Post-communist young have choice -- and stress





When Vladka Soudkova was nursing her baby in the autumn of 1989, she hoped the upheaval across central Europe she was watching on her television screen would bring freedom and choice to her tiny daughter.

She has not been disappointed.

Eighteen this year, Kristyna has opportunities that Vladka and her computer technician husband, Tomas, could only dream of and the chance to travel and study wherever she likes.

"My husband went out to demonstrate and I sat at home watching the exciting events unfold," said Vladka, now a 45-year-old office worker in the Czech capital of Prague.

"That's when we started to hope that our daughters would live in the freedom that we didn't have. Now we can say our wishes and hopes have been fulfilled."

But with that freedom and choice have also come insecurity, a race for material possessions and, for young people, a degree of uncertainty over the future that their parents did not know.

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