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Polish pride. PL stickers, flags and the white eagle! Where does our obsession come from?


Kangurek 2 | 2
31 Aug 2010 #1
Hey,

While driving through the Polish countryside last month, I noticed that 99% of PL licenced TIR truck drivers invariably have some sort of Polish monument emblazoned on their truck! These include one or more of:

- PL stickers
- little numberplates in the cabin which usually spell their name (there were a lot of Tomeks and Bogdans)
- massive flags at the rear of the cabin
- Polska scarves along their dashboard
- red/white stringers along the top of their cabin

Interestingly, when TIRs from other countries drove by (i.e. RU, BY, D, CZ) there was very little (if any) national pride on show!

Now to the grand prix at Spa, Belgium. Whenever panning shots of the crowd were broadcast, the red and white flags would absolutely always totally outnumber any other nations, in number and size. I would say that it would be a tussle between Great Britain and Brazil for a distant second place! Now, I don't watch too many sports on TV, but when I see highlights of boxing or world strongman or whatever event that has at least 1 Pole competing, the support is always there in a big big way! Honestly, this sort of $hit almost brings a tear to my eye!

Now to my own obsessions! Although I currently live in Oz, I have a PL sticker on the car. I own a selection of Polska, Warsaw and Zywiec shirts, PL soccer scarves and wear them with pride. I get goosebumps whenever I see the white eagle, even if it is during some lame Polish news telecast about local polical matters (they love displaying the white eagle in all government institutions don't they!). I almost always get overprotective and aggressive whenever I hear crap being said about my beloved Polska (this includes called GdaƄsk f#$king Danzig).

I can't help but think that Polish people display their nationalism/patriotism far more than other nationalities! Maybe I haven't noticed others!

What do you guys think?

Kangurek
OP Kangurek 2 | 2
31 Aug 2010 #3
Tak. But we left when I was 6.

Kangurek
MareGaea 29 | 2,752
31 Aug 2010 #4
I can't help but think that Polish people display their nationalism/patriotism far more than other nationalities!

I guess it has sth to do with their history. PL has been abused many times throughout her history, enjoyed only 20-odd years of independence after having disappeared from the map, before embarking on 50 years of foreign occupation by first the Nazis, then the Commies. Now that they are finally independent (which is coincidentally at this moment about the same length as the period before they went yoked under some form of totalitarian régime, be this National Socialism or Communism), they will show that they are. It's common for ppl who have suffered under foreign occupation for extended lengths of time to boost their national identity when this situation has been removed and they are free. It's not typically a Polish thing, other countries had/have it too, look at the US, they still are eerily show their pride of being American with regards to the flag and anthem. It will fade over time, but for now, and probably the next generation, albeit it a bit lesser than the current one, you will see this quite often. I'd say in about 100 years from now it will have virtually disappeared, assuming Poland will stay free and independent.

Hope this helps, Kangaroo.

>^..^<

M-G (tiens)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
31 Aug 2010 #5
Oh, it's a well-known phenomenon. When you've had to fight for your country's very existence, you come through the test with pride. Scots know a thing or two about that. Poland is a nation in transition and you have to fight for the meaning of a nation in times when most are losing their sovereignty. I fear for any country that attacks Poland with conventional means/weaponry.
MareGaea 29 | 2,752
31 Aug 2010 #6
It will disappear, though. It always does. Not fully, it will make a transition into the folkoristic area and ppl will emerge that will frown or laugh upon it, but that takes time, usually 2 or 3 generation. And the Scots? They wear skirts as a protest :))))

>^..^<

M-G (tiens - more coffee is needed)
convex 20 | 3,978
31 Aug 2010 #7
When you've had to fight for your country's very existence, you come through the test with pride. Scots know a thing or two about that. Poland is a nation in transition and you have to fight for the meaning of a nation in times when most are losing their sovereignty.

Please. What did any of these folks fight for? What did any living Scot fight for??

It's short man complex and it will die out soon. Nationalism is an idiotic concept.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
31 Aug 2010 #8
ROTFL. Sorry, I can't compose myself enough to answer you. I'm off to sew up my sides, laddie :)

We are talking about patriotism here and NOT nationalism which is the dislike of other nations. Think America on this one ;)
Teffle 22 | 1,321
31 Aug 2010 #9
I can understand the OP's observation for reasons mentioned by MareGaea & Seanus.

I would have thought though that given our history the same thing would happen in Ireland but it doesn't really - at least not that I've noticed. You get a bit of flag flying but it's confined to villages in contentious border areas and with strong republican traditions.

I'm talking about the Irish republic by the way - in Northern Ireland, flags/symbols etc are much more widespread and have a deeper significance. This is the case too in certain parts of Glasgow I think.
convex 20 | 3,978
31 Aug 2010 #10
ROTFL. Sorry, I can't compose myself enough to answer you. I'm off to sew up my sides, laddie :)

We are talking about patriotism here and NOT nationalism which is the dislike of other nations. Think America on this one ;)

Truth is, you've never fought for Scotland. 99.9% of Poles haven't lifted a finger for Poland other than to slap a sticker on the back of their car.

Patriotism splits us up as people. Patriotism breeds artificial divisions.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
31 Aug 2010 #11
Patriotism brings unity and a sense of identity. Shared values too :) Just look at Scotland and Poland's history, convex. We have fought many battles and defended our territory on numerous occasions. Pride comes not only from winning battles either I might add. Seeing your economy grow and your country become competitive can make one proud. It's all about the collective efforts of your people. Need I even mention how impressive Scottish and Polish culture are? :)
Bzibzioh
31 Aug 2010 #12
Patriotism splits us up as people. Patriotism breeds artificial divisions.

In peaceful times - sometimes yes, as different groups have different ideas what it means. But in case of external threat - keeps us together.
MareGaea 29 | 2,752
31 Aug 2010 #13
would have thought though that given our history the same thing would happen in Ireland but it doesn't really - at least not that I've noticed. You get a bit of flag flying but it's confined to villages in contentious border areas and with strong republican traditions.

Well, you must not forget that Ireland has been independent now for over 80 years and as I mentioned, over time it will slowly, but surely fade away into the folkloristic corner. But I live in Ireland myself and I can tell it's faded pretty much, but you still get this national pride, albeit mildly and mainly folkloristic. However, I noticed that they go looking more for, for example Americans of Irish descent than other ppls do, or they like Australians a lot as they say they are mostly of Irish descent and the Australian accent is supposed to be derived from the Irish accent.

In short, in Ireland it's definitively more than in the Netherlands, where I am originally from, but much less than in Poland, but that is mainly caused by the length of time they have been independent. After a while, most ppl just want to get on with their lives and just try to be as successful as they can be.

>^..^<

M-G (tiens)
Seanus 15 | 19,706
31 Aug 2010 #14
Two Americans have now said it splits us up in times of peace but I don't see the logic here. America was a VERY proud country in the 80's AND a very cohesive country. Now you have splits over war, health and all manner of other issues. Many are ashamed to fly the flag and often 'go Canadian' on their backpacks. FACT! Many Americans are disgruntled and divided. Reagan, in hindsight, further developed American pride in a good way :)
MIPK - | 69
31 Aug 2010 #15
there's the same obsession in Australia... just look at Australia day when all the flags come out. I'd find it hard pressed to find a mate that dosnt have some sort of flag, stubbie holder, shirt in their house somewhere with some sort of national symbol on it. There's the green and gold army that attends all the sporting events. I don't see this display of who they are as negative as long as its not done in a malicious way.
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,442
31 Aug 2010 #16
I would have thought though that given our history the same thing would happen in Ireland but it doesn't really - at least not that I've noticed. You get a bit of flag flying but it's confined to villages in contentious border areas and with strong republican traditions.

yet, Irish flags and symbols are widely know around the world.

Now to my own obsessions! Although I currently live in Oz, I have a PL sticker on the car.

I am guessing it is harder to keep your national identity in such a country as Australia, since ethnicity is not the most important thing, so you need to identify with something eg. Polish roots by sometime "artificial" means, which symbolically bring you closer to Poland.
convex 20 | 3,978
31 Aug 2010 #17
We have fought many battles and defended our territory on numerous occasions.

But you didn't fight anything. You're using someone else's achievements to make yourself feel good.

In peaceful times - yes. But in case of external threat - keeps us together.

If you don't have patriotism, you don't have an external threat. Granted, that's purely ideological, but hey, I can have my holding hands around a campfire fantasies.

But back to the real world, patriotism makes it easy to convince a people that "they" have been collectively wronged, and that "they" made huge sacrifices... It's one of the most amazing political tools out there.

Two Americans have now said it splits us up in times of peace but I don't see the logic here. America was a VERY proud country in the 80's AND a very cohesive country. Now you have splits over war, health and all manner of other issues. Many are ashamed to fly the flag and often 'go Canadian' on their backpacks.

Go to the US. Every single vehicle has an American flag sticker on it, or one of those little made in china plastic flags... Very cohesive how? It was just as divided under Reagan, if not more.
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,442
31 Aug 2010 #18
It's one of the most amazing political tools out there.

tool for social control. We wold not have countries/borders the way we do if there was not patriotism. It works for what it's worth.
MareGaea 29 | 2,752
31 Aug 2010 #19
If you don't have patriotism, you don't have an external threat.

Best example would be Japan. Divided as hell, tribes constantly waging war on each other, but when an external threat ocurred, they immediately stopped all internal warfare, bound together and expelled the external threat. Once the threat was gone, they merrily continued with their internal wars.

>^..^<

M-G (Japan never has been conquered that much)
Teffle 22 | 1,321
31 Aug 2010 #20
yet, Irish flags and symbols are widely know around the world

They probably are but I'm not sure what your point is? You don't see very many people displaying them either in cars or outside their houses - that's all I'm saying.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
31 Aug 2010 #21
What frustrates me is the obsession with the past. Example, Olsztyn showed yet another new monument to Grunwald (which looked pretty much like every other one; chains, eagles etc). I mean, it's not like England keeps putting up monuments to Agincourt (although they do keep on about 1966 world cup, I suppose)

Why are there so few monument to more positive achievements of recent decades?

You don't see very many people displaying them either in cars or outside their houses - that's all I'm saying.

Well, you do... except they are usually non-Irish. Then there are those stupid hats on march 17.
king polkakamon - | 544
31 Aug 2010 #22
I like flags used for bikini materials but unfortunately you will not see many Polki having red and white tops.
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,442
31 Aug 2010 #23
They probably are but I'm not sure what your point is?

stating the fact, but I am in Canada, so there is a huge Irish community, it is not in a face, but def present.
pgtx 30 | 3,156
31 Aug 2010 #24
by bumper stickers, Americans like to express their political/religious views, their pride, their attitude and just anything else...

f

proud to be Mexican in the US...

g

f

proud Americans...

a

so i don't think Poles overuse the car stickers....
Teffle 22 | 1,321
31 Aug 2010 #25
stating the fact, but I am in Canada, so there is a huge Irish community, it is not in a face, but def present

Ah OK, but the diaspora is a different thing and I'm not surprised.
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,442
31 Aug 2010 #26
OP left Poland for Australia when he was 6, so in a way it is the same thing.
MareGaea 29 | 2,752
31 Aug 2010 #27
You don't see very many people displaying them either in cars or outside their houses

It's wearing off. When I first came here in Dubs, some 6,5 years ago I was actually surprised how many flags were flying in the neighbourhood where they found me a place to live. But now, you see this much less - although more ppl than previously talk about Irish identity as opposed to the EU and stuff like that.

But every now and then you come across an individual who's "100 per cent Oirish" and only speaks English because he "has to". And some I come across refuse to go to the North as they "don't want to exchange money in my own country". But most Irish I know don't have that as strongly anymore. I'm sure that in the 1930's it was different, but then again, Irish national pride was always more anti-British than anything else. Perhaps the Irish don't have these national sentiments that strongly, perhaps because there are more Irish living outside of Ireland than in Ireland herself. Proof of this lack of national sentiments imo could be that the only fascist movement Ireland has ever known, the Blueshirts, at the height of their strength never had more than a handful, perhaps a few hundred, followers.

Another reason could be that Ireland, except the last 15 years, always has been very poor - ppl moving away, daily struggle for survival had more priority than feeling proud of your country. Perhaps they weren't that proud of their country because it was so poor and perhaps ppl were instead of proud angry at the govt for not being able to make the Irish state a welfaring one befor the 1990's.

It's actually interesting to see as to why it was never that strong. Some say that as long as the Irish can go to their pubs and have a pint, everything is ok with them, which could explain the lack of willingness to demonstrate when the govt fcuks them over once again. And they would be certainly able to paralyse Dublin city if they would simply say they wouldn't take that Bullcrap the govt pours on them anymore and would strike. Last year two garages of Dublin Bus were on strike for a day or two. Already there were major problems.

>^..^<

M-G (tiens)
Teffle 22 | 1,321
31 Aug 2010 #28
OP left Poland for Australia when he was 6, so in a way it is the same thing

Not really?! It would be the same thing if he lived in a Polish enclave in Australia or an Australian enclave in Poland.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
31 Aug 2010 #29
Why are there so few monument to more positive achievements of recent decades?

Funnily enough, there seems to be little celebration of Walesa's election, the first democratic election in 1991 or even the election which created the Contract Sejm - yet at the time, Walesa's election was very much "bye bye communism" and celebrated wildly.

They also seem hell bent on removing all traces of the PRL - it seems kids are taught up until 1945, then...nothing.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
31 Aug 2010 #30
It's called history, convex. Where do you think Polish pride comes from? It doesn't matter that I didn't fight at all, it matters that other Scots fought for the things which we learn about. It's called appreciation of others!


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