I am Irish and I live in Poland.
Irish and the Polish use a lot of the same ingredients for cooking (potatoes, cabbage, beef, etc.),
Polish food can be much heavier, I believe due to the minus 15 degree winters in Poland, Ireland has a much more temperate climate. And it's hard to get a good beef steak here.
Although our love of potatoes is a commonality.
Anyways-- I was wondering what things in both cultures are really similar? These could be proverbs, jokes, drinking toasts, slang words etc.
Although our cultures have been separate due to history and geography until very recently I do find some commonalities with the two cultures.1. Bad history and what I think that means:
Ireland and Poland have both been directly or indirectly occupied by foreign invaders.
Communism can easily be interpreted as an occupying force and before that there was the patrician of Poland ruled by Russia, Germany and Austria.
All of Ireland was part of the British empire until 1920 and now 6 counties remain part of the United Kingdom.
What does this mean? In my honest opinion this separates us, Poles and Irish from other European countries like Germany, Britain and France because we have an "Us and them" mentality when it comes to laws, authority and rules. I could almost say a lack of respect for the authorities due to them having historically been working on behalf of a foreign force. Whereas I can't help but notice that in Germany, England and other European countries the mentality is to better their country for the people, I have met Danish people bragging about how much tax they pay for example and you would not get that in Ireland or Poland.
Also we were both poor countries, I can honestly say Ireland was much poorer than Poland during communist Poland. With poverty comes hard work and ingenuity. My how time changes things...2. Catholicism:
Both are very Catholic countries, both had the invading forces try to subdue this religion and therefore reinforced it in the people, making it part of their very essence in a passive resistance sort of way.
The more it was outlawed the more people became Catholic.
But it doesn't just stop there,
With Catholicism comes guilt, sexual repression and ceremony this leads to a similar mentality and sense of humour. I have talked at length with people from other European countries about abortion, marriage and the stigmas attached to many things that I find comes from Catholicism, they often find Ireland backwards.3. Alcohol
We bring the whiskey and Poland brings the wodka and you know you're sitting at the right table :)