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"Poland: a country getting to grips with being normal at last"


JonnyM 11 | 2,621
4 Apr 2011 #1
This is quite a good assessment of how things are right now:

Commuters and shoppers near Centrum Metro station in central Warsaw Commuters and shoppers near Centrum Metro station in central Warsaw, with the Palace of Culture in the background. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

"Rutinoscorbin is like the sixth member of our family!"

Rest of article guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/04/poland-new-europe
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
4 Apr 2011 #2
The article sounded quite patronising to me, I'm afraid.
OP JonnyM 11 | 2,621
4 Apr 2011 #3
Why?

Remember he's writing for a very general audience on a topic they don't hear much about.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,884
4 Apr 2011 #4
Johnny M wrote:

Young Poles send text messages using neo-Polish words such as trendi, seksi and kul.

Poland, please stop using my language. You sound ridiculous.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
4 Apr 2011 #5
Why?

The "ordinary is extraordinary" in Poland, blah blah blah. 1989 was when? Like over 20 years ago? Foreigners writing about Poland forever walk into the same trap of talking about "changes" or, even worse "recent changes" in Poland, and how Polish people are "embracing the future". Geez, a whole new generation has grown up in the meantime!
OP JonnyM 11 | 2,621
4 Apr 2011 #6
Foreigners writing about Poland forever walk into the same trap of talking about "changes" or, even worse "recent changes" in Poland

Now why do you think that is? The essential timelessness of a country where nothing eventful happens, which wasn't communist, where change has been gradual? Hardly! A tourist guide about how pretty the starówka is? Come off it!

What should he have written about as part of that newspaper's series on four European countries? Have you seen any of the other articles about Poland in the series? Really worth looking at, especially the one about the Baniak family. I know so many people like that.

guardian.co.uk/world/series/new-europe-poland
delphiandomine 83 | 17,788
4 Apr 2011 #7
This is quite a good assessment of how things are right now:

Timothy Garton-Ash is a fantastic guy - and in my opinion, far better than anyone else in English at describing Poland.

He was there when there was a fight to register "rural Solidarity" - and that's something that's pretty much ignored by Western commentators.
Barney 14 | 1,469
5 Apr 2011 #8
Rest of article here.

TGA is a good commentator on Poland, he speaks the language knows the history and cultural life, I have quoted him a number of times here and always got favourable comments (from Polish people in Poland) on his opinion.

I read the articles today and they do "what it says on the tin".
Ironside 49 | 9,997
5 Apr 2011 #9
eh? I don't think that sounds good ....
poland_
5 Apr 2011 #10
Outside, in the spring sunshine, BMWs and Mercedes glide past freshly painted facades and smart coffee shops

TGA, tells it how it is, his article is very general and he mentions that most people are privately proud of the growth and changes in PL, although only a minority are reaping the benefits. Its a fact, you are either in or out of the 5%, but at least they other 95% have something to aspire too.
helpful
5 Apr 2011 #11
"Poland: a country getting to grips with being normal at last"

I don't have time to read it right now but your threat title sounds like patronising. For me Poland was always normal... "normal" what the heck does it suppose to mean?

trendi, seksi and kul.

trendi and sexy ok, but kul? maybe 15 years ago.

Poland, please stop using my language. You sound ridiculous.

No one cares...

Geez, a whole new generation has grown up in the meantime!

exactly!
1jola 14 | 1,879
5 Apr 2011 #12
From the article:

Less than 30 years ago, I stood on what was then called Victory Square (now Pilsudski Square) and watched angry protesters from the Solidarity movement defying the communist riot police. "Why are they chanting 'Gestapo'?" exclaimed an elderly bystander. "It should be 'SS'!"

Just like the communists, the Germans also had dreamed of Victory.

Plac Piłsudskiego (Pilsudski Square) in 1944 shortly before the underground soldiers burned their V:



Magdalena 3 | 1,837
5 Apr 2011 #13
guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/04/new-europe-poland-overview

This "article" really raised my hackles. I especially admire the accompanying photo of "people eating soup". Wow.
1jola 14 | 1,879
5 Apr 2011 #14
The photo is really representative of modern Poland just like this photo of what the London police looks like now:

d
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
5 Apr 2011 #15
especially the one about the Baniak family. I know so many people like that

Well, what is so special about them? They are not, as the article suggests, struggling or living frugally. They are a typical, successful Polish family with a beautiful flat. Why are they not presented as such? Instead, the article hints that they have problems accessing appropriate medical care, that life is tough for them, that they earn too little, that their flat is "tiny"... But - they can easily survive on one salary, the husband has a fulfilling job in publishing (if I remember right), they own a flat and are building their own house... Something just doesn't add up. It's the same story again of looking for problems where they don't exist. Why can't a journalist ever come to Poland and describe it as it is? Without always comparing it to the "West" or digging around in the past, especially that their knowledge of Poland's past consists of factoids and half-truths? Never mind. It's not gonna happen.
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
5 Apr 2011 #16
They are a typical, successful Polish family

lols, is that the typical family with most of the under 30s in England then?
Ironside 49 | 9,997
5 Apr 2011 #18
l[quote] that the typical family with most of the under 30s in England then?

What about 7 millions people ?
picnanic
5 Apr 2011 #19
This "article" really raised my hackles. I especially admire the accompanying photo of "people eating soup". Wow.

The extract about premarital sex being a taboo in Poland outsides Warsaw made me laugh...
PennBoy 76 | 2,437
5 Apr 2011 #20
"Series: New Europe" The way that Poland and other central-eastern European countries are described amuses me. Poland apart for maybe the living standard of most it's citizens, is how Europe, western Europe used to be.
picnanic
5 Apr 2011 #21
Why can't a journalist ever come to Poland and describe it as it is? Without always comparing it to the "West" or digging around in the past, especially that their knowledge of Poland's past consists of factoids and half-truths?

I fully agree with you. It makes me sick when I read about the country of communistic past which is trying catch up with the rich West, again. Always in a pity or patronising tone.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
5 Apr 2011 #22
the living standard of most it's citizens

I wouldn't be too harsh in this department either. I have seen enough squalor in the UK to be totally disenchanted with the idea of "western luxury".
PennBoy 76 | 2,437
5 Apr 2011 #23
You're right i guess i'm really just comparing the United States, here as long as you're working and wanna work being poor means you can still have a nice car and own a house, most things are much cheaper than in western Europe.


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