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Polish nationality? Which of the following (if any) determine being Polish.


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,449
5 Sep 2010  #1
Which of the following (if any) determine being Polish:
-- blood (genetics, DNA)
-- place of birth and/or habitaiton
-- culture, religion and/or language
-- personal preference/declaration
-- all of the above
-- some of the above (which?)
-- none of the above
-- something else?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,531
5 Sep 2010  #2
-- blood (genetics, DNA)

Blood is tricky - there is no such thing as "Polish" genetics or DNA due to centuries of mixing.

-- place of birth and/or habitaiton

Without a doubt. Someone who was born in America and lived there his entire life isn't Polish, no matter what he says. Look at the Poles in Ukraine/Belarus - many people living in Poland simply don't regard them as being Polish, and many of them cannot speak Polish fluently. I've seen first hand evidence of this - many of the younger ones speak a very broken Polish.

-- culture, religion and/or language

Culture? No. Anyone can embrace a different culture and still not be part of it. Religion? No. Language? Yes - you cannot be Polish if you can't speak the language. Language is so essential to understand the subtleties of a country - and if you can't communicate with them, how can you be one of them?

-- personal preference/declaration

Not a chance in hell.

If you ask me, being Polish is to live in Poland, to experience Polish life as it's lived by locals, to fully integrate with the society, to speak the language perfectly AND to life here long enough so that you become one of "them". And really, you have to be born here to have a chance of getting it.
Matt32 4 | 83
5 Sep 2010  #3
I would say - blood!
delphiandomine 83 | 17,531
5 Sep 2010  #4
Sure, if you can prove a clear unbroken line back to the days of the founding of the Piast dynasty - otherwise there's a high chance of some Ruthenian/Ukranian/Lithuanian/Jewish/whatever blood in there.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,449
5 Sep 2010  #5
Well, you might find yourself in a jam in one of the bars in Hamtramck, MI, Buffalo, NY, Parma, OH, Brooklyn's Greenpoint or one of Chicago's Polish sections if you told someone he wasn't Polish because he didn't know the lingo. Them would be fighting words to many 3rd, 4th and 5th generation PolAms, especially after a few rounds of boiler-makers (shot & a beer).
Matt32 4 | 83
5 Sep 2010  #6
Sure, if you can prove a clear unbroken line back to the days of the founding of the Piast dynasty

Why?Isn't enough if your ancestors were polish?

Well, you might find yourself in a jam in one of the bars

Telling people who they are or who they aren't could be tricky:)
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,445
5 Sep 2010  #7
Well, you might find yourself in a jam in one of the bars in Hamtramck, MI, Buffalo, NY, Parma, OH, Brooklyn's Greenpoint or one of Chicago's Polish sections if you told someone he wasn't Polish because he didn't know the lingo. Them would be fighting words to many 3rd, 4th and 5th generation PolAms, especially after a few rounds of boiler-makers (shot & a beer).

he, he, put Delphi in that bar for the night:). Fastest education ever;)

Telling people who they are or who they aren't could be tricky:)

and best avoided:)
delphiandomine 83 | 17,531
5 Sep 2010  #8
Well, you might find yourself in a jam in one of the bars in Hamtramck, MI, Buffalo, NY, Parma, OH, Brooklyn's Greenpoint or one of Chicago's Polish sections if you told someone he wasn't Polish because he didn't know the lingo. Them would be fighting words to many 3rd, 4th and 5th generation PolAms, especially after a few rounds of boiler-makers (shot & a beer).

Sounds like to me the kind of people that mostly emigrated to America - uneducated peasants with little knowledge apart from how to use their hands. The ones with brains stayed and built the 2nd Republic - the ones with nothing but brawn left. Fits right in with the way that many of them came from the very poor Eastern (formerly Russian) territory.

Anyway, they sound like redneck Americans to me - not Poles. For what it's worth, someone of the 4th or 5th generation who can't speak Polish, who has never been to Poland and who knows nothing about what it's like to be Polish cannot be Polish - it's that simple.

Why?Isn't enough if your ancestors were polish?

Nope. If you want to talk about bloodline, it should be pure and uncontaminated by "other" blood - otherwise you can't claim to be Polish based on blood alone. What is Polish blood anyway? As someone said on here - many great Poles were arguably not Polish at all if you want to use blood as the sole factor. Look at Mickiewicz - he was descended from Lithuanian, not Polish nobility.
Pinching Pete - | 558
5 Sep 2010  #9
America - uneducated peasants with little knowledge apart from how to use their hands.

..Always the rant of the Limey. People who in general can't change the oil in their car.
JK_TX - | 23
5 Sep 2010  #10
Which of the following (if any) determine being Polish:
-- blood (genetics, DNA)
-- place of birth and/or habitaiton
-- culture, religion and/or language
-- personal preference/declaration
-- all of the above
-- some of the above (which?)
-- none of the above
-- something else?

You skipped ethnicicity. My Dad's folk came from the former Kingdom of Prussia so I am an American but ethnically 1/2 Polish.

Sounds like to me the kind of people that mostly emigrated to America - uneducated peasants with little knowledge apart from how to use their hands. The ones with brains stayed and built the 2nd Republic - the ones with nothing but brawn left. Fits right in with the way that many of them came from the very poor Eastern (formerly Russian) territory.

You reallly don't have a clue do you? Why are you so down on Polish Americans?

Nope. If you want to talk about bloodline, it should be pure and uncontaminated by "other" blood - otherwise you can't claim to be Polish based on blood alone. What is Polish blood anyway? As someone said on here - many great Poles were arguably not Polish at all if you want to use blood as the sole factor.

Very few people in the modern world are 'pure' anything. Personally I don't see what the big deal is, we're all people...
Pinching Pete - | 558
5 Sep 2010  #11
Why are you so down on Polish Americans?

Limey stock.. troubled about all those down payments he has made to his Queen over the years.
JK_TX - | 23
5 Sep 2010  #12
More likely he's drank too much good Polish beer and his knickers are now too tight...
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,445
5 Sep 2010  #13
Sounds like to me the kind of people that mostly emigrated to America - uneducated peasants with little knowledge apart from how to use their hands. The ones with brains stayed and built the 2nd Republic - the ones with nothing but brawn left. Fits right in with the way that many of them came from the very poor Eastern (formerly Russian) territory.

so what? They are educated now. That is not even the point. US does not have such a class division and UK does, therefore your way of looking at PolAms cannot be applied, unless you are just stuck up. Americans don't like stuck up people because they usually earned what they have with their own hands, Polish, or not and you that this pride for granted. Wrong. That proves that you don't understand the American spirit.
NorthMancPolak 4 | 648
5 Sep 2010  #14
so what? They are educated now. People moved on.

They probably can't afford two air conditioning units, or to go to expensive restaurants, either ;)
ShortHairThug - | 1,103
5 Sep 2010  #15
Sounds like to me the kind of people that mostly emigrated to America - uneducated peasants with little knowledge apart from how to use their hands.

Obviously you never did any kind of research yourself but believe some urban myths, if you care to take a closer look at ships manifest through alice island records you will find that vast majority of Polish people stated they can read and write. Not able to speak English is not the same as being illiterate in your own native language. Most spoke a second language as well or at least being able to communicate like German and Russian.
motylek 2 | 15
5 Sep 2010  #16
To say immigrants to the United States weren't educated because they moved there and worked as laborers is misleading. Many were educated, but due to they ways society was at the time they came, job opportunities were limited. Many people of varying Slavic nationalities ended up becoming miners at the turn of the last century. Similarly, Irish people were mostly able to find work as postmen or cops.

Most Polish-Americans I have ever met speak at least some, if not fluent Polish. This goes also for the families of most immigrants I've met - other Slavs, Mexicans/South Americans, Asians. Many parents want their children to know both languages and cultures.
vetala - | 382
5 Sep 2010  #17
If you ask me, being Polish is to live in Poland, to experience Polish life as it's lived by locals, to fully integrate with the society, to speak the language perfectly AND to life here long enough so that you become one of "them".

I agree with this. If a person has never lived in Poland then they can't know what life in Poland is like. They can be proud of their Polish ancestry but they can't speak in the name of Poles.
Matt32 4 | 83
5 Sep 2010  #18
If a person has never lived in Poland

What do you mean?
Malopolanin 3 | 134
5 Sep 2010  #19
Combination of speaking/thinking in polish language and feeling of being Pole.
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,445
5 Sep 2010  #20
They probably can't afford two air conditioning units, or to go to expensive restaurants, either ;)

have you been to the US?
trener zolwia 1 | 940
5 Sep 2010  #21
Which of the following (if any) determine being Polish

I think the legal standard would be place of birth.
NorthMancPolak 4 | 648
5 Sep 2010  #22
I agree with this. If a person has never lived in Poland then they can't know what life in Poland is like.

True, but that doesn't mean that you can change your ethnicity or race according to your country of birth, and it also doesn't mean that you can't adopt Polish culture within the family you grew up in. You are confusing nationality with ethnicity and culture.

In my case, I grew in in a Polish-speaking immigrant family, both my parents and even my stepfather were all from Poland. Our household would have acted the same way even if we lived in Poland - the only thing which would have changed is the social and cultural differences which exist in Poland, i.e. "the way things are done" in Poland.

However, even within our family there are diifferences. Of all the members of my family who were born here, I'm the only one of us who has a qualification in Polish and can read/write/speak fluent Polish.

My sister has none of the above, has virtually no understanding of the language whatsoever, hates the Poles and anything Polish, and appears as English as someone who can trace their family back to the Domesday Book. The only time she ever mentions her Polish origin is when she gets turned down for promotion and tries to play the "race card" (unsurprisingly, this doesn't work :D ).

But it doesn't mean that she has stopped being ethnically Polish. The only reason that people like her can even get away with this, is because Poles don't look significantly different to other Europeans, and can easily assimilate into English society if they want to.

In this instance, though, I agree - she's really about as "Polish" as those 6th generation Americans who can't even pronounce thir names properly.

I suspect there would be less of this is we looked significantly different or non-white. Compare Polish assimilation to Pakistani assimilation, for example - even if they stopped being Muslim, and spoke in Received Pronunciation, people would still perceive them as "Pakis", not "English". If this was the case, not only would it be harder to hide our Polish origins, but we would also have more reason for protecting our culture from outside influences, like they do. People who are perceived as different or under threat, tend to seek out their own.

They can be proud of their Polish ancestry but they can't speak in the name of Poles.

They can't speak for residents of Poland, but they can easily speak for people with a shared culture and language, if they adopted those aspects from their parents. It really isn't quite as straight forward as some people think - a lot of this is about the individual's perception of themselves, anyway.
mafketis 19 | 6,861
5 Sep 2010  #23
For me, language and culture are more important than blood, I've met people who are linguistically and culturally Polish (as in being born and living their whole lives there) with German, Jewish, Czech, Greek, Italian, English(!), African, Romanian etc last names.... There are also some Vietnamese whose families immigrated when they were small children and who are more Polish than Vietnamese in terms of language and culture.

On the other hand, John Szymanski who was born and raised in the US (and can't even pronounce his last name in Polish) isn't really Polish as far as I'm concerned (though if he says he is I won't contradict him out of politeness).

I think the legal standard would be place of birth.

People born in Poland to non-citizens do not receive Polish citizenship.
trener zolwia 1 | 940
5 Sep 2010  #24
People born in Poland to non-citizens do not receive Polish citizenship.

Good. We're trying to change this now to combat the illegal aliens who come here just to drop an "anchor baby" in order to gain citizenship through this back door.
grubas 12 | 1,392
5 Sep 2010  #25
"Polish" Americans are not Polish and I have no idea why they claim to be since they don't even speak Polish and know nothing about Poland.A Vietnamese born and raised in PL among Poles is 10 times more Polish than they are.
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
5 Sep 2010  #26
delphiandomine

Oh boy, where do I start..? Well I'm going to continue from where we left off (sort of) in
PolAms -- do you regard yourselves only as 'white Americans'? ,where your little crusade has started.
Once again I will attempt to explain the obvious, as you keep missing the point to the point that one points his pointy finger to his flat (opposite of pointy) temple in poignant suspicion that the point of your posts is to point out the pointlessness of pointing anything out to you. But heck, it's Sunday and I feel benevolent and pointy (no I don't have an erection, quite opposite I experience massive shrinkage reading your stuff). So to the point then, yup, the one you are missing:

United States of America (yep the very same one you have never been to yet oddly enough you have a lot to say about) is a country of emigrants,

....................(artistic recess for me and a chance for you to mull over it for a bit)...............................
where cherishing its emigrant roots is a national past time almost like baseball. Well some do it more, some less yet still you have your China, Korea, Thai towns, Little Italy's, St. Patrick parades, villages and towns named after the places of origin from the old country, you name it.( All that genealogy craze is an industry there)

In that respect U.S.A is almost unique and you could call this phenomena part of their culture. So get used to it, because no matter how blue in the face and sore in your finger tips you get, you will still have scores of people over there calling themselves Irish, Polish, Dutch, Jewish and mixes of this and that despite the fact they don't fulfill YOUR PERSONAL CRITERIA for what belonging to a particular nation means.

Personally I have no problem with that although it does crack me up a bit when I mention my mixed Polish-Danish background and a person goes "Oh my grandparents came from Denmark" and then says something about pastry or Na Zdrowie if referred to Polish background. I don't mind that at all, if anything it's just another good reason to connect to people and share something good apart from my pointy erection. So lighten up 'tovaristch', I understand that Zbigniew Brzezinski must have been a thorn in your side (how's that for pointy?) but c'mon, water under the bridge:)
vetala - | 382
5 Sep 2010  #27
They can't speak for residents of Poland, but they can easily speak for people with a shared culture and language, if they adopted those aspects from their parents.

People adopt all sorts of things fromt heir parents, not all of which are part of the Polish culture. After all, there are Polish Americans who consider being racist and calling their grandma 'busha' to be a part of Polish culture.

Furthermore, not even bothering to learn the language is a spit in the face to our ancestors who struggled to keep it alive when Poland was partitioned.
Bzibzioh
5 Sep 2010  #28
People born in Poland to non-citizens do not receive Polish citizenship.

Because Poland has so-called the law of blood (Jus sanguinis). US has the law of the soil (Jus Soli).
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,449
5 Sep 2010  #29
Yes, but is he wears a Polish and Proud T-shirt and weighs in at 250 lbs, you'd better watch out!!!!
MareGaea 29 | 2,752
5 Sep 2010  #30
Them would be fighting words to many 3rd, 4th and 5th generation PolAms

As per the 2nd generation they're not Poles anymore, they are Americans. Americans of Polish anchestry, but that's the only thing Polish they have. They are 100 per cent American. I know other teams in America do this too: Irish American, Italian American, Jewish American, but imo it's all nonsense. They are born and bred within the US, so they are Americans. Nothing more, nothing less.

Since I believe that nationality is determined by the country you're born in, it would be point 2.

>^..^<

M-G (olé)


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