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POLAND: EASTERN or CENTRAL European country?


Blue Izzie 1 | 2
17 Oct 2011 #631
Merged: Do Polish people think of themselves as Eastern European or Central European?

I work with a Polish man, and when we were talking today, I said he was Eastern European. He corrected me, saying he was "Not Eastern European, but Central European".

This really surprised me, as I've never heard of Poland or Polish people being referred to as Central European before.

So, do Polish people generally think of themselves as Central European? Or is it just this one guy?
lowfunk99 10 | 397
17 Oct 2011 #632
After going to the Ukraine this weekend I would say it's Central Europe.
Natasa 1 | 580
17 Oct 2011 #633
And after visiting Belarus it would be West ;)
Sidliste_Chodov 1 | 441
17 Oct 2011 #634
Interesting to read that everyone on here has decided that Poles are definitely "eastern Europeans"... except for Poles themselves. So we're allowed to self-identify any more? It's a human right to be able to do so, so **** what you all think.

Don't insult Indians by calling them "Pakis", and don't insult Poles by calling us "east Europeans", we do NOT like being associated with invading Soviet scum. Capisce?
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
17 Oct 2011 #635
half the old poles preferred communism anyhow, down with capitalism, etc., so i guess it's all in who you ask.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
17 Oct 2011 #636
Nobody has raised the issue of CET, Central European Time. Poland goes under that. Any comments?
sascha 1 | 826
17 Oct 2011 #637
Central European Time. Poland goes under that

yeah, when u go to bialystok f.e. its a strange feeling that u r still in cet zone. ;)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
17 Oct 2011 #638
After too much Żubrówka from there, time zones go out of the window ;)
hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
18 Oct 2011 #639
So, do Polish people generally think of themselves as Central European? Or is it just this one guy?

Read the whole thread, instead of asking the same question over and over again.
retroDog
21 Oct 2011 #640
hahahaha
if Poland is "Eastern Europe" then where is "Central Europe"???
Germany, Austria ???
I think Germans are delighted of their exlusion from Western Europe
And what it makes of countries East of Poland? Far East? Asian? Barbaric?
sascha 1 | 826
21 Oct 2011 #641
I think Germans are delighted of their exlusion from Western Europe

yes, i am happy. finally something groundbraking new. germany belongs to middle-east europe. :)

poland therefore to east. ;)
PennBoy 76 | 2,437
16 Jan 2012 #642
In a Cold War geopolitical sense it could have been called East, since there was and East and West. But in geographical it is clearly central European, even some parts of western Ukraine and Romania are also.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_European
Peter Cracow
21 Jan 2012 #643
I've red some posts and I'm very sad.
Calling Poland "Eastern Europe country" originates from 50' mostly when Russians established their power over this part of Europe for years and World understood it. East-West division brought beautiful simplicity - thinking was not necessary. Nobody need to remember that in the far history Poland was called a "northern country" and during partitioning its bigest parts belonged to German and Austro-Hungarian Empires called "Mitteuropa" (Central Europe).

And what now? Russians were kicked out a long time ago but the term is still in use. Occupation lasted 45 years and finished more than 22 years ago! It is really hard to believe that people (in old Europe) could be such, let's say, not informed. We have a lost generation there! That's why I'm sad.

"Eastern" is not an "offend" or "dislike" term too. Just false in case of Poland. But even living in the western part of Europe:

You can glimpse an eye at the map.
You can read Huntington.
You can come here and see.
You can go on the real East and compare.
You can read something about Cyrillic and Orthodoxy.
You can try to understand the differences between European and Byzantine style of live at last.
You can do much more if you want.
My acquaintances or business partners form Europe an USA I host sometimes in Cracow always say "WOW! I didn't know. It's quie different than I thought before..." They face to difficult homework to confront their imaginations and fixations with the reality. Yes, travelling is the best teacher in contrary to talking nonsense in the Internet.
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
21 Jan 2012 #644
Calling Poland "Eastern Europe country" originates from 50' mostly when Russians established their power over this part of Europe for years and World understood it. East-West division brought beautiful simplicity - thinking was not necessary.

Your post makes a lot of sense, and Krakow (and perhaps Wroclaw are certainly Mitteleuropa. But, from a British point of view, most of the Poles who stayed on after the war came from the Eastern Territories, Grodno etc. which are certainly Eastern. Even Warsaw is in many ways more Eastern then Central.

There was also the tendency which you mention to identify Poland through Geopolitics, and it was easy to see anything east of Friedrichstrasse as Eastern Europe.

Nevertheless, as more and more people from 'the West' discover Poland, they will see that it has a distinct culture and the definition of Central Europe will subtly change.
jasondmzk
21 Jan 2012 #645
This subject is covered extensively in Norman Davie's forward to the book, "Microcosm: Portrait of a Central American City". It's well worth reading.
samsungkorea 1 | 2
10 Feb 2012 #646
Merged: IsPoland geographically,culturally or economically considered as Eastern orCentral Europe?

i'm an Asian majoring in Eastern-Europe studies(specifically Czech) and Polish one is also in this category(is in the university of Eastern-Europe studies)

so i have always been thinking Poland automatically is more close to Eastern Europe culturally, economically and so on.
Poland also had a communist form of government like some other Eastern-Europe countries.
Also, the Polish-language belongs to the Slavic-language group along with Russian, Czech and Slovakian.

But i heard somewhere that Polish people in general don't like it when people say Poland is an Eastern-European country. and they like to rather be called as 'Central-Europe'

if this information is true, why is this like that???

i think the standards dividing Eastern and Central Europe is very vague so it actually doesn't really matter. What do you think...???(if it can be divided...)
alexmac 3 | 52
10 Feb 2012 #647
Poland is a Slavic nation and i consider Poles at the edge of eastern Europe bordering central Europe
a.k.
10 Feb 2012 #648
and they like to rather be called as 'Central-Europe'
if this information is true, why is this like that???

It's true. It's like that becuase Poles consider as "eastern" the Ruthenian nations. Also the division between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church influence areas makes a quite huge cultural difference, doesn't it?
Peter Cracow
11 Feb 2012 #649
All classifications should have a sense. They should say something about classified item. Wrong classification gives you wrong information.
For instance, when you call Poland "Eastern country" becuse of Communism and language, you inform:
right about:
- far and far history of Communist/Russian invasoin and short (45y = two generations) occupation
- economy status because Russians destroyd economy and Poland is to reach European average in 2025
- language family which is common in Eastern Europe though it divides to distinct sub-families and CE has its own family
wrong about:
- civilization affinity
- cultural relationships
- economical relationships
- alphabet
- religion
- state organization (cities locations on German law, Roman law system, etc.)
- dynastic relationships (Honenzollern, Habsbourg, Vasa, Sforza, etc.)
- historical aliants (Napoleon, USA, England, France)
- contemporary political membership (EU)
- contemporary military membership (NATO)
- country development
- social development
- attitude towards human rights
- attitude towards governance system
- attitude towards economic system
- and more and more...
As I wrote before: It is not a question of dislike. It is a question of correctness.
Halloween - | 30
11 Feb 2012 #650
But i heard somewhere that Polish people in general don't like it when people say Poland is an Eastern-European country. and they like to rather be called as 'Central-Europe' why is this like that???

Because we don't want to have anything to do with this gentleman.

Borat
de_wu - | 3
7 Sep 2012 #651
Poland is central european country in every aspect besides slavic language. Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland are called western slavic countries cause they have different influences of other european languages. We have different letters than Russians. Polish language has many words originally coming from french, hungarian, even german language.

The next not common thing with the rest of eastern european countries is religion. We are mostly catholics, the next protestants ( what is common for western european countries).

If we mean culture way, Poland is shared. In southern - west Poland - Silesia there is many german influences in our dialect, our dishes are similar to german dishes.

So definitely culture of Poland is mixed between east and west.
Political way ? Come on. Some posts made me laugh, especially when someone wrote polish politics is similar to east european countries.
Really ? I don't think Poland would be a member of the European Union if that's the same. LOOK we have the XXI century! Someone must be a big ignorant If calls Poland eastern european country, at least nowdays. In past I could agree Poland was eastern country in many cases. But absolutely not today.

Geographically, culturally, politically Poland is CENTRAL EUROPEAN COUNTRY what means country between west and east.
david885 4 | 22
9 Nov 2012 #652
Slovenia could be classified either as Central European or South-Eastern (not Southern). Yugo countries and Bulgaria have not much in common with Spain and Portugal, more correctly said nothing. (Except Croats and Slovenes are Roman Catholics). Serbs Bulgarians and Macedonians share lot with Greeks, but Greeks are far more Mediterranean, altough even on Crete you have folkdances costumes closer to South Slavic. Greece could be either Southern European or South-Eastern.

Baltic states are more Eastern European than Northern. And Britain and Irelan are not Northern Europe in any retrospect. Don't you agree?
jon357 66 | 17,034
9 Nov 2012 #653
Poland is central european country in every aspect besides slavic language

And food, culture, geography etc...
smurf 39 | 1,981
9 Nov 2012 #655
get out a map, Poland's right in the middle, ergo, central europe, it's really that simple.
Wulkan - | 3,250
9 Nov 2012 #656
And food, culture, geography etc...

It's really amusing how some people can't accept certain things :D

get out a map, Poland's right in the middle, ergo, central europe, it's really that simple.

apparently some people who still remember the "wall" have problems of getting out the ignorance of their heads.
david885 4 | 22
9 Nov 2012 #657
Do Western Poland have Germanic influence? They have different mentality and culture from Eastern Poland.
boletus 30 | 1,366
10 Nov 2012 #658
Are you asking or are you declaring? If the later, please advice.
Meathead 5 | 470
10 Nov 2012 #659
Culturally, Poles are Western European.

Culturally, West Slavs developed along the lines of other Western European nations due to affiliation with the Roman Empire and Western Christianity.[2] Thus, they experienced a cultural split with the other Slavic groups: while the East Slavs and most South Slavs converted to Orthodox Christianity, thus being culturally influenced by the Byzantine Empire, the West Slavs along with the westernmost South Slavs (Slovenes and Croats) converted to Roman Catholicism, thus coming under the cultural influence of the Latin Church. (Rarely, the term "West Slavs" includes these Catholic South Slavs.)

^ "From its beginning, Poland drew its primary inspiration from Western Europe and developed a closer affinity with the French and Italians, for example, than with nearer Slavic neighbors of Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine heritage. Gladas Hanger This westward orientation, which in some ways has made Poland the easternmost outpost of Latinate and Catholic tradition, helps to explain the Poles' tenacious sense of belonging to the "West" and their deeply rooted antagonism toward Russia as the representative of an essentially alien way of life." U.S. Library of Congress, Country Study Poland

david885 4 | 22
10 Nov 2012 #660
We will be differentiated culturally using different terms whether it’s east Europeans or other terms regardless of political situation in Europe, as we probably were differentiated in the past unless we are assimilated into west European cultures. In eastern Slavic countries and west European countries the subject of cultural and geographic location in Europe is not discussed among people as often. I maybe wrong, but that’s how it seems to me. We know who we are and where we live. :)

Brits don’t want to be associated with Europe and European culture. Or do they? Why do we need to be so concerned? There is nothing wrong discussing it but I think we are putting more emphasis on the concept 'west/central/east Europe' than we should be.


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