/ strange Polish mixes
When I lived in North America (US and Canada), I met lots of people calling themselves Irish, even though they actually were Americans and Canadians. Many of them appeared to me extremely arrogant and prejudiced towards us Poles. Actually, I thought all Irish were like them, until I came to Europe and lived in Ireland for some time, and found that real Irish are in Ireland, not in the US or Canada, and that, unlike the fake 'Irish' from America, they are fabulous people, not Polonophobic at all - in fact the least Polonophobic people in Europe.... I also found that quite a few real Irish aren't too fond of the 'Irish' from US.... :)
Hm, so your heritage and background, and identity aren't simply American?
I am an American by birth....but there is nothing simple about being called American for as others have said America is a large country made up of a mixture of people from various nations. Not many people who live here have all of their roots here (unless you are sioux or cherokee or some other native american). I am descended from people who were born in Poland, Ireland and England and I am proud of all those connections. They are my roots. Here in America when people ask what you are they are usually asking about your nationality.
My great-parents was born and raised in Poland. My grandfather was first generation and he had the opportunity to claim Polish citizenship and even inherited a bunch of land there from my great-grandfather. But like most first generation Americans who chose to give all that up. He was American and didn't want to be known as Polish. That disinterest in where we came from was passed on to his children and as such there isn't very much traditional Polish about us. Which has always saddened me because I feel as though a part of me is missing without that historical/cultural basis.
My SN I choose over 15 years ago when I knew more about my Irish side then Polish as my grandmother spoke more of the Irish than my grandfather spoke of Poland. It was only later as I got to know my great-uncle better that I began to learn more of my Polish roots. That I was able to get in contact with the family that still live there. To get to know them and as a result learn a little bit more about myself and where I come from. That is part of what it means to be American....to have an understanding of your roots - the places that your ancestors came from.
I am American however, when I am overseas and people ask me what I am or where I am from I say American or America. In America its different because the meaning behind the question is different. I am proud of my roots - without them I wouldn't be me. I am glad that I now have the opportunity to learn more about my Polish side. Part of that learning process is to come here and talk with other Polish about the history, customs and language. I'm fourth-generation Polish much of that information was lost. I love communicating with my Polish relatives but as many don't speak/read English I also come here for help when my limited knowledge of Polish can only translate a small bit of what was said.
Who are you to call me 'fake'? I am not fake anything....I am very real and very proud of the places where my family has come from. I have been to Poland seen the house where my great-grandfather was born. Been loved and accepted fully by people who I had never met before. Who when I was there didn't want me to leave and tried to get me to promise to move to Poland - and to bring all the family that was here with me - since I was Polish and should be in Poland. They don't think that I am fake anything. And I must say their opinion of who I am means a heck of a lot more to me then yours....so go ahead call me fake...ask god to save you from poles like me....it won't change anything about who I am or what I believe.