Baltimore Bohemians

Baltimore's Czech and Slovak Festival is a surprising reflection on heritage

Baltimore's Czech and Slovak Festival is a surprising reflection on heritage

The whole room stood for the national anthems of three countries in a row as rendered by a church-basement keyboard and a small choir: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and our poor, busted-ass USA.

The title of the Czech national anthem translates to "Where is my home?" which, given the centuries of displacement and occupation that have marked that pocket of Europe, is a better question than "O say can you see" and more poignant than the war reportage that follows. Many of those in attendance knew the words to all three songs and no one took a knee during any of them, not even for Slovakia, as the flags were carried onstage.

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