Living in Europe
by Ondřej Sobotka, 2010
The term “Europe of the Regions” means Europe divided into a lot of parts and every single part is called region. Every region is somehow characteristic, so we can better orient in our world. Europe is divided into regions and these regions are divided into smaller ones. Maybe you are now thinking this is pointless. But tell me… Why? Why couldn’t we say that state itself is actually region?
Just say: “What is a region?” In my opinion region is some small or large part of the certain territory or just country which has its own traditions, culture, language, and history. That’s it! Now we can see this “definition” is very similar to the “definition” of the state. State is a part of the continent or just part of the world with its own traditions history and stuff like that. Because of that I think we can just comprehend a region and a state in common and therefore we can just use the one term “region”. Or Am I wrong?
We have explained ourselves what can we imagine under the term region. Now we should discuss the problem. How can we divide one territory into the different regions? We have a lot of possibilities how to do that according to the different criteria. We can divide it by compass directions, history, traditions and culture. According to a territory or so called compass directions, we can divide Europe into five parts and these are: Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe and Central Europe. I think everyone of us will connect these terms with the economic development of the certain countries in the certain region. Just say: “Eastern Europe”… And you will see what ideas will come to your mind. Then say: “Western Europe.” And well … You will see that your ideas are completely different.
Like everything in this world this division has its advantages and unfortunately disadvantages. That’s for sure. In my opinion the biggest disadvantage is that people connect the certain region with the certain stereotype. For example: Eastern Europe and Western Europe. When I hear Western Europe, I just imagine developed countries; everything is modern and well… really cool. Comparing to Western Europe, Eastern Europe is quite undeveloped and “old fashioned”. And this is just the stereotype and prejudice… I am not saying that it is not like that nowadays but you can imagine the 22nd Century. What If it won’t be like that anymore? And will people still feel the difference between the West and the East? What do you think?
But now let’s talk about the advantages. The most important advantage can be described with just one word and no more words, this word is “non-such”. In my opinion it is very important to have you own traditions and culture. It would be sad to have regions with the same cultural or with the same traditions. And this division can also help us with the orientation in the Europe. Or maybe you know what can you expect from the certain region but on the other hand these expectations and prejudices are mainly bad. And they may have failed you. Do you agree?
As I have mentioned before it would be sad to have everything the same. Unfortunately the 21st century is a little bit like that. We live in the time of the globalization… How is it possible that Halloween is celebrated in the Czech Republic and in almost every European country? The globalisation is now at the very beginning. But what will be in ten years or just in the one century? Who knows? Do you have any ideas? Do you know? Or do you think my ideas are quite pointless?