Return PolishForums LIVE
  PolishForums Archive :
Archives - 2005-2009 / Life  % width 14

What do foreigners think about Poles and Polish society (MA thesis)?

aniabezu 1 | -  
17 Jul 2008 /  #1

I am writing my MA thesis about foreigners who live in Poland, about adaptation and your opinion on Polish society. I am looking for people (who has been living in Poland for at least 10 months) willing to complete a questionnaire. Please e-mial me at: and I will send you a questionnaire.

Many thanks and I am looking forward to hearing from you.

wildrover 98 | 4,451  
17 Jul 2008 /  #2
I will give that a shot....will email you tonite...
Foreigner4 12 | 1,768  
18 Jul 2008 /  #3
I just made an observation not too long ago, it's only one man's observations so i wouldn't consider it empiracle by any standards, nor would i say it's exclusive to Poles. However you did ask an honest question so i will reciprocate.

Poles hate (or at least seem to) following rules of any kind.

Take the following: throwing garbage away, parking; queuing in a shop; traffic laws; city bylaws (dog owners, i mean you here); or simply using pavement pathways, Poles, in my observations seem to regularly do contrary to: whatever has been planned; what is supposed convention; the law; or what has been organized.

I honestly feel it's a competitive thing. I think poles are just really competitive to the point that, somewhat regularly, many people here always believe they have a better way of doing everything, or at best, just see whatever the rules may be as inefficient, at worst, there is a widespread assumption that rules and consequences don't apply to whomever decides to readjust the rules that day. That being said, to assume it's completely a case of one or the other is ridiculous. I could make a few more guesses but then i'd be making complete guesses into others' thought processes.

here's something of an anecdote for you:
a few years back, i observed children from germany, france, and belgium play football- nice little game, good organization. I watched children of the same age and socio economic class (that being upper) from poland, russia and ukraine do the same thing- completely different, very,very competitive and with far more infighting visible.

take the three little kittens i am babysitting here, what ever they shouldn't be doing is exactly what they're doing (i just caught the little black one on the stove top-his little bum is sore now but it's nothing compared to the burns he could have received due to his little expedition), it must be because they're polish kittens right?
25 Jul 2008 /  #4
I am writing my MA thesis about foreigners who live in Poland, about adaptation and your opinion on Polish society.

Interesting.. post a synopsis on here when you're done please.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
17 Jul 2009 /  #5
Wide open question. Nice and general for PF members.
17 Jul 2009 /  #6
my MA thesis

When are Poles going to learn that a Magister is not an MA?!
jump_bunny 5 | 237  
17 Jul 2009 /  #7
Why does it even bother you? Is it because you're one of those illiterate dudes with college only?
17 Jul 2009 /  #8
It bothers me because we came very close to being sued after we used the word MA where Magister should have been and when we researched the matter we found that if it had gone to court, we wouldn't have had a prayer!
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
20 Jul 2009 /  #9
Harry is right. An MA is an undergraduate degree in the UK (everywhere?) and Magister is postgraduate.
sapphire 22 | 1,241  
20 Jul 2009 /  #10
An MA is an undergraduate degree in the UK

since when? Its actually postgraduate. BA is degree level and MA comes later.
20 Jul 2009 /  #11
In the US a Master's Degree is a postgraduate degree but the Polish 5 year degree they claim is a "Master's" is nothing more than a fluffed Bachelor's Degree.
20 Jul 2009 /  #12
An MA is an undergraduate degree in the UK (everywhere?)

Only from the Ancient universities!

Magister is postgraduate.

Now on that you are just wrong.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
20 Jul 2009 /  #13
Well, Aberdeen University is an ancient university :)

It has a similar effect, Harry. It's higher than Honours. It's all hoity-toity elitist crap anyway.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446  
22 Jul 2009 /  #14
Here are some Polish traits that might be worth exploring:
HIGH-POWERED HOSPITALITY: I have heard Americans vesting Poland say "they tried to wine and dine me to death" when trying to describe that arm-twisting, never-take-no-for-an-answer "polska gościnność". Of course, it is typical of other Slavonic peoples and perhaps most traditional, agrarian societies. It is most pronounced in the remote countryside and less so in big cities.

XENOPHILIA: This term is rarely encountered anywhere as opposed to xenophobia, but Poles have been true to what Mickiewicz once said: "Co Francuz wymyśli, Polak polubi!" Except today the term "Amerykanin" would be more a propos. This probably stems from a sense of inferiority vis-a-vis the West, because it is selective xenophilia, not normally extended to Africans, Arabs, Orientals and other Third World types.

VALOUR: The story of legendary Polish cavalrymen that so impressed Napoleon at Somosierra has repeated itself only in times of extreme threat -- the only time Poles can really get their act together. The same was true in the Battle of Britain and during Solidarity’s struggle against communism. But when things settle down, teamwork again becomes problematic and everyone goes their separate way.

QUARRELSOMENESS: Squabbling, bickering and back-biting are a prominent feature of the Polish political seen, going back to the times of Liberum Veto if not before. Polish politicians work themselves into a frenzy at the slightest provocation and are ready to drown their adversary in a teaspoon of water (a Polish saying!) at the drop of a hat.

Good luck with your MA thesis. BTW, I have compiled a list of foreign impressions of Poles and Poland starting with the 11th-century Arab traveller Ibrahim. If interested, give your e-mail address.

Archives - 2005-2009 / Life / What do foreigners think about Poles and Polish society (MA thesis)?Archived