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Polonius3 994 | 12,380  
26 Oct 2008 /  #1
These questions may show the difference between certain Polish cultural notions and practices from those of some (although not all) other countries:
1. When you nail a good-luck horseshoe up over a doorway, does it hang open-end up or down?
2. What does tracing a small circle on one's forehead mean?
3. If you are a male and are greeting a married couple, whom to you greet first?
4. When do most youngsters fly kites -- in spring or autumn?
5. On which hand do married couples wear their wedding bands?
6 When do you ordinarily eat your main meal of the day?
7. Are you familair with the saying "Nie przez próg!" and when would it be uttered?
8. What does snapping one's neck with one's finger mean?
gtd 3 | 639  
26 Oct 2008 /  #2
1. Open end down...but I don't hang heavy things over my head ;)
2. "Shoot here"
3. Female
4. Both
5. Left
6. "Dinner" 6pm or so
7. Never heard it
8. Don't do it and don't know.
McCoy 27 | 1,269  
26 Oct 2008 /  #3
7. Are you familair with the saying "Nie przez próg!" and when would it be uttered?

it's a superstition. you don't shake hands over the doorstep.

Niepodawanie ręki przez próg. Ciekawa jest geneza tego przesądu. W dawnych czasach przy progu domu chowano zmarłych i niejako z szacunku dla nich (choć zabarwienie przesądne na pewno już istniało) nie podawano sobie ręki na progu wyjściowym. Z czasem ryt chowania zmarłych przy domu na szczęście zanikł, niestety "progowy" zwyczaj nie tylko pozostał, ale przeniósł się na wszystkie progi, nawet te między pokojami (a tam gdzie nie ma progów, na podawanie sobie ręki w drzwiach również mówi się "na progu" i unika się tego jak ognia).

Naneczka - | 16  
26 Oct 2008 /  #4
I think the topic here is more superstition than cultutal differences.

I got a cultural difference:

I live in Canada and just discovered something about birthday parties in restaurants.

I was invited a birthday party in a restaurant with the words "I'm inviting you to my birthday party in a restaurant."

It was a very expensive restaurant.
I arrived 15 late and all my friends were sitting down. The birthday girl ( a Polish girl, born outside Poland), coached us to order wine to have a toast, and order beer, and another beer, and lots of goodies. Well great! So we did. All the Polaks were very moody though. I had no idea why.

At the end of the evening I found out why the gloomy faces, when everyone got up and went one by one to pay for their tab. What tab?

It turns out that before I arrived, the birthday girl announced to everyone that they would be paying for themselves. All the Polish Canadians were a bit shocked. Especially the ones who did not have the kind of money to pay at such a posh restaurant.

We all ended up buying her a gift, paying our tab and a manadatory 15% tip, because were a group of 15 or more.

That was one expesive party. After doing some research I discovered this is normal in Canada. The girl was actually raised in Canada and what she did is normal among Canadians.

I would consider this a cultural shock to Polish People. It was to me.:-)
Ozi Dan 26 | 569  
27 Oct 2008 /  #5
Interesting point - I get this all the time in Oz too. You get an invite to a party somewhere and you're expected to pay for yourself. Or you show up at a party and are expected to bring food, alcohol etc. Growing up around Poles, it was quite a shock to me too.

My mates were shocked when I threw my 30th at a restaurant and footed the bill myself.

I'm very Australian in my attitudes, but my friends can pick out some of my purely Polish nuances.

Polish social customs seem to hark back to bygone days. I'm proud of them and wouldnt change it for the world (event though it can be expensive). The expression on a ladies face when you kiss her hand is priceless.

I'd be interested to know if these old traditions still occur in Poland, or if they are applicable only to the post WW2 emigre generation.
Naneczka - | 16  
27 Oct 2008 /  #6
They still occur in Poland. When we invite to gests any celebration, our guests know right away that we are footing the bill.

Sometimes when it's a pot luck party. That's a different story. We decide who will make the salad and who will bring the cake, etc. But this is clearly communicated before hand.

yeah - I like this custom too.

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