I want to emphasize that songs of Ewa Farna inspired me as much as songs of Avril Lavigne. But had different meaning to me. Ewa Farna with her songs helped me to release tones, namely tones of confusion about the cross of my Polish and Czech identity. To discover songs of Ewa Farna was a very refreshing experience to sink in wholly. And these songs changed me a bit. But because who she was to some degree was something I was feeling so familiar with. But every mixed identity of Czech/Polish or Polish/Czech origin has completely different story, different problems etc. The more we get into details the more problems to understand each other we may encounter.
The main difference between Polish and Czech culture that time when most often listened to songs of Ewa Farna had a few borderlines, distinctions. Of cultural kind of course what Ewa Farna understand so well that it impressed me very much. Sometime even helped to discover myself what remained so much unspoken for so long. My father for example when asked would swear that is Polish etc. Because was simply a politician and lived in communism times for a long time of his own life career knowing all drawbacks of falseness of people and problems when you overly disclose the fact of being different.
The more I know Czechs of today’s world, how they live their lives the harder is to catch some key differences. Because Czech Republic becomes multicultural so fast. Far much faster than Poland. Prague is in my opinion maybe 10 times more (whatever it means) multicultural than Warsaw with all drawbacks of this of course. Because there are also many. And Czech culture is something you need to buy a ticket to Národní divadlo Praha to experience that otherwise you will hardly do. In a full meaning of what this culture is, what does it mean to be a Czech. Czechs eg. in Prague are typical busy people concerned about daily businesses, typically practical like Czechs are and they will adjust to you so fast that you will sooner feel like your own home than know such a person better. But it is a bit caricature what I am saying. But worth to caricature sometimes to outline some differences. But Czechs are far more adaptive by nature I think. If they like you of course. Because there are so many personalities that you will encounter of course those who will never do. And after that come to Poland dissatisfied people from holidays and disseminate opinions in Poland that Czechs are rude or do not like Polish people. Czechs often do not know Polish people and do not concentrate on many things that Polish treat as if obviously known by everyone about themselves. In fact grandiosity of Polish people is a difficulty to overcome. It is often the most real barrier in contacts with people from different cultures.
But for me when I experienced increased rate of insights about what does it mean for me to be to some extent of Czech origin I would emphasize following facts that are my completely subjective opinions, impressions, observations, reflections, sometimes being more screwed, sometimes being given more opportunity to form beliefs on a basis of my empathy sometimes rejected and being shown only facades what gave me only opportunities to kind of an opinion but my impressions are somehow following:
- Czech Republic is smaller country than Poland,
- Czechs are more private and personal in almost everything compared to Polish people,
- Czechs are obsessed about personal freedom and privacy and the way what they disclose with whom what is completely about how I am simply by myself and how is for example my father,
- you will rarely spot Czech people seriously grandiose or concerned about general problems, abstract things, big categories of thinking. If they swing into such considerations they do it with a great dose of distance and humor,
- to be a Czech person means maybe not immediately but to some degree to be concerned somehow about little things, practical side of life and what is at your reach. Being down to earth is kind of value,
- but Czechs are also full of artistic inspirations and Czech culture was very fruitful in original artists. Musicians but foremost actors and of course writers as well. Sculptors are also popular but it is a bit a mistake to treat Czech Republic as a nest of sculptors, handcraft etc. It is simply a mistake to see this way.
- this is one of the greatest history of movie making trade. It is not an industry like Hollywood, Bollywood. It is a national art. That everyone in Czech Republic has something to tell about,
- but as much important are also sports. And you will hear everywhere more discussions about sports, especially winter sports within mountain areas but of course it is popular everywhere in Czech Republic and discussions are popular even among people who are not active in winter sports. And this is why in winter I feel 100% fulfilled in Czech Republic.
- being concerned more about practical side of life makes this culture especially from material culture point of view and working ethos closer to German culture than to Polish or French.
- being Polish is more like being French. And being Czech is more like being Czech. Czechs obviously no matter similarities with Germans are a Slavic country with all consequences about this fact. So I want to just clearly state that Czech Republic is really original and exceptional to a degree that it is really bad „object” of comparisons. It is necessary to get into this culture a bit to realize this fact fully.
- work as a value may dominate practical side of life but mentality, ideas, romances, feelings – everything of this kind is typically Slavic.
- Czech mentality, identity is not easy puzzle to understand and I doubt whether it is something to so called resolve. It is dynamically changing environment very resistant especially to external categories, labels. As I mentioned personal freedom is a real value, being a wanderer, walker, traveler (my father was walking every morning at least 10 km distances since he was 40 and had a dream to do a distance of 100 km in the Netherlands many years ago but did not fulfill this dream due to too many businesses of his everyday life) is some kind of an expression of Czech identity so Czechs to some extent may seem to you ignorant that are not too much concerned about what happens in the world a specific time and you can hear completely subjective points of view or they may simply change the topic of a discussion. It should not surprise anyone. Just accept the fact that there are too many people like this there, and this is simply how they are and it is stupid to try to investigate it, influence or change. There are 100 many more ways they will ever defend themselves simply even as a nation or even if not as a nation so as an ethnic group, different culture to show you that what they have to say, what they do is what is the most important to them. And I like this in Czech Republic. Because I am also accepted as just myself there. And nothing more. And what’s more nothing more is expected from me what is a best proof for the atmosphere of freedom there what is so rare to experience in Poland where political treadmill is more important than anything else. And it is always like that.
I hate to compare Poland and Czech Republic because these are two completely different countries that sometimes it seems as if completely do not need each other and feel OK with this.
To curiosities about myself I can add that my father was telling me fairy tales that was telling him his Czech mother and these stories sound more familiar in Czech contexts. When I see Czech land, Czech landscapes I understand these tales better. And when I first saw a performance of Laterna magika – Kouzelný Cirkus everything has came to me like a lightning. I suddenly understood everything about my child version of myself of this origin. My father makes many language mistakes that are easy to understand only when you know Czech language. Otherwise you can see someone who makes such mistakes like a primitive person what my mother did. I mean did not understand him from this side perceiving somehow negative way. But I realized one day that there is something different to understand about it. That Polish language speaking puritans will hardly understand. Probably my grandmother never learned Polish perfect enough and he inherited really an interesting gift of to some kind own language of mind that can be spotted only in private. Because to the public I do not know how my father did it but always had a talent to express a very good Polish style. But privately his language of mind is more messed up and easier to understand when you understand Czech language a bit. But maybe not only. His parents lived in Belarus for some time. My grandmother knew Russian, Czech, German and Polish language to the same degree of fluency.
But back to the point.
Popularity of Ewa Farna and her best albums overlapped with a period in my life when I was learning Czech language in language school. And started to visit eg. Prague more often. I did not expect then, like in 2010 that I will move one day so close to this country. But after all it was a very good decision for me. That I never regretted.
I like almost all songs from 3 first albums of Ewa Farna. I like a few songs from 4th album. And I can also say like about Avril Lavigne. To have even 3 good albums with so tangled and complex identity and two completely different directions to look at is a great success. And do not expect too much that crowds will always look towards you. Because world surprises us every day with new phenomena we did not know earlier and need to learn how to cope with.
I like more Czech versions of her songs.
First album Měls mě vůbec rád
Polish version of the following song is Tam gdzie nie ma już dróg and I like more the Polish lyrics for the meaning.
A very good song about love affair and identity, about how you recognize someone meant to be for you. I like this song very much. L.A.S.K.A.
I like this album also for singing in Polish a translation of the song of Avril Lavigne I’m with you that is called Tam gdzie ty.
Second album Ticho
A song that I like very much. I was learning Czech on songs of Ewa Farna. Very poetic songs. Ticho.
This is a song more deep what Czech identity is about. A beautiful song. La la laj.
Pošli to dál. A very beautiful and powerful song about moving on. In a specific moment, with your life. Discovering new ways in life or on being on your way. A song full of many multilevel metaphorical meanings. A beautiful song about what’s is best about being more of Czech mentality. That we let worlds turn around, let it roll. What we need is to relate to other people. To call for them, to miss them. To have someone to be so close by your side. About dreaming, about moving on. It seems as if this song was about almost everything. And what we do not know yet but want to know new things. Totally kaleidoscopic song, about finally simple fact „že je tisíc věcí, které ještě neznám” so just start, just move on. One of these songs that also reveal a key difference between Czech language and for example Polish. When you say something in Czech this is something more about activism, about to do something. Czech is better to express sometimes real things but details of little things and to express some movement in everything from relationships to just different more physical phenomena. But Czech isn’t overly philosophical. Typical Czech statements when people communicate with each other in Czech are practical, easy to understand what you mean. Because an intention is often that you need to get what is the point. No matter that this is still more the matter of real complex metaphorical mentality. Czech language is full of metaphors. A lot of context you need to know to feel really like you swim in a Czech context. Without it you may feel a bit isolated even knowing Czech really well.
Third album I like completely. Virtuální
Toužím. I like how this song is composed, how is mixed and mastered. How all tension moves through whole song building sometimes suspension, sometimes surprise, sometimes some accents, sometimes intense overload of distortion sounds to inflate a bit. Really well composed and sound engineered masterpiece. It is really a masterpiece for me. This song. But meaning is very similar to other songs of Ewa Farna. But in musical domain this song is almost perfect. As a very musical person, sensitive to rhythm, melodies, chord progressions, harmony I react completely different to what is perfect like masterpieces of classical music composers. And what is just another grunge song of a pop artist. This is not a typical grunge or whatever song. This song is really good to hear when you are really sensitive to musical tastes and opened to musical inspirations of the kind of sound design too. This song is full of musical experiments and ideas. Taking into account that a song itself is a form of an expression is not a film. It is REALLY a short form. With all consequences of it.
Maska. A very good song about social camouflage and deception. Hard topic for a song. But song beautiful and powerful. In composition and meaning of the lyrics.