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How does Poland imagine other countries see her?


dannyboy 18 | 248  
2 Aug 2007 /  #1
Only 4 years ago, if you had asked me to point out Poland on a map, I would have had to stop and think. I had never heard the language before, I imagined it was just like Russian, written with a cyrillic alphabet.

I didn't know anything about the country, other than a little bit about the holocaust during WW2, which I associated with the Jews anyway.

Now I'm quite aware of all things Polish because of my fiancee, but there are still a lot of people I meet from Western Europe who know virtually nothing about Poland.

We never learned anything about Eastern Europe in school, other than communisim was a big failure and the cause of a lot of poverty.
Most of these people could tell you lots of interesting things about Western or Central European countries such as Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, Germany.

But countries such as Poland, Lithuania are still a black hole in the West.
Things are gradually chaning due to the increase in tourisim. Now people are even vaguely becoming aware of the former soviet republics in the East such as Uzbekistan and Kazhakstan.

What I would like to know is - are Polish people aware of this or do they imagine that Poland is central in the mind of Western European people?

And do the general Polish population have good knowledge of all the countries which surround her or just those countries in the West?

For example, I presume during the communist era, countries in the USSR were more predominant in the minds of the people. I assume nowadays, people are relatively unaware of these countries in the same way they are of African countries, i.e. they know the countries are there but couldn't really find them on a map.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,146  
2 Aug 2007 /  #2
How does Poland imagine other countries see her?

Honestly I don't give a damn.
OP dannyboy 18 | 248  
2 Aug 2007 /  #3
Quoting: dannyboy
How does Poland imagine other countries see her?

Honestly I don't give a damn.

So why did you open/reply to the thread???
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,146  
2 Aug 2007 /  #4
Because It's the only new thread now ?
Goonie 8 | 242  
2 Aug 2007 /  #5
Even though I was born in Poland and my opinions are a bit scewed :)

Poland has been around for ages, rumor has it that God was born in Poland :D
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
2 Aug 2007 /  #6
dannyboy, I think you went overboard this time, you want to know Polish people stereotypes about other Europeans stereotypes of Poland? Mind-boggling
OP dannyboy 18 | 248  
2 Aug 2007 /  #7
LOL, who said anything about stereotypes?

I want to know how do Polish people believe they are perceived by other europeans.

If its too complex for ye to handle, here are some examples to get the ball rolling:
A) A malasian nurse I was listening to on the radio this morning said he expected Ireland to be a place of advanced technology and systematic practises. When he arrived he saw anything but this.

He is a transvestite and organizes street carnivals, he expected extreme hostility in Ireland against cross-dressers, but said he actually experienced more hostility back home.

B) As an Irish person, I imagine non-Irish people perceive us to be hard workers, rich, well educated and a proud people with international achievements in literature, music and poetry - the contradiction being that we don't speak our native tongue.

We are assumed to be a peaceful people, a neutral country.
We used to have a reputation for friendlyness and hospitality, now we have a reputation for hostility, racisim and greed.

A stereotype would be - All Irish people are alcoholics. I drink twice per year on average so obviously thats a fallacy.

C) My sisters partner who is German imagined that Ireland was a land of fields with highly religious people. When he came to Ireland first, he expected to see old men sitting outside thatched cottages smoking a pipe and drinking whiskey and for the pace of life in general to be very slow.

All of his expectations were shattered

D) My girlfriend believed that Polish people were perceived to be poorly educated, old fashioned and backward. (Her assumptions were correct though we all know Poland has among the best education system in Europe). She assumed people didn't know how patriotic the Polish are (again correct - Polish are insanely patriotic bordering on psychosis in my experience)

Even though I was born in Poland and my opinions are a bit scewed :)

Poland has been around for ages, rumor has it that God was born in Poland :D

HAHAHA.

Indeed Poland has been around for a long time. There was an Irish army sent to fight for a Catholic Polish King a few hundred years ago.

My point is that Poland has been absent from the consciousness of the world for over 50 years because of the Iron Curtain, its has only re-emerged in the consciousness of people in recent years, like a long forgotten part of Europe has been refound.

Also, an answer to the sub-question please.

Here is an example if you don't understand.
Irish people have an awareness/pay attention to the UK, the USA, Australia and lesser attention to other countries which speak English.

In general they have no notion of what happens in Asia e.g Mongolia, Kazhakstan, most of Africa, South America except for a major event of course.

I know Polish people pay attention to Germany and Russia, but I'm wondering since Polish is only spoken in Poland, perhaps the horizons are broader due to former communisim effects, or perhaps they are more narrow because people simply don't care.
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
2 Aug 2007 /  #8
I did understand your question, the things people believe about other countries, or the way they perceive other countries are more or less stereotypes (not generalizations like "_All_ Irish people are alcoholics", but rather "Irish people drink lots of beer and whiskey"). Mind-boggling because you asked about stereotypes to the second power ("stereotypes squared"), IMHO :)
PolishXBarbie 3 | 50  
2 Aug 2007 /  #9
lmfao and this is coming from the cocky polish boy judging polacks in the use? lmfao wow hunnie you need to get your mind in order

usa*..........
OP dannyboy 18 | 248  
2 Aug 2007 /  #10
Krzysz, you don't understand the word stereotype then.

A stereotype is a negative or limiting preconceived belief about a certain type of person that is applied to everyone in that group.

Sod it, I give up.
joepilsudski 26 | 1,388  
2 Aug 2007 /  #11
As to perceptions of the Irish: the British used to have a saying: 'No blacks, dogs or Irish
allowed'...don't be under a false impression of how other tribes perceive you...most Irish
are hard working, moral etc., just like Poles and other Christian Europeans...the key to this is Christian ethics, which many 'modern' people in Europe & elsewhere see as an 'outdated concept' or some other tribes just hate...the aim of 'globalization' is the destruction of Christian civilization, which, for all it's faults, has been the light of the free

world...what would 'liberals' replace this with?...maybe the EU??
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,504  
2 Aug 2007 /  #12
this had the potential to be an interesting and informative discussion
Goonie 8 | 242  
2 Aug 2007 /  #13
i agree, i was semi interested :)
Shawn_H  
2 Aug 2007 /  #14
interested

me too
joepilsudski 26 | 1,388  
2 Aug 2007 /  #15
It can be a very positive discussion...contribute something interesting!
BubbaWoo 33 | 3,504  
2 Aug 2007 /  #16
to me the thread seems directed at poles and their perceptions
Michal - | 1,865  
2 Aug 2007 /  #17
has only re-emerged in the consciousness of people in recent years, like a long forgotten part of Europe has been refound.

You must remember that Poland is a new post war country. The boarders are new and so too is most of the population. Post war Poland looks completely different from that before the war. Farm people have been enforced to live in disgusting communist concrete blocks and that is why the whole country is disgusting and why the life expectancy in the country has been falling so dramatically since World War 2. If you ever read Doctor Zhivago, and it is a very good example of anti communist literature as Doctor Zhivago-Doctor Life as it is in translation dies of heart failure from living the artificial Soviet life style and the book was banned for so many years. I was a student of Russian Language and Literature in Moscow during the Communist era and I spent time in Krakow also during the same period.
truhlei 10 | 332  
2 Aug 2007 /  #18
I was a student of Russian Language and Literature in Moscow during the Communist era

Visit Russia again. You won't recognize it. Live not only in Moscow but also in other cities, such as Vladimir. Russia becomes better every year. There were some 40 churches in 1987 and now more than 500.
Michal - | 1,865  
2 Aug 2007 /  #19
The trouble is that my knowledge of Russian now is so rusty.
truhlei 10 | 332  
2 Aug 2007 /  #20
You will remember everything. Russia is better now. The main thing for today is the reduction of contrasts between Moscow and province. That is the sign of last two-three years.

There are many English-speaking people. English is taught in schools since the first year i.e. when a boy is only some 7 years old.
Russians seem to be pleased by life now. Average salary from some 150 dollars turned to be 500 dollars in some 4 years.
Michal - | 1,865  
2 Aug 2007 /  #21
I have heard that Moscow has become very expensive, but yes, it would be a nice experience to see the 'old place' once again. I was a student of Russian at the Pushkin Institute in Moscow in September 1984 and I stayed for five months. In those days Byelyajivo was the end of the metro line. It was quite a privilidge in those days to have such a long stay in Moscow when coming from the United Kingdom.
truhlei 10 | 332  
2 Aug 2007 /  #22
In those days Byelyajivo was the end of the metro line

Not for today. Some 4-5 stations more. In that perioud I lived near metro station Новые Черемушки on your line. Now I left for Sokol.
Moscow is better now but so many cars. I think we should use cars only to get metro station because it can take you some 3 hours to cover some 10 miles in central part. Communism didn't prepare Russians for car travelling.

Moscow is expensive for buying apartments. That is the desease of today life. I'm sure with the development of Internet and transport province will become more popular.

Not so long ago I met one Mini by Issigonis near my house. I spent some 2 hours watching. What a masterpiece! How could Englishmen substitute it by today Cooper!
Michal - | 1,865  
2 Aug 2007 /  #23
I remember Novije Cheremushki as it was the end of a line then. I can still remember the announcement. Ostororzno, dvjeri zakrivajutsa, sledujishaja stacija Novije Cheremushki. And then it would be "stacija Cheremushki, stacjija koniechnaja, pojezd dalshe nie idiot. Prozba, osvoboditje wagony". To think about it, I should have stayed in Moscow and got myself a job on the underground. I love ice cream and that I used to buy in GUM in Moscow was always the best.
ogorek - | 165  
2 Aug 2007 /  #24
You must remember that Poland is a new post war country

Buildings, borders, farm people, poulation - nothing to do with it.
Poland has re-emerged (once again) with it's soul, integrity and honour intact.
That's all that matters.

Poles consider themselves as equals in the world. However, becuase of history,
Poles think that other countries look down on Poland - as an inconvenience -
even nuisance - generally speaking. Throughout history, as soon as Poland starts doing well - it gets put down. Defending Poland is very difficult because of it's location.

Polish are insanely patriotic bordering on psychosis in my experience

They have to be. Otherwise Poland would just dissapear again. It's a form of defence engraved into the psychy of each person - no matter how subconscious.
Michal - | 1,865  
2 Aug 2007 /  #25
They have to be. Otherwise Poland would just dissapear again. It's a form of defence engraved into the psychy of each person - no matter how subconscious.

They do not have to be. Nobody else does it. The old Poland does not exist as massive sways of the old country now lie in former Soviet territiories. Every day when I put on the television to watch M jak Milosc there is always old archive film about the war and interviews with old soldiers about sixty years ago. It is not very healthy to keep on about the past, especially when Poland's contribution was minimal. The Soviet union, maybe, but Poland? I thought that America won the war?
ogorek - | 165  
2 Aug 2007 /  #26
Michal - are you a "plant" which has been put onto this forum by admin to stir up heated debates about Polish affairs?

There can be no other explanation...
Michal - | 1,865  
3 Aug 2007 /  #27
hat I would like to know is - are Polish people aware of this or do they imagine that Poland is central in the mind of Western E

As they are always going on about the war, I imagine that they do see themselves as very central in Europe. As you start to visit the country, which no doubt you will be doing in the future if your relationship continues is that the Poles never take responsibility for anything. There are no birds sing at Oswiecim-that is the fault of the Russians. Their Syrenka cars is the fault of the Americans and the boarder is the fault of Churchill and so it goes on with them.
ogorek - | 165  
3 Aug 2007 /  #28
Poles never take responsibility for anything.

If it's somebody elses fault - you blame them. It's a simple as that.
It's not Polands fault that it has been f****d up the *ss so many times.
Eurola 4 | 1,900  
3 Aug 2007 /  #29
Ogorek, don't even bother with this kmiot. There is something really wrong "under the roof".
Michal - | 1,865  
4 Aug 2007 /  #30
Obviously you really love Poland. How many thousands of miles have you traveled to get away from the place? Dziesiec tysiesy mil?

gorek, don't even bother with this kmiot.

The word kmoit was not even your word so if you can not think of anything original stay silent.

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