Monthly Archives: March 2014

It’s not only about Prague: Sandra introduces the Czech Republic. english version

On Wednesday, 11th March 2015, the second meeting of “Ti presento il mio Paese” ( Let me introduce my country) took place at Biblioteca San Giovanni, in Pesaro (Italy).

Once more, we had a look at another European country, thanks to Sandra Fischmeisterovà’s presentation, an EVS volunteer from Czech Republic.

Besides Prague and its beer, the average Italian has almost no knowledge of this country. Therefore, our volunteer decided to show the beauties of her country from a wider and richer point of view and numbered the best of Czech Republic.

In order to go beyond Prague, Sandra suggested various interesting places among several towns and landscapes, such as her hometown, Brno.

Furthermore, rather than having fast food and drinking low-quality beer, our volunteer recommended typical dishes and drinks, especially some home-made bier, which is produced everywhere in her country.

Before moving to the second part of her presentation, she also numbered the most popular sports in Czech Republic, as well as the most famous inventions and brands.

During the second part, she got inspired an article on successful Italians in the Czech Republic in order to explain foreigners’ opinion on her country.

At the end, a fascinating debate occurred between her and the audience.

Here a little interviews with Sandra…

How do you represent your country during the presentation?

I represented my country by using „top 5“ of basic topics such as nature, brands, traditions … and by an article. In the article spoke successful italian bussinesmen. I choose this structure because when I asked italians what they know about the CR it wasn´t much actually so I decided to present them basic information and than I used the article which was very nice because we could hear very interesting reflections – true ones. It helped me to talk about past and present situation in the CR.

How did you feel before/during your presentation?

It was a kind of challenge for me to speak in front of the audience but surprisingly during the presentation I felt good. It was a pleasure for me to see many people who came to the presentation. But I wan´t sure during the presentation if the all information are interesting for these people or not. Just at the end of the presentation I realized that the people are not bored but on contrary J!

What were the main difficulties?

I didn´t expect any difficulties so I had no difficulties at all.

20 years have already passed since Czechoslovakia split…nowadays, what are the relations between Czech people and Slovaks?

I don´t see any main issue between czechs and slovaks. I see it like it it between people in general. Someone has good relationships and someone doesn´t no matter on nationality. I personally like slovaks very much. For me are very nice warm and open people.

You mentioned that Slovaks are able to understand Czech, why Cezch are not?

I realized this fact when I was in Slovakia with my 20 year old sister. We went to the restaurant and when a waiter came and ask us what we would like to drink and eat my sister was staring at me and telling me that she can´t understand at all. So there are differences between younger and older generation. Plus in Slovakia nowadays you can hear czech from radios, televisions but to hear slovak in the CR you can very rarely.

Are you happy with the feedback of the public?

Yeah, I´m really very grateful for the feedback of the public. I´d like to thank to everyone who came and shared the topic. I realized that was worth to make this presentation because like one woman from the public told me. She hasn´t not enough money to go abroad but she is interested in foreign countries so she goes to events like this. I didn´t realized how nice it could be for others

If you could back in time, what would you have done differently?

Nothing. Everything is how it should be, totally perfect =D






Ask me, where I‘ve been!

A so git al mer. I know I know it‘s no longer surprising to hear some local Pesaro dialect from me, but  I‘m just trying to be funny. And if I got your attention, let me tell you some external point of view about you and your natural habitat, my dear Pesaresi. The things quoted were told to me here and are totally real and I feel like I didn‘t have a chance to explain myself and maybe other foreigners in here properly.  Have fun and so it goes:

Quote No 1: „Just  learn normal Italian, dialect is for peasants“.  Non dirmi cosa devo fare. The dialect is interesting: it doesn‘t only tell where you come from, but it also let‘s you inside. I saw how  a person from Fano, can be more foreign in Pesaro than me, by saying „I don‘t understand Pesarese“.

Vicolocorto_Julija talking italian to a dog

Quote No 2:  „It‘s boring, can I improve my English with you?“  Actually you can & I‘m very proud of my people improving their English very recognizably, but don‘t abuse this chance and give me some Italian in return, or Pesarese. ^^

Vicolocorto_Julija learning Pesarese dialect

Quote No 3: „I traveled a lot, Pesaro is boring and doomed.“ Nope, the place is not boring, you are boring. I‘ve seen some places in the world too and now I‘m here in your hometown which is new and interesting to me, with a lot of amazing people to get to know and things to experience. Just try to be as curious in your home country as you would be abroad. Or ask a foreigner to show you around in Pesaro, I promise you it‘s something that you wouldn‘t expect.

Vicolocorto_ Julija talking italian to the mountain

Quote No 4: „I have nothing to do in Italy, I want to leave this country and this town.“  This is something to reconsider, when talking to a foreigner who came to your country and your city with things to do.  Maybe it‘s not so bad and boring after all.

Vicolocorto_Julija talking to italian horses

 Quote No 5: „Don‘t be so from the North,  you‘re in Italy now“.  Thanks  so much for noticing, I can‘t promise to become more Italian, but you are always welcome to come upstairs to the North and see some real northern people. MIND PERSONAL SPACE WHILE TRAVELING IN THE NORTH.

Vicolocorto_Julija talking italian to another foreigner

Quote No 6: „You‘re a lazy foreigner, because you don‘t speak Italian.“  One question & one excuse. The excuse – English is my foreign language too, I wasn‘t born with this thing. The question –  how many years it took for you to start speaking any foreign language ( which is not Spanish)? I speak Italian to children and dogs, but  be patient and I will speak Italian to you too. Eventually, haha.


Le gita ben, a dop.

Lots of love,


Thomas & France: the first telling of TPMP

Once again, Vicolocorto has organised a series of meetings called “Ti presento il mio Paese” (Let me introduce you my country). The opening session took place on Wednesday, 25th February 2015, at Biblioteca San Giovanni, in Pesaro (Italy).

The aim of this project is to show people in Pesaro what other countries look like thorugh the voices of those who have lived in them. Besides the stories of European volunteers in Pesaro, who will cover Czech Republic, Poland and Turkey, the audience will have the chance of listening to the stories of Italian volunteers who travelled to other countries for an EVS period.

For this first meeting, Thomas Saint-Leger from Lille talked about his homeland, France. Thomas has been volunteering at Vicolocorto for few months, as many others EVS before him.

Since France is a well-known country in Italy, Thomas decided to focus his presentation on his hometown, Lille. He decided to project some pieces of “Welcome to the Sticks” (Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis), a famous French film, to better illustrate the stereotypes that French people have against Nord-Pas de Calais and its inhabitants.

While showing funny scenes from the film, Thomas analysed the various stereotypes in them and explained the different features characterising Nothern French people. As an example, foreigner could find local food and drinks quite hard to digest. However, people does not drink as much as we could imagine. Furthermore, the local dialect, called Ch’ti, is not spoken by so many people as we may think, especially in bigger cities, such as Lille. Nevertheless, the weather is cold, rainy and grey, no doubts about it!

The purpose of the presentation is to prove that stereotypes about Nord-Pas de Calais refer to a region which does not exist anymore. Indeed, in spite of the fact that Lille used to be an important minerary place, nowadays it is a dynamic, elegant and fascinating city, full of students and cultural events.

How did you feel before/during your presentation?

I was actually quite nervous before the presentation because, except for a few times during classes, I had never spoken for that long in front of an audience. But once it started, I was already feeling better. I think doing it in the morning in front of a few students helped a lot.
What were the main difficulties?
Finding a topic was not easy, and even when I found it I didn’t have so much time to implement it as much as I wanted. But in the end, I was still quite satisfied about my work. Then, during the presentation, I guess the main difficulty was juggling between my speech in English and the translation in Italian.

Why do you think this presentation is important?

I think it can give people a nice point of view, probably different than the one they already have, about a foreign country. France is quite well known, that’s why I decided to focus mainly on my region, but for the next presentations (Czech Republic, Poland…) it can be very useful and spread some info that people wouldn’t have looked for themselves.

If you could go back in time what would you have done differently?

I guess I would try to go deeper in the explanations I gave about the stereotypes that the rest of France has about my region and about the typical things that we have. But, mostly, I should have not been that stressed because it was a really good experience.

Are you happy with the feedback of the public?

Yes, I really am. People seemed interested and they had a few questions at the end. There was also a man who came to me to tell me about his experience in Paris. It was very nice!