Poland feels very much like home, and it has always felt a place I could call home from the very first vacation I spent here. I was always very much in awe with cities brimming with culture and history at every step, and Krakow always gas something new to offer. But even if I lived in Poland for more than 6 years and a half, even if I am in love with their History, even if I have a Polish husband, I still make mistakes that eventually lead other people to find out I an not Polish.
Along time I have bumped into situations that made me realise what makes Polish people tick, what makes them upset, what makes them mad and lose their temper. If you lived long enough here, you might know some or have a few points of your own. If you just entered this fine land though, you might want to read this carefully and make notes ;) so without any further ado... here is how you can get a Polish person mad / upset:
1. Suggest that other nation had it worse than Poland - and I'm not referring here only to the Second World War and how they had German Nazi occupation, after which they had to endure the Communists, The Red Army destroying everything and killing heroes of the war. I'm referring to the point where several countries decided to rip Poland up and take it away from the maps of the world from the 18th century till a century later. Poland was ripped, torn apart, but came back strong and proud. And that's how Polish people are: strong and proud (of their history).
2. Dare to say that their language sounds like Russian - No way! What are you saying?! There is ABSOLUTELY no resemblance! Of course not... That's why they both are Slavic languages and have words that sound the same or slightly the same and have the same meaning... suuuuure... But I do understand them, the past (Communist party) hurts them still and the time when they were under Stalin's heel is not that far away. Also... never say they have blue eyes and blonde hair like the Russians... it's typical Slavic, just say that instead ;)
|Wodka @ Polish weddings - calculate 1 litre per head of guest ;)|
3. Think that you can outdrink a Polak - nope... don't even suggest that Russians might be able to do that! Instead you can say that the Hungarians might come close. Why? "Polak, Węgier, dwa bratanki / I do szabli, i do szklanki / Oba zuchy, oba żwawi / Niech im Pan Bóg błogosławi." - Pole, Hungarian — two good friends, together they battle and drink their wine." It's been recorded that Poles can have the highest grade of alcohol in their blood and yet drive a car ;) Don't try to beat that!
4. Try to show off by "understanding Polish people" just by looking at the very close history: Second World War and Communist times - Oh, Poland is much more than that! Read about Kosciuszko and his links to the USA and the Independence War, read about the Hussaria (The Winged Cavalry) that made everyone tremble, read more! Read Norman David's books! They are in English and they can help you understand more!
5. Referring to the Nazi camps as Polish Death Camps - NO! Don't make this mistake! Even myself, a non-polish person, get really upset when people talk about "Polish Death Camps", like Auschwitz and Birkenau and Treblinka, when in fact they were build by the German Nazi people who occupated Poland and took it for their own. It was not the will of the Polish population even if it was on Polish land, and saying different is degrading towards the ancestors of all the Polish people brave enough to help the ones that escaped the horrors of the camps. Did you know that for each Nazi killed there was a law instated that 10 Poles mist die? Now think about that next time you think about saying that. Learn the truth, so that you may not lie!
The series is named "How To... In Poland" and focuses on giving as much help and as much information about Poland to the lovely future traveler. The articles will be published during #traveltuesday - so stay tuned for more.
Embrace the subject and read one of the articles below -How To... In Poland
- Do Shopping In Poland - Currency
- Pick The Best Time To Visit Poland
- Get To Poland - Transit
- Eat Like The Locals
- Spend One Day In Krakow
- Be Prepared For Coming To Poland
- Recognize Tourists In Poland
- Maintain Work-Life Balance In Poland
- Books/Films/Music In Poland
- Survive The Polish Weddings
- Survive The Polish Winter
- Know You Are (Most Probably) Talking To Someone Who's Polish
- Survive A Trip To Poland
- Survive World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow
The Twisted Red Ladybug That Is An Expat In Krakow For More Than 6 Years & 1/2 ;)