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My grievances with the American-Polonia


Mr Grunwald 25 | 1,735
12 Oct 2020 #1
There has been a long standing conflict here on PF between Poles living in Poland and those living abroad or connected with Poland in one way or another.

Like a Pomeranian Gryf (take this symbolically, not literally about the Gryf) I struggled with having any form of contact with Poles in Norway (where I have lived most of my life) and any form of contact with Poles or Poland has been on this forum, with family and books&movies.

It was sad for me that, there were few connections between Poland and Norway throughout history, meaning most Norwegians are pretty clueless about Poles in any aspect of life. Are easily susceptible to propaganda about Poland and have few encounters.

Meanwhile American-Polish relations have traditions to build on. Few American-Polonia one can think of are: Tadeusz Kościuszko, Pulaski and Paderewski. It griefs me that representatives of American-Polonia on this forum seems to behave more like the caliber of chamstwa and not that of great Polish Americans.

It seems to me that many of them today are the result of American Politics. Living the American life without care and responsibility for ones self or others. Instead of trying to be mending the great divide between the republicans and democrats many seem to take it as a form of amusement and bullying.

The whole world is looking at America and are seeing a civil war brewing, just waiting for which side will start it and win it. U.S.A has a responsibility as the torch carrier of freedom, if U.S.A succumbs to the machinations of evil and political division, then the future looks further and further more dim.

I am actively trying to work on gathering the local Polonia together where I live locally and I am seriously planning and considering moving to Poland. I sincerely hope that American-Polonia got more to offer on this forum then beef, barbecue and tasteless insults
pawian 173 | 13,530
12 Oct 2020 #2
Reminds me of an old thread from 10 years ago. Delph started it with this sentence:
Is it only me that finds the American "Polonia" attitude towards Poland irritating and downright insulting towards real Polish people?

Poles living in Poland and those living abroad

Most forum Poles living abroad left Poland 30, 40 years ago and still believe it should remain what it used to be in the past. They aren`t able to understand that it is impossible and changes in all spheres of life are unstoppable coz Poland isn`t an isolated island. To prevent those changes (what for, one might ask), ex-Poles are eager to promote various stupid actions, e.g, they advise leaving European structures. Of course that would be against the interest of Poland.

Hence, there will never be an agreement between us coz most resident Poles believe we should stay in the EU.
Of course, there are many other dividing issues, I mentioned just one of them.
Michel88
12 Oct 2020 #3
Sure, I left my country for just 4 years to study abroad. When I finally came back it felt and still feels like a completely different place. It's hard to realize you can never be back at the same place you left behind as places change constantly (and people grow older). I wonder why Poles prefer Norway to Sweden though?
OP Mr Grunwald 25 | 1,735
12 Oct 2020 #4
@pawian
As Poland is the beating heart of Europe, her emotions and reality are like flowing Vistula river. Poland's rock is the church which helps with any flood.

@Michel88
Probably same reason why many Swedes prefer Norway to. Sweden is far more divided by class then Norway, in Norway anyone considers him to be of the "people" even those who are rich. The monarch's family are also popular as it's "people" friendly.

So any Pole or Swede who has had bad experiences cause of division, likes Norway for it's very subtle and silent approach to differences. One very much is seen for what he does, and not as much as what one says.

Norway has lived with poverty and harsh life until very recently, so talk isn't very respected while hard work is.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,243
12 Oct 2020 #5
Most forum Poles living abroad left Poland 30, 40 years ago and still believe it should remain what it used to be in the past.

Surely, they miss their youth in Poland and their then projections of how Poland should look like. They left Poland as young adults and began to write the new chapter of their life. At the same time Poland began to write her own new chapter. And these two chapters seem to be completely different stories now, plus their chapter contains those projections on Poland I mentioned earlier.

The result is that the views of Poland shared by the Polish emmigrants here on PF are most often hilarious in the eyes of us, Poles living continuously in Poland. Those Poles who were actually born abroad (for example, JR or Mr. Grunwald) have never been charged with their weird projections on Poland, so they are emotionally in a much more better shape feeling no need to describe people in Poland as soviets or such like. The rest like Ironside, Dirk diggler or Przelotny Ptak remain in their strange Wonderland of their projections, so we, the real Poles of Poland like Pawian, Lenka, Kaprys or myself, will never be able to get near to the Poland of their mental projections as it wiil always look like some strange and foreign country to us.
pawian 173 | 13,530
12 Oct 2020 #6
And these two chapters seem to be completely different stories now,

Wow, beautiful wording. And wise, of course.

I wouldn`t use any names, though, coz that might be deceptive. It`s better to talk in general, without details which might be distorted or false.
Poloniusz 2 | 84
12 Oct 2020 #7
The PF record shows it has been caused disproportionately by the non-achieving British ex-pat community in Poland knowing full well they will always be the eternal foreigners and by them sneering at Polonia because the British are desperate to assuage their unremarkable but nevertheless unshakeable outsider status in Poland. The PF record also shows that it has been PRL-era clowns ignorant of trans-Atlantic history siding with the British because like any social climbers they put club membership (i.e., the EU even though the Limeys quit) above all else.

Few American-Polonia one can think of are: Kościuszko, Pulaski and Paderewski.

Yes, and the first two Polish-American heroes fought and lead the defeat of the British in America. So Polonia have indeed been carrying on tradition; something grifting ex-communists in Poland would never do even though the British have a history of stabbing Poland in the back.

Living the American life without care and responsibility for ones self or others.

America is a highly competitive, consumerist society where Polish history is not taught in schools and Poland rarely gets a mention beyond the Holocaust and even then Poland is not held in a favorable light. And, as mentioned in other threads, Hollywood has maliciously and deliberately portrayed Poles and Poland with negative stereotypes and outright lies in the public mind.

You then went on to say that you and others see another civil war brewing. No surprise there. America is an extremely diverse nation. The higher the diversity the lower the social trust.There have been academic studies demonstrating this.

Here are America's long standing social priorities (in order): Jews, women, blacks, homosexuals, latinos, asian-pacific islanders, native tribes.

Given this factual background it's not clear why you feel Polonia have a responsibility "to be mending the great divide between the republicans and democrats" and to others when neither political party or anyone else for that matter gives a toss about Polonia or Poland and only serve up scorn when they do have something to say.
OP Mr Grunwald 25 | 1,735
12 Oct 2020 #8
@Poloniusz
Cause the Polonia has the choice of behaving like a victim (wether it is a victim or not is irrelevant, it's about state of mind) or behaving as the guardians of the Republic. The Polonia cannot afford to be on the sidewalk ignoring everything. Poles have a purpose, no matter where on this planet they walk or live.
dolnoslask 6 | 3,190
12 Oct 2020 #9
chapters seem to be completely

I will make one observation if I can , the people who live in the Polish countryside are quite different in their views and outlook to those that live and work in the cities.

Those in the city seem more liberal, cosmopolitan, and those in the country are quite conservative, begs the question is American Polonia as a whole conservative in outlook, where those who live in the Polish cities would not necessarily hold the same values?
jon357 63 | 15,538
12 Oct 2020 #10
It reminds me of when the BBC World Service started broadcasting a radio soap opera set in London (was it called Westway?) and the mostly elderly expat listeners round the world were outraged because it depicted London now, rather than the London they'd left in 1960 or whatever.

you can never be back at the same place you left behind as places change constantly (and people grow older).

This is very true. I've known expats/emigres return to Poland to visit and feel very uncomfortable. Memories don't change, but places do.

A friend back in the UK (of Polish roots but has never actually been here) asked me what my favourite type of pierogi were. When I said either feta/olive or chilli con carne he was outraged; he couldn't really get his head around the fact that things (including the food) had changed in the decades since his granny left back in the 1930s.
Poloniusz 2 | 84
12 Oct 2020 #11
behaving like a victim

Far from it. You complain that Polonia have a devil-may-care attitude towards life and others. Not really but in any case so what? Such an attitude is not that of a victim. I explained that Polonia live in an environment where they are met with either indifference or hostility; much like the history of Poland itself. Therefore Polonia absolutely have a responsibility to self first and only.

guardians of the Republic

Sure, sure.

Just read through the old posts on here where the ex-communists and their British LBH buddies decry Polonia engagement in Polish matters (especially when it comes to voting) while simultaneously denigrating them for not being born in Poland or for not currently living in Poland.

Just read through the old posts on here where the ex-communists and their British LBH buddies champion unrestricted migration into Poland while condemning Polonia who simply warn of the dangers witnessed first hand of diversity abroad and how precedence also shows that diversity contributed to the collapse of the 1st and 2nd RPs.

The Polonia cannot afford to be on the sidewalk ignoring everything.

Poland experienced decades and even centuries of occupation, oppression and even erasure. So don't think Polonia are ignoring everything. On the contrary, like our Polish ancestors (the true Poles) we are just biding our time. :)
dolnoslask 6 | 3,190
12 Oct 2020 #12
was it called Westway?

It was utter crap, see what your Guardian bible had to say about it .

" definitely a soap, and burdened with storylines pitched at the level of generic silliness "

theguardian.com/media/2005/may/25/radio.bbc
jon357 63 | 15,538
12 Oct 2020 #13
It was utter crap

They all are; no soap opera is especially high quality. The point however is not the artistic merits of a given radio show, more the expectation of geographically (and temporally) remote listeners that the country they came from hadn't changed since they left.

Polish ancestors (the true Poles)

And the people here today, people who've lived their whole lives somewhere aren't 'true Poles'?

It does seem odd that people thousands of miles away, immigrants or kids of immigrants find it hard to accept that Poland too has newcomers, ones who are shaping the Poland of today and tomorrow (which Polonia in America etc are not).

your Guardian bible

My?
Poloniusz 2 | 84
12 Oct 2020 #14
And the people here today, people who've lived their whole lives somewhere aren't 'true Poles'?

Is a dog born or living in a stable a horse?
jon357 63 | 15,538
12 Oct 2020 #15
Are people dogs and horses? A glib and pointless analogy.

You seem to be suggesting that Polonia in the US aren't Americans. Interesting...
OP Mr Grunwald 25 | 1,735
12 Oct 2020 #16
@jon357
Poloniusz is metaphorically writing that you can't change somebody's nature/habit/identity as he sees identity as biological (very German point of view) perceiving what he identifies as slavic traits to be unchangeable no matter what kind of house he lives in.

Which is a contrast as to how I perceive Polish identity which is more bound by loyalty and emotions. Which are flowing and changing, yet remains felt
Poloniusz 2 | 84
12 Oct 2020 #17
Polonia in the US aren't Americans. Interesting...

That's correct.

There is no formal legal designation or recognition for an American.

As far as the US Government and international diplomacy is concerned, there are only US persons (some of whom have US citizenship but not all), and they have residency in the individual states or territories where they live.
OP Mr Grunwald 25 | 1,735
12 Oct 2020 #18
Similar as to how I am percieved as a second wave immigrant by Norwegian authorities, despite having Norwegian citizenship and a Norwegian mother.

Doesn't feel welcoming at all, being categorized as that. Didn't know that it was worse in the U.S when it came to citizenship for the American Polonia
jon357 63 | 15,538
12 Oct 2020 #19
As far as the US Government

Not very relevant to the issue in hand, namely the disconnect between non-residents who have an unrealistic idea of the country their forebears left and the reality of that country's present and future.

Even those who are in a country have little or no personal influence on its development and change; they do however have time to get used to change and direct experience of its reality. Rather than outrage from afar about things that have little or nothing to do with them.

@Mr Grunwald, do you feel out of place in Norway? Would you feel at home living in Warsaw?
Poloniusz 2 | 84
12 Oct 2020 #20
So as far as you are personally concerned Dabrowski, Kosciuszko, Brzezinski, John Paul II and many other Poles throughout history who lived abroad should have minded our own business especially during Poland's darkest moments.

Only you believe this because you are not Polish.

Poland's very existence has depended on Polonia's love for Poland and our direct involvement.
jon357 63 | 15,538
12 Oct 2020 #21
John Paul II

Who lived in Poland until late in life his job took him elsewhere (though never far).

Poland's very existence has depended on Polonia's love for Poland and our direct involvement.

The people who are actually here would laugh at the arrogance and inaccuracy of that statement.

Your post proves the OP's point perfectly.
Poloniusz 2 | 84
12 Oct 2020 #22
The people who are actually here

Your British expat community (tucked far away in the gated suburbs of course) doesn't represent Poland.
Michel88
12 Oct 2020 #23
I am not afraid to say some non-Poles love Polska more than many Americans of Polish origin who have sone Polish blood but are less aware of the culture. I'm one of those non Poles who are Polonophiles (no such word?).

We're rare though as ppl look like I have 2 heads. I guess Poland not being a typical tourist country is not as popular abroad. It's very easy to claim you like Spain or Italy and ppl accept that. It isn't so cool to like Poland (the WW2 destruction/heavy history association & bad commie times with too many industry pollution in the 80's?) but I don't care.

There's still some stigmata to liking Poland. Somehow Czech and even Hungary are seen as more hip (they advertize better?). I think though that due to the bad history Poland will rise more as it has faced so much suffering. It deserves much more good than others. Germany, UK and Russia have amassed much more bad karma than Poland ever will.
jon357 63 | 15,538
12 Oct 2020 #24
Your British expat community (tucked far away in the gated suburbs of course

What 'British expat community'? Some foreign-born people here have been here far longer than you've been alive (and aren't part of any mythical 'expat community').

And unlike some who've never even been to Europe let alone Poland, actually speak Polish, participate actively in the community here, vote in elections and have a life here; a real one rather than a virtual one.

'Gated suburbs"? No, as amply demonstrated under this and other usernames, you really have no idea at all about Poland, do you...

bad commie times with too many industry pollution in the 80's?

Remember that there'd have been just the same pollution (and possibly more) had the political/economic situation differed. There's no reason to think that Poland throughout the Twentieth Century would have remained a skansen of pre-industrial times. Had the government not been aligned to the Eastern Bloc, the changes of the post-war years may well have been more radical and profound.
cms neuf - | 1,850
12 Oct 2020 #25
Well I have a gate.

Obviously I'm one of the out of touch elites
Poloniusz 2 | 84
12 Oct 2020 #26
What 'British expat community'?

YOUR British expat community that's what.

Some foreign-born people here

SOME as in YOUR British-born and British-raised SELF who has openly bragged on here that "Having 3 passports does help us wicked cosmopolitan elites" and done in the context of being an unaccomplished, fantasy-prone foreigner who is on the record of being happy to abandon your gated expat suburban community in Poland and at the drop of a hat.

Once again, like I and others have pointed out to you before, you are not Polish and never will be.
jon357 63 | 15,538
12 Oct 2020 #27
YOUR British expat community that's what.

Which one is that then?

your gated expat suburban community

And which one is that?

For the record, the (relatively few) gated estates that exist in Warsaw are far more popular with Poles than with people born abroad. This demonstrates yet again your lack of knowledge and experience of actual Polish reality. It's interesting that you equate living in a Polish suburb with being foreign, even though the vast majority of people in said suburbs are Polish.

you are not Polish

Says a foreigner who's never visited Europe, let alone Poland, who doesn't speak the language therefore can't even hold a conversation with a Pole unless they've taken foreign-language lessons, can't vote in elections and has no direct experience of Poland.

This proves the OP's point about back-seat driving perfectly.
Poloniusz 2 | 84
12 Oct 2020 #28
Poland offers foreigners like you an escape.

Poland affords you a low cost of living needed especially now during your old age and unaccomplished life.

It also offers you refuge from the diversity which has turned your own British homeland into an irreparable dystopia and which, in true British fashion, you still hypocritically beckon from the safety of your gated expat suburban community.

You have done nothing for Poland.

You are not integrated.

You are linguistically and socially isolated in Poland.

PF is an English language lifeline which you depend on.

Your over 15 thousand posts (all in English save the odd but obvious Google translations) prove this.
jon357 63 | 15,538
12 Oct 2020 #29
Poland offers foreigners like you an escape...old age and unaccomplished life.

An escape from what and 'unaccomplished' how?

You're assuming rather a lot You'd be rather surprised at those foreign-born people who've made their lives here in Poland. Have you visited Poland yet? No. Have you met any? No.

You have done nothing for Poland... not integrated...linguistically and socially isolated in Poland.

And assuming yet more things (all of which are as incorrect as it gets).

It must be strange to be so absolutely self-unaware that you don't realise that every single thing you've posted in this discussion (none of which by the way adds to it) proves the OP's point perfectly.

American-Polonia on this forum seems to behave more like the caliber of chamstwa

As we can see, sadly this is true...
pawian 173 | 13,530
12 Oct 2020 #30
(in order): Jews, women, blacks, homosexuals, latinos, asian-pacific islanders, native tribes.

Exactly. Isn`t it an amusing coincidence that your list perfectly shows the hate and contempt priorities of Polish Americans?? Order is the same or slightly different - recently it seems that homosexuals are ahead of blacks, or even Jews, as a target of hateful views.

What does it mean? It means that Polish Americans hate and despise so many people and things in the USA that they must feel uneasy there coz political correctness forces them to hide their true feelings. In result, they dream of finding a safe haven where they could practice their hatred freely. In their sick reasoning, Poland should be this haven.

It is obvious I feel compelled to do my best to prevent their mad dreams from happening. I don`t want to live in a country where everybody hates each other. Let US Polonia stick to their despicable ways on American soil, not in Poland. Keep your dirty hands off Poland.

Simple.


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