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Stereotype Sunday: Waving the Polish Flag or Kocham Cię Rysiek!

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Europe According to Germany

I missed Stereotype Sunday last week because of college, but I’m back with a moan roar this week.

I don’t want to be accused of dishing it out but not being able to take it, so today I’m tackling my mother land Poland.

It’s a difficult task for a number of reasons:

I don’t have the outsider perspective that allows me to pick out the most characteristic features of my country.

I’m not sure how characteristic we are in general.

Nevertheless, I googled the top stereotypes connected to Poland and this is what I came up with:

The top thing associated with my country is kiełbasa (btw, it’s pronounced kiew (like window)basa not kielbasa).

Vodka is also popular, as is Chopin ( who is NOT French, thanks very much), and we’re generally know for our love of football, although less said about our national team the better😉

Many people still think we’re in the midst of communism, and that we’re also seen as religious zealots.

BTW, have you noticed that Polish RA fans refer to him as Rysiek?

It’s a short for Ryszard (pronounced ryshard).

Anyway, this is Rysiek stereotyping my country :

Football, kiełbasa, vodka…

Polad Richard Armitage

And here’s something from the Tatry Mountains, our góral, meaning mountain folk:

Richard Armitage Góral

As well as their arch enemies Krakowiaki:

Richard Armitage Krakowiak Chopin

And last but not least, the most recognisable Pole, Ryszard Wałęsa:

Richard Armitage Lech Wałęsa

All together now: Kocham Cię Rysiek!!!

Can I please now go back to stereotypes of other countries?

About AgzyM

"I have measured out my life with coffee spoons". A fangirl through and through, anglophile, and admirer of beauty whereever I can find it. I love books and art, and spend too much time admiring Richard Armitage and other amazing British actors.

40 responses »

  1. Ryszard Walesa! Hilarious! Besides Walesa and Solidarity, when I think of Poland first things that come to my mind are Mila 18 and Chopin.

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  2. It’s a shame I really have no idea about Polish stereotypes – I should know them as you are close neighbours to me. Probably I do not give too much about stereotypes and prejudice…
    When thinking Poland only fierce warriors like Jan Sobieski come to my mind (without whom Europe would be a total different place today and on my opinion he is one of the most important European personalities in history – and one of the most neglected and disregarded). You live on blood drenched soil. Poland seems to always have been the object of desire to all major forces around it. Tolkien maybe have also read about Polish history and resistance when making up middle-earth. I could sense that. And the life of Jan Sobieski would make a very interesting film. Could be portrayed by Mr. Armitage (for example).

    Local cuisine? Pierogi anyone? Love them!

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    • We have definitely had our fair share of battles and wars. That’s what you get when you wedge yourself between superpowers😉 Poland was dismantled three times in it’s history, not to mention almost half a century of visits from our friends in the east😉
      Regarding Polish food, it is actually quite delicious, if a little meat oriented and stodgy at times, quite similar to German cuisine in some regards. Pierogi are delicious, both savoury and sweet, with berries and sweet cream on top. I think our traditional Christmas food is very tasty🙂

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  3. To jest bardzo śmieszne. Dziękuję. Możesz wrócić do drwi z innymi ludźmi teraz.

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  4. I could only think to add Pope John Paul II- hardly a stereotype, but a memorable Polish figure, nonetheless.

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    • As far as I know he’s become a saint now, or is nominated for saintlyhood (is that even a word?). I try to stay away from religious themes as there too much church in our daily lives as is😉 BTW, I was born the year he was chosen as a pope and my mother thought that if I were a boy I’d be Karol (the popes name). Another reason to be happy I popped out a girl!

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  5. No, tak… rodzimy stereotyp. Gdyby nie pewna sprawa naprawdę ważna i na pewno poważna, AgzyM… Można dla niej szczerze poprosić o pomoc i godne poparcie. Nie tylko międzyblokowe. Ludzkie przede wszystkim i serdeczne, czyli właśnie bezinteresowne, co zdecydowanie jeszcze raz podkreślam. „Off-topowo” dla niektórych zaraz jeszcze bardziej, ale życiowo po prostu. Z serialowej Hiacynty Bucket vel Żakiet można się zdrowo uśmiać, ale jeśli ktoś taki trafi się nam rzeczywiście na osi cennego czasu? Śmiech jest, ale właśnie z przymulenia=stereotypu, bo i stereotypowo „dobry” to człowiek, czyli niech inni to widzą, zwłaszcza ci, którzy prawdy nie znają o tej „dobroci”. Z ciemną brodą ona, ciemną i starą jak świat! Dv.
    Sprawa, AgzyM, czyli do rzeczy. Jest dziewczyna, która tłumaczy na polski różne filmy i filmiki na YT. Trafiłam na ten jej YT kanał przypadkowo, czytając gdzieś tam czyjś wpis. Spotkałam dobrego człowieka. Justyna240266 pod tym akurat tłumaczeniem napisała prośbę dotyczącą artystów, których rodzime stereotypy wrzucają do przyciasnego wora/ klatki z wielką krzykliwą nakleją: ARTYŚCI NIEPEŁNOSPRAWNI. To właśnie ich dotyczy ten komentarz u Ciebie, jak właśnie na mnie przystało w całej krasie i dumie (!): OFF-TOPIC. Zastanawiałam się, czy opisywać wszystko, ale właściwie po co to robić? Justynka przedstawiła wszystko bardzo przejrzyście i odesłała po właściwą wiedzę do źródła. Poza tym widać i po tym, co robi w sieci dla innych, właśnie bezinteresownie i nie dla fałszywego poklasku, że bardzo jej zależy, aby CI ludzie mogli cieszyć się z tego, że chociaż w tym jednym jedynym miejscu w Polsce mogą tak naprawdę wśród przyjaciół pokazywać innym, tzn. zdrowym, chodzącym pewnym krokiem pełnego, pełnosprawnego ciała i żyjącym bez żadnych faktycznych progów i barier, że można cieszyć się życiem w pełnym świetle, nie w siermiężnym półmroku, który jedynie z własnego wyboru, a nawet i na własne życzenie. Justynka zwróciła się do podobnych sobie polskich RAfanów z konkretnym apelem, który zamieściła po raz pierwszy tu: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=og5WblYjkSs(ewentualnie/wpisz/do/ nawiasu, bo/ nie wiem, czy nie wklei się całe okno, więc zapisuję w ten sposób, aby tego uniknąć – mam nadzieję). Prośbę ponowiła, podklejając ją pod Spooksów7 z przygotowanymi polskimi napisami.
    Pomyślałam, że poproszę Ciebie, polskiego RAblogera piszącego sprawnie po angielsku, dla którego sztuka jest ważna i którego sztuka rzeczywiście interesuje, a przede wszystkim, który o niej pisze, więc rozumie jej nie tylko terapeutyczną rolę w życiu, żeby może poświęcił swój któryś artystyczny blogowy piątek i „pokazał” jako znawca tę wyjątkową krakowską galerię w RAświecie. To byłoby naprawdę coś WAŻNEGO, GODNEGO i na pewno poza naszym paskudnym stereotypem. To ta prośba, AgzyM, którą przecież można potraktować wg własnego uznania. Jeśli to nie będzie ewentualnie obciążeniem dla Twojego bloga, dziękuję w ogóle i już dzisiaj. Tylko i wyłącznie jako człowiek, tzn. bez pogardliwych naklejek i klatek. Zresztą nie ma takich, w które dałabym się wcisnąć „dobroci” Hiacynt Żakietowych.
    Tę prośbę wysyłam też do Joni. Przepraszam, ale jestem bardzo zmęczona, stąd ten bałagan stylistyczny. Nieważne, bo ważna sprawa, AgzyM.

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    • Muszę troche więcej na ten temat przeczytać, gdybyś miała jakiś link to prześij na iwanttobeapinup [at] wp.pl🙂 Zrobię co mogę🙂

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      • Dzięki w imieniu tych twórczych ludzi, Justyny (sądzę, że tak właśnie) i uśmiech od niepokornej („tak mi dopomóż…”, itd.). Bardzo źle się czuję, więc już teraz krótko. Link Ci wkleiłam, więc bez nawiasu go skopiuj i wklej. Rozwiń informację pod filmikiem z wywiadem przetłumaczonym przez Justynę. Tam jest adres strony internetowej fundacji, o którą tu chodzi. Tam jest wszystko po polsku i po angielsku. Ja dodatkowo u siebie pokazałam lekcję malowania, którą też wskazała Justynka. Obawiam się, że jak wkleję linka, to wyskoczy Ci w komentarzach okno z filmem, a nie wszyscy coś takiego lubią. Może więc wklep w Google: „Agnieszka Sapińska – wystawa indywidualna – Kraków 06.08.2013”. Pod spodem też coś na temat. Zresztą możesz dopisać swój komentarz czy pytania pod tym wskazanym najwyżej adresem. Justyna odpowiedziała na wszystkie komentarze, więc… AgzyM, nie mogę/potrafię dłużej pisać, przepraszam. Może ja jutro do Justyny

        Reply
  6. pickles, polka, and being a bit dim-witted😉 I’m of Polish decent myself though I’m not really in touch with that part of my heritage.

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  7. I was going to say “Polak jokes” but Kelbel75 put it more politely. In the town where I grew up there was a big bridge to a town where most of the people were descended from Poles and we called it the “Polish Connection.” Lots of mean jokes about those people I’d frankly rather forget. We totally fought out the German/Polish hate affair in the New World. I also think of ‘kolaches” as Polish but I guess that’s more on the border to Bohemia because my Czech students see them as Czech.

    Loved Richard as Wałęsa and I really do like the idea that someday he might get old and have a bit of portly tummy … jolly Rysiek.

    Also, I love this Polish thing (Russian do it too) of all the potential multiple nicknames for a different given name. It’s so endearing and not at all like anglo-American nicknaming.

    You should do US-American next🙂

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    • Kolacze! yummmm!😀

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      • So they *are* Polish. I know the folks who called themselves Polish-Americans made them.

        I should say, re: bad jokes — every member of my family on both sides who came to the US immigrated from a very small little place about 70 mi east of Stettin (I was there once, briefly, to say I’d been) and so they call themselves Germans (and have German names) but if they hadn’t left in the 1850s, we might very well be Polish now …

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        • My part of country was under Austrian annexation so the”kołacze” are blend of Polish, Czech, Hungary and Austrian baking culture😉 and we love them as we used to love the Emperor Franz Jozef. The Austrian were fairly benign invaders.
          re: your roots Serv..it’s so fascinating! ..is that posiible that your ancestors were part of ” Ostflucht”?
          PS: HA!..and we might very well be Swedes now ;)….. damm!:D

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          • All of the records in German except for the Kirchenbücher disappeared in 1944/45, but they were peasants tied in some legal relationship to an estate in that region. (There may be other records, but I can’t read Polish. Or not yet anyway.) I think they were a little too far west to count as Ostflucht (it would be West Pomerania, I think, where they lived). There was a big potato famine there in 1848-49, and a lot of other things happened across central Europe at just about that time that disrupted traditional governance relationships. There’s a big group of people from right around there who all left together, many of whom did not know each other but “met on the boat” and then settled in the same place when they made it to the US.

          • That’s true, the Swedes didn’t manage to conquer us at the time, but IKEA has now😉 Co ma wisieć nie utonie!

        • It took me a moment to recognise what you mean by Stettin. Now it goes by Szczecin, which is probably terribly hard to pronounce, but then Polish generally sounds like white noise.
          You are always more than welcome to come join us here! Poland has actually been doing very well since the crisis of 2007, and we’re nuts about hospitality. Most people visiting complain that a hostess will take offence if you don’t take seconds… and thirds. We show we care through food which quite possibly came from the time when most products were tough to come by, a jar of coffee was valuable enough to be offered as a bribe, so preparing a feast was the best way to honour a guest. We still have a fetish for bananas and oranges as they were almost impossible to buy and would often appear only around Christmas time. By the way, now a kilogram of bananas cost less that a kg of Polish apples, go figure…

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          • LOL this feels so much like home. Children of communism.😀

          • High five. This generation growing up now have no idea, nor will they ever understand what it’s like to stand in line to buy 10 rolls of badly recycled toilet paper and what joy it was when you came home with such a treasure😉

          • Yeah, I know it’s been called something else for quite a while now. My German ex’s first wife was Polish, and he became a strong Polish speaker (fluent but not near-native) and one time when he had the flu he started to try to teach me some Polish and the Polish name for the city has a lot of those combinations with cz in it and I know how to spell the German name and I also know how it’s pronounced. Sorry! (cringes) At least the spelling is “relatively” close. The places where my ancestors are from have completely different names in German and Polish.

          • We had toilet paper but coffee and laundry detergents were a rare commodity. Not to mention chocolate.

      • We have A LOT of amazing cakes and bread!

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    • The USA is coming, I promise, especially that it was requested🙂
      There’s a Polish proverb that says: “Bez pracy nie ma kołaczy” meaning no work, no cake. The biggest problem with establishing what is Polish is that the boarder moved west after WWII, leaving a huge portion of people of the ZSRR side, but getting a slice of Germany. This followed the brutal resettlement of people and cultures and traditions blurred.

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      • In the period I study it’s really hard to establish where the lines are — historians use a sort of shorthand based on what language a particular group spoke, but in a way that’s just convenience. A lot of historians don’t take the time to master all the languages spoken in that region …

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  8. Hilarious again, Agzy – oh, Ryszard Walesa had me in giggles. Stereotypes are a very touchy subject, and I will refrain from coming out with the ones that popped up in my mind. Very hurtful. Besides, I am sort of Polish myself, my surname is Polish, my family came from a part that is now in Poland (although they claim they have *always* been German. Ha! How come I have a Polish surname then???) – and I have been on holidays in Poland several times and loved it. Glorious food, gorgeous holiday area (FYI: Jelenia Gora, Karpacz and the Krkonoše). And I know some pretty clever, funny and sexy Polish girls, too😀

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    • 😀 sticking out tongue !

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    • History, darling is a b*tch and I understand how your family felt, Poles feel the same about their eastern areas taken away. My friend comes from the Wrocław area which used to be German Breslau. When his family was relocated there, they literally took over the homes that were left behind, even to the point that the family tomb is actually a post German one. The mind boggles how that came about (the Polish are almost obsessive about looking after graves, but I guess that’s the way things were at the time) so less said sooner mended.
      Yes, Polish women are ridiculously pretty, naturally slim, blue eyed and blonde hair. That one of the reasons why I’ve never really felt part of this country😉

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  9. Rysiek jako Wałęsa ha ha mam nadzieję, że los będzie dla niego bardziej łaskawy😉 ale i RA w koszulce Lewandowskiego też całkiem przyjemny widok dla oka.🙂

    Reply
  10. Pingback: Richard Armitage Legenda 103: Stuff worth reading | Me + Richard Armitage

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