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Polish (in comparison to English and Indian) have amazing culture

pawian 222 | 23,674
29 Aug 2023 #61
An interesting article reminding the most unusual aspects of Polish culture according to foreigners.:,30bc1058

1. Ah, that Mr. and Mrs....
Poles love to address each other formally. And although we are not the only nation that maintains a certain formality and distance in the initial contacts, some foreigners are still surprised by it.

- I went with my fiancé to Canada to visit my aunt and uncle. It was very nice. Until one day my uncle took my fiancé aside and said that aunt Basia felt bad because he constantly called her "ma'am" - says Agna.

It also happens that we stubbornly stick to polite expressions. Even in situations where emotions take over and unpleasant exchanges occur, often between strangers. We do not spare bad words, sometimes invective, but as if to keep appearances, we avoid speaking as "you".

The issue of ... partial shortening of the distance causes an additional headache for foreigners. Miss Anna or Miss Annie? Who and when can say it? It is very difficult for uneducated people in Poland to sense these subtle differences, and the juxtapositions of you with diminutive names sound illogical. So how is it at last - do we keep a formal distance or do we become familiar using diminutives?

2. Polite grunts
Probably every Pole is aware that in the competition for the most cheerful and smiling nation we would probably take one of the last places. What in other cultures is considered a form of friendly behavior, we perceive as insincere or false. We are definitely more reserved in giving smiles to strangers or talking to strangers on the street. Despite this, we are considered a fairly polite nation.

- I have the impression that Poles are grateful for everything. Even if they have nothing to be thankful for. You want to get something done, you fail to get help, and you say thank you anyway. You ask for directions, they can't show you directions, and you'll thank them anyway. You say "I'd like" instead of "I want" and "Could you buy me something" instead of "Can you." Maybe it's a matter of habit, you probably don't even think about it. We are more direct and probably less cultured compared to you - laughs Katja, a resident of Bulgaria.

And indeed, there is much truth to this. In Polish culture, thanks are important - not only verbal ones. After all, many of us feel a strong need to give others symbolic gifts as a thank you - and that's at the end of school, in gratitude for a favor, for a job well done.

pawian 222 | 23,674
29 Aug 2023 #62
3. Hectoliters of tea and beer with juice
Foreigners are amazed by our passion for drinking tea. We drink it constantly, practically at any time of the day.

- When I went to a Polish supermarket for the first time, I was shocked. We don't have that much tea selection. Serbs mainly drink herbal teas. You drink black tea all the time, even in summer. If you ask for tea in Serbia, they will think you are sick, says Marko from Belgrade.

In addition to tea, the surprise is also... beer. With raspberry juice.

- My girlfriend from Poland drank beer only with juice. And through a straw. So did her friends. I have not come across this anywhere else - reveals Oliver, an Englishman living in Poland for a year.

4. "I need to pee." About physiology without shame
Some people are surprised by our lack of embarrassment about talking about wanting to use the restroom. Poles tend not only to announce to all and sundry that they follow ... a need, but they also willingly inform about what it is exactly. Regardless of gender. This also explains why in Polish we have such a rich repertoire of synonyms for the word "s" and related vocabulary. Georgians Nini and Maja, whom Poles heard about through the YT channel "Gruziński po polsku", say about it:

"There is one thing that annoys us. [...] At first it surprises, and then it annoys, if you think about it longer. It's about meeting certain physiological needs. Poles simply say "I have to pee", "I'm going to pee". And yet no one asked to explain why you go to the restroom. [...] It's really very, very awkward when we're sitting at the table and someone says they "have to pee".

pawian 222 | 23,674
29 Aug 2023 #63
5. Dumplings? Just not sweet!
A real bane and culinary nightmare for many foreigners who are unfamiliar with the idea of ​​sweet dinners. They are particularly disliked and misunderstood by the inhabitants of China and Korea.

- What shocks the Chinese in Poland? Simple question, but very interesting. The first thing is, of course, dumplings with sweet fruit. There are dumplings in China - and not just one type (...) The Chinese are shocked when they hear that somewhere there they eat sweet dumplings... With strawberries, sour cream and so on (...) They are of the opinion that this is a desecration of dumplings - Weronika Truszczyńska, a Polish youtuber who has been living in Shanghai for years, reveals in one of her films.

Not only sweet dumplings are infamous outside Poland, but also pasta with strawberries, cheese and sugar, rice with baked apple or fruit soups. Pancakes with jam served for dinner are also surprising.

6. Darling, coffee, tea, a cookie maybe?
Poles love to use diminutives! Everything and everywhere. They are mostly positive words. Among the diminutives, there are words that cause great surprise on the faces of foreigners.

- In Poland, couples address each other very strangely. When I first heard it, I couldn't help but be shocked. The boy calls his girlfriend "froggie". How's that?! Frogs are ugly! I didn't understand what was cute about it. In addition to the froggie, there is also: "teddy bear", "birdie", "fishie" ... Massacre! - Mi-jin, who runs the "Korean" channel on YT, is surprised.
pawian 222 | 23,674
29 Aug 2023 #64
7. Paid toilets and water in restaurants
One of the most conspicuous differences that foreigners face upon arrival in Poland is the issue of paid toilets in public places and water in restaurants. In many countries, it is standard that they are available to everyone. No extra charges. Foreigners do not believe that you have to pay for using the toilets at the station (which, after all, often leave much to be desired), and there are often boxes for "donations" in front of the entrance to the toilets in shopping malls. The situation is similar in restaurants.

The water, which costs little less than a glass of juice, is also surprising.

- In Japan, water in restaurants is free, you don't have to ask for it. In Poland, I always had a bottle of water with me, but in restaurants I ordered this water anyway, because I felt strange - reveals Ken from Japan.

8. Small gestures, big shock
Some foreign women point to the gallant behavior of males. It happens that it is only in Poland for the first time that a man lets them through the door or offers help with carrying a suitcase.

- I live in Munich. Hardly anyone does that here. I open the door myself, I carry the suitcase myself. I don't really know what I think about it. It's even nice that someone wants to help. At first I was shocked, but over time it stopped surprising me. Especially since not every man offers this type of help - says Anna, a Pole raised in Germany who spent her Erasmus in Krakow.

Even seemingly ordinary acts of kindness, such as holding the door, letting you pass in a queue or giving up your seat on public transport, can evoke genuine surprise on the faces of people from abroad. The custom of greeting neighbors in the stairwell is also a bit bewildering. It is precisely such everyday manifestations of kindness that make Poles, in the eyes of many foreigners, still be regarded as a nation willing to help and cordial.

Novichok 5 | 7,743
29 Aug 2023 #65
Poles love to address each other formally.

This is beyond a mental disorder. I went through this polite bs with my FIL. He never simply said: Hey, Rich, I am Marian. OK? For 13 years till the day he died, it was awkward and painful.

That is why when I met my daughter's BF, I told him that I am "Rich". Period. I get my daily dose of respect some other way...

Foreigners are amazed by our passion for drinking tea.

Tea stains teeth. See Brits vs, Americans.

Poles love to use diminutives! Everything and everywhere.

Another Polish mental disorder...Mental diabetes...

Paid toilets would end if Poles started urinating and defecating the way Americans do in major cities. To do it properly is a matter of public health and should be at no charge. Poles seem to have a hard time thinking things through. Like what if I have no cash or cc? How about kids?
Alien 18 | 4,768
1 Sep 2023 #66
Poles love to address each other formally.
This is beyond a mental disorder.

Yes, Mr. Novichok, Sir.
GefreiterKania 36 | 1,412
1 Sep 2023 #67
Mr. Novichok, Sir.

If you really want to annoy Novi, you should do this in Polish.

Poles love to address each other formally.
This is beyond a mental disorder.

Szanowny Panie Inżynierze,

azaliż doprawdy używanie właściwych form grzecznościowych wydaje się Panu tak wysoce niestosowne? Proszę wybaczyć moją śmiałość, ale byłbym niezmiernie wdzięczny, gdyby okazał się Pan tak uprzejmy i zechciał ponownie przemyśleć swoje zdanie w tym względzie. Z góry dziękuję i pozwalam sobie przesłać najniższe ukłony dla Szanownej Małżonki Pana Inżyniera.

Racz, Czcigodny Panie, przyjąć wyrazy najwyższego uszanowania, z jakimi pozostaję Pańskim oddanym sługą

Gefreiter Kania
jon357 74 | 21,838
1 Sep 2023 #68
If you really want to annoy

I remember a notice outside some flats I used to live in a few years ago.

It went (in Polish of course).

Respected Residents
According to decree number xxxxxxxxxx and under the legal provision yyyyyyyyyy according to the statute dated a/bb/19cc. It is anticipated that there will be a break in the distribution of electrical energy today commencing at 2pm until further notice.

In the U.K. it would just say:

The electricity will be off for a few minutes. Sorry for the inconvenience. Please phone 123456 for further info.
Alien 18 | 4,768
1 Sep 2023 #69
As befits a gentleman.
GefreiterKania 36 | 1,412
1 Sep 2023 #70
It went (in Polish of course).

Yip, it definitely sounds like a regular Polish note to lokatorzy/mieszkańcy.

I find Polish formal language to be very charming and once, when I helped organise an international conference at my university, I was asked to take care of some correspondence with our honourable guests. So, in those emails I tried to emulate Polish formal old-fashioned style in English. The reaction I got was overwhelmingly positive, but one professor told me that he felt like he received a letter from 19th century. :)

As befits a gentleman.

Otóż to, Szanowny Panie. Bardzo trafna uwaga.
jon357 74 | 21,838
1 Sep 2023 #71
but one professor told me that he felt like he received a letter from 19th century. :)

Official notifications in the U.K. have to be in what's called Plain English, using the most straightforward vocabulary and grammar. It wouldn't be a bad thing for organisations in Poland to develop Plain Polish. That would certainly be more accessible, especially to the roughly 50% of the population who have below average intelligence.

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