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177 Nations of Tasmania - Episode 23 - Life in and out of Czechoslovakia

Updated: Jul 25, 2021

I thought I'd try publishing episodes as a part of the blog, partly to encourage people to subscribe to my website, and also hopefully to get more people to check out the episodes.

It also gives me a chance to say a bit more about each episode and what I personally may have found interesting or poignant about it.

In this case, Helena talked in quite a bit of detail about the whole circumstances around getting out of Czechoslovakia to eventually come to live with relatives in Hobart. Although I've talked with others who have escaped authoritarian regimes in their home countries, I thought Helena's description of all the arrangements that they had to make to just pretend they were going for a holiday to Croatia, an elaborate process in itself, and then the anxiety of the thorough search at the border crossing, and then the experience of being crammed into a crowded hostel with other refugees in Austria.

Helena was also yet another person who spoke about her feeling of being "at home" when she arrived in Tasmania, though the initial few years were tough with grappling with finding work and adjusting to life in a place where they did not know the language or culture and so felt very isolated for a time.

But, of course, things got better, and Helena had some wonderful stories about some cultural misunderstandings, and there is also an amusing anecdote from when she returned to Czechia and her mother became concerned that she was smiling too much !

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