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POLAND: EASTERN or CENTRAL European country?


gregy741 4 | 1,204
4 Jan 2015 #961
Not all countries considered Eastern European are Slavic

true,,,its generalization,since like 90% of EE are slavic and for common folk in western Europe EE are Slavic,which is almost true. most dont know Lithuanians are balts not Slavic.

politically this division isn't applicable anymore since Poland and some other countries are in the EU

only lately..so the old definition kinda stuck to us

o I guess it boils down to the "economical difference" nowadays.

yes....its main reason..if poles were as rich as germans,we would be considered western europeans.but its huge difference goes along the oder river.and poor social and economical status of our immigrants in western world cause common folk in western countries to differ us from other western europeans
HolyDUCK
4 Jan 2015 #962
Do you think that Lubusz (Gorzow WLKP) has a German tint.
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
4 Jan 2015 #963
like 90% of EE are slavic and for common folk in western Europe EE are Slavic

The combined population of Rumania, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia is around 36 million. There are estimates that place the total number of Slavs in the world at 350 million people, but that includes Southern-European Slavs and Russians East of the Urals. I wonder what percentage of "Eastern-Europe" is Slavic if one includes the Wends, Czechs, Slovaks and Poles as Eastern-Europeans.

So I guess it boils down to the "economical difference" nowadays.
Europe A (the West) and Europe B (the rest) lol

.if poles were as rich as germans,we would be considered western europeans.

Poland's wealth relative to countries farther West is not the reason many consider Poland part of an "Eastern-Europe". It is the fact that Poles are Slavs and they speak a Satem tongue which speakers of Romance and Germanic languages find exotic.

You really shouldn't have a chip on your shoulders about this. "Eastern-European" is not a derogatory term.
texas09 - | 33
5 Jan 2015 #964
Can you imagine a guy from Nigeria coming to Europe and finding out that he is from Africa?

Uh.... I'm pretty sure Nigeria IS in Africa. Where do you think it is?

If I'm from Eastern Europe then why I didn't know that before? It's a bullsh1t ideology that makes it a seperate continent.

How does saying eastern europe make it a different continent?? Does saying the "the Southern US" make states like Louisiana, Georgia, the Carolinas, etc a "different continent?" Does saying "the Southwest" make Texas, California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, etc a "different continent?"

I understand very well that all slavic countries are not just one big blob of slavic-ness. What I am having trouble understanding is why you're conflating "not whitewashing the uniqueness out of yourself" with "every slavic country is exactly the same!" - unless you're purposefully trying to be obtuse. But to address your claim that I said all of EE is slavic, if you carefully reread what I wrote, you'll see that I said slavic culture is a LARGE part of EE, not ALL of it. Of course there are other cultures in EE that aren't slavic. And of course the different slavic countries vary widely, but they are still slavic. Just like Spain, Italy, Portugal, and France are all romance languages/cultures, but vary quite widely amongst themselves.

I also find it deeply offensive for you to refer to EE as "Eastern European bullsh1t." You act as if "eastern" is code for "crap" and "western" is code for "gold." "eastern" and "western" are merely words, and completely neutral ones at that. They mean what we want them to mean, and meanings generally change over time. So, while I appreciate the fact that you grew up in a time where eastern european had negative connotations, the fact is that those connotations were given by people living in a particular socio-economic-cultural-political reality that no longer exists today. Today, the connotations to "eastern european" are somewhat different, and they are ever-changing.

I find it sad that while I was open to the fact that others may legitimately feel that calling Poland an EE country is negative, you weren't able to see my perspective and instead simply continued to steamroll your opinions and parrot them over and over, as if hoping that if you said it long and loud enough, it would be true and you'd finally shut up all those who do not share your opinion. That's not a conversation or a discussion. That's one person trying to shut the other person up and shove his/her opinions down their throat.

You seem to have a chip on your shoulder and some very strong emotions regarding Poland being EE or Slavic. I wish you well. But more than that, I wish Poland well, because it saddens me greatly to know that there are so many people in Poland who are desperately trying to turn Poland into a second-rate version of some generic "western european" country, instead being proud of their heritage and their past and building a strong, unique Poland.
pigsy 7 | 305
5 Jan 2015 #965
building a strong, unique Poland.

Agreed 100%
Paulina 9 | 1,448
5 Jan 2015 #966
yes....its main reason..if poles were as rich as germans,we would be considered western europeans.

I don't think we're Western Europeans. That's the point - I don't think we're Western and I don't think we're Eastern. I've been always taught that Poland is Central European and that culturally it's something between the West and the East. And I agree with that. I don't feel Western and I don't feel Eastern.

Even if Poland ever gets as rich as the West, or the West deteriorates and Poland will be richer than the West I'm not sure it will change anything. I don't think I would like Poland to be considered as part of the West either. I like being Central, actually, and the idea of "złoty środek" (golden mean) :)

Poland's wealth relative to countries farther West is not the reason many consider Poland part of an "Eastern-Europe"

I don't think it has much to do with Poles being Slavs in particular, Hungary is considered Eastern European too, although it's as central as Poland.

I think it stems simply from the fact that all those countries were in the Eastern Bloc and apparently Westerners' view of Europe is still stuck in cold war era. They weren't and aren't interested in the countries outside of the West and don't know much about them. I think differentiating between Central and Eastern Europe is a bit too much for them - they would have to actually know something about the history, culture and mentality of nations in both Central and Eastern Europe (I have an impression that they seem to forget that there's also Southern Europe o_O). Westerners are usually pretty ignorant about "Europe B" so I wouldn't be too preoccupied with how they divide Europe for themselves :)

Maybe you're right that there's some tribalism in that, but I'm not able to tell to what extent.
Wulkan - | 3,251
5 Jan 2015 #967
Uh.... I'm pretty sure Nigeria IS in Africa. Where do you think it is?

You completely confused what I said, reading comprehension seems to be something you have issues with.

How does saying eastern europe make it a different continent??

I'm just talking from experience, some people like to talk about so called EE like it was some exotic, god forsaken, thirld world continent that has nothing to do with the rest of Europe.

What I am having trouble understanding is why you're conflating "not whitewashing the uniqueness out of yourself" with "every slavic country is exactly the same!" - unless you're purposefully trying to be obtuse.

What?!

So, while I appreciate the fact that you grew up in a time where eastern european had negative connotations

I grew up in times when almost nobody in Poland was familiar with the term eastern european, I have heard the term for the first time when I was 24 and this is what I saying before but you didn't get it: Can you imagine Nigerian guy who is 24 and he doesn't know that he is from Africa?

I was taught in primary school that Poland is in Central Europe and I will stick to that till the day I die and regardless you like it or not and if you like to call yourself eastern european woman because you believe that men around will find you more attractive ROFL than please go ahead, just make sure you dont get upset when one of them will ask you how much for one hour.

so many people in Poland who are desperately trying to turn Poland into a second-rate version of some generic "western european" country

Nobody has ever said anything like that

being proud of their heritage and their past and building a strong, unique Poland.

Yes, unique Poland! unique from Germany, unique from France, unique from Russia, unique from Bulgaria, unique from Romania etc. is that what are you trying to say? too bad not.

I don't think we're Western Europeans.

AGREE 100%
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
5 Jan 2015 #968
I was taught in primary school that Poland is in Central Europe and I will stick to that till the day I die

Please understand that "Central Europe" is not a term that is used much in the USA. In accordance with simple binary thinking, Americans divide Europe into East and West. In the USA itself the "Mid-West" is on the Eastern side of the center of the country and "Central-America" is an isthmus far to the South. You really shouldn't believe that Americans are somehow stereotyping Poles as barbaric or impoverished when they call Poland Eastern-European. I understand the inveterate Polish desire not to be lumped in with autocracies like Russia and Belorussia, but you shouldn't assume that Americans see "Eastern" European culture as a monolith even if they are using one term to refer to it geographically. They haven't been educated to discern a distinctly "Central" part of Europe as you have.
texas09 - | 33
5 Jan 2015 #969
if you like to call yourself eastern european woman because you believe that men around will find you more attractive ROFL than please go ahead, just make sure you dont get upset when one of them will ask you how much for one hour.

Wow. You really had to go there, huh? Absolutely disgusting. If that's what you think of Eastern European women, then that says far more about you, your attitudes, and the filth you've allowed into your life than it does about people who consider Poland to be a part of Eastern Europe.
Stefeniar
22 Mar 2015 #970
"I am Polish, Monia, and very happy to be. But if there's one thing I sincerely dislike about Poles it's that constant need of some for getting patronising pats on the back from the West and being told "Well done,you've become so Western now". Why do we need to become Western? We are Eastern Europe, we are stigmatised by communism. That's who we are. Unless you see the value of who you are, no one else will see it. Cudze chwalicie, swego nie znacie - ciągle aktualne."

There is nothing true. Poland never was communistic ****** country. There is no disgusting block of flats, awful roads and low USD per capita. Whole Central Europe have been taken to Western Europe for happy fate and life so they are not stigmated by communism. There is proverb: "Cudze chwalicie, swoje chwalicie". Poles knows they benefits and that they lives in rich western country. There is no other option. Stupid ****!
eastwestgap
23 May 2015 #971
geographically Poland is central, however the mentality and thinking process is firmly east European, thats what should not be mixed up
Poles nowadays were all brought up by parents and grandparents who grew up in the communist era and still have that mentality, therefore individual responsibility, especially in the workplace is not readily accepted as this leads to accountability of actions, something i have found they do not like and would rather be instructed to do tasks without the need to think and make decisions on the outcome and take responsibility for it. so the idea of central European is only geographical, eastern mentality and understanding is deeply ingrained and will take generations to bleed out. please note this is just one persons observation and only for the purpose of this discussion, opinions are welcome
Vlad1234 15 | 575
23 May 2015 #972
parents and grandparents who grew up in the communist era and still have that mentality

So called ''communism'' (how some Poles call it) continued just for 44 years (or less). Could you call it an ''era''? It was an episode in a life of a single generation. And Poland is no more ''communist'' 25 years already. How long this speculations will continue?...
weeg
24 May 2015 #973
Please understand that "Central Europe" is not a term that is used much in the USA. In accordance with simple binary thinking, Americans divide Europe into East and West.

In Europe there is no real definition between East and West. The major cultural difference is between the North (industrious, financially conservative) and the south (lazy, corrupt, money grows on trees socialists).

Spain, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria -Poland has nothing in common with them
Lyzko 24 | 6,787
24 May 2015 #974
I generally speak of "Middle Europe" when referring to countries such Austria, Czechoslovakia aka Czech Republik, Hungary or Switzerland. Central Europe also includes Slovenia, Albania and Macedonia. Poland? Well, it has the strong historical influences from the Catholic West, namely, Rome (located in South Central Italy), therefore, I tend to classify Poland as Central European, yet she is physically located much further East, while having a much more Continental influence than, say, Romania or Bulgaria, which are closer to countries such as Greece and/or the bridge nation, Turkey!

When Americans especially close their eyes and conjure up a Middle European person/accent etc.., the latter generally sounds like a courtly, Viennese Austrian, decidely Germanic, although not "German" per se, fully of bowing and hand kissing.
Vlad1234 15 | 575
24 May 2015 #975
Well, it has the strong historical influences from the Catholic West, namely, Rome (located in South Central Italy), therefore, I tend to classify Poland as Central European

So, if Ukraine would be Catholic it would be part of Central Europe as well? And if it would be Muslim it would be part of Middle East or Maghrib? I didn't know that there is such a thing as a ''Religious Center of Europe".
Dougpol1 33 | 3,247
24 May 2015 #976
people who consider Poland to be a part of Eastern Europe.

Yes - after the election tonight, Poland is moving back to eastern Europe :(
NocyMrok
4 Nov 2015 #977
You like it or not we have a lot of common with the east and i'll repeat myself once again it's the way we are Seen in Westerners' eyes.

Didn't know about this being posted before.

Additionally I'd never expected a positive feedback from you since reading through lots of your posts for some time clearly showed me your passive aggressive attitude towards basically anyone in any topic.
Wulkan - | 3,251
4 Nov 2015 #978
You like it or not we have a lot of common with the east

Word "East" would mean China, India or something around to the westerner.

your passive aggressive attitude towards basically any topic.

Nice to know how little you know about me.
nope 2 | 44
4 Nov 2015 #979
East

I just don't get it why this word makes you angry, the west of Europe starts in Germany :D so the east starts in the river Oder :D
landora - | 199
4 Nov 2015 #980
nope, check where the centre of Europe is on the map. I will help you: according to current measurements, it's "located in Lithuania, specifically 26 kilometres (16 mi) north of its capital city, Vilnius, near the village of Purnuškės." And Poland is West of Lithuania...
Atch 17 | 2,917
4 Nov 2015 #981
Where did you get that definition from? There is no actually no consensus about the exact centre of Europe. Different experts, different opinions, but here's an interesting link to author Francis Tapon's discussion of this subject. It's a nice read, not too academic:

francistapon.com/Books/The-Hidden-Europe/Where-is-Eastern-Europe-and-what-countries-are-in-it
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,671
4 Nov 2015 #982
" There is no actually no consensus about the exact centre of Europe "

maybe not, but we had a wonderful history teacher who used to poke at the 'Urals' on the map with her ruler and say 'remember children, Europe ends here!!'.

So by her definition, Poland would be pretty much in the centre of Europe wouldn't it?

(She also would call the Germans 'Germs' and Mao Tse Tung 'Mousy Dung'...:)
InPolska 11 | 1,821
4 Nov 2015 #983
Eastern Europe refers to former communist countries, which were all in the eastern half of Europe. On the contrary, Greece has always been considered a Western country since not part of the communist world.

Eastern and Western are political references.

As to Poland, culturally and mentality wise, it is closer to Eastern side of Europe. Personally I don't see it as an insult so I don't understand the fuss about it. Central Europe is rather Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Atch 17 | 2,917
4 Nov 2015 #984
Eastern Europe refers to former communist countries

Eastern and Western are political references

Absolutely. Any former state from the Eastern Bloc as it was known, any former Iron Curtain territory is perceived, like it or not as Eastern Europe. I've mentioned this before to Wulkan but he simply cannot deal with it. And lo it doth offend him to his deepest core sayeth the Lord..........
InPolska 11 | 1,821
4 Nov 2015 #985
@Absolutely, Atch! It was "simple" in those days: Western Europe = capitalistic Europe, and Eastern Europe = communist block. East Germany was considered part of Eastern Europe because it was communist whereas countries like Austria and Greece although fruther east geographically speaking where consisdered Western Europe because capitalistic countries.

Whoever has lived in Western Europe prior to 1989 knows that and I don't see anything wrong saying that Poland is part of Eastern Europe because there is nothing wrong, it is no ... insult ;).

As I said, Central Europe was (and is) Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Poland as per mentality and culture is more "Eastern" than Central. Hungary is not a slavic country and is completely different from any other country but the Czech Republic is much more Westernized (and problaby always has been) in everything than Poland is.

What is wrong about that????? Nothing so what's the big deal???????? ;)
jon357 63 | 14,255
4 Nov 2015 #986
Any former state from the Eastern Bloc as it was known, any former Iron Curtain territory is perceived, like it or not as Eastern Europe

Absolutely. It's cultural too. Central Europe is Mitteleuropa. Poland, though Kraków, Wroclaw and parts of Silesia have a Central European feel is largely Eastern European. The cuisine, with its barszcz, cabbage soup, kasha, vodka, pierogi, golabki is firmly Eastern European with influences, like schabowy - basically a schnitzel - from Central Europe.

I remember one of the posters here (not Wulkan as I remember) getting all worked up about how Poland was definitely not under any circumstances ever in any shape or form Eastern European. While I was reading it, I was consuming barszcz and gherkins and looking out of the window at single story wooden houses, a vodka shop and an onion domed church.
InPolska 11 | 1,821
4 Nov 2015 #987
I think that rich educated classes from main cities in Poland tend to eat, live, and even think on a lot of societal topics rather western but most Poles (not only in Polska B, because if we go for instance a few dozen km from Warsaw, situation applies) it's more Eastern in terms of mentality, food... In a lot of Eastern areas in Poland, one can feel like in Ukraine or even in Russia...

To me, there is NOTHING wrong about being from Eastern Europe so why the big fuss???? ;)
whocares
4 Nov 2015 #988
East vs West...

I think for some part of history (particularly the Communist times)
many split Europe into a East-West.
With this method Poland was east.
This type of split has become less common in Europe,
but still remains in parts of America.
In my opinion this is outdated.

Today there are various ways to split up Europe.
Different organizations and different individuals will have their own opinions.

For me it is East Europe or Central Europe.
Wrenchy
4 Nov 2015 #989
Every country, probably due to propaganda and medias, has different concepts of how Europe is split.

In Italy there's still strong the concept of Western Europe and Eastern Europe, already doing few kms and going to Nova Gorica is considered "going to Eastern Europe", while concepts like "Southern Europe" or "Central Europe" are never discussed
InPolska 11 | 1,821
4 Nov 2015 #990
I suppose those here who don't understand were not born or very small kids in 1989 so they don't get the point. What's the big deal to understand that Western Europe = capitalistic countries and Easter Europe = former communist countries? Everybody in Western Europe (in the USA too?) talk this way and nobody is shocked as there is nothing wrong.


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