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Poles working abroad - do they integrate well?

Ali123 1 | 1  
28 Jan 2008 /  #1
My father works in a large industrial company and tells me that there are a handful of Poles employed there. Although he says they are polite if spoken to, he tells me that they do not attempt to mix with anyone and keep to themselves. Over the last few years he said that the faces in this group have changed, yet always the attitudes remained the same..... they do not attempt to socialize outwith there own people.

I have heard other examples of this from friends who have/are working with Poles in the UK.

I know that this is not true for every Pole working abroad, but in general i do believe Polish people have a big struggle when it comes to making friends abroad. I have worked with many foreigners over the years (from non-English speaking countries) Dutch, Danes, French, even Vietnamese (and Poles) and i cannot help but think that, out of all the varying nationalities i have worked with, Polish people have the biggest problem when it comes to integrating and building cross-cultural friendships.

For those who might agree with me, why do you think this is, there social background perhaps?

Anyone who disagrees, please write your thoughts here.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
28 Jan 2008 /  #2
There could be many explanations. The main one would be short term-ism, they are not in the UK for the long haul. They maybe need to write off certain debts at home. Believe me, with the salaries many people earn here, it's understandable how the big brother (bank) could step in to bail them out. Living CONSTANTLY like this has to manifest itself in some way. Brits feel the pinch but not to the same level.

Another one could be the brooding nature of some Poles. Some people here just seem to be depressed and they want to work alone. In general, they are quite a communicative bunch, I'm a teacher so I see it first-hand.

Maybe also they are just delaying the inevitable, the day when they feel the need to re-establish ties with their families and live the way they want to. I miss my family so I can empathise with them.

Maybe the nature of their work is such that they don't need to be dynamic and open. Homogenous cultures like the Japanese I found to be much more closed.
the_falkster 1 | 180  
28 Jan 2008 /  #3
first of all, i have to say that i like your approach.
it is a very well balanced post, which unfortunately is not the usual thing happening here...

to your question.
you will see that in higher education jobs poles do mix more than in lower education ones.
this is not about valueing these jobs...

for everyone going abroad (i am german, working in the uk) it is difficult at first to integrate and most people tend to stick with everything that seems familiar. that is mostly the case with people from the same country.

people who work in higher qualified jobs tend to identify with their work and here it is easier to mix and find shared interest with your hosts. (architects love to talk about architecture for example no matter what nationality they are...)

another thing is probably language.
the polish language sounds very unfamiliar for english people. so if poles start talking to each other in their language the impression of not being part of it is very present...

for me one of the key things is though that once poles start integrating and being encouraged to do so they are very loyal friends and very warm people...
Michal - | 1,865  
28 Jan 2008 /  #4
I think it might partly be their language. The Polish Language is not a recognized 'World language' which hold international understanding. They have endured fifty years of Communism where their country, language and religion has been grouped together in a catacomb. All these things have not helped them to come to terms with the outside World. It might b also explain their attitudes to the outside World and that is that everything is someone else's fault. World War 2 is Britain's for not coming sooner, Stalin's for coming too late, America's for spending too much time shopping in Dunkirk en -route to Berlin!! I know many Poles in England where I live and I even know of an Englishman married to a Polish lady and it seems successful so interaction and in-breading does take place but on the whole, Polish girls do marry polish men either of the first or second generation. It might be also of course, that a Polish girls could only get a visa through marriage and it is better to trust someone she has cultural ties and that is another Pole so they searched and found people with similar cultural backgrounds and that must include Poles. However, I have met nice Slovakian girls and they do not seem to have the same level of hang ups about their past and culture as the Poles. Everybody in Eastern Europe was enslaved under Communism, even the Russians themselves yet only the Poles suffered, only the Poles complain yet it is Poland that is one of the least successful post Communist countries. Go and see the Czech Republic-it is already miles ahead of Poland and is only a fraction of the size. Do you see Czechs queuing outside job centres looking for jobs as builders mates for £4 per hour? Like any children, they have not reached the same level of maturity as their other European neighbours. They want all the usual benefits, which they see as a cultural right but do not know how to contribute. As far as the E.U. is concerned, it is the same old adadge-the Poles want to milk the cow but do not want to feed it, sad but true. The other problem of course is their religion, it is used th o blame other people for their mistakes. They can do what they want and after giving their confession on a Sunday morning to a rich Polish priest who so loves God that he drives a new series 5 B.M.W that costs £40,000 and then they are free yet again to continue as before in the same old way. End of story.

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