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Rejecting Polish Heritage - my parents wanted to be completely American

Cyberknight 1 | -  
29 Oct 2007 /  #1
Howdy all, there is something I have been wondering about for some time. My family sadly does not speak any Polish, beyond the few words for relatives and a few swear words. When I asked my father why he never learned to speak Polish and didn't pass any of that on, his response was that "his generation wanted to get away from thier heritage, wanted to be completely American."

He now admits that it was a mistake, but it is a bit to late to change things. Has anyone else seen that in their families, or friends?


Polanglik 11 | 303  
30 Oct 2007 /  #2
Hi Kirk ...

I am fortunate that my parents/grandparents made a conscious effort to teach myself and my brother the Polish language here in England.

There was the Polish church and many other children like myself, [first generation Poles born in England :o),] which made learning the language easier.

There were Polish cubs/scouts on weekends and there were also Polish schools on Saturday mornings which most children attended, although due to sports committments from my English school I chose not to attend the Polish school - however I had to strike a deal with my parents that I would be home tutored in Polish by my grandparents in return for not attending Polish school.

I still managed to achieve a creditable pass in Polish 'O' level !, and now speak Polish fluently, although i lost out on Polish history and literature, which i am now trying to catch up!

However I see that some of my mums friends , especially those who ended up in Canada or US have not taught their children the Polish language. When I speak to these kids they say they wish their parents had made more effort to teach them the language.

I don't know if it's because Polish communities were more readily formed here in England and were closer together than in US which made things easier to keep traditions and language going !

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