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Who is better informed, the expat or the Polonia crowd?


sobieski 107 | 2,128
30 Aug 2012  #1
Who knows better how Poland ticks...the Polonia crowd living in Chicago and coming over once a year (if ever) to Poland...or the expat/foreigner who lives here year in/year out, works here, has his/her Polish friends, pays taxes...?
pawian 159 | 9,509
30 Aug 2012  #2
Hard to say. I am neither so I can`t take part in the discussion. It is Chicago Poles vs Poland-located expats` problem.
WielkiPolak 58 | 1,034
30 Aug 2012  #3
Who knows better how Poland ticks...the Polonia crowd living in Chicago and coming over once a year (if ever) to Poland...or the expat/foreigner who lives here year in/year out, works here, has his/her Polish friends, pays taxes

It's a biased question with an obviously implied answer. The expats might know know what the living conditions are like currently in Poland but that does not mean they know more about Poland, let alone care more about it. If somebody lived in Poland for many years [say 30 or 40] and then moves and only goes back once a year for the following few years, then what? They stop being Polish? Do they really?
teflcat 5 | 1,032
2 Sep 2012  #4
They stop being Polish? Do they really?

The OP did not imply this at all.
Look at the crap we're getting from Polonius, Kondzior, Szlachcic, Goofy, Legend, etc. today and tell me they know what life in Poland is really like.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,626
2 Sep 2012  #5
Look at the crap we're getting from Polonius, Kondzior, Szlachcic, Goofy, Legend, etc. today and tell me they know what life in Poland is really like.

Not one of them actually lives in Poland.

Says it all, if you ask me.
jon357 63 | 14,122
2 Sep 2012  #6
And some of them (Polonius3 springs to mind) have never even been here except for one brief holiday years ago. I suspect some have never been here at all. Which accounts for some of the bizarre distorted ideas they spew out here.
kondzior 8 | 946
2 Sep 2012  #7
Why I am on that list? I double-dare one of the mods to check my IP.
wednesday 1 | 9
2 Sep 2012  #8
It has to be the expats living in Poland. Poland is a really hard place to live, and unless you are here 24/7 for at least a year... you wouldn't realise that. It is very easy to love Poland through rose tinted glasses.... but try living here! That's when the reality hits.
NorthMancPolak 4 | 648
2 Sep 2012  #9
WP misses the point - "who is more Polish?" is not the same as "who knows the most about life in Poland?". My mum only lived there for 22 years, but is completely Polish. However, an expat knows far more about current Polish life. But these threads always have a hidden agenda. Like when P3 asks "who runs Polish media?", we all know that his hidden agenda/question is "Why does the Jew run Polish media?". This thread is clearly an attempt to encourage expat-bashing by clueless Pol-Ams and their allies. Nothing new there! :)
OP sobieski 107 | 2,128
2 Sep 2012  #10
These Polonia fellows have no clue how this country ticks. I have the pretension - living here over 10 years, Polish partner, 90% social circle Polish who live here - (but they all vote PO :) ) I studied history, have read all sensible books about Polish history published in English.

I experience everyday Polish life from the morning until the evening and I like it.
So...why should any Dmowskite fascist tell me my views are wrong?
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
2 Sep 2012  #11
Sorry, but every individual is different, you can not classify Polonia/immigrants in Poland that way.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
2 Sep 2012  #12
It's interesting that this thread has been up for four days and has only 12 posts, including this one. Not a single one has come from the usual Pol-Am crowd who think they know what they are talking about when they tell us what Poland should be like. Their contributions are often romantic rants about a Poland that never existed, filled with absurd ideas about, e.g. Poland leaving the EU.

Come on guys, answer the question. What do you know that I don't? I came here twelve years ago and have worked hard, contributed to Polish society in several ways, paid my taxes (all of them) and gained citizenship. When I hear the American or British grandsons of Poles pontificating, it really p1sses me off. Especially when I'm told that I have no right to contribute an opinion.

The most vociferous Pol-Ams on this forum know nothing about day-to-day life in Poland.
End of rant.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
2 Sep 2012  #13
I think it's a personal thing which cannot be generalised. Some expats may know that a tram tickert in Warsaw costs 3,60 z$ and that there is a 20-minute one for even less, but he may not feel Polishness in his heart. He happens to be in Poland, but under different circumstances he/she coiuld well be working in Denmark or Hungary. My coutnry is where they pay the best. But that does nto mean that some expats may get converted and come to feel the rhythm of Poland, the Polish spirit and may feel choked up when they hear 'Jeszcze Polska...' at the Olympics or at midnight mass when the words 'Podnieś rękę, Boże Dziecię...' are sung by an overflow congregation. Someone who said he runs only with a PO crowd is sheltered and has shut himself/herself off from the rest of the country. Not only Poland B. There are many supporters of the SLD and PiS in Warsaw.

The bottom line is that there is no simple yes or no answer. Each case is unique.
sa11y 5 | 331
2 Sep 2012  #14
I am an expat. Pole in South Africa. But i can assure everyone, that i don't hold monopoly for knowledge of what's going on in Poland. I'd like to, but i know that going on web to read news is not enough to stay in touch with all new developments. I'd only been living away from PL for 5 years. But this is long enough. So yes, i think that if you take an expat that lived in PL for 5 years vs. myself who lived outside for 5 years than expat will know more. But you have to consider "initiation period", for me it was 2-3 years, when although I lived in SA i was not really involved in what went on here. I think similar period will apply for expats in Poland, your first couple of years is exploring and enjoying, don't try to prove that you know more.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
2 Sep 2012  #15
But that does nto mean that some expats may get converted and come to feel the rhythm of Poland, the Polish spirit and may feel choked up when they hear 'Jeszcze Polska...' at the Olympics or at midnight mass when the words 'Podnieś rękę, Boże Dziecię...' are sung by an overflow congregation.

That is not what the thread is about ffs. It's about who knows what's really going on in Poland, on the street, in the office, in the bar, even inside the church. Someone in America or someone in Poland?
sa11y 5 | 331
2 Sep 2012  #16
Tefl, like I said, it all depends how long the Pole has been living away and how long the expat has been living in Poland. For a period of time the both tend to live in a bubble, after that they live the life of the new country. That's talking from experience. I'm sure there are exceptions.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
2 Sep 2012  #17
If it's just knowing facts,rather than feeling the country, then the length of time one has been away doesn't necessarily matter. You don't even have to be Polish to know everything about Poland. A guy who mans the Poland desk in DC is of Irish background but knows more about Poland than you or me. That's his joib. An emigre who is really interested, can follow Interia, Onet, WP, and read the Polish press and watch TVP Info and TVN24 every day on the net and be better informed than Staś Q. Publicki in Poland.
jwojcie 2 | 763
4 Sep 2012  #18
^^
media is an alternative world, parallel universe of events with totally distorted image of reality... Or to put it more straightforward, most people don't give a damn about leading media topics, so sorry, but no, nobody can pretend to know some country just by following it's mass media... It's kind of theory vs practice question, where theory is not even a science but bunch of opinions from which a person abroad creates some image accoriding to own ideas, prejudices, personality.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
4 Sep 2012  #19
nobody can pretend to know some country just by following it's mass media...

Exactly. If you were here when the plane went down in Smolensk, you'd have felt the shock and confusion on a visceral level, whether you were Polish or not.

A guy who mans the Poland desk in DC is of Irish background but knows more about Poland than you or me.

Unless he lives in Poland he definitely does not know more about Poland than me. You, maybe, but not me.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
4 Sep 2012  #20
ALl depends how you define 'know'. Initially I thought the thread-starter had meant 'feeling the country, having a sense of Polishness' (hence my anthem & carol input). But if just pure knowldge and information were implied, then I'm sure the DC Irish bloke can rattle off statistics, names, cabinet line-ups, events and occurences you and I haven't the foggiest about.
OP sobieski 107 | 2,128
4 Sep 2012  #21
I can tell you as a comparison, that living more than 8 years in Poland, I also start to loose touch with everyday realities in Belgium. Sure, I watch Flemish TV, read Flemish papers online...I go home few times per year...but nevertheless I start to be out of touch with "the life on the ground"
teflcat 5 | 1,032
4 Sep 2012  #22
But if just pure knowldge and information were implied

They weren't.

Who knows better how Poland ticks...

OP sobieski 107 | 2,128
4 Sep 2012  #23
having a sense of Polishness'

Define "a sense of Polishness". The tvtrwam kind? The RP kind? The PO kind? The duck's kind?
My (Polish) wife is a journalist and votes PO since her birth I guess...And also immensely proud of her country. But according you her sense of Polishness would be nil.

I think foreigners living in Poland since a long time can have a pretty good idea what this country is about.
Of course the classic expat (and I know a few of these) who are here Mon to Fri, fly back to Brussels for the weekend, frequent the classic expat haunts....do not have an idea at all. And in this aspect I agree wit you. They could as well live in Toronto, Prague or Mumbai.

But I am talking here about foreigners who choose to live here permanently, many (such as me) having a Polish partner.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
4 Sep 2012  #24
A sense of Polishness trasncends two-bit political groupings and passing fads. It is a sense of healthy etnhic pride, a knowledge of its history and culture (not necessarily language - there are many true Polish patriots in the Diaspora who don't speak the lingo). It is a desire to share teh Polish nation's accomplishments with others, promote its heritage and defend its good name. It is a concern for both the nation's image and well-being, All that is permeated by a strong emotional attachment to the nation's legacy -- its culture and folkways, traditons and values .
Harry
4 Sep 2012  #25
there are many true Polish patriots in the Diaspora who don't speak the lingo

ROFL!!!
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
4 Sep 2012  #26
Well, what do you tell a Polonian whose grandparents came from Poland and who is deeply itnerested in his heritage, attends Polish events, visits the country, would never marry a non-Pole and whose house looks like ac Cepelia? Get interestedin black ghetto thigns or Mariachi bands, because we do not consider you to be Polish.

In reality, there are millions of native speakers of Polish in Poland who don't care less about their country and its image. but are in it only for themselves. Does native speakerhood = patriotism?

I've got a fair command of Polish but would never think of denying the patriotism of someone who doesn't speak the language. Not everyone has had the opportuntiy, not everyone is linghusitically inclined (Anglos are notroious for that!), Try learning a language as an adult and youi'll probably never really approach native speaker level.
Harry
4 Sep 2012  #27
Well, what do you tell a Polonian whose grandparents came from Poland and who is deeply itnerested in his heritage, attends Polish events

Something along the lines of "If you love Poland so much, why not come and do something to help the country?"

would never marry a non-Pole

In that case it'd be "Stay in the USA you racist fucckwit! Carry on eating Busia Sofia's pierogies and discussing golumbki recipes with the rest of the retarded bigots who think they are Polish: Poland is a far better place without scum like you."
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
4 Sep 2012  #28
Poland's heritage and good name can be served everyhwere. In fact more can be done to spread the good Polish wordd abroad. Doing it in Poland is like preaching to the choir. Too bad there are so few in Poland serving only their own narrow self-interest.
jwojcie 2 | 763
4 Sep 2012  #29
... whose house looks like ac Cepelia

just for the record, Cepelia was a communist era invention... but I assume you've used it figuratively...
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
4 Sep 2012  #30
Quite! It's a handy short-cut.

Harry
If two people who liked to drink or fancied the opera or hang-gliding or were of the same educaitonal level married, you wouldn't call it racist. The more things one has in common (and the less there is to argue over) the more likely it is to make a go of it. And marrying within one's own religon or ethnic group is among the most important common values. In today's selfish 'me, myself & I' times, any marriage is a diffcult challenge, but mixed marriages can pose insurmountable obstacles, especially when the kids come along.

One thing often forgotten by those 'madly in love' is that you are also marrying parents-in-law, siblings-in-law and lots of other people, places and ways of doing things that may seem strange and exotic. Mixed marriages compound the whole shebang. That does not mean they can never work, but they require a hell of a lot more effort, understanding and sacrifice.


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