I really don't gei it, why people coming here expect Poland to be just like the West or the US.
It's not a "fairly" homogenous country - when we compare it to the West, it's a very homogenous country.
Of course there will be more racists than in the West.
But from my experience, majority of people in Poland aren't racist.
For some people it may be enough, for others - not really.
Of course I'm not black or Asian, but I do observe Poles' reactions to people of other races and I hear what people say.
I can't say I've experienced much sexism here, either, tbh.
What is that?
This is not a country for the faint hearted.
Noone said it is ;)
After 2.5 years of attempting to "see the bright side of things" I'm ready to throw the towel in.
In my opinion 2.5 years isn't that much, but if you feel that way.
There's a reason why so many Polish people aspire to get the hell out of here and it's not all based on the economic situation.
True, but it is mainly the economic situation.
On the other hand, I live in Kielce, it's a provincial city and I enjoy visiting Warsaw, for example, looking around and seeing people with different skin colour, different nationalities, hearing different languages. Homogeneity (and the resulting attitude of some people to diversity) can be a bit suffocating in the long run. If I was ever to move abroad that would be probably the main reason - to experience diversity.
Don't expect to enjoy living here unless you can "pass" for a native. End of rant
Well, John Godson seems to be enjoying it here ;)
ET, my mum was assisted by a black doctor when she was giving birth to my brother (and that was years ago... in Kielce! lol). It wasn't her doctor, her doctor got sick or sth and there she was, with her waters broken, having contractions and some black person is walking out of the room and saying "Zapraszam!" She was so shocked that she wanted to run away xD It was the first time she saw a balck person live in her life. Even in the movies and TV series during the communism balck people were often played by white Polish actors with some kind of dark make up on lol
Of course, he did assist my mum in the end and now I'm joking that my brother can't be a racist (and he isn't) because the first human he saw was black lol
Years later she took my brother to a doctor, and there he was - the same doctor who delivered him. So he must have been living in my city all this time. I don't know if he was enjoying it, but it couldn't be that terrible if he stayed, I guess.
Since day one I have been constantly reminded of the fact that I am an outsider - from the all but too casual 'point and stare'
That's not racism though, people aren't accustomed to people of different races and that's why they stare and sometimes even point at people. Those people usually aren't aware that it can make someone uncomfortable. I myself usually try not to look, although I'm curious and it's natural to turn your head and look at sth or someone that caught your eye because I know that people usually consider it racist.
I remember some years ago I was going with a girl I knew from a bus stop and we saw a really tall black guy (he probably was playing for a basketball team, because no other reason for him to come to Kielce came to my mind) and my aquaintance stopped dead on the sidewalk and stared at him with her mouth open xD I had to elbow her to snap her out of it lol It was soooo embarrassing for me xDDD But only because I've been to Paris and have seen plenty of black people there (which was a shock for me at first too). So I was more or less accustomed to such sight. My aquaintance, however, was never abroad at that time. So after I snapped her out of the shock she was like "Did you see that guy?? He was sooo black! And sooo tall!" xD And so I explained to her that in France there are plenty of black people, even more black than that guy." And she was like "Really????" xDDD Honestly, it was as if someone put a white guy in the middle of an African tribe in some desolate part of Africa or in some Amazonian tribe with people never seeing a white person in their life ;) As if an UFO has landed xD It was a hilarious scene but I suspect it didn't make that guy feel too comfortable lol
What I'm trying to say is - she wasn't mean about it, she wasn't racist, she was simply completely unaccustomed to black people.
to tonight's occurance of a group of young people behind me on the street shouting "biały siła " (white power)
This is a slogan of neo-Nazis (and organisations like ONR, I can imagine).
even occasions where my boyfriend and I have been told to leave an area or establishment because of the colour of my skin.
That's almost hard for me to believe, to be honest. But if it happened, you should report it.
f it's true, then I know several people who would love to hear from you. They would be especially interested in any establishment repeating such things, and they have the power to get the establishment into very hot water with people that matter.
I don't see things changing anytime soon.
There's an economic crisis and my guess is that things may get even worse for a short period of time (just my guess though). So if you feel that uncomfortable in Poland I can't blame you for leaving.
But I do think that in the long run things will change for the better and are changing all the time - I've been living here since I was born so I know.
And I'm really, really sorry that you had such unpleasant experiences, ET.