10 Things Poles Probably Want You To Know

Lists sell well, says every guidebook for content makers… This one probably won’t, but let’s crack on with it. Also, I don’t guarantee that every Pole will agree with this list. Or with its entirety. But I think these are legitimate, and could certainly serve as starting points for discussion.

  1. History lessons in school consisted mainly of antagonising Germans and Russians, and World War 2 documentaries.
  2. It’s ‘barszcz’, not ‘borscht’. If you offer us ‘borscht’ (or ‘borsch’), the soup would probably land on your head. (Because you’ve insulted barszcz).
  3. Martyrdom plays a very important part in our culture, both national and catholic. (Perhaps that’s why we complain so much, and never answer ‘fine’ to the question ‘how are you?’ – so that everyone knows how much we’re suffering…).
  4. No, really, martyrdom is important. As the brave victims of history (who are still in a shitty position when compared to other places in Europe), we have not much left but to emphasise how much we’ve sacrificed. Sacrifice is the ultimate DIY (way more embraced than anything found on Pinterest).
  5. Poland used to be one of the greatest, richest kingdoms in Europe. Or something like that.
  6. The chances are that many of us have worked part-time jobs, just like you, back in Poland. But while you are complaining about the £7.50 minimum wage, we earned a mighty £2 per hour (£3 in the best case scenario; the price of a flat white in the UK is about £2.50/GBP, while in Poland it’s 10 zł/PLN so about £2. Sure, things can be a bit less expensive in Poland, but it really is less significant than you think. At least you can get three coffees by working an hour on minimum wage; we can’t).
  7. Family in Polish culture is, generally, sacred. If you have children, you provide for them. But also people are generally brought up to be hard-working. Try and understand that before you jump into judging our lifestyles.
  8. The white in our flag can stand for purity and innocence, the red for (sacrificed) blood and bravery. The colours really stem from the medieval Polish emblem (white eagle on a red background), but this is one of their contemporary interpretations. And the values represented by the flag get among our personal values.
  9. All of the ‘everyone deserves to…’, ‘everyone has the right to…’, and other communist/socialist rhetoric, is pretty irritating. Especially the hammer and sickles on your stickers and posters.
  10. This is a sandwich. (credit: @wlodi4444 on Instagram) And yes, you can absolutely eat it for breakfast. And dinner.
View this post on Instagram

co myślimy o tych kanapkach??

A post shared by Włodi Włodarczyk (@wlodi4444) on

The Cereal Bonus:

11. Cereal in Polish shops generally comes in plastic bags. (Like this).

Published by kotersey

Graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a First in geography, and from the University of Brighton with a Master's in history of design and material culture. Probably drinking iced coffee and thinking about buildings.

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