Mailbox

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Today in Mailbox: the Czech Republic’s commemorative stamp for World Expo 2010, shortwave broadcasting, the beginnings of aviation in the country, annual listeners’ competition. Listeners quoted: Jayanta Chakrabarty, Robert, Steven Bell, Lili Eylon.

Hello and welcome to Mailbox, Radio Prague’s weekly platform for your questions and comments. As the World Expo in Shanghai got underway just over a week ago, Jayanta Chakrabarty from India sent us this question:

“Is your country issuing any commemorative stamp for the World Expo 2010?”

As early as February, Czech Post issued a commemorative stamp featuring the Czech pavilion and the Czech Expo logo. 70,000 sheets in the value of 35 crowns were issued as well as first day covers bearing a commemorative postmark of the day of issue. The stamp was designed by graphic designer Petr Štěpán.

Robert from New Jersey listens to shortwave “whenever he gets a rare free moment”:

“I just wanted to write you a short line on shortwave and its future. There are still many of us who like to listen to it and it was one of the reasons I became interested in traveling to the Czech Republic in 2002. The technology may be old, and now with other modern mediums redundant and costly, but ionospheric warts and all, it is still the most reliable way of cross border communication.

“Moreover, it is a great deal more convenient and inexpensive for portability than any other long range receiver method for me. So, tell the foreign ministry to keep the technology that continues to fascinate, even at 80+ years alive and kicking. It keeps good will going for the Czech Republic and in these poor economic times that is an intangible good thing, especially among those who are most likely to travel overseas. Who knows maybe the young will catch the Dx'ing bug and go for this if the major broadcasters do not continue to downplay and denigrate it, but get a little creative in promoting it?”

Steven Bell from Canada responds to a Magazine item on the beginnings of aviation in this country:

“I am writing to share my enjoyment of reading the article about Czechs enjoying the history of the first flight by aviator Jan Kašpar. It very much reminded me of the story of the Wright brothers. I was very intrigued by the article and had a mental picture of the flight and how the aviator must have enjoyed looking down on the wonderful countryside in 1910. Truly a marvellous and historical point in the Czech Republic’s history and for the people who saw the plane fly by on Jan Kašpar flight to Prague.

“I am glad to read that such aviation enthusiasm is still very much alive and with the current natural phenomenon with the ash in Europe's air, it is nice to see that Czechs and visitors are taking the history of flight so much in a positive way. I am looking forward to more articles of such historical importance in my opinion. Thank you for the article and I look forward to the future articles on the Czech Republic.”

Now, as every year, Radio Prague gives one of its listeners a chance to win a trip for two to the Czech Republic.

This year’s competition question is:

Which Czech writer or literary work do you like best and why?

The person who sends the best answer, selected by a jury, will win a weeklong stay for two in Prague. There will also be prizes and souvenir items for runners-up.

The best answers will be featured in our programme and published on our website www.radio.cz on the last weekend of June.

Your entries should reach us no later than June 15, 2010 at the following address:

Radio Prague

Vinohradská 12 12099 Prague 2

Czech Republic

or via email at: [email protected]

The main prize is being sponsored by PARKHOTEL Praha. Parkhotel Praha offers visitors a blend of comfort and history, quality and modern design, within easy reach of the city centre.

And on the topic of the annual contest Lili Eylon from Israel asks:

“Could you please let me know what the conditions are for sending in an essay about my favorite Czech writer/writing? How many words should it contain?”

There are no strict rules as to the word count but you can look for inspiration to last year's competition results at www.radio.cz/en/article/117663

And as every month you can take part in our little monthly quiz.

This month we would like you to tell us the name of the Prague-based author born in 1917 in Slovakia whose book was made into a movie that won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2008.

Your answers need to reach us by the end of May at [email protected] or Radio Prague, 12099 Prague and there will be a Radio Prague goodie bag for the lucky winner. Please keep those letters and reception reports coming and until next week, take care.