Tuesday, May 29, 2007

EuroBureau for May 30, 2007

A couple of fun items today that deserve an entry on this website.

First, from Radio Prague's "Magazine" is an item about the Czech prime minister visiting Pakistan.

Is that a Czech flag or a checkered one? Sometimes it's hard to tell. The controversial exhibition showcasing preserved human bodies is turning out to be a hit in Prague - and, a Czech student invents an automated fishing rod! Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.
One of the diplomatic skills a prime minister needs to wield is keeping a straight face when one's hosts commit a gaffe. Now the Czech Prime Minister's manners leave a lot to be desired here in the Czech Republic - where he has been known to raise a middle finger at the opposition benches in Parliament, but abroad Mr. Topolanek is tact itself. On an official visit to Pakistan recently his motorcade went past large banners welcoming the Czech prime minister and sporting - wait for it - checkered flags - instead of the blue, red and white Czech flag. Obviously someone who was trying to ascertain what the Czech flag looked like misspelled Czech and got the checkered one instead. If the Czech Prime Minister noticed the goof he never lifted an eyebrow or cracked a joke. His hosts may have got the Czech flag wrong but the banners stated that the Pakistanis were praying for Czech progress and prosperity and like any well-mannered guest Mr. Topolanek acknowledged the spirit of good-natured hospitality. Moreover with a crucial vote on tax reform coming up, the Czech prime minister needs all the prayers he can get.

Here's the link to the Magazine website (of course the contents change each week, so look at it before June 2nd if you want to see the checkered flag).

From Insight Central Europe comes this item about an exhibition at the Bratislava City Gallery, it's called "The Pope Smoked Dope"

Switzerland's largest retailer Migros has been giving one percent of its turnover to cultural activities for the last fifty years. Here's the story on swissinfo. For instance, many of the music festivals held every summer throughout the country are partly financed by the "Kulturprozent".

While browsing swissinfo I found this image and link:

Listen to alphorn music and yodeling and classical music written with parts for alphorn, read up on alpine traditions, you can even create your own alphorn tune and send it to a friend. I think I may have to do a special about this site sometime soon.

We'll also have the last, the very last edition of "The Week Ahead" from Radio Netherlands.
And we'll include a commentary by Perro de Jong. He starts his talk with Bokito, the gorilla that broke out of his enclosure at Rotterdam's Blijdorp Zoo.

Last week we played some of the finalists in the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 in Helsinki. If you want to know more about the artists, or the whole contest, check out the Eurovision website. In the Eurovision Shop you can listen to snippets of songs and buy the whole thing.