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Of Polish Descent - Looking for Background Information on Poland for a School Paper


FennecGirl 1 | 2
22 Feb 2012 #1
Hello,

I am of Polish descent, and working on a US school paper in which I need to interview someone about how different characteristics may influence communication in other cultures. We have many people that have immigrated here, mostly from Mexico where I am, but I decided that I wanted to find out more about my own background in the process. Most of my family lives in SW Pennsylvania where there seems to be a lot of Polish descendants, so I've grown up with some staples such as Pierogis and Stuffed Cabbage, but other than the food I don't know much about my ancestry. Surnames on my father's side were Pytelowski (Pytel, here) and Kovacs (Hungarian, I believe?) and my mother's side is Kwasny.

I've looked through the forums a bit, but so far I haven't seen many differences in relationships. I'm looking for information related to interpersonal communications, such as Social norms, family roles, gender roles, conversation topics. I'm mostly looking for how this would be different than how we Americans are. Things that would be considered the norm here in the US, but rude in Poland.

I appreciate any help you can give, and hope to maybe create some relationships. My father and grandmother have both passed, and I feel a genuine need to know a little more about my background now.
pip 10 | 1,659
22 Feb 2012 #2
well, I can give you the easiest one. When speaking to somebody that you don't know, always speak in the third person. example " would the lady like to buy a donut?"

"what is the mr. looking for?" "Can I as the lady what time it is?"

much like French.
OP FennecGirl 1 | 2
24 Feb 2012 #3
Thanks for the response, pip! That's pretty interesting about speaking in the third person - that's not something we generally do.

What about the gender roles? Is there a significant difference? Such as, what are the roles of males vs. females? Do women work outside of the home, or do they remain at home to raise the children? Are women ever the breadwinner in the family? For example, would you find a wife that works as a lawyer, while the husband raises the kids, or even holds a job where he makes significantly less money than his partner?
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
24 Feb 2012 #4
Do women work outside of the home,

Very much so.

Are women ever the breadwinner in the family?

Very often.

Interesting though that the woman is usually still expected to cook and clean, even after a hard day at work.

For example, would you find a wife that works as a lawyer, while the husband raises the kids,

I know of such families but they are relatively rare.

or even holds a job where he makes significantly less money than his partner?

Very common in Poland.
Nickidewbear 23 | 584
29 Jun 2012 #5
You could be Jewish--e.g., Kovacs. Check into that--there are quite a few Kovacses listed on JewishGen.


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