Why is that?
We are all different. Likewise, no Pole is like his neighbor, but on the other hand, no matter what you say, there are some typical characteristics that are specific for each nationality. You can call it stereotyping, you can show that it is not true for some of the people, but as a whole, nations have a distinct character. If you have lived in several countries, you will notice, that although, a lot is the same, a lot is different. Each country stamps its national character upon its citizen.
This is what allows us to use stereotypes to describe different people: the Scotts are stingy, the Germans are authoritarian, the Russians impulsive, the Poles - spontaneous and unruly. Some also claim, in the first place the Poles themselves that besides that, they are also fast learners and can accommodate fast to changing circumstances. This might not be true in regard to each and every Pole, but as a rule the statement should be valid.
The main reason for this can be found in the Polish past. Placed in the middle of Europe between superpowers, like Russia and Germany (also Austria for a time), Poland has a long history of wars and occupations of its territories by foreigners. For a long while the country was even totally gone divided into three parts. No wonder that the Poles had to learn the art of adaptation. Learning how to survive in a foreign environment was a major part in the art of survival for hundreds of years. Also, the years behind the Iron Curtain have contributed to this ability. You had to adapt to the new "socialist" reality or perish. In fact, thanks to the communist regime, most Poles had a chameleon mentality.
Being one person at work, in school, in office, another at home. For not conforming, the punishments were severe. You had to learn to play it by ear, and not make any mistakes.
No wonder that most Poles do adjust fast and well to living overseas, which is in principle a similar situation in which you are asked to be two different persons and personalities at the same time. Yourself, when at home with your family or friends, the happy and well-adjusted migrant, when you are at work. Compared to many other nationalities the modern day Poles adjust pretty fast and well to foreign circumstances, the best proof being that their children, as a rule, are well adapted, even assimilated to the new culture of their country.
They find new friends at the workplace, their children have new friends born and bred in the country they live in. The Poles are so well adjusted in fact that they on average have a much lower rate of crime than most other nationalities, and they're kids score consistently high on school tests. This shows that the Poles as a group have some kind of special talent for finding their way to living abroad, which absolutely is not everyone's cup of coffee.
Also, unlike the previous generations of Polish migrants that preferred to live in a Polish speaking community, the new, educated Polish migrants do not feel the need to staying within their own language group. They are better prepared when it comes to their education on linguistic competence, which makes them stand out as a group.
Nowadays, in part due to those factors, the Polish migrants are very flexible, happy to live anywhere and everywhere, if only the place feels right, which only confirms they're capacity for learning and adjustment. Although, not every Pole will become the US Secretary of State, like Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, many of them or their children will set a mark on the land they live in.
Brian, that is really nice to hear.
I know Polish people who come to the US and if something breaks down, they go and fix it, but in the US they go and buy a new one.
And they are very hard-working
And they come up with solutions others couldn't imagine
And they invent new things
And good cooks
And good sense of style
And very clean
And very polite
Nice post :)
It's very true in my mind. Every other nation that was under control of others for so long was never seen again. We are one of a kind. How many total years were we controlled by others?
Even the Roman Empire eventually crumbled, but we are still here. From 966 A.D we are still here. The only other country I can think of is, well Israel, and even then most of her people lived in Poland at one point. I think we rubbed off on them :)
Yeah, I've been wondering about that many times and you're right.
The only thing I would work on is not only adjusting and surviving but also keeping up with Polish traditions, enriching them and be proud of being Polish - even in second and third generation.
Polish people have sort of low self esteem as a nation - they keep tormenting themselves with what they did wrong and what is still wrong. Yes, we should be proud of ourselves and lets act that way. And speaking of Jewish people why don't we help each other a bit more like they do?
hej,lay off the Scots will you:) We seem to have done a good job of making a success abroad,Poland for the last 400 years:) I have a theory that if you can classify national "types" you could find that the Poles and the Scots and Irish seem to have a lot in commen,ie similar histories in many ways,centuries of oppresion and ocupation by at times more powerfull neighbours while actually providing most of the scientific, cultural artistic etc members of those so called unions and partitions. Our workers have a shared history of being found all over the world and making a generally good impresion where ever they are found,as oppossed to .......