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Things that Polish-American should know about Poland.


Bzibzioh
14 Jan 2011 #61
I knew that mods over here are clueless but you are scarring me in this point, man. Sky's point isn't that complicated.

no one seems to understand my point.

I do. Some people over here decided to keep splitting hair and mud the whole issue of Polishness and belonging. I think is coming from their own insecurities and lack of belonging so they are just jealous. Polishness is something to be celebrated and enjoyed no matter how many generations apart you are.
convex 20 | 3,978
14 Jan 2011 #62
I knew that mods over here are clueless but you are scarring me in this point, man. Sky's point isn't that complicated.

It's not that complicated. I agree with sky 100%, it's up to the individual. But hey, people that renounce their allegiance to Poland are making a conscious decision to no longer be Polish. That's the entire point of taking that oath. Again, I think it's great that people want to explore their heritage...but that's completely different than someone voluntarily swearing allegiance to another country and people...and swearing to no longer officially identify themselves as Polish. That's what happens when you become a naturalized US citizen.

That's all. And you're right, it's not complicated at all.
Bzibzioh
14 Jan 2011 #63
But hey, people that renounce their allegiance to Poland are making a conscious decision to no longer be Polish. That's the entire point of taking that oath.

We are not talking about citizenship at all; it's irrelevant to how someone thinks of his national belonging. Why you keep bringing this up?

And BTW: your point that someone suddenly stops being Polish the moment he swears allegiance to the USA is ridiculous. He may be an American citizen but he's still Polish.

Dunno, as far as renouncing Polish citizenship though, that seems pretty straightforward in that one no longer wants to be identified as Polish.

See?
Paulina 13 | 3,807
14 Jan 2011 #64
Roots are just a question of how far back you want to go. Many times, those roots are nothing more than names on a piece of paper.

For some people a name is enough and I have no problem with that. It's their choice how far they want to go back.

Identification with a nation also seems differ based on the country. Most Italians will identify themselves based on where they're from first, and then work their way up to "Italy", same goes for Germans, French, Spanish...

That's why I'm saying that as foreigners you have no say in this matter, because apparently you don't understand.

Dunno, as far as renouncing Polish citizenship though, that seems pretty straightforward in that one no longer wants to be identified as Polish.

Renouncing Polish citizenship doesn't automatically mean that someone doesn't want to be identified as Polish. That's only in your head. You have no idea what those people feel or think and you have no right to say whether they want to be identified as ethnically Polish or not, as you simply don't know.

Many, many Poles have family members abroad, we have a long history of emigration. Do you think that Poles won't see their own family as Poles?

Do you think that for Poles Chopin ceased to be Polish and a Polish patriot when he became a citizen of France?

But hey, people that renounce their allegiance to Poland are making a conscious decision to no longer be Polish.

Again, you can't change your ethnicity by changing citizenship. It's biology, genes. Your eyes won't suddenly change from blue to green or brown if you become a citizen of another country.

and swearing to no longer officially identify themselves as Polish.

I don't care about "officially", I care what's in people's minds and hearts.

Being Polish is not only about papers... You foreigners are weird...
convex 20 | 3,978
14 Jan 2011 #65
And BTW: your point that someone suddenly stops being Polish the moment he swears allegiance to the USA is ridicules. He may be an American citizen but he's still Polish.

The person renounces their allegiance to Poland:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

It's not ridiculous. That person is no longer a Pole, by choice. They are Americans. Like I said, that's the entire point of naturalization. In the oath, you are stating that you are no longer part of the Polish citizenry, but instead you've decided to become an American. It's really that easy. You might still continue with Polish traditions, but you're no longer Polish. Your children will be born as American, not Polish. That's how integration and immigration works. Just like all those Klauses and Schmidts that we have here in Poland are no longer German, or Prussian, or Silesian, they're Polish. Just like their grandparents and their grandchildren. Poland is a huge melting pot too...

Renouncing Polish citizenship doesn't automatically mean that someone doesn't want to be identified as Polish. That's only in your head. You have no idea what those people feel or think and you have no right to say whether they want to be identified as ethnically Polish or not, as you simply don't know.

So some people want to be identified as ethnically Polish, but not nationally Polish?

Do you think that for Poles Chopin ceased to be Polish and a Polish patriot when he became a citizen of France?

Chopin didn't renounce his citizenship.

Again, you can't change your ethnicity by changing citizenship. It's biology, genes. Your eyes won't suddenly change from blue to green or brown if you become a citizen of another country.

And ethnicity is a mixed bag that changes. It's not something that is stagnant and stays the same forever. A conscious decision is made by an immigrant to join another society.

I don't care about "officially", I care what's in people's minds and hearts.

Being Polish is not only about papers... You foreigners are weird...

Right, so you don't really care about what you swore, you just did it for the papers. That's fair enough, some of us do see something wrong with it.
Wroclaw Boy
14 Jan 2011 #66
I wonder how many foreigners swear that oath whilst thinking to themselves what a load of bolloxs.
convex 20 | 3,978
14 Jan 2011 #67
I probably would, doesn't prevent me from playing devils advocate though..
Paulina 13 | 3,807
14 Jan 2011 #68
In the oath, you are stating that you are no longer part of the Polish citizenry, but instead you've decided to become an American. It's really that easy. You might still continue with Polish traditions, but you're no longer Polish. Your children will be born as American, not Polish.

Again... Citizenship isn't the same as ethnicity. Ethnically they're Polish.

So some people want to be identified as ethnically Polish, but not nationally Polish?

pl.bab.la/slownik/angielski-polski/ethnicity

Chopin didn't renounce his citizenship.

So?

And ethnicity is a mixed bag that changes. It's not something that is stagnant and stays the same forever. A conscious decision is made by an immigrant to join another society.

Society isn't the same as ethnic group.

Right, so you don't really care about what you swore, you just did it for the papers. That's fair enough, some of us do see something wrong with it.

Who? Me? I didn't swear anything lol
What I means is - when someone swears allegiance to some country it doesn't mean automatically that he/she renounces his/her ethnicity. Do you understand?
convex 20 | 3,978
14 Jan 2011 #69
Again... Citizenship isn't the same as ethnicity. Ethnically they're Polish.

Citizenship is a direct identifier to your tribe. By giving that up and deciding to live in a new culture, would you be leaving that ethnicity? Like so many other groups of migrants before, the shift begins with making a decision to leave, and then slowly cutting ties. Will your great grandchildren still be ethnically Polish even if they don't speak the language, don't know of the history, and are racially mixed to the point where you're talking about eights and sixteenths. Do you think that by living in the US, you're losing some of the experiences that you need to be part of the tribe here in Poland?

So?

You mentioned Chopin. Naturalized US citizens must renounce their allegiance to Poland, French citizens don't have too... wasn't he a dual citizen through birth?

Society isn't the same as ethnic group.

Society and common traditions most certainly are. Race vs ethnicity.

Who? Me? I didn't swear anything lol
What I means is - when someone swears allegiance to some country it doesn't mean automatically that he/she renounces his/her ethnicity. Do you understand?

If you are a naturalized US citizen, you have renounced your allegiance to Poland. You have promised to take up arms against enemies, whoever that might be. By deciding to move your life into another country with different traditions, you are in practice forking your ethnicity.

That's why I'm saying that as foreigners you have no say in this matter, because apparently you don't understand.

Fair enough...even though your mountain folk seem to identify pretty heavily with their region, but I probably won't understand. PS, all naturalized US citizens are foreigners in Poland.
Paulina 13 | 3,807
14 Jan 2011 #70
Citizenship is a direct identifier to your tribe.

What? What identifier? If you write about tribe, not society, then blood is the identifier, not citizenship.

By giving that up and deciding to live in a new culture, would you be leaving that ethnicity?

No, ethnicity is about genes lol

Firstly, I don't live in the US lol
Secondly, I thought we were talking about Poles who were born in Poland and moved to another country (conscious choice, remember?).
As for "the eights and sixteenths" who don't speak the language, don't know of the history of Poland - I doubt that they would feel some connection to Poland, to be honest. But if they do - that's cool, it's up to them.

You mentioned Chopin. Naturalized US citizens must renounce their allegiance to Poland, French citizens don't have too...

Again - so?

wasn't he a dual citizen through birth?

As far as I know - no, but I may be wrong.

Society and common traditions most certainly are.

Not necessarily, especially in such a melting pot as the US.

Race vs ethnicity.

What?

If you are a naturalized US citizen, you have renounced your allegiance to Poland. You have promised to take up arms against enemies, whoever that might be.

That would be a problem only if Poland and the US were at war. This never happened in our entire history, quite the opposite. And Poles are aware of that.

By deciding to move your life into another country with different traditions, you are in practice forking your ethnicity.

Of course not.
Traditions aren't the same thing as ethnicity. Ethnicity = genes.

Fair enough...even though your mountain folk seem to identify pretty heavily with their region,

What does it have to do with anything? Do you think that I would suddenly cease to identify myself with my region if I left to Warsaw or some other country?

I would still sing:

"Ach, kieleckie jakie cudne
gdzie jest taki drugi kraj
tu przeżyjesz chwile cudne tu
przeżyjesz życia raj.

Jakże nie kochać tej ziemi
gdy serce do niej się rwie.
Wszystko tu swojskie i bliskie.
I tutaj wracasz, bo gdzie?"

LOL

My aunt moved to Wrocław, but she still sings this song when we all go for a walk during holidays in the countryside where my grandma lives ;)

but I probably won't understand.

It looks like you don't...
You don't feel any connection to your country of origin, to its people?

PS, all naturalized US citizens are foreigners in Poland.

The same is with Poles who were forcibly moved to the Soviet Union and didn't manage to regain Polish citizenship. So, those are only papers to me.
ShortHairThug - | 1,103
14 Jan 2011 #71
but that's completely different than someone voluntarily swearing allegiance to another country and people...and swearing to no longer officially identify themselves as Polish. That's what happens when you become a naturalized US citizen.

does it? From the U.S government perspective perhaps, but not according to the Polish law governing citizenship. There are many US born Poles who are Polish citizens in accordance with Polish law and can get Polish passport in a heartbeat as well as their parents who made that oath themselves. You can rationalise it however you wish but that's simply how it is. The fact that U.S does not recognise a dual citizenship is a one big joke in itself because they have made an exception in regards to one particular nationality which makes you wonder on what basis and probably can also be challenged constitutionally.

By deciding to move your life into another country with different traditions, you are in practice forking your ethnicity.

There goes your theory, look up the exception to the rule.

PS, all naturalized US citizens are foreigners in Poland.

They most certainly are not. What makes you think they are when in accordance with Polish law they are still citizens of Poland and in case of war if they find themselves on Polish territory they can still be drafted even if they are holders of just U.S papers and U.S government has no say so in this. Same if they break laws, U.S ambasy simply can't help them in those cases. Btw, U.S government makes it easy by printing Poland in the space designated for the place of birth in their passport for naturalised citizens, besides history has shown what U.S government thinks of the oath itself as it was the case of Japanese Americans even those that were born there and German Americans during WWII.
PennBoy 76 | 2,436
14 Jan 2011 #72
If you are a naturalized US citizen, you have renounced your allegiance to Poland.

Where do you people come from, reading the same lines!

Citizenship is a direct identifier to your tribe.

Wrong, any idiot can become a citizen you have to be born into ethnicity blood.
convex 20 | 3,978
14 Jan 2011 #73
The US does recognize dual citizenship from birth. That is different to being naturalized. Anyone who seeks out US citizenship must take the oath and renounce any existing citizenship.

There goes your theory, look up the exception to the rule.

What theory?

Naturalized US citizens have given up their Polish citizenship. It's part of the naturalization process. It's not checked on, but it still is the law. Therefore, if you've been naturalized in the US, you are no longer a Polish citizen...which is the definition of being a foreigner...

Where do you people come from, reading the same lines!

Reading the naturalization oath, you might want to give it a read.

Wrong, any idiot can become a citizen you have to be born into ethnicity blood.

Ethnicity doesn't necessarily equal blood. Not to mention, just to bring it up again, all the Klauses, and Golzers, and.... The idea that Poles are somehow of a pure bloodline is ridiculous in and of itself. It's a melting pot, just like everywhere else. Poles today are tied by common tradition, not bloodline.
PennBoy 76 | 2,436
14 Jan 2011 #74
Poles today are tied by common tradition, not bloodline.

Jesus Christ why do I have keep repeating myself as if everyone suffers from memory loss. Over the centuries other blood bit by bit was added into the pot, but most of it comes from one common bloodline one ancestry, if a "Pole" can't say he descends from the Slavic tribes of Poland he's not ethnically Polish. Listen different book authors got different definitions, some in defining ethnicity even go to the lengths of saying "similar facials characteristics"
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
14 Jan 2011 #75
if a "Pole" can't say he descends from the Slavic tribes of Poland he's not ethnically Polish.

I doubt many Poles could say this. Given that over the years, plenty of Germans and Lithuanians (including, don't forget, the greatest poet in Polish history and the greatest military leader) mixed in there (Balts are not Slavs, before you even start) - how many people could say that they can actually trace their family back to the existence of the Polish state.

It's just arrogance to suggest that someone is "pure Polish" (no-one does in Poland anyway) - how the hell can you be so sure, especially if you can't trace your family back to before the partitions?
ShortHairThug - | 1,103
14 Jan 2011 #76
Naturalized US citizens have given up their Polish citizenship.

As I have said in the eyes of U.S government only.

Anyone who seeks out US citizenship must take the oath and renounce any existing citizenship.

Any Pole who wishes to renounce his citizenship must file a petition to the Polish authorities. According to the Constitution, a Polish citizen can not lose Polish citizenship, unless at own request and only after obtaining approval from the President of the Republic of Poland for the renunciation of Polish citizenship he/she is no longer a citizen of Poland. This may also extend to their children if they wish but they still have to file this petition, simply taking the oath means nothing.

Therefore, if you've been naturalized in the US, you are no longer a Polish citizen...which is the definition of being a foreigner...

US laws are not applicable on polish soil, therefore a naturalised US citizen of Polish ancestry is a citizen of Poland unless he/she petition Polish authorities to renounce it and it was granted, you have specificly said and I quote "Therefore, if you've been naturalised in the US, you are no longer a Polish citizen...which is the definition of being a foreigner..."
Paulina 13 | 3,807
14 Jan 2011 #77
I know one German who's ancestors moved to Poland (near £ódź, I think) in something like 18th century if I remember correctly (a long time ago, anyway), but part of his family moved to Germany after WWII. I've never seen him describing himself as a Pole, only as a German, although he writes (and probably speaks too) perfect, native-like Polish, knows quite a lot about Polish history, he'd like to move from Berlin to Wrocław, and I think his mother is Polish...
convex 20 | 3,978
14 Jan 2011 #78
Jesus Christ why do I have keep repeating myself as if everyone suffers from memory loss.

Hey hey, got some of that in me. It's diluted like a bottle of makers mark bought in Volgograd, but it's there. Ergo convex=Pole? ...and Czech, and German, and Italian, and Comanche, and Swiss.

That's the problem with the bloodline view. Europe is incredibly mixed. Semites share the same bloodline, but are different ethnically due to traditions and culture.

Anyway, feel free to be what you want. Identifying with a particular race, ethnicity, tribe, nation is kind of ridiculous anyway. Lots of neat traditions to follow that don't require a label. Meh.

Any Pole who wishes to renounce his citizenship must file a petition to the Polish authorities.

Which they are bound to do when being naturalized. If they decide not to formally renounce their citizenship, and even worse, decide to exercise the privileges of foreign citizenship, they are breaking the law.
Harry
14 Jan 2011 #79
They most certainly are not.

Oh dear: you just got caught lying yet again.
The Consular Convention between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Polish People's Republic very clearly states:

Persons entering the Polish People's Republic for temporary visits on the basis of United States passports containing Polish entry visas will, in the period for which temporary visitor status has been accorded (in conformity with the visa's validity), be considered United States citizens by the appropriate Polish authorities for the purpose of ensuring the consular protection provided for in Article 29 of the Convention and the right of departure without further documentation, regardless of whether they may possess the citizenship of the Polish People's Republic.

travel.state.gov/law/legal/treaty/treaty_1504.html
ShortHairThug - | 1,103
14 Jan 2011 #80
they are breaking the law.

What law is that? Simply taking the oath is sufficient in US eyes, as far as I'm aware US is not seeking the prove of such petition to be submitted before granting the citizenship, no law was broken.

Polish People's Republic

Sorry to disappoint you Polish People's Republic no longer exists.
convex 20 | 3,978
14 Jan 2011 #81
The law requires you to renounce your citizenship if you're naturalized, the state dept doesn't follow up anymore, but the law hasn't changed.
PennBoy 76 | 2,436
14 Jan 2011 #82
Given that over the years, plenty of Germans and Lithuanians

Please there wasn't that many of them that moved to Poland, just because historians say Germans started settling in Poland in the 12 century what do you think half a million came?!? When all of Poland back then had maybe 1 to 1.5 million people, it was a couple thousand Germans. Our eastern Slavic neighbors mixed extensively and it shows on their outlook, with Turkic with Mongols with Balts, Poles by comparison mixed little, If a Russian or Ukrainian got 15 to 20% Asian blood in him and a Pole 4% that shows something.
Paulina 13 | 3,807
14 Jan 2011 #83
That's the problem with the bloodline view. Europe is incredibly mixed. Semites share the same bloodline, but are different ethnically due to traditions and culture.

I used to watch Fashion TV and guess which model is from which country. I could quite often differentiate between girls from Scandinavia, Slavic girls, American girls, Latino girls/girls from the South of Europe/Spain, etc.. I can often spot Russians even in films. I've heard that Ukrainians are the most tall, slim and most often blond with blue eyes among all Slavs. I could see when I was in France and Italy that the French have a bit darker complexion and hair than Poles and Italians are even more "darker". It's not that mixed, especially in Poland. Poles in Poland would still more often marry other Poles.

Anyway, feel free to be what you want.

Thank you! At last...

Identifying with a particular race, ethnicity, tribe, nation is kind of ridiculous anyway.

To you. But to others it may not be "ridiculous". And as far they're not hurting anybody with this identifying and it's not connected with hating others I don't see anything wrong with this. What's really ridiculous, I think, is denying the fact that those Poles can identify themselves with the ethnic group to which they belong to.

Lots of neat traditions to follow that don't require a label. Meh.

Yup, but is it a reason to deny others the right to identify themselves with Polish ethnic group or feel some connection to Poland?
ShortHairThug - | 1,103
14 Jan 2011 #84
The law requires you to renounce your citizenship if you're naturalized

And the oath is sufficient proof of that act in US only, you have argued that a naturalised Pole is a foreigner in Poland, which is false.
Harry
14 Jan 2011 #85
Sorry to disappoint you Polish People's Republic no longer exists.

Is that really the best you have to excuse the fact that you've been shown yet again to be a liar?

Oh well, may I direct you to the US Dept of State's publication "Consular Notification and Access" from July 2010 (docstoc.com/docs/51617358/Consular-Notification-and-Access): it clearly states that the bilateral convention with Poland is still in effect.

you have argued that a naturalised Pole is a foreigner in Poland, which is false.

Why do you keep telling this lie?! It's been exposed as a lie!

Good luck with your future lies.
PennBoy 76 | 2,436
14 Jan 2011 #86
Poles would still more often marry other Poles.

Exactly thank you Paulina, how many times a Pole or a Russian or even an American just by looking at my face knew I was Polish at LEAST 100 times it happened to me. We are not that diverse, even Russians who are more mixed than us I can most of the time tell they're Russian.
ShortHairThug - | 1,103
14 Jan 2011 #87
Oh well, may I direct you to the US Dept of State's publication "Consular Notification and Access" from July 2010 (available here): it clearly states that the bilateral convention with Poland is still in effect.

That in itself does not change the procedure for renunciation of Polish citizenship or how such a person is viewed in accordance with existing law and constitution. A petition still must be field and granted before he/she formally loses the citizenship period. Bilateral convention is only there for convenience sake. Clearly there are two contradictory sets of laws as seen from each others perspective and the bilateral convention is just a request of honouring each others rights, a citizenship in itself is quiet another matter.
Paulina 13 | 3,807
14 Jan 2011 #88
Yeah, I've seen the film "Predators" (lol) and at the beginning when they were dropped to this alien planet the moment I saw one actor I thought "He's going to be a Russian" and, yup, he was :) And he is a Russian in reality too :)

And why Adrien Brody played a Jew in "The Pianist"?
PennBoy 76 | 2,436
14 Jan 2011 #89
And why Adrien Brody played a Jew in "The Pianist"?

Because he looks typically Jewish, Semite features
Paulina 13 | 3,807
14 Jan 2011 #90
Yup. Brody's father is of Polish-Jewish descent, his mother was born in Hungary and was a daughter of a Hungarian father and a Czech Jewish mother.

Also Ben Kingsley looks "Jewish" and he played Itzhak Stern in "Schindler's List" (but he's of Hindu origin - and he played Gandhi too :)).


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