Different everyday life

1st Blog: By Tereza Kubalová - Monday, 7 November 2022, 1:33 AM

Liechtenstein and the Czech Republic are two countries that have only little similarities. If you are a Czech from the mountain regions, you will quickly feel at home in Liechtenstein. But honestly, the mountain scenery I see through my window every day when I wake up is incomparable with anything I have ever seen. Ever since I came here, I have been excited to immerse myself in Liechtenstein's breathtaking landscape, cultural perspective, tradition, and social atmosphere. Despite some similarities, there are still many significant differences in everyday life.

Before I came here, I had heard some people refer to Liechtenstein as a small village where everybody is friendly, and the locals frequently greet each other. Even though many things define Liechtenstein as a country, from its picturesque mountains to its traditional customs, what makes Lichtenstein so unique is the local people.

I have no hesitation in saying that Liechtenstein people have better manners on average. I can forget to lock my front door or my bike here, and nothing happens. Moreover, people here are friendlier and very helpful in the true sense of the word. At the beginning of my stay, I was worried about asking for help, mainly because I can not speak German, but I found out very soon that the local people are highly supportive and have no problem explaining everything in English even more than once. Because Liechtenstein is very small, everyone knows everyone in some way. What is more, they really greet each other at every opportunity (on the street, on the bus, in the shop). So, keeping the greeting word "Hoi" on the lips is essential, as that is how the locals say 'hello'. The greeting word "Hoi" is so typical for Liechtenstein that it is written even on many souvenirs you can buy here. Honestly, I still can not get used to being greeted by random people on the street. Sometimes I am so surprised that I forget to respond, as this is a huge change for me compared to the Czech Republic. I do not want to say that the Czechs are not friendly, but we generally mind our own business and only support each other so much if we are good friends.

Further, I admire the unity of the Liechtenstein community that pulls by one rope, meaning it is very nationalist. The locals celebrate together, and they follow the local traditional customs together. It seems to me that they do everything together, like one big family. The Czechs get almost never united unless there is an international ice hockey match. 

From what I have experienced so far, people in Liechtenstein are positive most of the time and do not show strong emotions. Their positive attitude is surprising to me, and I sometimes find it challenging to recognize their moods. I had not noticed it before, but in contrast, the Czechs never pretend to be positive when we are sad or angry. We are brought up to express our negative emotions and feelings. In addition, our negative attitude usually outweighs our positive attitude, and we often complain about everything. In fact, over time, complaining has become a form of Czech societal norm.

Another difference that can be significant in everyday life is the cleanliness of the whole country. Regarding the local and national feeling, I would say that Liechtenstein people are very proud of their country and their environmental friendliness comes from their love of nature they have. As many people know, Liechtenstein is a country with one of the highest qualities of life. I had checked this fact before my arrival. So, it is only natural that the locals want to keep their country clean. Throwing garbage in the streets or nature has zero tolerance for them, so there are litter bins on every corner. From the mountains to lakes, the Liechtenstein people try to take care of their rich landscapes and enjoy time in nature doing outdoor activities.

I wish the Czechs had the same attitude towards nature and pulled by one rope to support the community as Liechtenstein people, but we still have too much to learn.