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Cultural life in our country

The culture of a nation is characterized by its art (paintings, sculptures, music, literature, theatre, film, architecture), customs  (style of living, popular activities and so on) and ideas (philosophy, religion, science, education).
                 Music is a typical example of national culture. Some famous composers were born in our country - such as Antonín Dvoøák, Leoš Janáèek, Bohuslav Martinù or Bedøich Smetana. People who love classical music can visit many music festivals. The most  famous music festival is called The Prague Spring and it has been held every year since 1948. It has always been opened  with Smetana's composition My Country and closed with Beethoven's 9th symphony. But there are other towns which have their own music festivals, including Brno. There are also folk festivals with folk music, dances and costumes, where the regional art (e.g. pottery, embroidery) is exhibited and sold to the visitors.
Most young people prefer modern music. They like to go to disco or to rock concerts  which are often held at large sport stadiums, especially if some  world-famous groups are invited.
Theatre lovers can go to different types of theatres where they can see old or modern drama, comedies, tragedies, historical plays, musicals and operas. Among the most popular Czech dramatists belong Josef Kajetán Tyl, Ladislav Stroupežnický, Mrštík brothers, Karel Èapek, Milan Uhde or Pavel Kohout. For example J.K.Tyl wrote the play Fidlovaèka - in this performance was sung the song “Where is my home?”, which later became our national anthem.
We've also had some great opera singers and actors. Not many  young people are interested in opera, but they enjoy seeing musicals or modern adaptations of classical dramas. One of the first musicals performed in our country was Jesus Christ Superstar and this modern rock-opera has become very successful.
We can admire various  architectural styles  while visiting castles, chateaus, cathedrals or churches. In their interiors there are also collections of paintings, sculptures, furniture and historical arms. Galleries and museums attract people to see permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Apart from architecture, art collections, concerts and theatres, national culture is also represented by film industry. People go to the cinema or watch television where they can choose from many films. Or they can see a film on the video. Our film makers have very good reputation in the world and some of the Czech films were even nominated for the Oscar. The last Czech film that got this award was Kolya (as the Best foreign language film of the year).
In the Czech Republic there are two private TV channels – Nova and Prima. They depend on advertising and that's why TV serials are sometimes called soap-operas (some American TV serials were sponsored by companies producing soap and washing powders).
Many people like to listen to the radio - they can choose from many private or state radio stations in our country.
When we talk about culture, we should mention books, magazines and newspapers. Our bookshops are full of literature of fact and fiction - encyclopedias and  novels. But it's not easy for books to compete with today's videos and computers, because a lot of up-to-date information can be found for example on the Internet.

How often do you go to the theatre? When did you go last time?
Have you seen any interesting exhibition recently?
What kind of films do you like? Do you prefer Czech films or American ones?
Who is your favourite actor, singer or another artist?
What kind of books do you like to read? What's your favourite magazine or newspaper?

art umìní performance pøedstavení
custom zvyk, obyèej anthem hymna
religion náboženství permanent trvalý
science vìda temporary doèasný
composer hudební skladatel award ocenìní
classical music vážná hudba private soukromý
hold, held, held konat se depend on záviset na
including vèetnì advertising reklama
pottery hrnèíøství soap mýdlo
embroidery výšivka washing powder prací prášek
most vìtšina mention zmínit
among mezi (více) full of plný èeho
belong patøit, náležet compete soutìžit
play divadelní hra up-to-date moderní

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