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The twelve-part documentary serial made by film producer Jaroslav Vašíček has been broadcasting since 7th January 2009 on ČT2.

The serial called Vivat, Španělsko! – !Viva, Espaňa! (Viva, Spain!) deals with Czechs who decided to settle down in Spain. The goal of the serial is expressed in the commentary at the beginning of each part: “Spain. A sun-drenched country, surrounded by the sea from three sides, which is over 2 000 km far away from the Czech Republic. These two countries have several times met during the history. Spain joined the European Union earlier than the Czech Republic did. We visited Spain to learn the present because there are Czechs living in different parts of the country, who decided to find a better living there. We wanted to find out how the people had coped with such a change, how they had changed their feeling and thinking and what they had to do to defend their existence. We asked if they had decided, after the years of living in Spain, to stay in Spain for good and if they could say: Viva, Spain! – !Viva, Espaňa!”


1. Meeting Jaromír Bažant Jr.

Jaromír Bažant came to Spain as a musician with his wife after the decay of Pragokoncert. Since he was thirteen, he has been engaged in violin-making – making new musical instruments, restoring and collecting. In the late 80’s, he worked with his wife as a violinist in Palau de Musica, Valencia. His wife has been still playing there and Jaromír is in charge of several shops and workshops in Valencia and its surroundings. In Spain, Jaromír’s wife gave birth to their two children, Veronika and Slavia. The whole family plays in an amateur orchestra. In summer, they come to the Czech Republic to visit Jaromír’s mother and father, classical music composer Jaromír Bažant, sr. Nevertheless, they like coming back to Spain, which they consider to be their home country. They are satisfied there because of the healthy environment in the area where they live. Mr. Bažant is not going to leave Spain. Pursuant to his experience with living in Spain, he said: “Viva, Spain!”


2. Meeting Kateřina Alavedra – Duchoslavová

Kateřina Alavedra Duchoslavová studied a business school in Basel. She was interested in art and foreign languages. Therefore, she decided to go to Spain for a short time. She found a job in a travel agency in Playa de Aro and met there her future husband. Then, they lived in Barcelona and later in Sant Cugato. In Catalonia, she gave birth to two children. Mrs. Duchoslavová attends to fine art, especially painting. Her pictures are exhibited in several parts of Spain as well as abroad. Since 2003, she has been teaching drawing and painting in Gallery Pou d’Art, Sant Cugato. She sometimes visits with her family the Czech Republic. She likes Spain, especially Catalonia. She goes on well, both at work and at home, that’s why she is not going to leave Spain and can say: “Viva, Spain!”


3. Meeting Aleš Dvořák

Aleš Dvořák was born in Prague. At the age of nine, he started playing tennis in TJ Spartak – Dejvice. Later, he took part in the Prague championship and the second national league in the 80’s. In the late 80’s, he started working also as a tennis coach. In 1989, he married a Spaniard and one year later, they moved to Sevilla, Spain. Since 1991, he has been working as a tennis coach in Hotel Puente Romano, Marbell. In 2001, he took part in national tournaments and ATP. He brings up with his wife their two daughters, Paula and Sandra, who started playing tennis as well. They live in Marbell, which is a few kilometres far away from the hotel. Aleš Dvořák is satisfied in Spain – he has a good salary and various benefits in the tennis club. During a working day, he is in the court almost from morning till evening, but during holidays, he visits with his family also the Czech Republic. Aleš Dvořák declared: “Viva, Spain!”


4. Meeting Iva Fricová

Ivana Fricová’s parents left Czechoslovakia for political reasons in 1948. As a young girl, she lived in France, later in Columbia for five years and then in the USA. In 1959, she graduated at University of Washington and decided to continue at Literaturena Universidad Complutense in Madrid. She met her Spanish boyfriend there, who married her after three years. She taught in the USA and spent holidays in Spain until 1971, when she broke up with her husband. She had to decide between comfort in the USA and insecurity but beauty of Spain. Spain won. The beginning was quite hard, but the emigration taught Mrs. Fricová to be strong. In the end, she succeeded and started teaching English in Madrid. In 1982, she moved to an old town called Cuence. In 1996, she bought a ruin in a small village called Jabaga, she repaired it and has been living there with her dog, cats and canaries. There is a beautiful patio, where she spends her free time and hides from consumerism. She likes visiting the Czech Republic, the beautiful green nature, her acquaintances, but then she looks forward to coming back to her small village. It seems to her she is everywhere, but her home is nowhere. Nevertheless, she is going to stay in Spain for good. She thinks it is too superficial to say “Viva, Spain!”, the charm of Spain is much deeper, connecting art, history, habits, environment etc.


5. Meeting Ladislav Kaplan

Ladislav Kaplan came to Spain from Ostrava company VOKD, a.s. as a local division director in the early 90’s. The division in Oviedo excavates mines, tunnels and takes care of surface treatment. Mr. Kaplan came to Spain with his wife but without any knowledge of Spanish. The beginning was hard. They managed a lot during the first year, but they had to surmount many obstructions. The situation is much better today. He works as a chief executive of a local division possessed by Englishmen, and travels a lot. Because of his incomes, he can afford to have a large flat, which is a seat of the company at the same time. His wife works as an accountant for him. At weekends, they go for a walk in Oviedo and its surroundings and visit specific restaurants. They like holidays in exotic destinations and taking many pictures and videos. Their living standard in Spain is very good, but they are not sure if they are going to stay there as pensioners because their daughter lives in the Czech Republic. Mr. Kaplan has many friends in the Czech Republic, who he visits sometimes. Nevertheless, he said: “Viva, Spain!”


6. Meeting Soňa Klimešová

Soňa Klimešová came to Spain from Moravia in 1992. In the Czech Republic, she had studied at a high school for nurses and later special pedagogy and psychology at Charles University. She married a Spaniard, who she met in Dortmund, Germany. She admires his peaceable and friendly character. She lives and works in Guadalajara, not far from Madrid, in a large, well furnished, but not cheap flat. She lives with his husband an ordinary life – they cook tasty dishes, make trips and go for holidays. Mrs. Klimešová works as a nurse in a residence for elderly people. It is a responsible and hard work because most of the people are impotent. The job is not well-paid, but she is glad that she found any work. She hopes she will find a better job in the future. She likes living in Spain, especially celebrations with her family, dinners with her mother- and father-in-law, delicious wine, flamenco, the sun and the sea. She is not going to leave it and therefore she said: “Viva, Spain!”


7. Meeting Viktor Vitězslav Klimt

Víťa Kliment has always loved the sea. After holidays with his family in Spain in 1992, he decided to live by the sea. He started learning Spanish and today, he speaks like a native speaker. His parents wanted him to finish school. So he became a joiner. Then he learnt Spanish very intensively for one year and at the age of 18, with his parents’ permission, he left for Spain in 1995. He found a job as a rescuer on the beach, but after the end of the season, he was unemployed. Luckily, an estate agency owner, which was in his street, employed him. Later, Mr. Kliment studied that branch and English, which was necessary. After four years, he established his own company. His parents and his brother live in Spain with him. His brother manages an agency in Torrevieja and his mother works as a writer, a painter, an author of 15 books and a founder of a project called “The Fairy Land”. Víťa is going to stay in Marbella, a town near to the Atlantic, for good. He found also his girlfriend there. They have a common hobby – sailing, they are also members of a yacht club in Marbelle. Spain became Víťa’s other home country so he proclaimed: “Viva, Spain!”


8. Meeting Josef Klimt

Josef Klimt came to Spain to help his brother manage his estate agency in Torrevieja. He still lives and works there. He works also for a foundation in Madrid helping to needy people and promoting “The Earth Charter”. He lives alone, but meets often his father, who is a pensioner and lives not far from him. Mr. Klimt tries to promote his mother’s project “The Fairy Land” not only in Spain and the Czech Republic but also in other countries of the world. He likes his job because he is always in touch with people. He likes silence, calm and the beautiful sunny environment in the area where he lives. According to him, Spaniards are devoted patriots, which Czechs are missing. In Spain, he admires the omnipresent joie de vivre, frankness and kindness. He is probably going to stay in Spain for good. His wish is that as many children in the world as possible smile. In the end, he said: “Viva, Spain!”


9. Meeting Jana Michálková – Rubesca

Jana Michálková – Rubesca was born in Prague, where she studied commercial graphic art and worked as a graphic designer until 1980. Till that time, she got married, gave birth to her son and got divorced. Later, she left Czechoslovakia illegally with her almost 18-year-old son and a second husband, and came to Switzerland. They had to start from scratch there. After one year, they managed to surmount a language barrier and their situation started getting better. Mrs. Rubesca got a job as a decorator in a department store, where she worked until her second son’s (Alexander) birth. Then they spent their first holidays abroad – in Coasta Brava, Spain. Mrs. Rubesca was bewitched. One year later, they spent their holidays in Mallorca and were excited again. Then she started working as a computer operator in order to have more time for her child and later, she got divorced. Then, she began painting. Her pictures were exhibited in Switzerland, Germany as well as France. In 1986, she bought with her new Swiss boyfriend a cottage in Costa Blanca and there, they spent all their free days and were very happy. She liked Spain more and more and finally, she decided to stay in Spain for good. However, she had to find a school for his son because he had been already going to school for three years and had been taught in German. In the end, she found a German school for him. At Christmas 1993, they visited Marbella. It was a big town by the sea and she found a new house there. In summer 1994, she moved to Andalusia. She opened a Swiss pub because she likes cooking, but she went bankrupt because she was not a businessman. Then, she started painting again. Since that time, she has decorated several beautiful villas and hotels as well as her own house. She has been living in Marbella for 12 years. It is a multicultural town, no one is a foreigner there. She likes watching a eucalyptus grove in front of her house, peaks of the Atlas Mountains or Gibraltar cliff, when the weather is fine, she likes watching the blue sky and the blue sea. She also likes being in her garden. In the town, she has many friends from the Czech Republic and from all Europe. It was no problem for her to say: “Viva, Spain!”


10. Meeting Jiří Popper

Jiří Popper is over 70 years old. He stays often near to Benidorm. He lives peacefully with his wife and his dachshund Pepíček in a Spanish hut with a garden. Mr. Popper was born in Prague and in the 60’s, he was a well-known pop singer. He made several hits – maybe the best known was “Čas je běžec dlouhým krokem” (“The Time Is a Runner with a Long Step”). He sang with various orchestras, above all Jiří Procházka’s, Karel Vlach’s and Gustav Brom’s orchestras. He performed on TV and in his show “Šláger je náš osud“ (“Hit Is Our Destiny”). He succeeded also in Germany and Switzerland with his show “Koffer voll Musik“. Before August 1968, he had to emigrate to Switzerland, where he worked in an insurance company. After 1989, he came back to his motherland to help build new democracy and a new social-economy system. Today, he lives as an ordinary pensioner. He reads newspapers, books and magazines, not only in Czech and German but also in English. He listens to the radio and watches TV. He likes walking on the seaside. Today, he needs just health. He is satisfied in the place where he lives. He expressed in a song what Spain meant to him.


11. Meeting Pavel Tragan

Pavel Tragan was born in a mountain village called Čeladná, district Frýdek-Místek. After graduation at VUT Brno, he travelled all around the world for over a year – he visited e. g. Israel, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and others. Then, he practised a civilian military service in the Czech Republic at VUT Brno and there, he met his future wife Angelines at an international conference in 1998. After living separately for five years (she was in Sevilla and he was in Prague), they started thinking about a wedding and living together. The most discussed question was where to live. They had to choose among Prague, Sevilla, Atlanta in the USA, where he could work for Shell, and the Netherlands, where his family lived. Finally, they decided for Spain and they moved there in 2003. Mr. Tragan attended a language school for a month to improve his Spanish – he spoke to his girlfriend just English. Then, they prepared the wedding and they got married in 2004. The Czech-Spanish wedding with a Czech priest took place in Sevilla; it was a great connection of the Czech vim and the Spanish temper. The spouses are devout believers. After a one-month honeymoon in Tanzania, Mr. Tragan started looking for a job. At the beginning, he worked as a professor, an accountant for an auditing company and at a city hall. After a demanding selection procedure, he became an expert for the international foreign trade at the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Malaga. During that time, he gained a Spanish certification for the international trade and now, he is one of 23 extenders (Agencia Andaluza de Promocion Exterior) of accredited experts for the international trade in Andalusia. He lives with his wife and their dog Selma in the centre of Sevilla in a four-bedroom flat. They try to keep both Czech and Spanish traditions and they speak both Czech and Spanish. Mr. Tragan likes walking in Sevilla and watching significant architectural buildings (maybe the most remarkable is the Sevilla cathedral). Pavel has already made a few Spanish friends, who he spends his free time with – they make trips in the country, go fishing or hunting. During the shooting, his wife was pregnant. They want to stay in Spain so Mr. Tragan said: “Viva, Spain!”


12. Meeting Monika Zgustová

Monika Zgustová emigrated with her parents to the USA in the 70’s. She studied comparative literature at University of Illinois. In the 80’s, she moved to Barcelona and she teaches translation at a local independent university and writes for a few newspapers and cultural magazines, especially about the Czech literature and culture generally. She has translated over 40 Czech books and she became a crucial person who introduced the Czech modern literature to Spanish readers. She gained important awards for her translations – Serra d’Or (for the translation of B. Hrabal), The Award of Barcelona City and The Award of the Catalan Culture (for Hašek’s “Dobrý voják Švejk” – “Good soldier Svejk”) and Gratis Agit – an award of the Czech Foreign Minister (for spreading a good name of the Czech Republic abroad). She has written and published also her own books, e.g. a novel called “A Silent Woman” (originally “Dona silencia”). She writes entirely in Czech and translates her writings herself into Catalan and Spanish. She is well-known in whole Spain. She represents the Czech Republic, the Czech culture and especially the Czech literature successfully in Europe. She is fully integrated in the Barcelona, Catalan and Spanish cultural elite, which provides her more respectability. Nevertheless, she has not decided yet if she wants to stay in Spain for good.



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