The BEST Guide to POLAND
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7 Dec 2016  #121

Hi Polish people, a Bulgarian here.

Well, most of our perception of Poland is based on Russian propaganda and what we see on the beaches during the summer, as much as, your info on Bulgaria is based on (as far as I read most of the posts here) pro-Serbian propaganda and opinions based on some of the gypsies we have (who have BG passports).

As for the Russian propaganda - very little is taught in our schools about the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and that, you guys, were actually bad asses in the Middle ages (kicked some German butts, hehe). Basically, our history books, briefly mention this period and then jump in more details to the Deluge (yep, I am a Sienkiewicz fan) and how the 'glorious' German, Austrian and Russian empires partitioned your lands. Oh, well. And of course, Bulgaria was a small empire a couple of centuries before you, guys, so we do have the Big Brother complex, being condescending towards you sometimes (sorry about that).

As for the Serbian propaganda - I have read similar opinions on Russian forums - that Serbians are the real Slav defenders on the Balkans. This is some heavy BS in my opinion, because during the Balkan wars and the World wars Serbians preferred to join non-Slavs like Greeks and Romanians against Bulgaria. But this is a Balkan issue and every country has their theory of what happened :-) Of course, Bulgaria sided with the Germans in both World Wars and we lost the wars, so as losers our opinion is much less heard. Just a side note, historically, in the 20th century Bulgaria was fighting to unite most of the Slav territories on the Balkans, unfortunately, we lost most of the wars, while small Serbia came out victorious (they know how to pick their allies) in most of them (although we kicked their asses plenty) so they took most of the Slav territory and based on that the Yugoslavia idea emerged (a country for the South Slavs).

These days a lot of Bulgarians travel to Serbia on excursions and they all agree that their infrastructure is way better than ours and their people are smiling more and are more optimistic than us. Yep, Serbian communism under Tito was less devastating than traditional Soviet communism we had in Bulgaria.

As for Polish-Bulgarian relations - please, do not judge all Bulgarians on what you see from one or two random encounters (the roommate). I have also heard stories of Polish mafia in Germany and UK but I am sure most Poles are cool to drink beer with, as are Bulgarians.

Sorry for the long post (no potato). I just wanted to clarify a couple of things for you. Our current opinion on Poland is that you are an emerging economic power and the cradle of the white race in Central Europe. The only time I shout against Poland is during the volleyball matches and that evil man - Bartos Kurek :-)


peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,094    
7 Dec 2016  #122

and what we see on the beaches during the summer

beer belly knights. Ready to conquer every barrel ;)
Crow 137 | 5,800    
7 Dec 2016  #123

during the Balkan wars and the World wars Serbians preferred to join non-Slavs like Greeks and Romanians against Bulgaria.

during Balkan wars, Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece were in alliance against Turks. Then, after Turks were defeated, Bulgaria wanted whole of Macedonia for itself. But, it was Serbian and Greek army who liberated Macedonia. Not to mention that at Kumanovo battle (Turks vs. Serbs), where 6.000 Serbian soldiers died in few hours in a devastating charge against Ottomans, entire Turkish European army was crashed what forced Turks to retreat to the Bosporus river. Let me say that neither the Greek, neither the Bulgarian reinforcements came in aid to Serbians during that decisive battle (decisive not only for the region but for whole of Europe). So, in an aftermath of battle, after liberated region and in accordance with her historical rights from time of Serbian medieval statehood (when Macedonia belonged to Serbia), Serbia annexed Macedonia. Then, Bulgaria invaded her allies Serbians and Greeks.

So, don`t blame Serbians. You Bulgarians were the one who attacked us.

Plus, in WWI, Bulgaria again betrayed Serbia and joined to Austro-Hungaria and Germany in attack against us.

What to tell you man, I stubbornly tries to convince myself that are Bulgarians people with dignity and honor.
Teres - | 3    
7 Dec 2016  #124

New member here, Bulgarian, very first post/comment.

I see the domain of this website - polishforums - the ultimate guide to Poland. Great - the first reaction of mine - I have no idea how I ended up in here, but I also realized that I don't know almost nothing about Poland, almost a void spot on the map of Europe to me, so why not learn something about that place once and for all? I open this thread, quite unusual and attention grabbing title, expecting to see a humorous content in the vibe of comparrison as you can sense in another similar forums, where differences and similarities between nations are discussed...and what I see - one of the most similarities between the Bulgarians and Poles - in one corner you see a reasonable decent guy, two meters away from him - a dumbass you would love to hang on a tree. I hope at least the sense of humor here is on decent level.

But something that can induce feeling of curiousity in any sane person is to read/see how a Polish guy (in this case) had troublesome communication with not the best representative of another nation (Bulgarian, in this case) and starts a thread with title "POLES vs BULGARIANS". Until you start questioning yourself how such personal encounter can give birth to such phillosophical comparative thought between two nations, you sense that the thread's title itself sparks lines of wisdom from some other represantives of Poland who are exactly the same as the Bulgarian the author of this thread met at first place. In an instant, what you begin to hope for is this to not be the overal level of the whole forum.

The first thing I saw, and in a brief manner I scrolled trought all five pages, is that neither most of the Poles, nor the two (maybe I missed some) Bulgarians who commented in this thread know what they are talking about, as far as Bulgaria, Bulgarians and Bulgarian history goes. Let alone the more complex pages about the past of the Bulgarian-Polish connections before and after the liberation of Bulgaria from the Turks. Of course, there's always at least one typical biased illiterate Serb, as in the comment above, with it's anti-Bulgarian, and pseudo "pro-Slavic" spurts, accompanied with the usual poor knowledge in history you see nowhere else outside Serbia.

As a Bulgarian I know few things about Poles and Poland, aside the very basics of Polish history, concerning Germans and Russians, a lot more about the history of Poles in Bulgaria in 19th century, and that you are Slavs, that we have many common words, although your language is the weirdest among all the languages in the group. I know about Varnenchik, also there's park-museum and mausoleum devoted to him in Varna, as well as the largest neighborhood in whole Eastern Bulgaria, named Vladislavovo. In general, in my experience, Poland isn't a country that is disliked by the Bulgarians I know. And I know many. Either because there are simply no reasons Poland and Poles to be disliked, or because not much about Poland is known. I know few Poles, and all of them are decent guys and girls, including an ex-girlfriend.

To summarize it up, I don't really get how a thread with such title is possible.
mafketis 16 | 4,655    
8 Dec 2016  #125

I don't really get how a thread with such title is possible.

The title of this thread is not even the top 30 % of nonsensical stuff on this forum. I really have no idea what the owner or moderators are trying to accomplish.

New threads are often attached to old (often irrelevant) threads and people who know nothing about Poland are allowed to rail on about unrelated nonsense.

Part of the problem is linguistic - the idiotic English only rule means that almost no real Polish people would be interested in posting here.

Another problem is that Poland is a _bitterly_ divided country at present (and no policial actors are interested in changing that) and so discussion about issues affecting the country soon break down into nasty arguments.

Another is that there is a .... British contingent that tends to be kind of ethnocentric and dismissive of the great majority of Polish culture.

Short story - it's a mess and maybe fun for a wallow now and again but you won't learn anything worthwhile here.

What's the political situation in Bulgaria? Is it as bitterly divided as Poland? Is it still mostly avoiding the "refugee" crisis? I also had the impression it's doing better than it had a few years ago.

And Bulgarian, not Polish, is the weirdest Slavic language - no cases and articles? (I'm very fond of Bulgarian and would like to learn more but the real world impinges on these plans).
Ziemowit 8 | 2,520    
8 Dec 2016  #126

As a Bulgarian I know few things about Poles and Poland, aside the very basics of Polish history

Basically, the same can be said about a typical Pole's knowledge of Bulgaria. Here are some of my "encounters" with Bulgaria.

1a. Władysław Warneńczyk is known in Poland mostly as a Jagiellonian king who died at Varna trying to fight the Turks (his military expedition was a kind of political mistake, however, as he seems to be largely manipulated by the Vatican against the Polish interests). At present, he has become a 'fashionable' figure again as some people say he had not died at Varna, but was rescued and later became father to Christopher Columbus, the chap who discovered America. This conspiracy theory had been created by an Italian author whose book was later translated into Polish and gained quite a lot of publicity in Poland.

1b. Some time ago I read that the mother of Władysław Łokietek, the king who re-created the Kingdom of Poland in 1320, was likely to have been the daughter of Bulgaria's tsar Simeon. Anyway, she was certainly a Bulgarian princes.

2. Bulgaria was the main summer southern destination for Polish tourists in the communist times. People often went there in a Polski Fiat 126p car ('Maluch") loaded with all the necessary things of four persons spending a two week holiday which from today's perspective seems to be utterly crazy and out of this world. I myself have never been to Bulgaria, but my wife was and she says she couldn't buy anything (mostly some water to drink) in shops at the seaside as the response she got was always 'odpochivka'. Even if this was back in the communist times, she swore she would never set foot in Bulgaria again. Despite that, Bulgaria had on avarage a very good opinion among Poles travelling there in summer.

3, A few years ago, a friend of ours was buying summer appartments at the Bulgarian coast at competitive prices and she has been renting them to this very day to fellow Poles wishing to spend a holiday there.

4. Bulgaria along with Romania has in Poland the reputation of a country where corruption flourishes these days. That, of course, doesn't mean that Poland is a country free of corruption.
Teres - | 3    
8 Dec 2016  #127

How Poland is divided? Ideologically? Politically? About the international orientation? People's positions on certain issues?

Bulgaria is politically divided as far as international orientation goes, that's the main belief around here, although the last presidental elections showed that voters of one of the major parties voted for the candidate of the other major party, i.e the belief that people worship certain political party unconditionally simply because they are "supposed" to do it was proven wrong. The nationalism, the patriotism is fashionable in Bulgaria - even in institutions such as universities. Although many simply cannot identigy themselves as part of certain political party, regardless of it's political leaning, most of the people who express their positions tend to be nationalistically-oriented. Speech of political correctness is considered low level and rarely tolerated, if at all. I don't personaly know a single Bulgarian person who is welcoming towards the illegal migrants from Africa and Central Asia. The government is in unspoken dilema - should they expell the "refugees", as they already do to a degree, or welcome some of them in order to avoid to look like "xenophobes", or to be pointed with a finger in other words. They are between pressure from the Bulgarian people and pressure from outside. They know that whatever path they pick, they will not end well anyway.

I agree that the Bulgarian language has it's distinguished vibe, but probably to me Polish is the weirdest because although I've never studied the rest of the languages in the group, I understand them all, except Polish. I get a some of it when I read it, but the speech...

I've red somewhere that there are claims that Varnenchik did not died in Varna. Also there are poems, written by participants in this battle, who claim that he was buried near the place he was killed. Currently there are 2-3 (as far as I know) places (churches) suspected for having Varnenchik's grave under their floors. Because most of them were destroyed and rebuilt again and again (and so since the 1600s), to attempt to discover his grave, large archaelogical operations are required. Today, with the technology we have access to, such archaelogical operations are more easily carried with least damage. Time will show.

Tsar Simeon had two marriages, and he had numerous daughters from both of his wives. The only thing we know is that he had an affinity to infliltrate foreign courts with family members, as he did with Byzantium, for example, becoming a tutor of the East-Roman emperor himself. He had so many daughters that even the chroniclers did not knew their count. He used them for diplomacy at will, so a dynastic connections with the ancestors of the modern Poles would not be impossible. This is the first time I hear about this.

As for the "odpochivka", seems like your wife picked the worst time for shopping. :) Odpochivka means "a rest", something shop owners across the Black Sea coast take advantage of regularly, because of the hot weather.

Weird enough, in Bulgaria many people think exactly the opposite. That we are amateurs in corruption, compared to the west. There's a saying that the difference between Bulgaria and the west as far as corruption goes is that although the Bulgarian government steals much less, they don't know how to do it, nor how to hide what they are doing. :)
mafketis 16 | 4,655    
9 Dec 2016  #128

How Poland is divided? Ideologically? Politically?

Poland is divided in several ways that intersect each other. These include geography (west vs east - the vistula/wisła river is a rough dividing line), politics (winners vs losers in the post-communist system) and generations (old vs young). It's a bit more complicated (it always is) but those are the big divisions. There are also regional distinctions that come from the partitions (basically the parts that were more German(ic) are better off than the parts that were under Russian rule because Russian rule at all times and in all places is terrible).

West vs East (aka Poland A vs Poland B): This is a bit like the North/South divide in Itay or the South/North divide in England. The west is richer, more productive economically and has more of a functioning civil society. The east is poorer and more mired in eastern (Russian) ways of doing things.

Winners and Losers after communism: Many who failed to prosper after the end of communism are bitter and want revenge against those who have done better. The more radical want to rebuild communist-era-style institutions (without communism per se).

Old vs Young: While Polish people are not nearly as socially liberal as their western peers, they generally have litle tolerance for living in the past and they are bored with the endless wars rooted in the communist period. Their main concern is finding a job that will pay them enough to live on and not increasing social safety nets for economically unproductive older people. The oler generation, sensibly from their point of view, votes for more of a safety net for the old and against most types of change, even those that are needed.

I don't personaly know a single Bulgarian person who is welcoming towards the illegal migrants from Africa and Central Asia.

This is true in Poland as well. I work around people who are some of the most tolerant towards other cultures you can imagine and not a single one supported Merkel's madness or the plan to accept her surplus. The only acceptance of the idea of settling the Merkel youth in Poland I've come across is from Brits on this forum who like the idea of weakening social cohesion because they dislike most features of traditional Polish culture.
Teres - | 3    
11 Dec 2016  #129

I understand. That's a bad trait most of us, the people. We are so passionate to seek for the differences that at the end we are blind for the similarities. With this sentence I think now I sound like an LGBT activist. :)

For second time you did mention Brits as far as this forum goes, and the Polish culture being disliked in...Polish forum. Can you throw some light on this?

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