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What does it mean to be Polish?

Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
28 Nov 2006 /  #31
You mean your Dad or Mum or older sister/brother?

NO, My Older Daughter, she tells everyone she has Polish Heritage, but
she is not all Polish like I am, Her father has English, French, German, some other
nationalities, but her fathers side, the history goes all the way back to the mayflower
when they arrived here.

Now, my younger child, she copys everything I do, she wants to learn the Polish, she
also isnt all Polish by blood, she has Polish, German, Arabic, <~spelled wrong, and
Irish, but her heart is into it, she asks all the time about Poland, who is our family in
Poland, which we still do ,and still correspond with them.

I try to spark their interest through my interest, it is only working on the younger one.

Ooops, I wanted to say, the older daughter says I dont care, but i think that goes
along with the age too, she is 14. most dont care at that age about anything but

I think that you are polish by blood

Thank you :) I agree with you on customs changing, even here, the culture has
changed, each family celebrates the traditions differently , everything that my
grandparents did is lost, the only thing I do have is my Blood, <~thank god!

trying to learn it, read about it. feel closer to family. thats all. :) not so bad.
28 Nov 2006 /  #32
I think to truly understand any country and culture you need to live there for a long time, so a ‘blood line’ isn’t going to make you Polish in the sense of being somebody who has a deep understanding of Poland, but roots are important to all cultures who have experienced a Diaspora- and the ‘I’m more Polish [insert nationality of choice] than you are isn’t particularly helpful to either party.

Those that return to their cultural identity should be celebrated, not shunned as some ‘half-breed’ fumbling for purpose, it should be enough that they have recognised their roots and have returned, full of new ideas and ready to trade those in exchange for the wisdom of the generations long lost to them.
Frank 23 | 1,183  
28 Nov 2006 /  #33
I'm occasionally asked the same about being Irish...and I am not quite sure at times...all I know is that, I am not the typical certain areas but in other I can identify wholly with the stereotype.

I have often said to people that being Irish was similar to being the "soul" of damaged, so vulnerable, so in touch with the inner pain/conflicts of being a human.

Never quite know when you are right...but curiously, always turning out to be life over the max limit, but having regard for others.

Realising that every mom is your mom and vice versa......knowing that craic/laughter...freeing yourself from the constraints of your mind ( usually through alcohol), that feeling of wanton abandon....but yet having the weight of mankind on your shoulders.............being a victim....for so many endless centuries.........but in the end being the victor!

I suppose, some of this isn't much different to being Polish........but there ya go.....

PS God, I'll have to start taking the meds again...:(
Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
28 Nov 2006 /  #34
not shunned as some ‘half-breed’ fumbling for purpose

I agree with this, like I said, I took interest in learning, that is a choice I made,
I try to encourage, but ones interest is not there, the others is, for how long
I dont know, my heart is in it, it does upset me though when someone calls you
a wannabe Pole<~that is rude, as you said "celebrate" that others want to be
a part of that culture.

They have choices, or they can not choose at all, but I will keep on doing what i am
doing to learn. something I want to do.
OP Babylon 16 | 192  
29 Nov 2006 /  #35
it's when someone is too lazy to think of a proper word or they do not want to say a "strong' word then they just say odteguj sie. It's more neutral. Beware this is slang - do not say this to your Polish boss!

I live in Poland from the beginning and this word is "so plastic" and not really "true", but well you can say "odteguj się" as well as "zategować"
29 Nov 2006 /  #36
Im Polish, I was born in Poland and Im proud to be Polish...

and if u never have been to Poland, u will never understand.. :)
krysia 23 | 3,057  
29 Nov 2006 /  #37
I love it. Short, simple and straight to the point.
Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
30 Nov 2006 /  #38
and if u never have been to Poland, u will never understand

Poland lives in America too, plenty of Polish culture here.
We might not pay polish taxes, or have daily news on Poland issues.
but it is still a culture. a way of life. traditions. I pay taxes and hear the news
daily. our president sucks here in the states, and your presidents sucks in
poland. we have shady people who run congress so do you.
we have poor people, so does poland. we have rich, so does poland.

culture is not rich, poor, shady,or how bad it sucks.
it is what Polish stands for- the polish eagle-someone tell me what that symbol means!
like the recipes krysia posts, beliefs of people, traditions that they have, what
religion, background. I know living there helps. but the problems are no
different then any place else in the world, so if its based on that. then its not
a culture. I dont feel that way, and ya know what, ya aint gonna burst my
bubble, I know poland has problems.

right now my goal is to learn the language as hard as it will be.
I may not ever get to visit, my hopes are to visit.

I got a story (oh crap here she goes again).

my cousin sophie (zofia) went to poland with one of her friends with a group
and she went into a small shop, with all kinds of neat things, she spotted these
handmade curtains so she was undecided if she should by them
or not, she asked the price, and she told her, they were priced to high. so she told
the lady no, she didnt want them.

the lady rattles off in Polish, stupid americans dont want to spend their money
so cheap!

is that Polish culture? cause we get that here too only its everyone.

My cousin knew what she said, she didnt say anything back, she wanted to, but
she felt she would let the woman know nicely that she knew what she said by
saying, lets go, we can spend our cheap money elsewhere.

"eyeballs got big"! yes, polish lives in America.
30 Nov 2006 /  #39
My identity is that of a white european. Being both French and English (born in Scotland) and marrying a Pole. My race is my religion. 14 words.
Matyjasz 2 | 1,544  
30 Nov 2006 /  #40
What does it mean to be Polish?
Hmm.. It means that you don't have to feel guilty after drinking some vodka before 12 am! :)

But seriously there isn't just one definition of being Polish. After the end of WWII people that stayed in the borders of the new Poland were basically the "ethnic Poles", thus the perception of being Polish focused generally on the "blood" aspect. But it didn't always used to be like this.

In the times of the Rzeczpospolita Obojga Narodów (Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth) a Pole was a synonym for a noble man. After Poland and Lithuania joined the Union together the Lithuanian nobles interested to acquire the same rights as the polish noble class slowly started to “polonaise”(is there such a word in English? :( :) ) themselves, and in the end became in fact real Poles. The same situation happened with the rest of nobles from the incorporated new lands like today's Belarus, Ukraine, etc... They spoke polish, took polish customs, beliefs, etc and of course added something new from themselves to the whole picture. This people took and also contributed to the polish culture, so regardless of their roots they felt and in fact they were real Poles.

And what about the German settlers that eventually perfectly assimilated with Poles? I already wrote something about it somewhere in this forum, but I think it's worth repeating. If you would check the names of freedom fighters that fought with the Germans during the Wielkopolska Uprising yop would notice that there were many German sounding names.

Of course I agree that in order to understand the Poles of today you would have to have some sort of a contact with the country. But then again, who is more of a real Pole: a person that lives in Poland but actually knows more about cowboys and ninjas than about the history of their country or a person that lives abroad but still is genuinely interested in Poland and it's heritage?
Patrycja19 63 | 2,699  
30 Nov 2006 /  #41
Thanks Maciej, u do add value to this forum!
OP Babylon 16 | 192  
8 Dec 2006 /  #42
At the beginning I thought that being Polish means especially to speak polish, but what is more important to have POLISH CONSCIOUSNESS

"Polish Diaspora" had to be much more patriotic than native Poles, they do not need to interest in Polish culture, history and tradition, they speak Polish and live in Poland so this make them Polish - whether they want it or not, but Poles from diaspora are Polish because of their choice, I think that "blood" is not enough when you are living abroad you need to be interested in it to claim.
daffy 23 | 1,508  
20 Feb 2007 /  #43
Feb 20, 07 [11:08] - Attached on merging:
What does it mean to be a Pole?

Culturally, societally, et al.

How do you feel it is seen abroad? how is it seen at home.

What expectations do you have of your society, realisations, dreams, etc.
Aleksandra 7 | 2  
20 May 2007 /  #44
For those who are Polish??

I am writing an assignment and trying to get some help... That's all

29 Apr 2009 /  #45
i think that what you said is misleading. To be polish to is have pride in who you are. It does not matter where you where born. for example i was dorn in the United States and both of my parents are from Poland. I have learned the native language, went to polish school in the U.S. and have been taught the tradition. So because i was not born in Poland what you have said means that i'm not polish? well i think you are wrong it does not matter if you where born there people should be proud that the tradition and the lauge is still around, and that young people who have the chance to learn a second lauguage from there parents take the opportunity to learn and pass it on. that is what polish is all about. You are Proud of what your background is, and also speacking that laguage not caring where you where born, that should not matter.
freebird 3 | 532  
29 Apr 2009 /  #46
where you where born. for example i was dorn in the United States

really? I say no way. :-)

if u never have been to Poland, u will never understand.

I've been to Poland and still don't understand it lol.
Just kiddin'
I understand how you feel about being Polish. I'm glad you guys created this thread, maybe you'll also understand how other people feel about their countries, especially before you start talking crap about us.

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