Labe, photo: Miloš Turek

This week in Mailbox: Radio Prague’s special programme on November 17, reception in different parts of the world, the biggest river in the Czech Republic. Listeners quoted: Mohamed Elsayed, Dennis Young, Jr., Mike Straton, Henrik Klemetz, Bob Boundy, Tahsin Ara Khanom.

November 1989
Thanks for tuning in to Mailbox, Radio Prague’s weekly letters programme.

This past Monday was a national holiday here in the Czech Republic. November 17 is the day when the country remembers Czech university students who marched in protest against the German occupation in 1939 and their protest was brutally suppressed by the Nazis. Fifty years later, on November 17, 1989, it was again a student march which this time triggered what came to be known as the Velvet Revolution that eventually brought down the communist regime. On Monday you had a chance to hear Radio Prague’s special programme dedicated to the occasion. Among those who heard it was Mohamed Elsayed from Egypt:

“Thank you for the special program on the anniversary of November 17. It is very useful that radio listeners get to know all the details on this special occasion. Once again thank you and I wish you every success and progress.”

Dennis Young, Jr. from the state of New York heard the programme, too, and hints at another recent anniversary:

“I am sending the Czech Republic my best wishes for 90 years on 17 November 2008... Many years... the country has grown a lot...”

Radio Prague is also heard on the West Coast of the United States:

“Hello, I heard the broadcast today for the first time on the newly combined Sirius-XM satellite radio, channel 135. The program is very interesting and informative. I will keep listening. Thank you.”

Thank you, too, Mike Straton from Los Angeles. However, reception has been less than ideal in Sweden where Henrik Klemetz has been tuning in:

“The recent frequency changes seem a bit unfortunate. I cannot tune to the Spanish language service at 1900 on 5930. The new frequencies, 6135 and 9430 are inaudible. On, Nov 2, I was looking for the English language service beamed to N. Europe at 1130 on 11640. No signal whatsoever... I am sorry, but I wanted to let you know.”

According to Czech Radio’s shortwave expert Oldřich Číp, that particular problem was caused by extremely low sunspot activity around that time. Oldřich has already sent a detailed answer to Henrik in Sweden.

Still on the topic of reception, on the other side of the globe, in New Zealand, here is Bob Boundy who listens regularly:

“I listened to Radio Prague this morning on 9400 at 1800 UTC which is 7 am New Zealand time. Reception was outstanding as I have changed my antenna to an east west direction as well. I was rather surprised that a mistake had been made regarding the logo on 500 new police cars. Who was at fault and has the person been reprimanded? I am also very impressed with the latest QSL cards and have nearly got all of this year’s ones. Also we have been on the Czech metro and the trams. We were very impressed with the transport system. That was in 1995. Regards to all from a sunny New Zealand.”

Back to the less than sunny Czech Republic: According to the police, it is the vehicles supplier, the Škoda Auto carmaker, who is responsible for the error. The company will have to put things right at its own expense, which is estimated at 1.5 million crowns.

And finally Mrs. Tahsin Ara Khanom from Bangladesh would like to know:

What is the name of the biggest river in your country?

Labe,  photo: Miloš Turek
The largest river in the Czech Republic is the Elbe, called Labe in the Czech language. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains in East Bohemia. When it confluences with the Vltava, near Mělník, north of Prague, it actually has a smaller volume and has passed a shorter route across the country than the Vltava, but still it is not regarded as Vltava’s tributary, but rather the other way round. So downstream from Mělník the river continues as Labe or the Elbe, eventually crossing the Czech-German border north of Děčín.

And that’s really all we have for you in Mailbox today, except, of course, our regular quiz question:

Which Czech composer came to be known as “Il divino Boemo” or “the Divine Bohemian”?

You still have one whole week to send us your answers to [email protected] or Radio Prague, 12099 Prague. Four of you who send us a correct answer will be sent small gifts courtesy of Radio Prague. Have a good week and until next Sunday, happy listening.