I didn’t want or expect to write an article like this so soon after my previous one last week, but it’s the only way I can keep myself alive and avoid suicide. Thanks to Robert Smith for inspiring this post as I am waiting on his comments on pierogi, the Catholic church, Polish sport and learning the language that will make me prove that he has an agenda here to try and ruin me and my nice travel site about Poland. In the previous post he only cared about changing the word German to Nazi (a country that no longer exists). Check out these top 4 ideas for respecting Polish culture.
1.Learn Some Polish
It still annoys me that some tourists simply demand and order things in English in this country. The country is Poland and guess what their language is gorgeous! It’s also one of the easier languages to learn for English speakers, as the alphabet is quite similar, with just three letters omitted (x, q, v) and a few extra added such as ł, ż, ś, ą, ę. I can understand English speaking tourists visiting Israel and not speaking Hebrew, India and not speaking Hindu, Saudi Arabia and not speaking Arabic and China and neglecting Chinese. But Polish is much more understandable and cool.
Still not convinced? What do these Polish words mean in English? Too easy…
Normalne – Normal
Tramwaj – Tram
Mleko – Milk
Kawa – Coffee
Wino – Wine
Budynek – Building
Cukier – Sugar
Stacja – Station
Ogorek – Gherkin
Komputer – Computer
Alkohol – Alcohol
To samo – The same
Not hard to work out, hardly like learning Chinese is it? So get some basic words learnt and impress the Polish people you meet. And yes, endings of words and some words are complicated in Polish too, but you get the idea – lots of Polish words are easy to work out.
I recommend learning Polish at:
2.Respect the Church and Pope John Paul II
I might be biased here as I go to church and believe in Catholicism and Protestantism these days in equal measures having grown up in a country (Northern Ireland) of both faiths. But the highest building in most small towns and villages remains the church for a reason. It is a Catholic country. It is vitally important here. Know it.
Pope John Paul II is a hero to many here, a true man of honour and respect. Do not say anything bad about him and do not disrespect the church. In fact, go on holy pilgrimages, as I twice did on my first year here – once to Holy Pelplin to Pope John Paul II’s Hill, the home of the only Guttenberg Bible in Poland and my tour to Częstochowa, a truly inspiring and holy city.
3.Eat Tons of Pierogi
Instagram this stuff like there is no tomorrow. Despite hailing from Northern Ireland and having a love for Mexican food as well as my beloved Ulster Fry and some Italian pizza, there is no doubt about the number 3 cuisine from my travels now. It is pierogi. I have become addicted to it and I’ll try any filling except mushroom. I need pierogi at least once a week now to survive.
“Woah, it’s a passion, I can feel it in the air” – Snap (rhythm is a dancer)
4.Know the Polish Sporting Gods
Poland is a proud nationalistic country. Robert Lewandowski is a God here. So is Zbigniew Boniek. So is Robert Kubica. So is Kazik Deyna. So is Lato, top goalscorer of the 1974 World Cup when Poland finished third. Poland also finished third in the 1982 World Cup. Also did you know that Poland once beat Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Sweden, Yugoslavia and Haiti in the same World Cup and still didn’t win it??!! It’s true – in 1974, inspired by Kazimierz Deyna, they won 6 out of 7 matches, scoring 16 goals, Lato being top goalscorer with 7 goals. Their only defeat was a late 1-0 loss to West Germany who were the winners in the end.
And with those five parts of Polish culture to respect, you should fit in nicely. Remember, this is a short and cherished life my friends. Enjoy it. And if you can, visit Poland and Northern Ireland during your lifetime.
“We live in a beautiful world” – Coldplay.