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Can foreigners really understand Poles?


Ironside 47 | 9,585
26 Jan 2010  #1
I wounder whatever is possible for a foreigner to really understand other cultures.
I know that they can be insightful sometime but if is possible for them to understand deeply nation psyche - if there is such a thing?:)

What is your opinion?
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,991
26 Jan 2010  #2
What is your opinion?

Define "understanding" please...
OP Ironside 47 | 9,585
26 Jan 2010  #3
Well, I would say -intimate knowledge !

Or you can find the answer in :
en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Seven_gifts_of_the_Holy_Spirit&oldid=338932863

or

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Understanding

Is that answers your quarry ?
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,991
26 Jan 2010  #4
Well, I would say -intimate knowledge !

Well (thanks for the links *grin*) I would say knowledge, even intimate knowledge, isn't the problem here. One only needs to live between, immersed in the other culture or at least have a huge interest to learn.

Understanding is something else (hence my question).

In my opinon it needs at least a huge part of empathy and even similiarity (in outlook, values and attitude to life) to understand the other.

For example even if one knows why the other culture did what she did in one event, in one time (or members of it), it doesn't mean that you yourself, with your roots in another culture, would act the same...

But to answer the question, yes it is possible for a foreigner to understand another culture...sometimes even better than his own if the adopted, even preferred, culture is much more fitting ones own values and attitudes..
Exiled 2 | 425
26 Jan 2010  #5
No.Poles seem incomprehensible to foreigners except maybe Russians and Czechs.
OP Ironside 47 | 9,585
26 Jan 2010  #6
Understanding is something else

without profound knowledge, real understanding is not possible!

thanks for your opinion!
SeanBM 35 | 5,809
26 Jan 2010  #7
I wounder whatever is possible for a foreigner to really understand other cultures.

Well how about a reversal of the question.
Are Poles able to really understand other cultures?
scrappleton - | 832
26 Jan 2010  #8
If you're Slavic you might understand the Slavic countries' psyche. If you're from the West - probably not. It would be hard too because they'll always view you as a foreigner no matter what.
Piorun - | 659
26 Jan 2010  #9
is possible for a foreigner to really understand other cultures

Well how about a reversal of the question.

If such a thing was possible we wouldn’t have wars, discrimination, etc. We wouldn’t view others with suspicion, as alien or threatening. Just one look at any ethnic or racial joke should give you an idea how far we have evolved in that aspect or how well we understand one another or even if we’re capable to do so. No matter what culture we come from. Our intellectual capacity to understand others stopped at the tribal stage and even that’s not always the case.
Seanus 15 | 19,715
26 Jan 2010  #10
Some can, some can't
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,991
26 Jan 2010  #11
If such a thing was possible we wouldn’t have wars, discrimination, etc. We wouldn’t view others with suspicion, as alien or threatening

I disagree heartily! ;)

Closeness, similiarity is one of the main reasons for wars!
If for example two people feel the same strong feelings about something, stemming from similiar values, similiar outlooks, it's hard for one of them to step back if they fight over something, so they have to clash...

Nobody there to keep a "cool head" or to look for other ways of compromise etc.

Understanding why the other has this opinion and feels righteous isn't going to help if you feel exactly the same, only for your side, and you always want your side to win!
OP Ironside 47 | 9,585
26 Jan 2010  #12
Some can, some can't

Can you?:)

Anyway, welcome back form your self-imposed exile!
Piorun - | 659
26 Jan 2010  #13
If for example two people feel the same strong feelings about something, stemming from similiar values, it's hard for one of them to step back, so they clash..

That’s because one side can’t comprehend where the other side is coming from. It’s true even at the relationship level ie. Husband wife and supposedly they are together because they have so much in common. Like I said; even at a tribal level it’s not always the case.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,991
26 Jan 2010  #14
That’s because one side can’t comprehend where the other side is coming from.

No, even if both know exactly where the other side is coming from...it doesn't matter as both because of their similiarity are unable to compromise, to step back voluntarily regarding a fight over something...they are to similiar.
Piorun - | 659
26 Jan 2010  #15
because of their similiarity are able to compromise, to step back voluntarily

But that’s not always the case is it? And if you take it further to a national level that understanding and willingness to compromise (understand the other side) diminishes even further.

We are closest to understand one another at the basic unit family than nationality etc, etc, but the further you move away the lass willingness to understand you will encounter.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,991
26 Jan 2010  #16
"unable"! I meant unable to compromise

*darn typo*
BevK 11 | 248
26 Jan 2010  #17
I had no real problem when I came here, but was brought up by a very traditional Polish dad in the UK. Most of the problems of identifying and understanding stem from me not being very typically either UK or Polish :)

The word usually used about me is "sympatyczne" so I am not going to worry about it too much :)
Seanus 15 | 19,715
26 Jan 2010  #18
First off, Ironside, thanks for the welcome back :)

Secondly, I'm a big fan of judging individuals and not whole countries. I think I can quite clearly, yes. Maybe begin by asking me specifics about the Polish psyche and I'll let you know my thoughts. I don't believe such issues should be shrouded in mystique as all it uncovered last time was the Polish psyche consisted only of anti-Russian sentiment and, in reality, it goes a bit deeper than that.

What is there to understand that might fox people, Ironside? Let's systematically flesh out the issue rather than see things that may not be there.
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
26 Jan 2010  #19
Polish psyche

So how is Polish psyche different from say the British psyche (since you're British and all).
Exiled 2 | 425
26 Jan 2010  #20
Poles have unexpected reactions ups and downs many times.You never know what is going on.Only Czechs suppress a bit these elements.
SeanBM 35 | 5,809
26 Jan 2010  #21
If such a thing was possible we wouldn’t have wars, discrimination, etc.

Not everyone is at war.
Apart from that small fact I don't think that your assumption can be applied to all humans.

So how is Polish psyche different from say the British psyche

Why not also ask what are the similarities while you are at it.
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
26 Jan 2010  #22
Poles have unexpected reactions ups and downs many times.You never know what is going on.Only Czechs suppress a bit these elements.

Am i going to have to be rude again or are you going to give a proper reply?

Why not also ask what are the similarities while you are at it.

There are no similarities, British people killed Mel Gibson, we would never kill Mel Gibson.
Seanus 15 | 19,715
26 Jan 2010  #23
In general, I generally don't believe in generalisations ;) ;) ;) But that's just a general thing :)

British psyche is just ridiculous. The English are different from the Scots who are, in turn, different from the Welsh. Sorry, it makes no sense to talk of the British psyche to me. There are huge differences within a country.

The Poles are more rugged which more broadly aligns them with the Scots. I care not to find commonalities beyond that as I'd just be going into stereotypes.
SeanBM 35 | 5,809
26 Jan 2010  #24
There are no similarities, British people killed Mel Gibson, we would never kill Mel Gibson.

Mel is Scottish, ain't he?

Can foreigners really understand Poles?
Can Poles really understand Poles?
Can anyone every really understand anyone else?
Can anyone really understand themselves?
Can I understand what I have just typed?
*scratches head*
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
26 Jan 2010  #25
Mel is Scottish, ain't he?

No idea but you still gave him away to Longshanks.

Semantics.

Fixed it:)

I care not to find commonalities beyond that as I'd just be going into stereotypes.

You're such Scot sometimes, by all means stereotype the hell out of Poles, i'm curious:)
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,991
26 Jan 2010  #26
So how is Polish psyche different from say the British psyche (since you're British and all).

"Romantic" springs to mind...

Poles are (I think) much more romantic...everything clear cut good or evil, black or white, loving fairy tale struggles with happy end of the white knight in the shining armor...always asking to be disappointed because pragmatism and a more realistic outlook is not so popular.

Stereotypes I know...but I don't know if they are that off!

Good about that is that it means a high value about honor and loyalty.
Bad about that is that it often leads to annoying (for others), stubborn behavior, often not helping if it is about international relationships.
Problems to compromise...It's often either "all" or "nothing", being sensitive like a Diva!

*ducks*
SeanBM 35 | 5,809
26 Jan 2010  #27
No idea but you still gave him away to Longshanks.

Longshanks asked me if I really knew him and well I got confused and they took him while I was trying to work it out.

SeanBM:
Semantics.

Fixed it:)

I was trying to be deep and meaningful hahaha, I know, I should know better ;p
Exiled 2 | 425
26 Jan 2010  #28
Yes,they can be quite passionate about sth without any desire to understand the other part,the other side of the hill.Love or hate absolutely.
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
26 Jan 2010  #29
Problems to compromise...

You. Are. Not. Getting. A. Corridor. To. GdaƄsk.

Period.

:))


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