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Why are Poles always so miserable? Why do they never smile?


Obnoxious T. Dumbass
16 Sep 2006 #61
You had to start it with a patronising tone, didn't you.

There have been so many crap answers, what do you expect? Actually I was just genuinely grateful that you answered the question, and didn't make a dig at me for a change. (But of course you would take it personally, wouldn't you... being Polish and therefore temperamentally inclined.)

As far as culture goes, it's because of lack of money. However, in the so called culturally richer countries, culture has become business, so I don't know what is so good that you see in them.

Culture was always the sacred cow of the Eastern Block under communism. Those countries always claimed they devoted their efforts to improving the culture, rather than the material well-being of their citizens. Well we all see what bullshit that was...

To me "culture" is the participation of people in their local life and community. It doesn't require money, only will. In Poland this sort of civil behaviour is perhaps not dead, but is breathing on a lung-machine and has a bad case of tuberculosis. I've never been anywhere in the world, except perhaps Romania or Ukraine, where the local population has so little involvement in their local communities, and so little pride in their local environment. Of course this is largely the result of communism, but it says nothing about the selfishness of most Poles, and the fact that this country has so far to travel before it beomes a 'Civil society', in the sense of a country where people actually treat people they don't know in a civilized manner, rather than trying to cheat, undermine and disrespect them..
Marzena 2 | 122
16 Sep 2006 #62
where people actually treat people they don't know in a civilized manner, rather than trying to cheat, undermine and disrespect them..

practice what you preach, actually you are a manipulator.

To me "culture" is the participation of people in their local life and community.

This is very poetic but it would be even nicer if you were this sophisticated in understanding your own behaviour/attitude. Rationalizations are screaming at my face.

It also looks like you have never been to the US.
Frank 23 | 1,183
17 Sep 2006 #63
Polish people have every right to be miserable....................look at their history, living standards, current struggles to make their way in the world, Europe and retain the confidence of its people.

It almost needs to be reborn/re-invent itself. It will be very difficult. NOTHING to smile about.

Plus they have the suspicion that all this won't last, if they smile too much, they will jinx their freedoms/progress and the be back in a living hell, they keep looking over their shoulders, recent history was so bad so huge, they remain cautious!

BUT if you go to Paris also , no-one smiles, it is a cultural thing, smiling is reserved for friends and family.

I do think Polish people will again learn to smile - but only on their terms, when things improve, when they become confident as a nation, not because they are told too!
iwona 12 | 542
17 Sep 2006 #64
Exactly what is the meaning of artifical , forced smile to stranger?

For me, I found quite annoying ( get used to it now) lots giggling of some of british people at things which are not funny at all. it is like kind of ????? hiding embarrasement of it is not much to say you can always giggle. But I accept it , it is a part of culture here I guess.
Arien
19 Sep 2006 #65
Exactly what is the meaning of artifical, forced smile to stranger?

touche. :) (but it's true that even with an artificial smile, it's more likely you'll get more positive feedback from others.)

as for this topic, I disagree with polish people having long faces. I've met dozens of them. gone out with them, laughed with them, got drunk with them.

they have a bright sense of humour.
sarah
19 Sep 2006 #66
I think the only time i have ever seen a miserable pole is when they are extra tired i mean even most of the time they smile through it x
Shelley
19 Sep 2006 #67
sarah - I have seen a miserable Pole - he was friends of a friend of mine, I used to call him "the angry one" - which funnily enough he didnt find funny!
sarah
19 Sep 2006 #68
I just call them miserable but i always get them smiling x
iwona 12 | 542
19 Sep 2006 #69
We are not so miserable but I would say that we are not so good at laughing at ourselves.

I quite like it with English people - this sarcastic attitude to everything.
To be honest I must admit that I changed here. I had always sense of humour but I sometimes treated some things, sugjects too seriously. It is changed now. I have learn some distance to things.

I know one English woman she never, never smiles. Always looks so serious....so exceptions are everywhere
Shelley
19 Sep 2006 #70
iwona - I work with some people that dont smile, they could sower milk - lucky I do enough smiling for everyone...
sarah
19 Sep 2006 #71
Shelley
None of the people in my office smile and walk around with a long face and no one here is polish hee hee x
iwona 12 | 542
19 Sep 2006 #72
I think that there are 2 groups of people cheerful and happy in general and sad, grumpy.

And both groups are in any nationalities.
There was a girl ( luckily left) in my current work who smiled, and laughed but was so grumpy and whingey that I never met somethone like her before.

She moaned non-stop about everything and was so sensitive about herself that I didn't even dare to joke with her. Terrible. I don't rememeber this English saying.... treating someone like egg shell?....
PPATRYKK
20 Sep 2006 #73
At First-I am proud to be a Polish. At Second-I am not proud that people whose govern here are sucks. Cash - not enough to live, and this is problem - not big smile etc.... I think this is the biggest reason of this fact that polish people aren's so smile like english.

You live too much in ENGLISH :)

GL THERE MY FRIENDS:)

*England, sorry for my english, I don't use it as often as I want.
lef 11 | 478
20 Sep 2006 #74
Cash - not enough to live

The point is that if you are poor doesn't mean you carn't smile, people living in the poorest countries in the world smile more than the poles....remember money doesn't make you happy?
iwona 12 | 542
21 Sep 2006 #75
polish don;t smile so much comparing to.....whom?

When I was i France I didn't see many smiling faces.....the same Germany or Austria....
sarah
21 Sep 2006 #76
Everyone from one time to another are not going to smile no one can walk around with a permant smile on there face (imagine the lines in there cheeks heee hee) x
tammy
21 Sep 2006 #77
hey babe are you talking about my lines again????? lol :)
sarah
21 Sep 2006 #78
Yeap your wrikles smilley x
iwona 12 | 542
21 Sep 2006 #79
exactly too much smile to many wrinkles:)
sarah
21 Sep 2006 #80
Exactly my point iwona hee hee x
tammy
21 Sep 2006 #81
now who has more me or the other one we both know ????? lol
sarah
21 Sep 2006 #82
Hee Heee well too much smilling for anyone would cause wrinkles lol x
tammy
21 Sep 2006 #83
so does that mean after the weekend we had last weekend and with this one coming up we are both gonna have loads of wrinkles ?????
sarah
21 Sep 2006 #84
One day when were old well when i am you age just kidding x
krysia 23 | 3,057
22 Sep 2006 #85
OK. Getting back to the point.
I just got back from Poland and I got the same impression about people waiting for the bus, tramwaj, walking their dogs, shopping etc. Sad faces. Everybody looks the same. The girls all have the same hair-cut, short, straight, colored hair. Guys really short crew-cuts. And everybody sad.

But it all starts from the earliest years. I went to school there for ten years starting in third grade. We had school on Saturdays. We had to learn Russian. The teachers were really strict, you had to show respect for them, you had to wear a uniform with your school's logo on your left forearm, you were afraid to smile. There were only two TV channels. Lot of political talks. Now there are about 4, but you get more if you can afford a dish. So I understand why they don't have much to smile about. Life is very serious in Poland. Some know how to find humor in situations, some don't. And the concentration camps are a reminder of the sadness which will never go away. But it is instilled in people from the earliest years and they don't see life from another point of view.
iwona 12 | 542
23 Sep 2006 #86
I suppose Polish have different mentality than English, American.... English laugh-off everything it is like defensive reaction. Polish are more serious about things ....

But I was in Krakow about 2 weeks ago and didn't notice so many sad faces. Lots student ready to start ....some tourists......local people.

I could say the same about english streets ( I mean Peterborough) lots of fat women in too tight clothes with similar haircuts and look.....
pfawaz
23 Sep 2006 #87
Do all Polish women automatically expect marriage once they start dating- are there alot of pressure from their parents to get married after a certain age??
polaca 1 | 76
23 Sep 2006 #88
I dont think polish women expect marriage when they start dating, it wouldnt be normal:)
jazzjack
24 Sep 2006 #89
AntiMonoPole#1 ........Next time you visit Poland (I understand you spend a lot of time over there) ,before you hit the street -TAKE a SHOWER ,USE DEODORANT and do everybody a favor -fix those croocket (world famous) roten british teeth.........everybody will start smiling when they see you.

KRYSIA.! .........Person who is smiling when waitng for a bus is an idiot . People in western (normal?) world pay money to wear school uniforms (only the best schools require this) ,they also pay money to learn russian and go to school on saturdays........so what is your point? Is this discussion about smiling without any reason? If so -BRITISH people allways look like their waiting for a bus . Must be the genes.
Tom_Poland 1 | 17
24 Sep 2006 #90
jazzjack - not the genes but rather an influence of a particular culture/history/occurences. Poles for many centuries hardly had any reasons to be happy and satisfied with their lives. Long-lasting repressions and persecutions for almost the whole 19th and 20th century like the german-russian occupation during WW2, repressions and persecutions of Poles during the second half of the 20th, constant struggle with somebody just to keep the head under the water, just to survive. Now, it's over, but for many people any attempt to change their attitudes towards new reality is unbelievably hard. In my opinion it's very noticable especially when you look at some elder Poles (let's say 40 or more) - they often are so pessimistic and worried about everything and everyone that it is sometimes hard to imagine, especially for a foreigner just like you.

Personally speaking, I'm a representative of a young generation of Poles - I'm 23 - and a bit experienced with life - have 2 kids, been married for 3 years, work as hard as I can, and know that sometimes life can kick you in the gut, but I move on.

And, as Jerry Springer would sum it up in his 'final thought' :)
Being happy and optimistic bloke certainly helps you with your life and the way how other people perceive you. Nevertheless if somebody doesn't want to smile or he/she simply cannot show their possitive emotions to others, it doesn't mean that they should be excluded from the rest of their society - maybe such way of existence is deeply rooted in their minds. Or maybe they are introverts and actually are on cloud 9

That's all folks - see you later !

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