with the locals in the Czech Republic.
Do you love beer? If so, you’d fit right in with Czech culture. Czech Republic drinks the most beer per person out of anywhere in the world. But Czechs don’t just drink beer, they practically worship it.
The famous Pilsner Urquell originated in the Czech city of Plzeň. Czech beers are generally light, crisp lagers – perfect for long, lazy afternoons at an outdoor cafe. Want to blend in? Learn how to properly say “Na zdraví!” (Cheers!) and try local beers like Kozel, Starobrno, Budweiser Budvar, or Staropramen.
And if you’re spending Christmas in the Czech Republic, you should totally get some beer-themed gifts. Beer soap or cosmetics would be a fun, unique option. Or how about treating your partner to a beer spa? They give you a nice beer bath. Like I said, beer is way more than just a drink over there. It’s a whole part of their culture. Everything is infused with beer.
Socks In Sandals
Are you always sporting socks with your sandals? If so, you’d fit right in with the Czechs. This fashion faux pas is strangely popular in the Czech Republic.
Whether you’re going out for a beer, walking around town, or just relaxing at home, socks and sandals are a common combination. Some theorize it’s because Czechs value comfort and practicality over style. Others say it’s a holdover from the communist era when choices were limited. Whatever the reason, if you rock this look, you’ll blend right in.
Tough On The Side, Soft On The Inside
On the surface, you may come across as rather stoic and serious, keeping your emotions close to the vest. But underneath it all is a heart of gold, even if it’s not always on full display.
Folks often mistake your calm, collected demeanor as anger or indifference. After all, you don’t wear your feelings on your sleeve like some. But those who take the time to get to know you see there’s much more below the surface. You care deeply for your friends, family, loved ones and community – you just have a quiet way of showing it.
Don’t let the cool exterior fool anyone. Just because you don’t spill your guts or get riled up easily doesn’t mean you don’t feel things deeply. You process emotions thoughtfully instead of wearing them for all to see. And your soft Czech heart is there, even if it takes a bit of effort to uncover at first.
Looks Don’t Really Matter
Czechs tend to be very casual and care little about superficial things. They love wearing socks with sandals, even in summer. This is a joke, of course. But comfort over style or “fashion rules” is typical. And no one blinks an eye.
If you don’t care about what others might think of how you look or dress, you’d feel at home in the Czech Republic. Individuality and comfort are respected. Superficiality is not.
“Live and Let Live” Attitude
A live-and-let-live attitude is quintessentially Czech. If you don’t bat an eye at people who are different from you, whether in appearance, beliefs, or lifestyle, you’ll fit right into the Czech mindset.
Czechs value privacy, independence, and letting others do their own thing. They don’t tend to judge people based on superficial attributes like skin color, religion, or economic status. As the old saying goes, “live and let live.”
This liberal attitude extends to lifestyle choices as well. Whether someone prefers classical music or punk rock, enjoys reading philosophy or watching reality TV, or lives in a castle or a camper van, Czechs normally don’t pass judgment.
Individual freedom and tolerance are deeply ingrained in Czech culture. After decades of oppression under communist rule, Czechs cherish the ability to live life on their own terms without interference from others.
You may hear people online say Czechs are super racist. But how would they really know? They don’t know what’s in every Czech person’s heart. And me personally, as a Czech, I don’t actually know any racists. If anything, most people would rather just ignore foreigners than waste their time gossiping about them. People are too busy with their own lives to be that worried about who’s coming in and out of the country.
Dry, Black Humour
If you find yourself chuckling at the absurdities of life or gallows humor, you’d appreciate the Czech sense of humor. Czechs are known for their witty and ironic jokes poking fun at politics, authority figures, and the human condition. Self-deprecating humor and not taking oneself too seriously are highly valued.
Some examples of classic Czech jokes:
“Why are Czech jokes so short? So Germans can understand them too.”
“An optimist learns English. A pessimist learns Russian. A realist learns to operate a Kalashnikov.”
If these kinds of jokes or humorous takes on life’s difficulties and political issues resonate with you, you’d fit right in with the Czech sense of humor. Not taking life or oneself too seriously and being able to laugh in the face of hardships are very Czech qualities. Their humor is a coping mechanism that has helped them prevail through a tumultuous history.
You Don’t Take Politicians And Presidents Too Seriously
For centuries, the Czech people lived under the oppressive rule of the Habsburg monarchy and, later, the communist regime. This cultivated a healthy disrespect for authority and a tendency to rebel against those in power. Even today, Czechs love to complain about their politicians and government over beers with friends.
Rather than taking leaders and institutions too seriously, Czechs prefer to puncture pomposity. They enjoy mocking politicians through political cartoons, satire, and jokes that poke fun at the system. Their national hero, Václav Havel, was a playwright and dissident who used humor and the absurdity of the communist regime as a weapon.
This cynicism and irreverence would serve you well if you want to integrate into Czech culture. Don’t be surprised if your Czech friends make jokes about politicians or roll their eyes at some new government policy. Their sarcasm and dark humor show they haven’t lost their spirit of defiance. So, if you also can’t resist mocking those in power or highlighting the ridiculousness of politics, you’d fit right in with the Czechs. Just make sure to do it over a nice cold beer!
You Are An Atheist Yet You Believe In “Something More”
You don’t really believe in God or attend church, but you do have a sense there’s something greater out there. This openness to spirituality without strict religious doctrine is common in the Czech Republic, where atheism has been popular since the Communist era.
While most Czechs don’t practice organized religion, many still believe in “something more” – a higher power, cosmic energy, or greater meaning in life. They value ideals like goodness, truth, and morality over rigid rules and doctrines. If this open and pondering approach to faith and existence resonates with you, you’d fit right into the Czech mindset.
Rather than weekly church services, Czech spirituality is often expressed through appreciating nature, art, and philosophy. Spending time in the countryside, reading inspiring books, or having deep conversations with friends are seen as ways to nourish the soul.
So, if you’re the type who finds meaning through life’s simple moments, ponders deep questions about existence over a pint of beer, and believes there’s an order or purpose to the universe without needing a strict set of religious beliefs, you’d be right at home in this Central European nation. The Czechs have maintained their own brand of spirituality that celebrates life, thought, and beauty without requiring rigid rules or absolute answers.
You Have Your Own Chalupa
Weekend cottages have been a Czech tradition for generations, allowing city dwellers to escape to nature and slow down the hectic pace of urban life.
If you have your own cottage that you leave the city to visit each weekend, you’ve truly embraced this Czech custom. Every Friday after work, you trade the traffic and tall buildings for the quiet countryside. You spend your weekends puttering in the garden, grilling outside, drinking beer, and enjoying the slower rhythm that only a cottage life can provide.
The Czech word for cottage, chalupa, refers to a simple home away from home. And that’s exactly what these cottages offer their owners – a place of peace, simplicity, and reconnection with family and nature. You fill your weekends with activities you don’t have time for during the week – reading a book in the garden, playing games with your kids, or picking mushrooms.
If a few of these ring true for you, looks like you’ve got some Czech spirit in you! Don’t be surprised if you find yourself longing to visit the colorful streets of Prague, sip a pint at a local hospoda, or stroll through a peaceful Bohemian forest. The carefree and quirky Czech culture has a way of charming visitors and making them feel right at home.
Throw on those socks and sandals, pour yourself a cold one, and stop worrying what others think. Na zdraví!