If you’re coming to the Czech Republic from far, you are in for a cultural shock in some aspects. Don’t worry, it’s still a great country but you should know a few things about the local habits…
Take off your shoes when you enter the house
Czechs always take off their shoes when they come home, it’s no sneakers in the living room! Not just that, you also have to take off your shoes in anyone elses home but don’t worry, they will have some cosy slippers ready for you. The Czechs feel that walking in the same shoes in the street and at home is unhygienic and you don’t want to bring that kind of dirt into your home.
Leave your seat to the elderly
When using the public transport, it’s common to leave your seat to the elderly, the sick or injured and the pregnant women if there are no other seats free or if they’re too far. Not doing this is considered rude and you might actually be told by the other passengers to get up.
Helping with the prams
Whether you see a parent with a baby pram or stroller entering the public transport or trying to conquer the stairs, it is common to offer to help them. Nowadays, many busses and trams are constructed in a way that there´s a part without any steps and the parents can easily push the pram on board without any help. Still, the Czechs are ready to help and you’ll see people offering help no matter if the person behind the pram seems to need it or not.
Whilst some other nations bow or kiss, the Czechs shake hands. And not only as a formal greeting. Even when it comes to family celebrations like birthday parties, you shake hands to congratulate the birthday boy or girl. The kiss, however, has also found its way into the traditional Czech greeting, so it is quite common that a thorough handshake will be followed by a kiss and or a big hug. It is very common that the family members kiss the birthday person on the lips, especially when that person is a child.
Going for a visit
Coming for a visit unannounced is highly irregular in Czechia. Ringing a friend’s doorbell just because you’re passing by their house isn’t very common although we cannot say it’s completely unacceptable, especially in smaller villages. The reason why the Czech like to know about their upcoming visits is simple – they like to be prepared. And we mean really. Just coming for a simple coffee means you’ll be offered not just coffee, but also some tea, lemonades, some finger food, roasted goose, potato salad…well, maybe not as much every time but offering the visits some food and drink is a thing of pride. If you drop by unannounced, you’ll probably see your host run around stressed grabing whatever they can find in the pantry. So now you know it, if you want to be hosted in a true Czech way and not to stress your host, be polite and ring before you drop by!
So what do you think about these Czech habits? How are they different from your country?
Yearn for more interesting facts about Czechia after reading about local habits? Check out these 16 celebrities who are Czech or of Czech origin!