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View Full Version : The Issue of Race in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Eastern Europe in General


kwilliams
Jul 17th, 2012, 11:20 PM
I was wondering if anyone had any information for me about Slovakia, the Czech Republic and other parts of Eastern Europe.

My bf is African American and he has been offered a job teaching English with a company based in Prague. They have openings in Plzen, Czech Republic and Bratislava, Slovakia. His contract will be about 10 months. Right now we both feel that working in Bratislava would be the slightly better option because it's a larger city, it's a capital and it's so close to Vienna. In fact, Bratislava is close to Vienna than Plzen is to Prague.

We've travelled together in Vienna, Prague and Budapest before. These are the most "eastern" cities we've been to in Europe but they're all fairly large, cosmopolitan capitals. He's never had any trouble there. I don't even recall noticing an odd look been given to him and I don't think he mentioned anything either (and he would mention it if he saw something!) He even went out alone at night in Vienna and Prague.

Bratislava and Plzen are smaller cities though and they'd get less tourists so I'm wondering what the situation might be like there regarding black people.

I'd love for him to move to Bratislava so that I could visit him a lot and he could visit me but I want him to be happy in his life there and above all safe!

I'd really appreciate any advice or info because the information that I have found is somewhat mixed but for the most part encouraging.

He was offered a job in the Ukraine but didn't feel comfortable taking it after reading some stories.

ptkten
Jul 18th, 2012, 12:52 AM
I think it should be fine, I've been to Bratislava multiple times and while I'm not black, it seems like the people would be friendly and open enough. It's becoming more and more developed and cosmopolitan by the day and it's really not too much less developed than other European capitals at this point, it's just much smaller. He might get some looks but probably more so because there aren't many blacks, not because they're trying to be racist.

This is not to say that prejudice doesn't exist there like in other Central and Eastern European countries and that some won't feel differently about him inside their head, but I don't think he should worry about having to face outward racism and I think most would be welcoming. Plus, I feel like the ones who are racist in Slovakia tend to focus their bigotry on the Roma population. I guess someone of color who has traveled there may be a better source though.

kwilliams
Jul 18th, 2012, 10:56 AM
Thanks for your response. I've mostly heard that it's like that - that a person might get some odd looks but I did read one story about a guy having glasses thrown at him by skinheads. Luckily, he was walking quite far ahead of them on the street that they missed.

kwilliams
Jul 19th, 2012, 11:11 PM
No more info from anyone? I thought any thread mentioning the issue of race was bound to get at least 50 replies! :lol:

Bartosh
Jul 20th, 2012, 12:52 AM
No more info from anyone? I thought any thread mentioning the issue of race was bound to get at least 50 replies! :lol:

Although I'm from Poland I think you and your boyfriend shouldn't be scared ;) In a medium-sized and big cities he really shouldn't notice the difference between East and West Europe in that matter (and Plzen is one the biggest Czech cities). If I were you I'd be more concerned about the discrimination based on sexual orientation as Slovakia (same as my country) is not the best place to live for gay people :shrug: