On 14 June, American artist and calligrapher, Susan Loy, will unveil a watercolor painting, so detailed that it took her two years to complete; the painting, titled Czech Flower Alphabet, commemorates Norbert F. Čapek and the Flower Celebration that he introduced to Czech Unitarians in June 1923.
Loy will present the painting at the annual Flower Celebration in the newly remodeled Čapek Hall in the Unitaria on Anenská in Prague 1.
This event is the culmination of a week-long series of videos to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Čapek’s 3 June birthday.
A video, “Flower Connections: An Interview with Calligrapher Susan Loy,” will premier on 12 June and can be viewed via the Czech Unitaria website and later directly on YouTube.
canThe 15-minute video records an interview of Susan Loy in her Prague studio, conducted by art historian, Jana Ticha. The interview covers Loy’s connection to Čapek’s Flower Celebration, the research that she conducted in order to plan the watercolor painting, and the technique she used to create the painting.
Loy’s 56 x 56 cm watercolor painting includes a Czech flower alphabet, a wreath of thirty-one flower species common to the Czech Republic. Each flower is identified by its Czech common name, its Latin name, and its English common name.
The painting includes the first stanza of Čapek’s hymn, “Kindle the flames of love,” hand-lettered in English and in Czech, which surrounds a large sunflower, a traditional symbol for Czech Unitarians.
The unifying motif in the wreath and border are the leaves and flowers of Tilia cordata, small-leaved linden or lime, the national tree of the Czech Republic.
Susan Loy moved to Prague in April 2018 with her husband, Ron Ayers, and two dogs, Miss Lilly and Rocky, with a long-stay cultural visa sponsored by the Czech Unitaria.
Loy founded Literary Calligraphy® in 1983, and Ayers joined the company in 1990. Loy is known in the United States for serving as “Artist on the Lawn” at the 1998 White House Easter Egg Roll in Washington, D.C., and subsequently creating a poster featuring White House flowers.
Her book, Flowers, the Angels’ Alphabet, is a standard reference for floral dictionaries and the Victorian Language of Flowers.
Every seventh Prague inhabitant is a foreigner and a half of them have permanent residence in the Czech Republic, an analysis by the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR) shows.
In 2018, the number of foreigners registered in Prague exceeded 200,000. Overall, foreigners make up more than 15% of all Prague residents.
The analysis also states that foreigners are becoming a stable part of Prague’s future population and are a perspective source of workforce for the local labor market.
The most numerous group of foreigners living in Prague are 51,000 Ukrainians, followed by 31,500 Slovaks and 24,000 Russians. Taken together, these three countries form more than half of the total number of foreigners in Prague.
Foreigners are also becoming a stable part of Prague’s future population. This stabilization is particularly necessary to meet the needs of the labor market, as unemployment in Prague is one of the lowest in EU.
The number of citizens from the European Union is 1/3 of all foreigners. The remaining two-thirds are citizens from the so-called third countries: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.
Almost 50% of foreigners have a permanent residence in Prague, which confirms the stability of this Prague population, especially in relation to the labor force potential.
Do you plan to relocate to the Czech Republic but you don’t have much information about the Czech Labour Market yet? The recruitment agency Grafton Recruitment has collected some useful information about average wage, desired employee benefits or possibilities of opening bank accounts.
The Czech economy is still developing according to a current forecast published by the Czech National Bank. Even though its last prognosis originally showed a higher number, the estimated growth of the Czech economy for this year should be about 2.9 percent. Also, an average exchange rate of the Czech crown will present about 25 crowns to 1 Euro and neither should its growth be halted next year, as its value should increase to 24.20 crowns to 1 Euro on average.
Foreigners living and working in the Czech Republic account for more than half a million of the population and make up 10.7 percent of the overall employment rate, as reported by the Czech Statistical Office. They mostly seek jobs in the Finance or Accounting sectors, HR, Customer operations, IT or Technical support, Procurement, Logistics, and Sales.
Average Salary and Attractive Benefits
The Czech Statistical Office disclosed information about the average salary in the Czech Republic in March 2019, which presents an amount of 33 840 Czech crowns in a gross wage in the last period. It has also increased in comparison to the third quarter of 2018.
However, besides a monthly payment – job seekers decide to choose the new job also depending on a package of benefits. The last Benefit Survey by Grafton Recruitment Business Services shows, that the most desired benefits within the Czech labor market are 13th or 14th salaries, flexible working hours, 5 weeks of vacation, occasional work from home or various educational courses.
Bank Services and Expats Centre
Coming to a different country and starting a new life and career there can be tough at the beginning. But even after a longer period of time, there may still be a lot of questions in regards to living and working conditions. One of them is how to choose the right bank where you can open an account. Grafton Recruitment has therefore contacted the biggest banks in the Czech Republic to see what they offer for their potential clients from abroad.
Česká spořitelna offers their services for foreigners at the Prague branch in Rytířská street called the Expat Centre. It is especially dedicated to those who live in the Czech Republic longer and mainly for business reasons. Information provided here is primarily in English, Spanish, French or German.
“The package consists of traditional banking products (current accounts in Czech and foreign currency, debit and credit cards, overdraft accounts, internet banking in English or deposit accounts) as well as other products such as investing, cash loans, consumer loans, and mortgages,” Lukáš Kropík from Česká spořitelna press centre said.
ČSOB also opens accounts for expats. Even though the main language is Czech, they can provide information also in English. Their Smartbanking – bank mobile app – is possible to manage in English too. To create the account, it is required to have present one of these options: passport, residence permit or employment contract, as Patrik Madle, ČSOB spokesperson, told Grafton.
Free Account and Payments Within the European Union
Air Bank provides its services especially in Czech, but it is possible to open the account there with the help of an interpreter. A similar situation is at Hello bank! However, as Gabriela Pithartová, Brand & Customer Experience Director stated, they plan to create, for example, a mobile app in English.
Foreigners living in the Czech Republic with the intention of permanent residence can create their accounts also at mBank. They provide client service also in English by email or by phone through mLinka. One of their biggest advantages is a possibility to use the account, hold a card or make payments within the European Union for free, Iveta Blahova from mLinka said.
UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia also has a specialized department focused on international clientele and the bank advisors communicate in English, French, Italian or Russian as Petr Plocek, Head of Identity & Communication said.
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