Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Czech It Out

Hi Kids,

As I told you in my post card Miss Elaine, Mr. Jack, Roxie the dog and I went to Ennis, Texas. It's about 30 miles southeast of Dallas. Back in the 1870s, lots of people from the area of Europe that we now call the Czech Republic moved to this area. Many of them were farmers and the soil here, known as Blackland Prairie for the rich, dark earth, was excellent for growing crops.

They brought their food, customs and costumes with them. Even today, many of their descendants remember their Czech heritage. They don't wear their beautiful costumes everyday but when they have festivals, like the Czech Music Festival and the National Polka Festival, they wear them.

This is me with a costumed mannequin at the Visitor Center.

We also got to taste some wonderful Czech food. Kolaches are rolls with fruit or cream cheese fillings -- or sometimes the dough is wrapped around Czech sausages called klobase (pronounced KLO-bah-see). Miss Elaine also had sauerkraut -- sort of pickled, cooked cabbage. She really liked it.

We went to a couple of little museums that had dolls wearing Czech costumes. Each little area of the old country had its own interpretation of the basic costume. A costume is called a kroj (pronounced kroy). Colors have special meanings -- red means healthy blood; blue is a sad color and gold means a good harvest. Kroj are trimmed with lace and embroidery. Popular motifs include hearts, birds and flowers.

Ennis is a very nice town and I met some very nice people. I'll bet you'd like it, too.


Batman Bear

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