Mailbox

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In this edition: Radio Prague's annual listeners' contest; football World Cup finals; Czech literary links to Mexico. Listeners quoted: Sanusi Isah Katsina, Nigeria; Rabi Sankar Bosu, India; Mary Lou Krenek, John Lockwood, USA; J.A. Gray, UK.

Welcome to Mailbox, Radio Prague's listeners' feedback programme. First of all, let me remind you that you have another month to enter Radio Prague's annual listeners' contest in which we ask you to identify three sounds from our archive that are closely connected to the history of the Czech capital as well as present day Prague. Some listeners from further afield have complained that the question is too difficult for them. For example Sanusi Isah Katsina from Nigeria attached this note to his reception report.

"Finally, I'd like to inform you that I cannot participate in this year's Radio Prague competition because it is very difficult for me."

Well, I'm sure we can help you a little bit. Those of you who listened to our programme last Friday will find one of the sounds very easy to identify. But I'll say no more.

It is not only the deadline for our yearly contest that is fast approaching - so are the football World Cup finals, eagerly awaited by many football fans, among them our regular listener Rabi Sankar Bosu from India.

"I have a suggestion: Please include a 10 minute programme on Sunday's Mailbox on World Cup trivia which may include brief statistics of the World Cup, interesting and funny stories relating to the World Cup and so on. This kind of news will surely help those with a limited access to the internet to learn some facts."

Well, I'm not sure if Mailbox is quite the right programme for that sort of thing but I can promise there will be plenty of reports in our broadcasts featuring the results as well as lighter stories related to the Czech participation.

Now from football to literature. The April edition of our Czech Books programme was devoted to the Czech links with Mexico. Mary Lou Krenek from Texas sent us this response.

"Because of the proximity of Texas to Mexico, many of us are quite familiar with Mexican culture and history, especially the era of Maximilian and Benito Juarez. I often thought to myself whenever I listened to Mexican music, observed the use of the brass instruments and accordion, and danced the Mexican polkas, how similar it was to the Czech music and polkas of my ethnic cultural life. Your article revealed the origin of these familiarities. It finally made sense to me. Yes, the cultures of the world do overlap and they overlap because of the many cultural exchanges throughout human history."

On a different note, J.A. Gray from Blackpool in England sent us these words of praise.

"Your website is absolutely incredible and to be proud of. I think the present day terminology is 'a bench mark to others'. The photographs are unrivalled. Prague is extremely photogenic and I have taken many pictures on the two holidays I have had there, but nothing like what's on your website."

Thank you very much for those words. I will pass your message on to our internet department who are responsible for the graphic design of our website and much more.


And we should not forget our monthly competition. This is the question for May.

"A well known South American poet, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature, wrote under a pen-name which he adopted from a 19th-century Czech poet and journalist. What was the name of the Czech author?"

The deadline for your entries is May 31st and the address is Radio Prague, 12099 Prague, Czech Republic or english@radio.cz.

But before we leave you today, our listener John Lockwood sent us this e-mail

"Help! Near the end of your report called 'Those Were The Sixties' at the Museum of Central Bohemia, you include a clip of a Czech version of an old American pop song, but I can't remember the name of the song or the artist. It's driving me nuts. You know? 'Shoo shoo shoo, shoo shoo shooooooo ... Something' Who's the original performer, who's the Czech singer? Please. Thanks. I love Radio Prague. I listen to the Podcast every day. "

I'm sure you mean the 1966 hit by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood "Sugar Town". The Czech version, called "Sepotam" is sung by Zuzana Norisova. Thank you very much for all those letters and please, keep them coming.