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Is this a uniquely Czech sense of humour?

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Last month was marked by the new “movement” that propagated throwing eggs at ČSSD leader Jiří Paroubek as a means of expressing dissatisfaction with his politics. The Facebook-spread initiative drew more than 55,000 supporters within weeks and literally coloured Paroubek and his colleagues egg-white and yolk-yellow nationwide at rallies for elections to the European Parliament.

The swiftness with which people responded to the call to arms might serve as an illustration of the kind of sense of humour Czechs proudly claim to share. It ranges from fictitious characters such as the legendary and dearly loved Jára Cimrman, to a sculpture attempting at making Europe laugh at itself and causing diplomatic upheaval instead.

Last Monday, a group of people in Brno decided to play their own little joke on President Václav Klaus and asked him to sign a copy of the Lisbon Treaty at an event at a bookstore. Klaus complied, reassuring himself that the document was not real, first though.

“I have given a symbolic 30 pages of the treaty to the president since it is one of the few documents on which I care for his signature,” Apolena Rychlíková, a 20-year-old student from Brno and the organiser of the happening told Lidové noviny.

Both of the aforementioned expressions of the specifically Czech – at least that is the way Czechs like to see it – sense of humour share a deeper message hidden under the joke. The Czech dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs rarely becomes anger or hate, but expresses heavy sentiments lightly, perhaps even aerodynamically.

• Is any of this funny at all?
• Do you share this sense of humour?
• Does this expression get the message across?

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