Ah, November is here. For some autumnal joy have a look at my Flickr page, including snaps from my recent stroll through the forest near Karlštejn. I felt the winter creeping on this morning though. I’d meant to go for a run early this morning but the chilly cloud of frozen fog that had wrapped its sneaky little arms around Prague overnight deterred me.
This weekend is fireworks night. Except it’s not in Prague. I don’t know why this came as a surprise to me last year, but Czechs don’t ‘remember remember the fifth of November‘. This is hardly unexpected: I suppose there is no particular reason why anywhere except England would remember the failed work of a 17th century English treasonist with sparklers, fireworks and bonfires. It’s a bit odd that the English choose to do so themselves. It’s presumably pretty unlikely that any modern-day would-be terrorists will be remembered by jolly campfires and oooh-ing and ahhh-ing at an exploding sky. The only legacy they appear to leave is an ever-growing list of items you cannot fly with. Great fun though – I love a sparkler.
November in Czechland is however marked by one of my favourite annual events – Movember! For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, Movember is a month-long event taking place in November each year in which male participants grow moustaches. For the whole month. Without shaving (although I understand a stylistic prune is acceptable).
Normally, I am completely anti-tashes. I don’t really like facial hair at all. Whilst I can make my peace with some designer-stubble I tend to think that once men are old enough to grow proper facial hair, they are also old enough to know better. Facial hair is itchy, risks trapping bits of food and is frequently (regardless of the owner’s head-hair colour) ginger.
However, Movember slips through the net as it is for charity. The tashes of participants are sponsored, to raise awareness and cash for various men’s health issues, including prostate cancer. So you whilst you might look like a bit of a pillock or like a teenage boy who has just hit puberty, we forgive you as you clearly have a heart of gold.
Czechs are not (I think it’s fair to say) widely known for their enthusiasm toward charity. Charitable giving is not a particularly big thing here and people are sometimes a little wary of philanthropic organizations. However, perhaps the tide is turning as (not for the first time) the Czech Rep officially recognises Movember and has it’s very own website here: http://cz.movember.com/
I’ve not seen anyone participating yet (although it’s early days). Last year I did have an uncomfortably experience in the lift when I cheerfully congratulated a colleague on their charitable tash endeavours, only to be met by a blank look. Apparently the moustache in question was not part of Movember and was worn in all seriousness, throughout the year. Cringe. I changed the subject pretty quickly.
I think it’s marvellous what people will do for charity so, whether you’re in Czechland or elsewhere, please let me know if you’re involved and feel free to post a link to your sponsorship page below. For more information on Czech charities, click here