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What does it mean to be Polish?


Babylon 16 | 192  
22 Nov 2006 /  #1
What does it mean to be Polish to You?

Polish means belonging or relating to Poland, or to its people, language, or culture. (Collins Dictionary)

The Poles (Polish: Polacy) are a western Slavic people inhabiting the country of Poland (in Central Europe) and a number of other states in the world, where they form a significant Polish diaspora.

There is no commonly accepted definition of the Poles. According to the preamble of the Constitution of Poland, the Polish Nation consists of all citizens of Poland. However, like in most European countries, many people limit the group to native speakers of the Polish language, people that share certain views or traditions, or people who share a common ethnic background originating from Poland. As to the ethnicity, the name of the nation comes from a western Slavic ethnic group primarily associated with Poland and the Polish language. Poles belong to the Lechitic subgroup of these ethnic people. The Polans of Giecz, Gniezno, and Poznań were one of the most influential tribes of Greater Poland and managed to unite many other West Slavic tribes in the area under the rule of what became the Piast dynasty, thus giving birth to a new state. The Polish name for a Pole is Polak (male) and Polka (female). (WIKIPEDIA)

What Conditions have to be fulfilled in order to be able to consider oneself the Pole?

It is possible not to speak in Polish and to be the Pole, either not to have Poles' ancestors and still "be a Pole"? what do You think, what conditions have to be fulfilled?
Wroclaw 44 | 5,384  
22 Nov 2006 /  #2
I just refer to my passport.
OP Babylon 16 | 192  
22 Nov 2006 /  #3
*1* You have to got Polish Passport

what about Peoples who dont have it but still want to be Poles?
Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
22 Nov 2006 /  #4
There is no commonly accepted definition of the Poles. According to the preamble of the Constitution of Poland, the Polish Nation consists of all citizens of Poland.

Excellent info, Thanks, by the way, I consider myself Polish, but American first as this
was where I was born. all Grandparents and parents minus 25% if that is all polish.
Cities they lived were Nowogrod K Lomza, and Osiek K Oswiecim, and Polanka Wielka,
Again near Oswiecim, and last was Kolno.

I dont think there are conditions, yes if you live there you are Polish citizen, but
like when Poles come to America, they still say I am Polish, even if they came 5 years
ago, or 100 years ago. the nationality dont change, only the citizenship. most
still Practice their Culture here.

oops, the other 25% is the Question in another post about German (possible) heritage
but again, I dont know for sure. they lived in poland, all of them.

and if they hadnt came here, we would still be there, I would have learned more,
and know how to speak it, all grandparents died early on, and I never learned it, the
only time my parents talked polish was at christmas, so we didnt hear what we were
getting!

By the way babylon, printing that, I am wanting to learn so much, this is like the
first post which caught my attention that is really helpful for me to understand more
about Poland, its people, where it began, those Questions ran thru my mind, I had
a time on the intranet finding the right Words to get to the sites. very informative.

Thanks Really :) alot.
OP Babylon 16 | 192  
23 Nov 2006 /  #5
If You want to learn Polish You can very easy, you have to download IVONA (The IVONA human speech synthesizer - designed by IVO Software, was recognized by the world's famous experts as the best!) You will learn cuz IVONA read text aloud very good!!!!

If you are interested GG me: 4209407, and I will try to help you, softland.idl.pl - its a interesting forum where you can find a lot of tools dictionaries etc. that will help you learn polish

Patrycja19 you can get polish passport, and can refer to it like our friend said in this topic
Varsovian 92 | 634  
24 Nov 2006 /  #6
You have to speak the language and internalise the culture - it's not possible to be truly Polish without being born and brought up there. I know people who were born to Polish parents abroad, speak perfect Polish, declare themselves to be Polish and yet are not due to the way they think and facets of, say, English culture that they have made their own whether by choice or osmosis over a long period of time.

My children are neither Polish nor English, but feel at ease operating in both cultures and languages.
OP Babylon 16 | 192  
24 Nov 2006 /  #7
Your children are Polish, They don't have to be brought up in PL. The most important is how parents raise their children.
Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
24 Nov 2006 /  #8
yep. my oldest isnt interested in anything right now, only that her heritage leads
to polish, but youngest, wants to learn it, she is the curious child, so, quite possibly
if these polish classes are at night (at reasonable hour) I might take her along with me
to learn. :)
FISZ 24 | 2,116  
24 Nov 2006 /  #9
Seeing a few more people from that other forum..you know, the crappy one :)
Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
24 Nov 2006 /  #10
Yeah, I emailed Ania, asked her to ask the others.

be nice to have more familiar voices on here. the forum was crappy, but, not
all the people.
Frank 23 | 1,183  
24 Nov 2006 /  #11
In reality.....being Polish ( applies to other nationalites too)...is effectively a state of mind and inheritance........you evolve thoroughly immersed in its culture and life...on the knee of your mother, then friends as you grow up.

I honestly don't think anyone else can then FULLY understand or feel as fully part of the whole Polish experience unless you've moved through these areas and experiences.

Knowing the language is a start, but how long will it take to be fluent and more importantly, you will always have an accent..........so when you speak , the local, real Polish will treat you slightly differently...even though they may not want to...they will.....fact of life.

But and its a big but....if locals feel you are being true and honest, I think they'd make an extra effort to include you and make you feel as "Polish" as you possibly wanted to be....such is Polish culture and hospitality.
FISZ 24 | 2,116  
24 Nov 2006 /  #12
I've had this conversation with my gf in Pl and in her opinion, you aren't polish unless your're from poland. i told her that many people in the US refer to themselves as Irish, polish, italian...whatever even if they're just roots. It started when I told her that my step brother's father is Polish. She said oh he's from PL? I said no, but he's polish. She wanted to know how that can be if he was born in the US.

It was hard for her to understand how someone can claim to be Polish when they aren't from poland.
uk_ 8 | 85  
24 Nov 2006 /  #13
polish? you mean shoe polish?
Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
24 Nov 2006 /  #14
It was hard for her to understand how someone can claim to be Polish when they aren't from poland.

she is right to extent, but, mostly I say I am American Polish, our family came early
on, but that dont mean we are only American. sometimes people like to shoot
people down to much, what is the big deal if someones ancestors, not that far off
either came from poland, so they cant share the heritage? Polish is a culture, no
matter where you live. Anyone think that people who move to the UK and have
children, will they say these children are strickly british? no, because they dont
practice what the british do.

I think I would be proud to have so many respect their polish heritage rather
then question why anyone would say that in the first place.

But and its a big but....if locals feel you are being true and honest, I think they'd make an extra effort to include you and make you feel as "Polish" as you possibly wanted to be....such is Polish culture and hospitality.

Frank I been doing this all my life.

Yes I suppose handed down thru the generations of Polish family members who
came strait from poland that this is part of this culture. my Grandmother would
feed everyone who stepped foot in her house. They lived like they were still in
poland in the area they moved to. only difference was the name of the place.
if they could have named the town differently they would have, and there are alot
of places in the USA which have polish town names. Polish street names .

I just dont know how anyone can deny someone that and not be proud.
OP Babylon 16 | 192  
24 Nov 2006 /  #15
read this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jus_sanguinis
In Poland there is "right of blood" So If your grandparents or mama, papa are Polish you are also, as US is not a ethnic state, but "plastic" there is "right of the territory" so if you are born in USA you are American, read this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jus_soli so native- You are Polish (cuz there is no tribe, ethnic group called Americans), you are also American cuz You were born there, but if your HEIRDOM is Polish, You are Polish (and IF YOOU KNOW THE LANGUAGE and You are interested in Polish Culture, History You are 100%, and you can have "diffrent accent".

do You agree?
OP Babylon 16 | 192  
24 Nov 2006 /  #17
well If You are not in Poland for good, sometimes you are more Polish theb "real one" Polish raised in Poland
Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
24 Nov 2006 /  #18
Yes, Thanks :) one positive leads to two :) then three :)

Ur just polish..period..

Thanks again DG, Means alot :)

well If You are not in Poland for good, sometimes you are more Polish theb "real one" Polish raised in Poland

Well, I wish I could say that every part of the culture existed in my home , but
unfortunate that no one kept it going. our parents were no so strict, there was no
church, even though both had to go to catholic schools, learn Polish as well and
every holiday was celebrated with the old customs. MY sister remembers, she was
born when they were all alive, I was two when my moms mother died, so I only
had a grandma for two years of my life.

my Interest grew, my questions grew, so this is where I am at, dont have the
older family members to ask, all of emm are gone.

Yes, by blood, I am all Polish. by birth, American.

Thanks both of you :) Very Appreciated :) now I go look at those sites.

BTW MY moms mother (grandma) didnt get naturalized here, she still held her
green card, which I have, she came in 1914, but in the early 1940s had to
report to immigration when the war had started (all immigrants had to) and
I also recieved these papers from them, she had to have two people write
who she was, when she came , why she was here etc.
so when she died, she was still a citizen of Poland.
californiagirl  
24 Nov 2006 /  #19
for the people who say that you can't be Polish unless you were born in Poland, does that mean that if a woman from India or China or Africa moves to Poland and gives birth there, her child is Polish? Is that what a real Pole is?
krysia 23 | 3,057  
24 Nov 2006 /  #20
Good thing she didn't come on the Titanic...
Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
25 Nov 2006 /  #21
Yeah, we all said that. 1914 , two years after it sank. mine all came early, cept grandma.

1901, 1903, 1907. then 1914. <~close.
californiagirl  
25 Nov 2006 /  #22
Are there alot of ancestries in Poland, like in America? Is being Polish related to citizenship like being American is?
OP Babylon 16 | 192  
25 Nov 2006 /  #23
Is being Polish related to citizenship like being American is?

No, You can be Polish if you are not a citizen of Poland

read this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_Americans

Kazimierz Pułaski was 100 % Pole but he is American (cuz of citizenship), so You understand that being a citizen of USA and being a citizen of Poland and being Pole is not the same, You can be Pole without citizenship
Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
25 Nov 2006 /  #24
Kazimierz Pułaski was 100 % Pole but he is American (cuz of citizenship), so You understand that being a citizen of USA and being a citizen of Poland and being Pole is not the same, You can be Pole without citizenship

Amen!
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161  
26 Nov 2006 /  #25
well If You are not in Poland for good, sometimes you are more Polish theb "real one" Polish raised in Poland

Sure... The real Poland is now in Chicago ?:)
iwona 12 | 542  
26 Nov 2006 /  #26
I think that to be 100% polish someone has to be at least brought up in Poland.If someone has polish roots ( parents grandparents...) he can say that he/she is polish but does this person understands our culture? mentality?political, ecomonical reality ....

I have colleauge who was born in Uk but her parents are Italian and even she was going to english school, brought un in UK she has Italian heritage food, language, customs....

she feels like someone between Italian and English.
saffron 8 | 62  
26 Nov 2006 /  #27
I agree with the above-you do have to be brought up in the country to say u totally belong to it-i mean when i went to Ireland on holidays to see relatives etc i didnt really embrace my Irishness as i never experienced that much of it.Having said that i love England but dont see myself as totally english-i guess i am somewhere inbetween
Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
26 Nov 2006 /  #28
he can say that he/she is polish but does this person understands our culture? mentality?political, ecomonical reality ....

I agree to some extent, I can only say, here When people immigrated, yes they
became American or stayed citizens of Poland (never getting naturalized).
they had children, back way before I was even thought of, there were sections
in the town where I lived, hungarian, Italian, Polish, Yes even Irish, all seperate
communities, no mixing that was bad thing to do. The Culture of everyone of these
immigrants was highly practiced. Still is today , I wouldnt say Govt should be
included in a culture, because I think/believe polish is about traditions, what
the people believed in, how they came together as a country.
Just because they immigrated dont stop them from being polish. or their children.

Now I can agree with This. Someone has a grandparent whos all polish, and
another who is all irish, another who is half indian, half german, and then another
who is english and french.

What culture would they be? NONE< there is no specific bloodline there.

for people who have Polish heritage, came to America and their children Married
Polish, 100% everyone is from Poland. then that is Polish. as for the culture
it should be up to the parents to carry traditions on. in my case, unfortunately
no one did. so by blood, yes, polish all the way, by customs (still learning) by
living there, well , the govt says I can still obtain a polish citizenship for those who
lost it between 1920-1989 when they immigrated, so that would be my grandparents
and I know my grandmother didnt get naturalized, both grandfathers did, and the
other grandma was naturalized once she married my grandfather (was the law)
till they changed it and made it so everyone had to get naturalized later on.
ANIAH - | 60  
26 Nov 2006 /  #29
I think that even if you are only part Polish and have never lived in Poland you still have it in your blood ie. you are naturally curious about Poland and drawn to Polish stuff.

To really understand the political and economic system, however, you need to either live in Poland or be up-to-date on all current issues etc. perhaps through the media, your family, visits etc. It also helps to speak Polish. For me one of the best things about Poland is the language, I love the way it is so polite ie. "Pani" and "Pan" and the slang is brilliant.

Here are a few of my favourite slang words:

puszysta
laska
zakichany
gosc
splywaj
odteguj sie
nie podskakuj
stul pysk (this one is a bit rude)
wal (tj. mow)
prosto z mostu
ale aparat itp itd.

and the way they make everything sound so little and cute

ie. pieniazki
obiadek
serniczek
pyszczek
berecik
szkolka
mieszkanko
ciuszek
sklepik

itp
iwona 12 | 542  
27 Nov 2006 /  #30
Patrycja,

I think that you are polish by blood but customs,culture .....to be honest they change all the time.

I have been living in UK for ( only 4.5 years) and things are changing in Poland all the time.
Even if I visit once , twice a year it is not enough as I don't live there.

I am thinking if I was to come back in 20 years...everything would be different.

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