Welcome… but first, take your shoes off!
In general, it is told that Czech people are rather reserved and cold before they get to know someone. Well, maybe they are. But they like to host people, welcome them and enjoy time in their company. Just if their guests respect few basic rules and facts.
Always take your shoes off. It sounds strange to western people who usually wear their shoes anytime of the day, even at home, but we always take them off. Better don`t choose your best outfit matching with your highheels when going to a Czech houseparty. We just like to feel cosy when at home and like to keep our home clean. (You can even see people changing shoes in their office.) Czech host would usually tell you, when you are expected to wear your shoes. But more probably, he would offer you “home slippers” for the time of your stay.
A small present is not necessary, but it is warmly welcomed. Czech people who host you are usually prepared well and do not need you to bring anything, but it is always found as kind and helpful. At informal dinners or parties for friends, bottle of wine or other alcohol is never a mistake.
Fast and furious. Czech people like to eat well and tend to follow dining trends – but it also is a sad fact that they eat really fast. We might try million times to “do it like French people do,” but it always ends up with having our plates empty before people from abroad only have started eating. Even if it`s getting better with wide selection of possibilities nowadays, there is still something inside us. The cause might also be the typical Czech dishes – they tend to be fatty, unhealthy and thick and it is rather large portion of meat with a side dish than a selection of tapas. Brief warning: Do not try to beat us. You fail anyway.
Polívka je grunt (= Soup Is base). That`s what our grandmothers say. Our lunches (and sometimes also dinners) start with a soup. In a typical Czech restaurant, you always get a small soup included in a lunch menu, you don`t even pay extra for it. It`s not a starter, it`s a regular dish.
Have it for yourself. Eating Czech dishes is usually not “shared.” This way of serving food is slowly getting here from the West and you can see it very often, but usually when sitting at a family lunch, each person at a table has their own portion on a separate plate. But don`t worry, there is always a possibility to get more – you only have to ask the host to add you extra.
We love board games! It might feel weird, but quite many Czech houseparties and dinners ends sitting at a table playing boardgame. Boring geeky party? No. We are just really good at any kind of strategy, logical or mafia game and we like to prove to our friends.
Kiss, hug? Say… goodbye? French have two kisses, Germans hugs, in Switzerland people kiss three times. But Czechs, Czechs don`t have any specific manner of saying hello and goodbye to people. It means that when saying goodbye to a new person you have just met but might not yet be a friend yet, you can never know whether to kiss him (one cheek? Both cheeks? Three times?), hug him or just formarly shake his hand. It is natural that people shake hands when someone is introducing them to the other person, but at the end you never know. Be prepared you might get into a delicate situation before you set up a greeting manner with a new person.
Ready for a Czech visit? Now go for it! And let us know what more came to your mind while enjoying a proper Czech barefoot party. 🙂