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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The Soul Of Poland

Dear friends,

The last Saturday of March I have been honoured by one of my best friends with an invitation to the National Dance Competition held in Krakow. You already know that from my posts from the weekend, but today I wanted to show you something special from that day. And I have saved the best for the last! In the evening, in one of the breaks when they were giving the prizes for the classical dancing, there was also a performance of traditional Polish dances - as far as I understood they were typical for the Krakow region. Before they went on stage I had the honour to snap a few shots of the lovely ladies and gents who were about to perform. As an expat and a person who loves to travel, I am very open when it comes to traditional dances / food /customs and tell you the truth, I always thought that the Romanian and Polish dances / food / customs have a similar ground. They made me feel always like home so I never miss an ocasion to see the ladies twirl and the men play with their swords ;)
 “Here (Poland), we have more winter than summer, more ice than sunshine; and Vodka is nothing but melted ice. Every nation drinks in this way: the Italians and the French drink the gold of melted sunshine, we the ice. That’s why a Pole glides through life as if on skates, and that is why he often staggers, for he finds it slippery. The Pole’s sorrow is so hot that he finds in necessary to cool it with vodka, the sorrow of other nations, the sorrow of other nations is so cold so they have to fuel it with wine
Karol Makuszynski
 "It has been said that Poland is dead, exhausted, enslaved, but here is the proof of her life and triumph"
 Henryk Sienkiewicz
 "My most ardent desire is that my country will recapture its historic opportunity for a peaceful evolution and that Poland will prove to the world that even the most complex situations can be solved by a dialogue and not by force
Lech Walesa
To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge"
 "All the common people kissed my hands, my feet, my clothes; others only touched me, saying, 'Ah, let us kiss so valiant a hand!"
King John III Sobieski (an excerpt from a letter written to his wife, after victory in the Battle of Vienna)
 "The Pole listening to Chopin listens to the voice of his whole race" 
Ignace Paderewski
 "I am the master! I stretch forth my hands, even to the skies! I lay my hands upon the stars, as on the crystal wheels of the harmonica. Now fast, now slow, as my soul wills, I turn the stars. I weave them into rainbows, harmonies. I feel immortality! I create immortality!"
Adam Mickiewicz
 “I'm lazy. But it's the lazy people who invented the wheel and the bicycle because they didn't like walking or carrying things.”
Lech Walesa
I am seriously thinking of buying one of those dresses/skirts! ;)))
Don't they look dashing?!
I think the young lasses looked marvelous in their thick braids, red bows and with beautiful flower crowns in their hair - made me somehow think of Florence And The Machines... Not to mention the white blouses and their green overcoats and green flower-full skirts. And the men were also top notch with their peacock feathered red-black hats and their blue with red overcoats combined with white pants and adorable leather boots. I was mesmerised/fascinated by them the moment they appeared, and when they went onstage I could not help but smiling wide, like a child. Then the miracle of dancing happened and the pairs started twisting and turning on the stage leaving the audience breathless when they lifted the ladies up... up... in the air :)
Have you ever experienced Polish dances? How about Romanian traditional dancing? I have also attached a small video of the dances. Now please kill me not if the camera was not stable enough or if at a certain point you can definetely hear me cheering up the lads! :) I did this for you, lovely people, so I can share with you yet another expat experience - an experience where I felt home away from home and where I could feel a connection between Poland and Romania. I believe that the soul of a country and the soul of its people can be reflected via its traditions and part of the traditions is also the dancing - and dancing is always good for the body and soul ;)

Yours truly,
The LadyBug In Love With Polish Customs