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‘It’s something personal, every family is different’: Czech embassy defends young tennis player’s father and coach for patting her on the back at US Open
- Czech tennis star Sara Bejlek got a reaction after a video of her father and coach patting her on the butt during the US Open
- The video sparked criticism in the US, but Bejlek said the video wouldn’t be a commotion in the Czech Republic
- The Czech Embassy in Washington DC told DailyMail.com that tapping on the ass would be a ‘personal matter’ and ‘would differ from family to family’
- “This has not been a problem in the Czech media at all,” an embassy representative told DailyMail.com
- Despite the lack of indignation in the Czech Republic. Bejlek said she wouldn’t do it again
- Bejlek qualified for her first tennis major and fell in straight sets in the first round
The embassy defended a young Czech tennis player whose father and coach patted her on the back during the US Open.
Sara Bejlek, 16, has already made her name at the US Open, thank you to an awkward video that has gone viral of her coach and father patting her ass during the game.
As the cameras lingered, both men were seen patting her on the back while her father seemingly kissed her on the mouth, causing outrage in the US.
The tennis star defended the action, saying it was “normal” in her country.
‘Daddy is my father and always will be. And I’ve known the coach since I was eight years old. He takes me in, he massages me,’ she added.
“If something similar happened in the Czech Republic, nobody would fix it. But since we’re in America, everyone is commenting on it.’
A representative of the Czech embassy in Washington DC on Wednesday told DailyMail.com that this seemingly outrageous moment “has not been a problem in the Czech media at all.”
“It’s a personal matter, every family would be different,” the representative told DailyMail.com. “It differs from family to family.”
After the win, Sara Bejlek celebrated with her father Jaroslav, who seemed to pat her on the back after her win
American viewers were outraged by the moment, but the tennis player said the moment was ‘normal’ in her country
“If something similar happened in the Czech Republic, nobody would fix it. But since we’re in America, everyone is commenting on it,” she said of the moment
Coach Jakub Kahoun also grabbed her behind as the couple hugged after the win
The Czech embassy in Washington DC (pictured) told DailyMail.com that ‘this has not been a problem in the Czech media at all’ and that butt knocking ‘would differ from family to family’ and it was a ‘personal matter’
While the embassy could not immediately comment on whether or not butt patting was a cultural commonality in the Czech Republic, the young tennis player has already said she would not do it again after being criticized.
“It was a spontaneous reaction from the whole team. We were happy,’ Bejlek said to reporters.
“It may seem awkward and inconvenient to some, but we’ve already discussed it with the team. It will not happen again.’
Although that incident occurred during her first qualifier, it gained traction just before taking on the world’s number 35 player, Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova.
She lost that match in straight sets 6-3, 6-1.
The 16-year-old Czech qualified for her first Grand Slam tournament by beating a number of opponents last week, including an impressive victory over Britain’s Heather Watson.
The 16-year-old is pictured next to her father (right) and coach (below) on Instagram
Bejlek made her US Open debut on Monday against Russian Ludmilla Samsanova
After her qualifying win, 16-year-old Bejlek posted a photo next to her father on Instagram
How punches and even whips are viewed differently by Czechs
Many consider the ‘knock on the buttocks’ of 16-year-old Sara Bejlek’s father and coach after her resounding victory over British Heather Watson, perhaps a step too far.
However, in the Czech Republic – and in other Central and Eastern European countries – “bumpatting” is a common sign of affection.
While you wouldn’t greet a stranger with a pat on the back, between family members or close friends it is a way to congratulate, greet, or gesture for good luck – similar to giving someone a pat on the back.
And while it may be frowned upon in some countries, it’s not considered unusual for the men in a family — like fathers or uncles — to pat the younger women on the butt.
This continues every Easter with the ‘Pomlázka’ – or Easter Whip – tradition, which is observed in the Czech Republic, as well as in Slovakia and some parts of Hungary.
Pictured: A man uses a willow branch to “whip” a woman in the tradition of Pomlázka, observed in Central and Eastern European countries – such as the Czech Republic – at Easter
According to tradition, on Easter Monday morning, men go from house to house to beat local women with a special handmade whip or switch made from wooden branches (such as willow), decorated with colored ribbons.
Women, meanwhile, traditionally wore long dresses as protection against the Pomlázka – although jeans are now preferred.
The tradition also includes songs about eggs, spring, abundance and fertility. The tradition says that women should be whipped to preserve their health, beauty and fertility the following year.
In return, women give the men decorated hard-boiled eggs and a splash of strong alcohol (such as slivovice or plum brandy).
A 2019 survey found that 60 percent of Czech households maintain the tradition, which dates back to the 14th century.