Today in Mailbox: where to find archive MP3s on Radio Prague’s website, different ways to keep in touch with our programmes, the absence of the EU flag at Prague Castle as commented on by the French president. Listeners quoted: Richard Furlong, Ian Evans, Charles Konecny, Gene Stofko, David Eldridge.

Welcome to Mailbox, Radio Prague’s weekly letters programme. First up we have a question from our listener in Australia, Richard Furlong:

“I am a keen listener to your SoundCzech program and I am finding it very useful for improving my Czech. The section is entertaining and well written, it also helps getting to know the musical part of Czech culture. I recently bought an iPod and I am putting the MP3s available on your website on it to practice with. This is also helping my wife (from Prague), who is my teacher. The RSS/POD link on your website only gives me the last 20 articles. Is there any way of obtaining the archived articles as MP3s going back to when you started the program?”

We are glad that you are finding our Czech language programme useful. All the MP3s available for download can be found at

It’s always great to know where and how you tune in to our broadcasts. While Richard Furlong in Perth uses the internet, Ian Evans in the UK who sent us this season’s greeting prefers another medium:

“Hello Radio Prague! This is just a quick e-mail to say happy Christmas and a prosperous new year to you all. I shall certainly be tuning in to your programmes on Christmas Day via my favourite medium of SHORTWAVE!”

Eleven days into the New Year, we would like to thank you all for the multitude of Christmas and New Year’s cards and e-mails – some including very interesting notes, like this one from Charles Konecny from Ohio commenting on the traditional festive meal:

“I enjoyed doing the Christmas Contest and reading all the articles on Czech Christmas. I don't know why, but we always had dried herring instead of carp at Christmas Eve meal. Probably because carp never really made it to market in the U.S.”

There are also many of you who keep in touch with Radio Prague’s programmes via our e-mail service. Such as Gene Stofko from Arizona:

“I visited Eastern Europe three years ago, and being of Czech ancestry, we spent a lot of time in your beautiful city. Hope to get there again this summer. Thank you for e-mailing your daily reports. I can’t wait to see them every day.”

On January 1, the Czech Republic assumed the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union. Shortly before that date, French President Nicolas Sarkozy commented on the fact that the EU flag had not been flown on all Czech public buildings during the EU delegation’s visit to Prague in what was seen as an obvious reference to Prague Castle, home to the fiercely Euro-sceptic Czech president Václav Klaus. David Eldridge from England responded to the Radio Prague report on the issue:

Václav Klaus
“There are many opinions of Vaclav Klaus that I disagree with but I feel he has a valid concern regarding the flag of the European Union. Although I consider Britain not often to be a country of meritorious example, I cannot recall at any time seeing the flag of the European Union flying on any official or public building in the United Kingdom. It seems to me that the people objecting to the stand of Václav Klaus on the flag are demanding a forced patriotism towards the EU and what it stands for... Those who demand loyalty to a flag aim to muzzle thought and debate.”

Thank you very much for all your e-mails, letters, greetings, reception reports, comments and competition answers. We always love to hear from you. Now, as we are running out of time, let me repeat this month’s quiz question:

This month’s mystery person was born on January 5, 1931 in the eastern town of Loučná nad Desnou but has lived in other countries for most of his life. He is considered to be one of the world’s greatest classical pianists. Last month he gave his last public performance after a concert career of sixty years.

Please send us your answers to Radio Prague, 12099 Prague or to by the end of January. Mailbox will be back again next week, until then bye-bye.