The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
 
 
User: Guest

Home / UK, Ireland  % width posts: 46

Polish community in the UK: are you happy?


butlera 1 | 1
11 Jul 2015  #1
I am completing my MA dissertation about the positive role of the Polish community in the UK. As part of my work, I wonder if you would be happy to answer a few questions. You can post on here or PM me. You can answer just 'yes' or 'no' or you can give a more detailed response. Any responses would be very much appreciated and I hope that the research I am completing will help to make life in the UK easier for the Polish community.

1. Are you happy with your life in the UK?
2. Since being in the UK have you experienced racism/stigma/hate crime because of your nationality?
3. Do you regularly meet, socialise or communicate with other Poles? Why or why not?
4. Do you regularly meet, socialise or communicate with non-Polish people? If so, what nationality are they? If not, why not?
5. Do you feel that you belong and are made welcome in this country?
Nathans
11 Jul 2015  #2
1. Usually not very happy, but content there are more professional and social opportunities in Poland (which still is the final destination after professional work in the UK is completed).

2. No race/hate crime, but sporadic strange looks or interest (especially when spoken in Polish in non-Polish neighbourhood).

3. Yes; we Poles tend to live near Polish communities (even though we are not very close to each other, unless it's a family gathering or party). The meetings aren't very regular though because after hard work there's less time for pleasure. Some of us work 7 days a week to have more time to go to Poland for a week or so instead having weekends off.

4. Not regular; some of them are friends of friends though. Poles tend to get along with other Slavic nations (language barrier is less than with other nations + we like similar food and shop in same stores).

5. Hard to say; sometimes it feels that some English people are a little hostile towards us (not only Poles but immigrants in general). It feels 'more' when we are up-to-date with the media which often show Poles and other nations in a bad light. But when it comes to local people who already know us, they are most of the times friendly and accommodative and it feels they welcome us as much as we welcome them. There's too much misinformation / negative news in the media about Poles to the point that quite often local people tell us that 'what they say on TV about us is not very accurate, you are so nice, helpful, and hardworking. I need to stop watching TV.'
NocyMrok
11 Jul 2015  #3
In UK since 2006.

1. Mildly unhappy.
2. Of course,
3. Of course. They're my friends, we share same culture and are together "in this".
4. Of course. Mostly English and Scotish. They're my friends and i think that those years i've spent here made me probably absorb some of English traits and behaviour removing cultural obstacles between us. (if there were any)

5. Definitely feel being welcomed but on the other hand I do not belong here. I'm Polish and this isn't Poland. I have adapted well to the English way of life but i will never call this place "home", never forget Polish language and never gain British accent. If i happen to still be here 20 years from now I'll certainly keep rolling those "R's".
Wulkan - | 3,255
11 Jul 2015  #4
1. Are you happy with your life in the UK?

Yes

2. Since being in the UK have you experienced racism/stigma/hate crime because of your nationality?

I can think of 3 times when someone was talking some racial slur but they were drunk in every case.

3. Do you regularly meet, socialise or communicate with other Poles? Why or why not?

Not so much lately. I don't have any Polish friends at work at the moment and I don't have any Polish person living with me either.

4. Do you regularly meet, socialise or communicate with non-Polish people? If so, what nationality are they?

Almost exclusively, and the nationalities are: English, Welsh, Czech, German, Indian, Zimbabwean.

5. Do you feel that you belong and are made welcome in this country?

Yep, sound as a pound.
tictactoe
11 Jul 2015  #5
Usually not very happy, mildly unhappy.

Why would ANYONE live in ANY country you were feeling even the slightest bit unhappy in ?.

Work or no work, I would never live in a foreign country where I felt unhappy or the slightest bit uneasy. I don't understand why you would do it.
Wulkan - | 3,255
11 Jul 2015  #6
Why would ANYONE live in ANY country you were feeling even the slightest bit unhappy in ?.

Are you asking this question to yourself?
tictactoe
11 Jul 2015  #7
No, the two poster's above you have stated that they are unhappy in the UK.

I am not asking any questions but stating the fact that " why would anyone live anywhere they are not happy " life is very short to live that way. If I were not 100% happy with my location outside of my home land, I would not live there.
Wulkan - | 3,255
11 Jul 2015  #8
No, the two poster's above you have stated that they are unhappy in the UK.

You didn't put this as quote so I thought you was talking about yourself. It is strange they live in the UK if they're unhappy over there.
Krzechu
11 Jul 2015  #9
1. Are you happy with your life in the UK?
Yep! I badly wanted a multi-culti society and I've a nice life in London

2. Since being in the UK have you experienced racism/stigma/hate crime because of your nationality?
Nothing particular. I hang out with educated people from everywhere and hardly we crossed the wrong guy

3. Do you regularly meet, socialise or communicate with other Poles? Why or why not?
Initially I tried to avoid poles to force a quicker integration into the society, then I'd some experience with good of poles but where bad, for the most uneducated labours that were racists toward non-whites, and frankly I totally dislike that behavior.

4. Do you regularly meet, socialise or communicate with non-Polish people? If so, what nationality are they? If not, why not?
Yes of course! My friends group is actually a melting pot with italians, brits, spaniards, jamaicans, indians, pakistanis, ...

5. Do you feel that you belong and are made welcome in this country?
Yes, absolutely! But I also know that London is kinda another country if compared to the rest of UK
NocyMrok
12 Jul 2015  #10
Why would ANYONE live in ANY country you were feeling even the slightest bit unhappy in

Well I wasn't clear with that statement. I'm not unhappy because of living in the UK. It's just i'm disconnected from my family and sometimes i get those days when i simply miss Poland. It's not because I'm here but because I'm not there. :D
Wulkan - | 3,255
12 Jul 2015  #11
It's just i'm disconnected from my family and sometimes i get those days when i simply miss Poland. It's not because I'm here but because I'm not there.

How many years one can suffer from a home sick?
Wroclaw Boy
12 Jul 2015  #12
If I were not 100% happy with my location outside of my home land, I would not live there.

You're missing the main point though, which is Polish people are not here for the weather, its money. If you had no money, you may consider relocating to a place where you could have some and sacrifice the happiness a little.

I was in a Polish shop yesterday. There were two young Polish lads (probably early 20's) in the cue ahead of me, their phone rang and they pulled out one of the old Nokia phones and boy was it well used. The Polish girl serving me from behind the counter was also vey poor, this one was just off the plane i would say and probably working for less than minimum wage. This is the reality of why they came here. I practically felt guilty for having a Mercedes parked outside, nice phone in my pocket and being able to afford what i want.

Gotta love capitalism.
Dougpol1 27 | 2,675
12 Jul 2015  #13
I practically felt guilty for having a Mercedes parked outside, nice phone in my pocket and being able to afford what i want.

Gotta love capitalism.

What has capitalism got to do with it Wroc? Katowice in the 1990s had more Mercedes cars per square mile than I have ever seen anywhere else.

It still hasn't got capitalism though :)
Plenty of Poles are building their future right here at home, and are far richer than myself, though they prefer to drink Tyskie and eat perogi, and I prefer craft beers and steak. Horses for courses, and I am looking forward to Poland's immigrant population building the economy as Eastern Europeans have Britains.'
Wroclaw Boy
12 Jul 2015  #14
I didn't miss the UK at all when I lived in Poland, i had absolutely no intention of going back to the UK. Now that i am back here i have absolutely no intention of going back to Poland, although i haven't written off the idea of retiring over there, or maybe having some kind of holiday home in a secluded area.

The Poles who try to act English annoy me quite a bit, especially when they try and talk with an English accent.

What has capitalism got to do with it Wroc?

I was being sarcastic in the sense of glaring social inequality. It has everything to do with everything anyway as its the social system that governs virtually the entire planet.

Katowice in the 1990s had more Mercedes cars per square mile than I have ever seen anywhere else.

Did they have a Mercedes plant there?
tictactoe
12 Jul 2015  #15
Hmmmm but they are all skint together.

If I went to work in America or Australia only for money, but missed my English community and my family, I would have to weigh up which of the two were more important to me.

Money isn't everything and if I were unhappy I wouldn't be there.
jon357 64 | 14,382
12 Jul 2015  #16
If I went to work in America or Australia only for money, but missed my English community and my family, I would have to weigh up which of the two were more important to me.

I think that's the dilemma they have. Also remember that some of the Poles who came to the UK are sophisticated urbanites; but most are not - this creates the kind of expat bubble that can happen wherever people feel they must retreat into their comfort zone.

Money isn't everything and if I were unhappy I wouldn't be there.

Many come from rural places places where they really did have nothing, no future, a crap present and a quid in their pocket.
Wulkan - | 3,255
12 Jul 2015  #17
You're missing the main point though, which is Polish people are not here for the weather, its money.

Surely more money than you ever had like it is in my case, even imaginary 27 bedroom castle can't earn you that much.

If you had no money, you may consider relocating to a place where you could have some and sacrifice the happiness a little.

So far half of the Poles here stated this to be their case, let's wait for more Poles to describe their situation.

There were two young Polish lads (probably early 20's) in the cue ahead of me, their phone rang and they pulled out one of the old Nokia phones and boy was it well used.

Even if you work for a minimum wage in England you can afford a contract for a brand new iPhone 6, what ever was the reason he had old nokia it wasn't the money, I always have 2 phones on me. one is my personal and the other company's one is guess what, also not so new nokia.

The Polish girl serving me from behind the counter was also vey poor

I struggle to imagine how can a woman from behind the counter look poor, was she missing clothes? or the front teeth?

I practically felt guilty for having a Mercedes parked outside, nice phone in my pocket and being able to afford what i want.

You are nowhere near able to afford what I can.

The Poles who try to act English annoy me quite a bit

The monolingual English who can't spell their own language annoy me, how can someone who speaks English and only English for 40 years not know that there is a "queue" in the shop, "cue" is a stick used to play pool.

especially when they try and talk with an English accent.

Or maybe they try to speak the best English they can?
Wroclaw Boy
12 Jul 2015  #18
Even if you work for a minimum wage in England you can afford a contract for a brand new iPhone 6

edited.. , obviously you maybe able to afford it but I'm thinking Poles who have sacrificed for years and been exposed to poverty from birth may have higher priorities with their limited finances.

I don't really understand why you attack constantly, I'm not even having a pop at Poles, I'm just telling it as it is. Most of the Poles in the UK are from small towns who had very limited options in Poland, same as you most probably.

You are nowhere near able to afford what I can.

Anybody who feels the need to brag about their income as much has you do is definitely full of sh1te. But even if you're not, good for you. Again I really don't understand why you feel the need to mention it so often. Actually i do, you think it makes people envious, you also think it justifies your stance as an immigrant in the UK. Theres really no need for that.
Wulkan - | 3,255
12 Jul 2015  #19
obviously you maybe able to afford it but I'm thinking Poles who have sacrificed for years and been exposed to poverty from birth may have higher priorities with their limited finances.

You are very wrong, everybody in England can afford it, even those with the minimum wage regardless of what was their material status back in Poland.

Anybody who feels the need to brag about their income as much has you do is definitely full of sh1te.

It's you who brags about Mercedes and a nice phone in your pocket not to mention a castle with 27 bedrooms.

I'm just telling it as it is.

Nope, you just make the things up to show Polish migrants as a poor losers because that simply suits your small ego.

Nathans, NocyMrok, Krzechu or any other Pole living in the UK, can any of you let us know if you can't afford the latest iPhone?

Posts like these are not helping the OP
OP butlera 1 | 1
13 Jul 2015  #20
Thanks for your responses so far and it's interesting to hear your thoughts and ideas. Please keep them coming and thank you again for your help!
NocyMrok
13 Jul 2015  #21
Nathans, NocyMrok, Krzechu or any other Pole living in the UK, can any of you let us know if you can't afford the latest iPhone?

Yes but why do You mention this? Ididn't come here to get an overpraised mobile.
To answer to Your previous question about being homesick. Well... I believe one can be homesick the entire life. It depends of how much one consider him/herself connected to a motherland and how much of patriotic that person is. Reading through your posts i made up an opinion about you in that matter and believe You're like a recent generation of Poles. No feelings to the country basically and not really caring.
Wroclaw Boy
13 Jul 2015  #22
Nope, you just make the things up to show Polish migrants as a poor losers because that simply suits your small ego.

actually and for the most part i feel a deep sense of grievance for them, i sometimes use the Polish immigrant example to highlight flaws with global capitalism. I find it absolutely disgusting that Poles have had to leave Poland by the million just to try and set up a future in the financial sense. You should be aware of that by now, I've been saying the same thing for long enough.

not to mention a castle with 27 bedrooms.

Don't mention it then. But seeing as you did, i explained previously that one of the reasons i went to Poland was to buy a historic mansion house and grounds. I don't really care if you believe it or not. I know this is how your mind works, you see everything as competition......in a financial sense.

Ididn't come here to get an overpraised mobile.

hah right on. Wulkan obviously doesn't get it.
tictactoe
13 Jul 2015  #23
Have any of you gained or applied for British citizenship ? .
Wulkan - | 3,255
14 Jul 2015  #24
I made up an opinion about you in that matter and believe You're like a recent generation of Poles. No feelings to the country basically and not really caring.

You actually made up a bit wrong opinion

Wulkan obviously doesn't get it.

Nope, it's you who doesn't get that the Polish guy with the old nokia that you saw in the Polish shop didn't come to the UK to get overpriced mobile rather than he can't afford it.
Wroclaw Boy
14 Jul 2015  #25
Nope, it's you who doesn't get that the Polish guy with the old nokia

How do you know? i mean you did write this:

4. Do you regularly meet, socialise or communicate with non-Polish people? If so, what nationality are they?

Almost exclusively, and the nationalities are: English, Welsh, Czech, German, Indian, Zimbabwean.

I meet and speak with Polish people regularly.

In a few years the Polish guys in the shop may well be able to afford a nice phone but for now they have higher priorities. I could tell from what they were wearing, what they were buying, how they acted and the area that they walked from that they haven't been in the UK very long and they dont have much money.

The girl from behind the counter was poor, i could tell from what she was wearing, she didn't speak much English and her mannerisms changed when she realised i was English. This shop also is also notorious for employing Poles new into the country, they usually don't last long at this particular business. Nobody works in a shop like that if they have better options.

These are all basic observations Wulkan, which if you had a brain you may be able to manifest too.

Also note:before you get your knickers in a twist again, that im not criticising Poles here, merely pointing out the harsh realities for many who come to live and work in the UK.
NocyMrok
15 Jul 2015  #26
You actually made up a bit wrong opinion

A bit is close enough to me.

I'll try with another guess. You're way below 25 and you didn't get here on your own but morelikely your parents brought you to the UK.
RubasznyRumcajs 5 | 459
15 Jul 2015  #27
I am completing my MA dissertation about the positive role of the Polish community in the UK.

Well... I'm, in general, happy. Although, to be honest, without explaining one's definition of happiness it's really hard to say anything. But yeah, I've got most of the things I wish to have, I'm still better off than most humanity ever was.

2. Since being in the UK have you experienced racism/stigma/hate crime because of your nationality?

Well... Once (and only once) I have been told (directly in face) that I came here to steal jobs and that Polish food is crap. It was strange, because it took place in so called "Polish Shop" o.O

3. Do you regularly meet, socialise or communicate with other Poles? Why or why not?

I work in a food factory, on some shifts Poles account for 50% of people there, so it would be almost impossible not to communicate/meet/socialize with them. After work, however, I hardly see much point. Most people my age are either married, or works 12 hours shifts so there is little time (not to mention that I am not a very sociable person ;)).

4. Do you regularly meet, socialise or communicate with non-Polish people? If so, what nationality are they? If not, why not?

Currently I live with a naturalized Ukrainian-born British citizen, a Bulgarian one and a (lovely) Scottish chick.
But as I've stated- I'm not really sociable person, I'm fine in my own company. However, to be honest, I sometimes do go out with workmates for a pint or two- than I don't care about their nationality.

5. Do you feel that you belong and are made welcome in this country?

Yes, usually- yes.
I sometimes feel a bit awkward when someone asks me "Are you going home for holidays?". WTF, if man chooses to live in a country for over a decade, it becomes his home. Also, some people (not too many) clearly have some problems with immigrants (truth to be said- some of those problems are valid, others are just whinging).

But yeah, I do consider Britain (or to be more specific: The North) to be my (new) home (that, altogether with higher-than-my-polish-workmates knowledge of local customs and history, and altogether with the fact that I've took the oath to the Queenie means that for many I'm not a "true Pole" anymore, some idiots even used term Volksdeutsche /Folkenglish ;)?/)

Have any of you gained or applied for British citizenship ? .

yes, I did. Couple of years ago.
I've passed test (really easy... and out-of-date /it wasn't updated with data from the last census yet/), filled all documents, provided HO with all data and information it needed (damn... I've even took detailed bank account history /with all transaction, going back over 6 years, on it/ got it stamped and dated by bank and I've sent it to HO), took the Oath and got papers. With me there was 4 people (two arabic-speaking guys, one gurkha and one indian woman).

If anything will go as I've planned, I'll apply to join TA soon (I wish to be a local pig in dpm, also known as RMP- but even normal infantryman would be fine)
tictactoe
15 Jul 2015  #28
My friend who is half Ukraine half English tried to join the TA and was denied. They said his heritage was a problem and unfortunately failed the security measures.
jon357 64 | 14,382
15 Jul 2015  #29
Was that in the Cold War and are you sure there weren't other reasons?
mrtumble
15 Jul 2015  #30
" They said his heritage was a problem and unfortunately failed the security measures."

well I daresay there was a reason for that.
My cousin went to join the Royal Navy back in the early 80s and had his heritage (mother from Dublin) v thoroughly checked before they admitted him. so what?


Home / UK, Ireland / Polish community in the UK: are you happy?
BoldItalic [quote]
 
To post as Guest, enter a temporary username or login and post as a member.