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Visiting Poland - A bit worried about social attitudes and racist inclinations..


hot_coffee
28 Jan 2011 #1
I am thinking about visiting Warsaw (on holiday) as I have heard it's got some lovely places, beautiful architecture, good food and drink. I am British, however racially I'm of Sri Lankan descent from a Catholic/Buddhist background. People might mistake me for Indian or Pakistani, but I've learned to live with this sort of ignorance. In my city there are plenty of migrant polish people, and most of them are seemingly quite friendly and hard working people.

However when I was with my Polish girlfriend (for a very long time now), I have had some ugly experiences where polish guys/and older polish folk have passed rude/racist comments to me and disrespectfully spoken to my girlfriend. Most of the time it was behind my back and in polish. It's a good thing I understand a bit of polish and my girlfriend interpreted everything to me. My girlfriend wasn't even part of the wave of migrant poles that came to the UK post 2004. She was a student in a highly respected British university, who came way before 2004.

I was advised by many of my polish friends and girlfriend to be careful when visiting Poland and try and avoid it if possible. I am shocked that things like this are said about a supposedly European country. I just wanted to get people's opinion on the subject before I go on holiday, because I have always fought negative stereotypes about people from accession states. But somehow I wonder if its a losing battle !!
grubas 12 | 1,391
28 Jan 2011 #2
People might mistake me for Indian or Pakistani, but I've learned to live with this sort of ignorance.

Ignorance?So what is the difference between Indian and Sri Lankan?You guys all look alike so no reason to think that you are better than Indians or Pakis.

I am shocked that things like this are said about a supposedly European country

Supposedly?IT IS A EUROPEAN country wheter you like it or not.You get it?
OP hot_coffee
28 Jan 2011 #3
What I meant is geographical and cultural ignorance... It is the same as someone referring to a Polish person as a Russian, Slovakian or a Ukranian, just because they are from the same region and look similar. I am educated enough to identify and respect the differences and similarities between these countries, but the above post proves that some people still divide the world by skin pigmentation or lack of it..

I know its a European country, and I'm very glad that it is, since I believe that the EU can benefit as a continent, by increasing inter-state trade and political ties. Take Poland as an example. In 2004, you needed 7 zloty to the pound, whereas now in 2011 it is only 4.5 zloty to the pound.

However this discussion is related to social attitudes and racial inclinations in Poland, so any educated opinions would be much appreciated..
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
28 Jan 2011 #4
Hot coffee
If you are a fake troll looking to poke a stick and see how many rascists pop out your onto a winner here.....
If your for real. Im "white" british,and I can tell you Poland is not the place of lynchings and racial assualts some paint it to be. But,on the other hand neither is it a happy smilling welcoming utopia.

Of course I havnt "walked in your shoes" as such in Poland,but I have walked alongside people in your shoes,this was back in o4 ish sotake what you will from that. The thing was the girl did recieve a LOT of stares but the simple fact was,look around,she was the only person in a headscarf that wasnt an old peasant woman :)

Id say its on the whole a less PC place,but as you will know from being a brit PC doesnt mean all the muppets have gone,it just means they dont say things openly anymore.

Add to that of course is the international male attitude diplayed by a proportion of every nations males of " your with one of OUR women".....you must have faced that in the UK? Must be awfull but Im betting you dont let it run your life.

In short I say go to Poland,expand your horizons but maybe treat nights out the way you would say in one of the less enlightened/mixed areas of the UK, ie ,normal folks are normal folks everywhere,footie fans,ditto.
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
28 Jan 2011 #5
If you are a fake troll looking to poke a stick and see how many rascists pop ou

Jackpot.

The original comment was illegible, I can only assume that it meant that Sokrates wanted to express his thanks for bringing more diversity to Poland.
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
28 Jan 2011 #6
well,just in case he isnt....I wanted to remind him this is only the internet,home of the cyber brown shirt brigade :)
OP hot_coffee
28 Jan 2011 #7
Stirring up the bigots was the last thing on my mind, but I see some of them have come out of the woodwork here..
I'm not expecting flower garlands and a cocktail when I land there that's for sure.. although that'll be nice. I admit any stares or looks of bemusement I get, could be associated with the fact that majority of poles have not seen people of the coloured persuasion. A bit hard to imagine that this is still the case in the 21st century.

I do agree that PC is more like a plaster on a festered wound. Not really eradicating the root cause, but at least it keeps the gunk out.. LoL

This so called 'International male attitude' surely is still prevalent in some areas, and I've seen my fair share of it. This is further compounded by lack of education and dogmatic ignorance towards anthropological schools of thought.

I will just have to wear my passport and return air ticket on my neck, to show any potentially threatened locals that I'm only on holiday and intend to go back !! LoL

Oh BTW, I'm apparently not dark enough for Obama's brown shirt brigade, and especially not the N word !! LoL
Wroclaw Boy
28 Jan 2011 #8
Poland is a more racist country than most but you'll be fine, expect stares often, more so in smaller cities and towns.

Avoid drunken lads and stay in public areas in the evenings.

I know quite a few Asians, Africans etc that for the most part dont have many racial issues living here.

The Kurwa boy's seem to be the main problem.
grubas 12 | 1,391
28 Jan 2011 #9
What I meant is geographical and cultural ignorance...

It's naive and silly to expect people to know that you aren't Indian but Sri Lankan.What's is the difference anyway?I don't mean to be offensive but from mine and most Poles perspective it really makes no difference.Now, if you are afraid of being stared at DON'T GO.I am a white Pole and last time I visited PL a lot of people was staring at me because I was wearing sun glasses and it was winter (very nice $250 sunglasses I have to add).My point is that it has nothing to do with them being racists or not but everything with you looking different.

I was advised by many of my polish friends and girlfriend to be careful when visiting Poland and try and avoid it if possible.

With this kind of attitude (looking for racism everywhere) maybe you should not go because surely you will find some.

A bit hard to imagine that this is still the case in the 21st century.

Is it really?It more seems that your imagination is kinda limited.My Nigerian friend told that if I went with him to his town in Nigeria EVERYONE would be staring at me and even for some reason wanted to touch me because I am white.Hard to imagine?Not for me.

I will just have to wear my passport and return air ticket on my neck, to show any potentially threatened locals that I'm only on holiday and intend to go back !!

You are very silly person.If they decide to fight you it won't make any difference to them wheter you live in PL or just visiting.
jonni 16 | 2,485
28 Jan 2011 #10
You shouldn't have any problem in Warsaw or Krakow. Warsaw's the capital city and Krakow's the tourist hotspot, so the locals are used to people from all parts of the world. Poznan, Wroclaw, Gdansk and Katowice are big cities too. In smaller towns people are generally OK, but bear in mind that people there might not see even one dark-skinned person a year, so they may be curious. Avoid villages, which in Poland are very different to villages in the UK.
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
28 Jan 2011 #11
What's is the difference anyway?

About the same as you and an eskimo....in some cases,in others,absoloutly zero,many in Sri Lanka came from India to work.

A bit hard to imagine that this is still the case in the 21st century.

Not really,I used to work with a black lad in a travling nightclub show here in the UK lets just say in parts of the West country he was stared at like he'd come from Mars,and turning up at a club in west Wales his sense of humour got the better when we discovered the venue was done out like a Mississipi river boat complete with Dixie flags everywhere.....

ps,lmao,got the weekest link on in the background right now,some english flump was asked whats the capitol of Sri Lanka; Colombo or Cluesaue....guess which he said.........
joepilsudski 26 | 1,389
28 Jan 2011 #12
What I meant is geographical and cultural ignorance... It is the same as someone referring to a Polish person as a Russian, Slovakian or a Ukranian, just because they are from the same region and look similar. I am educated enough to identify and respect the differences and similarities between these countries, but the above post proves that some people still divide the world by skin pigmentation or lack of it..

I am amazed that some people let fear dictate...I am Polish-American: If I went to Sri Lanka, wouldn't I stand out?...Don't be a scaredy cat...If you are educated and 'civilized', you have no problem...BTW, how are the Tamil Tigers doing?
wildrover 98 | 4,451
28 Jan 2011 #13
I am British, however racially I'm of Sri Lankan descent

We had a girl from Siri Lanka at our last Polish bike club party , she had a great time , and nobody said a wrong word to her...

It may be because bikers are a bit more tolerent than others...or simply that insulting one of our guests would not be a healthy thing to do...

I imagine you will get stared at quite a lot , especially in the villages , but i don,t know if you would experiance any hostility....
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
28 Jan 2011 #14
BTW, how are the Tamil Tigers doing?

Joe,considering he describes himself as British of SRI LANKAN descent and does not particularly apreciate being mistaken for an Indian (Tamils are of Indian descent in Sri Lanka,and 88% Hindu.) what do you hope to get from this question?

BTW Joe,hows Usama Bin Linner doing?
jonni 16 | 2,485
28 Jan 2011 #15
I am Polish-American: If I went to Sri Lanka, wouldn't I stand out?...

Not as much as a Sri Lankan would in small town Poland. Sri Lankans are much more used to foreign residents and tourists. But in central Warsaw, nobody really stands out nuch nowadays - it's a cosmopolitan city.
jarnowa 4 | 499
28 Jan 2011 #16
Hello hot_coffee,

You don't know why they insulted you. Was it because of your race, or (much more likely) because you walked with a European girl as a non-European guy?

Maybe you can understand that not every European guy likes immigrants from Asia or Africa who date European women?

Imagine that you were still living in Sri Lanka and you were looking for your dream girl without any luck. In the local clubs you see Polish guys getting lucky with attractive girls everytime.

How would you feel after a while?

Would you still welcome Polish guys to your country? Or would you dislike them more and more and blame them (rightly) for stealing Sri Lankan girls and wishing that they all would go back to Poland?

So my message to you is: don't use the word racism too soon. it's not about your skin, it's just guys who don't like extra competition, knowing that many girls have a bad taste in men.
Marcus911 3 | 102
28 Jan 2011 #17
We had a girl from Siri Lanka at our last Polish bike club party , she had a great time , and nobody said a wrong word to her.

I can't imagine Indian, Srilankan African women having many problems in Poland, Polish men do not discriminate against women because you can shag them, it's the men that seem to get the problems.

Seems to be a huge difference in attitude when a White man is with a Coloured woman V's a Coloured Man with White Girl.

Happens here in Ireland too.
NomadatNet 1 | 457
28 Jan 2011 #18
when a White man is with a Coloured woman

The only white man I know of is Pope, but, he is not interested in being with women though he advices other men to be with women.

There are green men (imams) here who advice us to be with one woman while themselves be with many women.

(I may enter textile business field as it seems there is much money in this field.)
OP hot_coffee
28 Jan 2011 #19
The Kurwa boy's seem to be the main problem.

That sounds like an interesting societal segmentation right there. Last I heard that was a swear word. LoL. But I will definitely watch out for them.

It's naive and silly to expect people to know that you aren't Indian but Sri Lankan.What's is the difference anyway?I don't mean to be offensive but from mine and most Poles perspective it really makes no difference

This proves my point. It is un-educated views like this which spiral into racism. Darn shame grubas, Darn shame....

Warsaw's the capital city and Krakow's the tourist hotspot, so the locals are used to people from all parts of the world

Oh that's good news. I was thinking about spending a day or two there as well. I was going to visit some of the lovely castles and churches there. And on a more sedate note, Auschwitz as well..

ps,lmao,got the weekest link on in the background right now,some english flump was asked whats the capitol of Sri Lanka; Colombo or Cluesaue....guess which he said.........

Classic !!! Why am I not surprised.LoL

I am Polish-American: If I went to Sri Lanka, wouldn't I stand out?...Don't be a scaredy cat...If you are educated and 'civilized', you have no problem...BTW, how are the Tamil Tigers doing?

I disagree. If you went to Sri Lanka you will feel more at home than anywhere else. On the occasions I have visited with my white friends the locals loved them and always went that extra mile to please them. Sri Lanka has always been multicultural after the British, Dutch and Portuguese invasions in the past and if you are a tourist there, you will never feel threatened..I guarantee you.

Interesting you should ask about the Tamil Tigers. If you are asking about the tigers themselves then I don't really know because they are a banned terrorist organisation in most countries and they were defeated recently. If you are asking about the Tamil people then I'm happy to say that they are doing just fine and developing as an integral part of Sri Lankan society after a 25 year long useless and destructive civil war. Not really sure what you meant by the question.

But in central Warsaw, nobody really stands out nuch nowadays - it's a cosmopolitan city.

This was my guess as well. Given the amount of international investment there from foreign organisations the city is bound to be ethnically diverse.

You don't know why they insulted you. Was it because of your race, or (much more likely) because you walked with a European girl as a non-European guy?

Maybe a bit of both. And BTW being racially non-Caucasian does not make me a non-European guy. I've never considered myself to be anything less. I have been to most Western Europe and Scandinavian countries with white/black girls and I have never been insulted or treated differently.

it's not about your skin, it's just guys who don't like extra competition, knowing that many girls have a bad taste in men.

So are you implying that any white girl who likes a non-white guy has bad taste in men?? I hope not..LoL. That would be pretty pathetic..

I can't imagine Indian, Srilankan African women having many problems in Poland, Polish men do not discriminate against women because you can shag them, it's the men that seem to get the problems.
Seems to be a huge difference in attitude when a White man is with a Coloured woman V's a Coloured Man with White Girl.

I completely agree with you here.. Some of the white guys make a special effort to be with coloured women and find it very exotic. If it happens the other way around, they make it sound like blasphemy.. As a Londoner I was born colour-blind.. Thank god for that !!!
grubas 12 | 1,391
28 Jan 2011 #20
This proves my point. It is un-educated views like this which spiral into racism. Darn shame grubas, Darn shame....

You make no sense now since you are same color as Indians.Why do you think you are better than them?Don't get me wrong Tiger,as much as I don't want milions of Indians,Pakistanis,blacks or Sri Lankans for that matter to live in PL I don't despise anybody personally because of his/her country of origin.Acctually, it happend that some Indian helped me at some point of my life and did not want to take any money for the favor.I also had contact with some Sri Lankans and they were ok though very cheap.So enlighen me what makes Sri Lankans better than Indians?
hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
28 Jan 2011 #21
If you are asking about the Tamil people then I'm happy to say that they are doing just fine and developing as an integral part of Sri Lankan society after a 25 year long useless and destructive civil war. Not really sure what you meant by the question.

Funny cos last time I heard something on the topic was they were discriminated against by the government and all treated like terrorists, that is why we have a few boatloads of them coming over to Australia, and unfortunately sometimes drowning at sea.
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
29 Jan 2011 #22
because you walked with a European girl as a non-European guy?

He's BRITISH you fekwit......been in the EU a lot longer than you mate :)

Funny cos last time I heard something on the topic was they were discriminated against by the government and all treated like terrorists, that is why we have a few boatloads of them coming over to Australia, and unfortunately sometimes drowning at sea.

Being someone unlikely to raise alarm bells online in some spook station...Its not a good idea for someone with family to talk politics on an open forum. Thats why I asked Joe what was the point to his question. was he hoping for some pro or anti government/tamil seperatist tirade from Coffee?

He came asking about Poland,not to discuss a nasty war thats been raging for decades thousands of miles from his Home .....
Mr Grunwald 19 | 1,542
29 Jan 2011 #23
Poland is a more racist country than most but you'll be fine, expect stares often, more so in smaller cities and towns.

That's just becaouse one is allowed to speak in Poland while in other European countries people are afraid to speak up becaouse they will be socially "un-accepted" as the official "policy" is not to be a rascist becaouse of what had happaned in ww2. Europeans what to make a distance with anything with Nazi's maybe becaouse of a certain guilt too idk. Becaouse Isreali's don't seem to "lie" or hide it, neither do Poles. As the Nazi's saw them as enemies to be extinct and can't possibly imagine that they would be linked with Nazi's as they wanted to exterminate them. That would explain "Nazi" behavior of some Polish natonalists as they feel kinda like "The victims" so per say they can't be Nazi's. It is an paradox which I hope will get solved one day

But I must clearify that the attitude you may meet (if you will ever meet it! Poles have a huge "prestige"/"pride" in hospitality, if a Pole offends you in your own home or his own without any reason then he probably isn't a Pole or has had a very bad childhood without proper upbringing) will be more of an attitude it's not that they "don't like you" becaouse of your belonging to a specific "race" "nationality" "religion" or what ever. It's more of your not belonging to the right one. European or Catholic or if we are going into some rascist fantasies "white". It's not more of what YOU are per say, but more of what you isn't. Foreigners will experience hospitality, but they will never feel that their fully accepted until they accept themselves as Polish. That's one of the main reason I think that so many Lithuanians spoke/speak Polish and that Belarus&Ukraine&Lithuania was influenced by Poland in the past. Also those that settled in Poland like: Muslim Tatars, protestant&catholic Germans, Italians, Jews etc... There are many Poles that have different heritage I am an good example of that! Poland was allways a huge meltingpot. Even today when Poland has 98% Poles, it still full of diversity! It will take a long time for it to be fully Polish by blood (not that I care about that, not an Nationalist) But the thing is, the spirit of Polishness is very VERY strong.
BBman - | 344
29 Jan 2011 #24
I have had some ugly experiences where polish guys/and older polish folk have passed rude/racist comments to me and disrespectfully spoken to my girlfriend.

It's a little taboo or at least frowned upon for Poles to date non-white people. Many people in Poland are still a bit racist and third world immigrants are thought to be lesser people.

I was advised by many of my polish friends and girlfriend to be careful when visiting Poland and try and avoid it if possible.

Rubbish. You'll be fine in Poland, just expect people looking at you (especially if you are with a Polish girlfriend) and maybe, maybe some comments. Stay in public, well lit areas at night - you may be a target for drunk idiots/hooligans.

I am shocked that things like this are said about a supposedly European country.

Well Poles are fully aware of the effects of third world immigration.

That's just becaouse one is allowed to speak in Poland while in other European countries people are afraid to speak up becaouse they will be socially "un-accepted" as the official "policy" is not to be a rascist becaouse of what had happaned in ww2.

Many western countries are far too PC. Whites have to be careful what they say because they can easily be accused of racism - not the case for non-whites. "Sins of the father."
OP hot_coffee
29 Jan 2011 #25
This seems to have escalated to a full blown argument about immigration and national pride.
Just remember that Poles, British, Sri Lankans, and many other nations fought like brothers in arms against tyranny during the WW2.

So what now we have a pissing contest who was longer in the EU?Besides Brits are not even Europeans.And before you say something about PL in the EU keep in mind that if it was up to me PL would leave EU tomorrow.

These really are lame comments and not worthy of a response. I wish the world was as uncomplicated as you make it seem here...

Its people like you that me sick -they don't want to be guests or become nationals in a country they want to be the king and take over -if your not made to feel welcome in Poland then stiff **** in my book.

Mate, I don't know what's your beef is here, but I'm neither trying to be king nor take over anything. I'm merely trying to expand my horizon and visit a country with a lot of history, heritage and architectural beauty. I believe I deserve that right as a citizen of the world..
enkidu 7 | 623
29 Jan 2011 #26
This seems to have escalated to a full blown argument about immigration and national pride.
Just remember that Poles, British, Sri Lankans, and many other nations fought like brothers in arms against tyranny during the WW2.

Yep. And many Poles have fought on the "dark side" as well.

Seriously - don't go to Poland. These ignorant people would call you an Indian and question your ethnicity all the time.
rybnik 18 | 1,462
29 Jan 2011 #27
1) poland has just recently (approx 20 years) been exposed to the people of the world
2) Poles by nature are xenophobic
3) in spite of the above, the vast majority will accept all kinds of color combinations.

I, for one, am very proud of my people and I feel this discrimination moniker is unfair.
Mr Grunwald 19 | 1,542
29 Jan 2011 #28
That's the problem, most "Westernees" and their "listeners" don't think those two can be at the same place!
jonni 16 | 2,485
29 Jan 2011 #29
1) poland has just recently (approx 20 years) been exposed to the people of the world

What? There have always been foreigners there - even during the PRL, Warsaw was still the capital, with foreign businesspeople, diplomats and students. And more long-term foreign residents than you'd think.

2) Poles by nature are xenophobic

Only the riff-raff.

3) in spite of the above, the vast majority will accept all kinds of color combinations.

This part is true.
jarnowa 4 | 499
29 Jan 2011 #30
Maybe a bit of both. And BTW being racially non-Caucasian does not make me a non-European guy. I've never considered myself to be anything less. I have been to most Western Europe and Scandinavian countries with white/black girls and I have never been insulted or treated differently.

Except maybe for some coloured folks in Portugal or Malta, Europeans can be described as Caucasian. Someone born from Sri Lankan parents will never be native European. Being south Asian of course doesn't make you a worse person.

So are you implying that any white girl who likes a non-white guy has bad taste in men?? I hope not..LoL. That would be pretty pathetic..

No, not every coloured male is ugly of course.

I tried to say this: extra competition from non-Caucasian guys is a serious threat for Caucasian guys because it's not just the few handsome brownies that get lucky with hot Caucasian women, but also many ugly ones.

Just look around in multicultural countries. You don't see many ugly white guys walking with beautiful white women (unless the guy is a 50 years older millionaire), but you see way too many beautiful white women with ugly coloured males. So apparently there's a group of white women with a very bad taste because they feel more attracted to ugly looking coloured males than to average looking white guys. And this of course angers some white guys (it should anger all single white guys, but many are still brainwashed to think that it's allright that coloured invaders date their women).

Unfortunately you didn't react to my question whether you understand the guys that dislike you immediately when they see you walking with a Caucasian woman?


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