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Polish Culture

January 30 2009 Polish Culture Newsletter

Hello all of you!

And another week is gone... but surprisingly the snow came back and it is once again white outside my window! I really like this view... have you ever heard of Nowa Huta district? I can see almost whole south part of my city, Krakow. The chimneys of Still Works Factory would not impress many (at least not positively) but to me the view is charming... especially at night when all the lights of Nowa Huta district are on!

Probably most of you noticed that I attached the wrong link in my former newsletter. I am terribly sorry for that. I got so excited with this mermaid story that I confused the link. I started to wonder why I did not double check it (as I usually do) but then it came to my mind that I am just a typical Pole, sometimes a little bit forgetful and a little bit messy. And then I started to think what a typical Pole means? I really hate to stereotype... but actually stereotypes are how people generally perceive us. So, what a typical Pole is for you like?

In my last article you can read about some most common stereotypes about Poles. At least these are the ones that we hear about here in Poland. But what is even more interesting, we also stereotype about ourselves! On one hand we generalize and laugh about some things that we have in common. But on the other hand we also repeat among ourselves stories telling general positive truth about our nation... at least we believe that everybody believes it. It is like thinking that your favourite pop star is the most popular in the whole world... but then you might go to the country where nobody ever heard of him. What we believe and worship, seems obvious to us but not necessarily to others. That is why I always laugh when I hear that everybody says that Polish girls are the most beautiful in the world. And I laughed even more when I was told in Czech Republic that everybody says that Czech girls are the most beautiful. And then I heard it from my American friend (about American girls of course) and I got confused. Do we all repeat the same story? Could we call it positive stereotyping? Is there actually anything like positive stereotyping? Anyway... read the last article. I am curious whether this is how you perceive a typical Pole.

Stereotypes about the Poles
Many countries have probably numerous stereotypes about the Poles. However, very often they do not match with reality or at least with what the Poles think about themselves. Where is the truth then? Probably somewhere between.

And here comes the article about the mermaid... this time with a good link:

Poland has its mermaid too!
Mermaid is a mythical creature that was popularised in various tales and histories. But Poland has also its own legend that says about half woman half fish who protects Warsaw till now. Its story is connected with a popular Polish legend.

You can find more similar stories at Polish Culture site at BellaOnline.com.

Join us at our discussions or simply post your question, story, recipe at Polish Culture Forum.

I would like to thank you in advance for forwarding the newsletter to anybody who could be interested in the topic of Polish Culture. Emails from you are mostly welcome! I am usually very slow in replying but in case of emergency questions, just post it in the forum.

Many greetings from again white Krakow! You really must have kept your fingers crossed for the snow!

Barbara Swiech, Polish Culture Editor

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