Czechoslovak Weekend

The date of the Czechoslovakian AEGEE weekend coincided with the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution and it had a rich program focused on PR and closer cooperation between the antennae. Situated in the middle of the Czech Republic, in the Morava region, it resembled the scenery from the old Czech comedies and also reminded of the Czech hospitality.

The whole Czechoslovakian Weekend ended on the 17th of November which is important for both countries twofold. In November 1939, Nazis in Prague killed nine students who participated in the demonstrations against the German occupation. On this very day in November 1989, students joined the protests that resulted in the Velvet Revolution. That’s why I started from the end, to point out the historical background of the Czechoslovakian weekend for students.

Indeed, students do not hesitate to join any gathering in order to avoid school. Sometimes, such events can make history. Participating in organised and meaningful extracurricular activities develops the skills school would never provide. AEGEE events are aware of this learning and try to focus on the soft skills and social networking.

The program of the Czechoslovakian Weekend was aimed at the working of AEGEE antennae in terms of fundraising, effective recruitment and inter-antennae cooperation. It was organized by AEGEE-Brno and held in the small village of Sklené. The participants from Prague, Plzeň and the only Slovak antenna, Bratislava, arrived on Friday afternoon; it was already dark when our car with Bratislava mark parked at the tourist sleepover at the end of the village.

The first evening was full of sharing impressions and adventures from the recent events, stories that are sometimes hard to believe, like who missed his plane or what kind of accommodation did the Spanish provide. AEGEE-Brno provided a dinner, hot tea and home baked ginger cake. Later at night, we played some ice-breaking games.

Next morning, after the breakfast and a short energizer, when we had to follow dance moves of a hypo and a dog on the screen, we got down to some more serious business. Each antenna presented their agenda, focusing on what they achieved and what they plan for the future. Presentations preceded brainstorming about the future plans, possible cooperation and sharing ideas. The beer festival in Plzeň – home of the Pilsner beer, sounds good. Some proposals on fundraising were also made; we will try to address particular organisations, hope that DANONE would not put us off with yogurts.

During the lunch break, most of the people decided to visit nearby Zelená Hora. There is a baroque church with unique, star-shaped architectonic design. It is included in the UNESCO heritage list. About four, we gathered again for a lecture on social media and their effectiveness for AEGEE. It addressed advertising options on the social platform, mailing boxes and advice on what to avoid on the social media. Did you know that your status is put into attention of only 16% of your Facebook friends due to the system settings? Lecture was followed by discussion and ideas, once again about fundraising and promotion.

After the dinner, the antennae participated in a quiz about our countries. We found out that an average Czech drinks about 160 liters of beer a year and there are 3 international airports in Slovakia. Karaoke followed, the winner was a mix team from AEGEE-Praha and AEGEE-Plzeň with their performance of the “Duck tales” theme song. After karaoke, someone brought in the lemons and we enjoyed a few drinks and friendly debates, for example on what is the difference between a debate and a discussion. Music played all night and some people kept dancing until 6 a.m.

On Sunday morning, the organizers, summed up the whole event and reminded us to leave our rooms empty and tidy. Full of new experience, friends and with a shortage of sleep, the participants set out on their way home. Big THANK YOU to the organizers and participants and hope to see you all (and even more) at the next year’s Czechoslovakian Weekend.

Written by Erik Redli (AEGEE-Bratislava)