Czech festival season is fast approaching, and that means that each chapter is choosing a new queen. It’s been four years since I made the decision to become a Czech Queen. As I stop and reminisce, I thought it would be helpful to encourage any new queen candidates and let you know how I felt going into the process.
When I was asked to apply for Czech Queen I was a little overwhelmed. I had never been to a festival. I didn’t speak a word of Czech (unless you count the naughty ones). I didn’t have a costume. I knew absolutely nothing about what it meant to be Czech.
I was quickly reassured that all I needed was the desire to learn and everything else would fall into place. The more I contemplated the decision, the more I was enthralled by the idea. Here are are just three of the main reasons I decided to become a Czech Queen:
I was interested in learning more about the Czech community. I was not raised going to festivals or polka dances. My experience consisted of only a few button accordion lessons for a school project. I am curious by nature and always up to learning something new so I figured “what better way to learn and assimilate then be queen?
2. The opportunity to learn more about my heritage
My experience with my heritage included food, genealogy, and a couple of stories my papa told me about his grandparents. This was a great way to immerse myself in discovering what it meant to be of Czech descent. I would get to “Czech” out my genealogy on a deeper level and meet new family members who had done their own research. It’s a cool feeling to connect with your ancestry and not be absorbed in your own life.
3. A chance to compete
While I am not necessarily a competitive person, I do love to perform. I would have a reason to continue learning to play the accordion and discover more about Czech music. Plus, I’d never been the kind of person who wanted to compete in pageants. I didn’t mind however, the idea of dressing up in a folk costume, learning facts about the Czech Republic, and performing in front of a crowd.
Once I began attending festivals I was hooked. I loved the costumes, dances, and opportunities to meet with others who loved being Czech. This opportunity lead to me learning the language, studying abroad, and shaped my world view. My life path changed the day I decided to become a Czech Queen and I haven’t looked back since.
Has there been a time in your life that changed everything? Tell me about it here or on facebook!