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Polish people view of the United States

6 Dec 2005 /  #1
I am currently a college student in the United States. I am doing a project on poland citizen's views of the United States.

The question I pose is:

How would you describe the United States or What words would you use to describe the United States.

Your prompt responses are appreciated.

Thank You
7 Dec 2005 /  #2
I'm a Polish man living in the US. In my subjective opinion and from what I've heard a lot of Polish immingrants (but those who've been in the US for a short period of time, maybe up to 1 or 2 years) like American lifestyle, many opportunities they don't have a chance to get in Poland.

However, after a few years they notice that it's not really like on TV and many Americans are... dull and don't care about anything in the world other than their own ass. They wonder how it's possible to spend thousands of dollars a month for dog grooming or for buying things that are pretty much useless and end up in a basement after the first use. They wonder why most Americans are two-faced and cannot show their true feelings ("how are you?" - "I'm doing great, thanks!"). They wonder why Americans in the American catholic churches don't confess. They wonder why many Americans are so "proud" of themselves and forget where they came from (most of "Americans" are really old immigrats too).

Finally, they wonder why Americans can be so easily manipulated by propaganda and TV; in other words, why Americans think whatever's on TV is THE truth (see the point above about "dullness").

It's just my personal opinion though :).
7 Dec 2005 /  #3
I think Polish people generally like Americans (Poland was the first and I think the only country that approved Bush's war on terror). They like them because they didn't afraid of Russia and won the cold war. Also, many Polish people think Americans know how to have fun and are more cheerful than the Poles.
19 Dec 2005 /  #4
My roommate says that intelligent Poles are bound to feel bad in the US. His
experience (10 years in NYC) is that the happiest Poles in the US are those
who make little effort to adapt to the American way of life, muddle through
with substandard English and concentrate on material pleasures.
The highly educated tend to get treated like jerks from eastern Europe who
are only in the US because their own country is good-for-nothing. Moreover,
Polonia treats highly-educated newcomers as threats and they close ranks to
deny access to intellectuals.

As for my wife's experience in England, well - it varied. In snobbish Surrey
(south of London)she was looked down on by the other private school mothers
because she "had to" work, whereas their husbands were loaded. But at least
she could work there.

In the working-class North, she fluked a job by accidentally bumping into the
bloke who'd just turned down her job application. Otherwise she was blocked
at every corner by people who couldn't categorize her - European but not
French, not English but not Pakistani. And her good manners, cake baking,
exotic looks and church-going really irritated Yorkshire working-class women
because it was so un-them.
20 Dec 2005 /  #5
My roommate says that intelligent Poles are bound to feel bad in the US.

I think you hit the nail on the head. I've been in the US for a few years now and at first I tried to act in an natural way (at least for me) by not denying I'm intelligent and know more than an average man from the US. But later I got more and more frustrated as even in college being smart and dilligent doesn't mean a lot. So I gave up and tried to bocome one of "average Joe" because otherwise I would end up in a mental hospital. I think most "fresh" Polish immigrant try too hard to be "perfect"; after a while they realize America or another Western country is the best place for not very intelligent people but for those who cherish their own pleasures, sometimes laziness, good food, and hundreds of TV channels.
6 Jan 2006 /  #6
Ah i love the last comment. In europe there is so much more to do. School is much harder there and you are forced to remember it, let's face it international people are much smarter. Americans are lazy ppl. I am first genereation polish and i think that america has some great oppertunities, but it's lagging behind in a lot of departments.

I love my polish heritage and the ability to speak the language.
10 Jan 2006 /  #7
Your comments on the materialism, lack of intelligence, and manipulation of Americans hit the nail on the head. Being an American I have observed these very things myself, I am happy to see that people not born here see the same things. I have often wondered why the government and media want to keep Americans uneducated, I realized that they want to manipulate them into believing that they are thinking for themselves, and, so they can continue their capitalistic values of greed and avarice. It is unfortunate that I have to go to news sites outside the USA in order to get a more balanced view of what is going on in my own country.
11 Jan 2006 /  #8
Thanks for encouraging words. now I feel i'm not the only one either :). I think the Polish press is biased too - so reading small and independed publishers is the way to go.
11 Jan 2006 /  #9
Thanks, perhaps someday the media will truthfully reveal to us why they choose one story over another.
19 Jan 2006 /  #10
for one thing i agree w/ all of you. But the polish Government is trying too hard to let the U.S.A look at them, i think that they should focus on more important issues in poland.
19 Jan 2006 /  #11
... but the good point is - when the American govermnet allows more Polish immigrants to visit and stay in the US (granting more green cards for example0 - there will be more Polish women to choose from :)
19 Jan 2006 /  #12
Well, I know that this may not match the forum request but I gotta comment. I have to say that there ARE active and intelligent people in America...just not many when you compare us to the size of our population. We really tend not to associate with the bulk of the population, we employ them :) At any rate, it is true (at least from my opinion) that the American education system is little to be desired. Now with the "no child left behind" program, we had to adjust our education system to the lowest common denominator, if you will, therefore our people tend to be as smart as the least intellegent kid in thier class. And NO USA is not like it is on TV, it never has been, that's Hollywood! I applaud the euopean education system style and wish ours could emulate it.

Point--- you are right! I love Polish women.
19 Jan 2006 /  #13
Good comments, Howard. Actually two good points - about employing, not being employed :) and the "no child behind" drama.

Until recently I have been VERY surprised why American people give so much emphasis on... where they choose to live -- based on the school district area! I THOUGHT no matter where you live - the schools are more or less the same and provide the same level of education just like in Poland or Europe. I was wrong - there may be a HUGE difference in education level between two schools in two neighboring school districts.

Actually, I'm still surprised nobody does something about that - or I should say, nobody cares. If/when I have a child, the first thing I'll do is to move to the location where the school district is "good" and well recognized. The only problem is - buying a house in such location is usually more expensive.. :|
19 Jan 2006 /  #14
There are alot more issues than housing cost to worry about! I have to add, there are few people who actually CAN do anything about our education issues, but it is not for lack of desire. I operate a small private "Technical College". One of our initiaves in improving our education is to offer continuing education at a lowered cost to teachers and students. Now, it sounds like a good idea but the problem is, American Capitalism; it is plagued with greed. Not all schools are in business to serve education. They (as I mentioned) are "in business" meaning they need to make money like a corporation. So lowering your tution to raise the general level of education does not fit in the model. Secondly, I am a firm believer in two theories. the first is "education starts at home". If there are not any educated mentors in the envirnoment the child learns that ignorance is normal and accepted. Secondly "you are a product of your environment". You will always baseline your life with what you know from your past experience. Don't get me wrong, you can influence and change you life for the better. But the worse you childhood environment is; makes it exponentially harder to improve on it. BTW- I wish this thing had spell check! but i digress... Education has to be improved as an environmental factor in order to improve education. I hope you understand where I'm gong with this. I shall end my rant!
19 Jan 2006 /  #15
Yep, US education is not to educate - it's to make money off students (and/or their parents)! When I was in an American college I was surprised that basically 100% of the students pass (when I was in a Polish college, the rate was maybe 80-90%). So the relationship is simple - you pay, you pass and get a diploma. In Poland it changes for worse too... lots of private colleges pop up. It's for business purposes only.

You're right -- no matter which school you choose, if you don't study hard you will never gain.

Nowadays many Polish students are disappointed... Their parents told them: "Do not worry, just go to a university and get good grades; as soon as you get a diploma, you WILL get a good job no matter what". But the fact is, the unemployment rate among Polish students is one of the highest in Europe. Too much "beaurocratic competition" and too little practical knowledge...
Avis Marie Sandar  
17 Mar 2006 /  #16
I have to say the above comments about the United States, Capitalism, and education in the U.S. are quite interesting. It's a real treat for me to see and read about what Europeans think about America, their capitalism, and their education system. I do have to admit that many of your comments are very true -- even being an American and having been raised on the East Coast and going to private Catholic Academy, Catholic Grammar School and Catholic high school, you really see what the value of a good education is; however, at the same time, you also witness the other side(s) of the coin as well. You really see how the price of an education is skyrocketing here, to the point that parents go through battles in order to get their children into the "proper" schools, no matter how expensive and time-consuming for them it can be to get them there and back home as well; how Capitalism invades our lives each and every single day and watching the old cliches and stereotypes fade and break down in the dust. I unfortunately don't have a solution to this one -- hopefully, it will lie in the purview of generations to come.
17 Mar 2006 /  #17
... and I hate the Bush administration tries to rule the world when other countries (or the whole European Union) grow -- see Euro vs Dollar... Looking forward to the new elections.
19 Mar 2006 /  #18
I am trying to find out about the origin of the name 'Mietek'

Is this a general nick-name to any one with the name of Mieczyslaw , like Bob for William in England, or something else.


I am trying to trace a relative.

He may have imigtarted to the USA after World War II

His name is either Mieczyslaw (Mietek) Wnuk or Mieczyslaw (Mietek) Chuldzinski and during the war , in 1944, he was based at, or visited, Thame Park, Oxfordshire, England ( this was a centre for the training of Special Operations personnel in the defeat of Hitler).

He was born in 1917 or 1918 and may have had a least one brother named Wlodzimierz who was killed in the war.

Any information would be appreciated.

25 Mar 2006 /  #19
well... me as a Polish girl being in US very often sometimes for a year most of the times for about 4-5 months... I have to say that US is ok but home is always home and everytime I leave Poland I miss it so much :(
25 Mar 2006 /  #20
I bet you come to the US to work - and go back to Poland to have a good time -- so I'm not surprised you feel better in Poland then :).
27 Mar 2006 /  #21
I am trying to find out about the origin of the name 'Mietek'

Is this a general nick-name to any one with the name of Mieczyslaw , like Bob for William in England, or something else.

It is just a short form for Mieczyslaw. In fact, spelled 'Mieczys 2;aw' (try to read it using Central Europe settings). There is no doubt your relative's name was Mieczys 2;aw.

4 Apr 2006 /  #22
I am looking for information about Polish language news media in the United States, comparing circulation now with circulation 100 years ago. I am also looking for an estimate on the number of Polish speakers in the United States now, compared to 100 years ago. Can anyone help?
bossie 1 | 123  
25 Jun 2006 /  #23
Spell check on this thing? I thought you wanted to raise educational standards?
lef 11 | 478  
28 Jun 2006 /  #24
The united states is a corrupt country, living off borrowed money, who believe they can run the world and opinion, take away its debt it would be a third world country
28 Jun 2006 /  #25
The US is a great country - which has its problems.

In my opinion the Americans have a lot in common with us, not only when it comes to common values, but also history - which in many cases is very much similar to ours.
lef 11 | 478  
30 Jun 2006 /  #26
:)what do yo mean of common values, please don't insult the poles who have some sort of moral values and are not capitalist and never will be. please think before you write
30 Jun 2006 /  #27
I was born in the U.S. by parents are for Poland ive been there often its like going
back 50 years into time...I hope I never have to go back there again!
30 Jun 2006 /  #28
Well, but there's no better place for me than vacation in Poland - it's so quiet and peaceful there (at least in the country where I was born). You'll think in a different way when you are a little elder and the got tired with the plastic city life/food out there.
30 Jun 2006 /  #29
I worked on my grandmas farm while I was there.. As for that plastic city you talk about
its rocks that lame deperessed conditions ur 3rd world has to offer..
You talk about vacations try living there then talk to me.. btw i`m old enough
30 Jun 2006 /  #30
try living there

I'm Polish and I've lived there for 20 years -- in the times of "tighting the belt" (80-ties). In spite of that, I like to go to Poland whenever I have a chance. It depends on what region you come from and on your... attitude.

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