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What exactly is a Polish-American?


weaverwarrior12 6 | 3    
11 Sep 2013  #1
My family is very ummmm "Americanized" and I would like to know if my Polish ancestry would make me a Polish-American.
p3undone 8 | 1,135    
11 Sep 2013  #2
If you are Polish by blood and consider yourself Polish American,then you are.
McDouche 6 | 286    
11 Sep 2013  #3
Well, the US census defines a Polish-American as an American with Polish ancestry. This goes for Italian-Americans, German-Americans, etc..

Although, I often feel too much pride regarding ancestry divides the American people. We should look at ourselves as Americans first, ancestry second.
p3undone 8 | 1,135    
11 Sep 2013  #4
MacDouche,I wholeheartedly agree.I consider myself American.
Bieganski 17 | 906    
11 Sep 2013  #5
Polish-American (just like Polish-French, Polish-Swede, etc.) is a way of recognizing your heritage along with the current foreign (i.e., non-Polish) citizenship you hold.

Maybe you were born in Poland and immigrated but have no plans to return. Perhaps your immediate blood relatives and distant ancestors came from Poland but your current status living abroad excludes you from holding Polish citizenship.

It's a personal choice how you wish to self-identify though. Some take it further by seeking out active Polonia events in their local communities to learn and continue the Polish language and customs. Others in the diaspora make it a point to visit Poland as often as they can or even seek ways to invest in Poland's economy. And then there are those who resettle in Poland and work to qualify to obtain Polish citizenship if they don't have it.

Lastly there are some for whom being Polish-(whatever) is just a casual acknowledgement of their ancestry but little else. This last group often have too many distractions in their lives. Or they have sacrificed their own Polish identity and heritage in favor of neo-bolshevik "multiculturalism" which itself celebrates all cultures except those with European origins.
TheOther 5 | 3,693    
11 Sep 2013  #6
Most people don't give a flying hoot whether their ancestors were Polish, Irish, German or Marsian. If you were born in the US, you are American. End of.
pierogi2000 4 | 229    
11 Sep 2013  #7
Eh depends.

To me it ultimately comes down to what kind of house hold were you raised in
- Do you speak the native language
- Did you visit the other country
- Did you eat the food, learn the history, discuss the nations issues

The name on a birth certificate isn't that big of a deal. It's essentially the way your parents raised you. Because if those points above did exist in your childhood, then you will feel more a part of the other country.
TheOther 5 | 3,693    
11 Sep 2013  #8
To me it ultimately comes down to what kind of house hold were you raised in

I would agree with you if we talk about first generation immigrants who still remember the life in the old country. Bieganski was refering to second, third and fourth generation PolAms though.
pierogi2000 4 | 229    
11 Sep 2013  #9
Oh gotcha. Yah then that would be quite difficult to pass on. Especially 9 hour flight away from the Homeland.
Bieganski 17 | 906    
11 Sep 2013  #10
Most people don't give a flying hoot whether their ancestors were Polish, Irish, German or Marsian. If you were born in the US, you are American. End of.

You are absolutely wrong about that.

And your obtuse comment should be taken in the context where only last January you went off on a pedantic rant denying Mt. Kosciusko is Australia's tallest mountain while insisting (incorrectly) over and over again that another peak way offshore by Antarctica and named after some unimportant Scotsman is. Since you were wrong from the outset your tirade back then had nothing to do with a difference of meters but every about you needing to rally to defend the name of some unknown dead Brit who helped colonize Australia to the detriment of the Aboriginals.

But if you really believe most people don't give a flying hoot about things like ancestry then you shouldn't be displaying anything even remotely regarded as nationalistic yourself.

The fact is many, many people all around the world care a lot about who they are and where they came from. It is important in many families to pass knowledge and traditions of their past from generation to generation. Others, for whatever reason like family or social upheavals, have to research and rediscover their past later on in life.

Any diaspora (who also often make up minority groups in other countries) have rights to preserve their identities both under UN conventions and in protections offered in national laws of many host countries. Furthermore any violations against them are often highlighted by human rights groups.

The Polish Embassy and consulates in America (and many other countries around the world) often attend and host events for local Polish communities. And look at President Komorowski expressing concern about Polish minorities rights in neighboring Lithuania.

15min.lt/en/article/in-lithuania/polish-minority-will-vanish-without-polish-language-education-says-president-komorowski-in-vilnius-525-196694

The article in the link even states:

"In Komorowski's words, the Polish state is paying ever more attention to its national minorities living abroad."

This is official Polish government policy and I have no doubt that you are sitting there at your computer scowling in frustration since Poland flat out doesn't share your boorish view that if you weren't born in Poland then you aren't Polish.

And for you to say being born in the US makes you an American is an extremely simplistic interpretation of reality on your part. Every family's circumstances are different and not every woman who gives birth in America is an American citizen. US laws may grant American citizenship to a child born there (i.e., the "anchor baby") but this is not to say that any such babies will grow up in America or ever chose to exercise any right to citizenship there. There are scores of non-US children born in the US who retain and exercise the citizenship of their non-US biological parents. And you can find plenty of recent articles too about more and more people who actually have US citizenship are migrating each year and taking up citizenship in other countries.

Even then, what is American? It doesn't matter what you personally think qualifies a person as being American. Technically anyone in North America (Canada, the USA and Mexico) can call themselves an American. Same too for anyone living in a country in Central America and South America. But they don't because they know, unlike you, that they have their own unique national identities and each one is a tapestry of many different cultures from within.

If you went to the USA and asked them what it means to be American you could get over 300,000,000 different opinions on that.
Meathead 5 | 470    
11 Sep 2013  #11
And for you to say being born in the US makes you an American is an extremely simplistic interpretation of reality on your part.

Rubbish, if you are born on American soil you are American.

Even then, what is American?

Wrong again. American refers to people in the United States of America. A Canadian is not an American, nor a Mexican. American refers to the fact that America is in the title of the country.

If you want to preserve Polish culture move to Poland. Why live where you don't identify with the culture?
Harry    
11 Sep 2013  #12
would like to know if my Polish ancestry would make me a Polish-American.

If you want to be Polish-American and have at least one ancestor who may possibly at one point in time have lived in any area which was at any time in history part of what could be considered to be 'Poland', congratulations: you are Polish-American. Although why you'd want to identify yourself as being firstly Polish and secondly American is not something I can understand.

If you want to preserve Polish culture move to Poland. Why live where you don't identify with the culture?

Because his parents live in Canada and thus so must he.
TheOther 5 | 3,693    
11 Sep 2013  #13
Any diaspora (who also often make up minority groups in other countries) have rights to preserve their identities both under UN conventions and in protections offered in national laws of many host countries. Furthermore any violations against them are often highlighted by human rights groups.

Of course. Nobody has denied anyone the right to research their family history or to be proud of one's heritage. That doesn't change the fact that most people couldn't care less where their ancestors came from; especially if that was several generations ago. I've been into genealogy for a very long time, Bieganski, and I know how people react to questions about heritage. You almost always get a big yawn and an empty stare. If you are different - good for you.

...denying Mt. Kosciusko is Australia's tallest mountain while insisting (incorrectly) over and over again that another peak way offshore by Antarctica and named after some unimportant Scotsman is

LOL! I've told you (and others) that the highest mountain on mainland Australia is Mt. Kosciusko. It is not the highest mountain of Australia. Mentioning that - as an Australian - is of course anti-Polish. Ha ha ha, you're funny.

...even remotely regarded as nationalistic yourself.

Stating facts like the height of a mountain is nationalistic? I see... :)

If you went to the USA

I'm living there...
archiwum 13 | 125    
11 Sep 2013  #14
Probaley a citizen of the United States of Polish descent?
janina24    
12 Sep 2013  #15
What is a Polish American? As for me I would say that it is someone who takes personal pride in the fact that their ancestors on at least one side of the family emigrated from Poland. I cherish the thought and am proud that my maternal grandparents made the sacrifice to leave their homeland in search of a better life for themselves. Yes they may have been of the peasant class that was caught up in the mass migration around 1900, but that is just part of what I am proud of. My mother did not marry a Pole,nor did my parents stay in a Polish community, so unfortunatly I never was given the gift of the Polish language. But as an adult I realy enjoy learning what I can about Poland and her People and customs. I cook a mean Golumki and friends rave about my pierogi. Last year my sister and I traveled to Poland and spent a couple of weeks. I consider it one of the highlights of my life, and hope to return again some day. So why the term Polish - American?? I consider the American part to be like my last name or surname, The Polish part is like my first name, it is part of who I am. I know I am not "Polish" by some Polish Forum members standards, but there are times that I do wish that they could try to be a little more understanding as to who I and others like me are.
mochadot18 13 | 238    
12 Sep 2013  #16
Simply put id say its a person with some polish blood but born in the u.s


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