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What makes a "real" Pole?


skysoulmate 14 | 1,295
12 Nov 2010 #1
I noticed that quite often when people have disagreements here on PF some of the PF members currently living in Poland use the "you're not even a real Pole, so what do you know?" argument.

Hasn't happened to me, yet, but I probably am in that category as I haven't been in Poland for years, really since I was a kid. Many reasons for that but that's irrelevant in this case I guess.

Some new members here who proudly acknowledged being 2nd, 3rd etc. generation Pole were quickly reminded that they were not real Poles but rather Americans or maybe Australians with a funny name. Maybe so but why are so many shut down here when they extoll their heritage? If someone doesn't speak any Polish or maybe only limited Polish does that mean he/she loses the right to "be" Polish??

This is not a thread about specific individuals here on PF but rather about what your perceptions are on what "being Polish" really means.

So what do you think?
zetigrek
12 Nov 2010 #2
If you talk bollox then it means that you lost your connection with the country and live in the world of imaginated Poland. Such ppl are very annoying. No wonder they are accused of not being a real Pole as they don't know what is going on in the country anymore and they dare even argue with natives that they do know better what Poland is like! Simple enough?

Additionally if just someone's great grandparents were Polish such person can only claim that he is of polish roots, not a Pole. It would be ridiculous.
Richfilth 6 | 415
12 Nov 2010 #3
If he achieved something monumentous (Nobel Prize, amazing invention, Oscar winner) and spent more than 36hours of his life inside the Polish border, he's a Pole ;)
zetigrek
12 Nov 2010 #4
Not true. We don't consider Jack Szostak as Polish but a person of Polish origins.
Poland's Noblist are:

Władysław Reymont
Henryk Sienkiewicz
Maria Skłodowska Curie
Wisława Szymborska
Czesław Miłosz
Lech Wałęsa

That's all.

It's just you - the expats and American Poles who claim that Harvey Keitel is polish...
Richfilth 6 | 415
12 Nov 2010 #5
zetigrek, I'm only teasing ;) Joseph Conrad, Gunter Grass, the footballers in the German team; they're Polish or not, depending on what's come out in their past.
Torq
12 Nov 2010 #6
If someone doesn't speak any Polish or maybe only limited Polish does that mean he/she loses the right to "be" Polish??

Language is such an important factor, determining national identity (especially in our part of Europe,
where many people had to struggle to keep their language, culture and heritage very often risking
their lives for it), that yes - I would say that if someone doesn't speak Polish and doesn't make
a real effort ('real' is the key word here) to learn it, then his Polishness is lacking something vital.
zetigrek
12 Nov 2010 #7
Gunter Grass

Grass ia absolutely not a Pole. Who told you such rubbish?!

Joseph Conrad

Is 100% Polish.
He wished to come back to Poland at the fall of his life but he did not managed.

the footballers in the German team

If they consider themselves polish then they are Polish. Klose is not polish as he don't consider himself polish but a representant of german ethnic miniority.
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 13,204
12 Nov 2010 #8
...being 1/16 (at least) German is a must....
zetigrek
12 Nov 2010 #9
...1/16 (at least) German in your family is a must....

whose family?
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 13,204
12 Nov 2010 #10
..the Poles family...
(but it wouldn't hurt the German's family either)

:)
zetigrek
12 Nov 2010 #11
Do you suggest that one of my great great grandparent had to be a German?!
Noooooooooooo! ;)
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 13,204
12 Nov 2010 #12
*hugs and consoles Zeti* Being a real Pole comes with a price...ja ja..
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
12 Nov 2010 #13
ja ja

You know what that means in Polish? ;)
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
12 Nov 2010 #15
Depends on what you think is perverse.
It means ''eggs'' and also ''big bollocks'' :D

Being a real Pole comes with a price...ja ja.

Ale Jaja! (with the meaning of "holy moly")
hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
12 Nov 2010 #16
...being 1/16 (at least) German is a must....

A very important precondition(:
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 13,204
12 Nov 2010 #17
Depends on what you think is perverse.
It means ''eggs'' and also ''big bollocks'' :D

Ale Jaja!

Interesting! I didn't know that...
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
12 Nov 2010 #18
To be more clear:
Ale Jaja! means "holy moly!"

But literally 'eggs' translates to "balls" but it is used as an exclamation and is not impolite.
zetigrek
12 Nov 2010 #19
Interesting! I didn't know that...

you can also robić sobie z kogoś jaja - to trick someone, poke fun on somebody
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 13,204
12 Nov 2010 #20
Ale Jaja! means "holy moly"

Okay...and what does "holy moly" mean?

*gets notepad out*

you can also robić sobie z kogoś jaja - to trick someone, poke fun on somebody

*takes notes*
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
12 Nov 2010 #21
Okay...and what does "holy moly" mean?

It's an exclamation!

When something strange, exciting or horrific happens, you say ''Ale Jaja!'' or in English "holy moly".

''Holy moly'' is the polite version of ''holy ****''.

And just to be on topic ;) a real Pole would have known that!
OP skysoulmate 14 | 1,295
12 Nov 2010 #22
Okay...and what does "holy moly" mean? *gets notepad out*

Screw the notepad, take out the camera...

Holy Moly!

More Moly less Holy ...but yummy! ;)
Teffle 22 | 1,321
12 Nov 2010 #23
You are only as Polish as you feel ...

(I have only felt a couple of Poles though so I can't say if they are typical)

; )
Trevek 26 | 1,702
12 Nov 2010 #24
A real Pole is someone who, in a restaurant/bar, can take only one of those fiddly little paper serviettes out of the holder, without pulling out the whole lot.
Wroclaw Boy
12 Nov 2010 #25
I noticed that quite often when people have disagreements here on PF some of the PF members currently living in Poland use the "you're not even a real Pole, so what do you know?" argument.

I hope that one has played itself out by now its becoming really boring, its also complete BS.
vetala - | 382
12 Nov 2010 #26
The problem with Polish Americans is that they do many things differently than we do in Poland yet they claim to experts on Poland. Sometimes, they say complete bullshit and since they called themselves Polish then everyone will take their words at a face value. So, if they say "I'm Polish and we call our grandma 'busha'" everyone will think "They're Polish so they must be right" even though it's completely different over here. It's even worse if they say something racist or stupid, then they give all of us a bad impression.

...being 1/16 (at least) German is a must....

Uff, I'm glad I pass this requirement!
Ashleys mind 3 | 455
12 Nov 2010 #27
What if a Pole has spent a considerable time living in another country... when do they start not qualifying as being Poles...?

Or more importantly, how many significant events that shape Poland is one allowed to miss before he/she fails to be Polish enough?

I think if you feel an affinity for a country, it means you belong there... whether you can live there is another matter... that may be due to practicalities.

I think if anyone who has a love for the country and a notion (however disconnected) about how the country operates... then they are entitled to consider themselves as members of the polish community, but their notions about the country may be a little misjudged...
convex 20 | 3,978
12 Nov 2010 #28
What if a Pole has spent a considerable time living in another country... when do they not qualify as being Poles...?

Nations are nothing more than a loose group of people held together by shared values and traditions. Once you lose the culture, can you consider yourself Polish? That brings the interesting point about second and third generation Polish-xxxx. In the US, from what I've read on Polish-American websites, it seems that the cultures are diverging and become distinct from one another. Lots of commonality of course, same roots, but there seems to be a noticeable break.
zetigrek
12 Nov 2010 #29
A real Pole is someone who, in a restaurant/bar, can take only one of those fiddly little paper serviettes out of the holder, without pulling out the whole lot.

haha... that's so true! ;D
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
12 Nov 2010 #30
to be honest, who would want to be, or strive to be, a "real" anything? isn't that like....a bit lame?


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