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Posts by dm2106  

Joined: 3 Feb 2013 / Male ♂
Last Post: 3 Feb 2013
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Posts: 3
From: Chicago, IL
Speaks Polish?: Yes

Displayed posts: 3
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3 Feb 2013
Life / Why do people think that Poles are culturally isolated? [126]

Over many centuries Poland had been under attack by its neighbors and Poles united under the Polish flag. Extreme nationalism became part of Polish culture. This led to the assimilation of many ethnic groups that lived in Poland for centuries. This is especially true in Eastern Poland in the area traditionally known as Kresy. Today 99% of Polish citizens consider themselves to be Polish but in reality, especially in eastern Poland, there are many many people of Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Armenian, Tatar/Turkish, Greek and even Italian descent (Lublin) that consider themselves Polish. In Bialystok, where my mother is from, almost everyone I know has at least two grandparents who are not of Polish blood. But people will not admit this in public because of the pressure in Poland to assimilate, to be one nation and one people. So I think it's part of Polish culture to not accept outside influences and to reject other cultures.
3 Feb 2013
Life / Is Poland split into two religions: catholicism and non-believers? [103]

My family is from the Bialystok area and our small town (Bialowieza) is mostly Russian Orthodox and some Catholics. In my area people are still extremely religious. On every holiday an Orthodox priest and a Catholic priest ring door bells to see if people want to confess or get the house blessed. However, in bigger cities people tend to be less religious. Many people also resent the Catholic church because it has so much power over the Polish government. Even in Bialystok where many people are Orthodox, there is much discrimination.
3 Feb 2013
Life / Foreigners in Poland - the identities of our native or the host country [66]

The reality is that when foreigners come to Poland they settle in the traditional large cities like Warsaw and Krakow. These are historically Polish areas with many fair skinned, blond, blue eyed people. Further east, in places like Lublin and Bialystok there are many ethnic groups that have been in Poland for centuries. Ukrainians, Belarusians and Lithuanians tend to look like Poles. But there are also Armenians, Tatars/Turkish and Roma/Gypsies. My mother's family is from Bialystok of Tatar origin. We are darker than ethnic Poles with black hair and olive or darker skin and brown eyes. We consider ourselves Poles and speak Polish. In the Bialystok area people never question our "Polishness" because I guess they are used to seeing other ethnic groups, but when we have traveled to Warsaw or central Poland, we have experienced racism. There are racist people in Bialystok as well but I think the people in Bialystok are more aware of the different groups around them. If you are a foreigner living in Poland, especially if you are mediterranean or middle eastern, visit Podlasie, especially some of the small ethnic villages and even the city of Bialystok. You will feel quite different than in greater Poland.