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Home » Articles » Destinations » Europe » Buy A Vowel
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Buy A Vowel
Submitted by christine on 2008-03-31 09:37:49 (via www.thelongtriphome.com)
I admit I find it difficult at times to pronounce foreign names. But it turns out, not even their owners know their secret. Come think of it, the only way of discovering the truth is going back to your roots. This is what the author of the article did, in the meanwhile giving an insightful view of Poland. Enough suspense I guess...
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Submit Your Vote   |   Add Comment      3 comments   |   Topic: Poland  
 
Submitted by bindero on 2008-03-31 10:41:17
Well, I guess you shouldn't tell your friends about what you learned in Poland about your name. But it's really very nice of you to have decided to visit the country of your ancestors.
Do you feel a stronger bond with the Polish culture now?
And is Poland as you imagined it?
  |   reply 
Submitted by Anonymous on 2008-04-06 09:01:34
I really loved it beacause it's just like it in Poland is, exactly, all this laughing at anyone outside Poland trying to pronounce Polish words:D Russian is held to be almost exact language as Polish, partly I must agree, but on the other hand...I think Russian is more like breaking your tongue, if U understand what I'm trying to express. :) The article gives me a real expression of Poland:) I like the fact the it doesn't contain any negatives or opinions that are commonly believed to be true(I mean stereotypes and so on). From my point of view, first, before making opinions about someone you should get to know it and do not get stick to common believes. What's more about the article..I agree with my whole heart that Warsaw has changed so much that it is almost unbelieveable and impossible to see the old Warsaw. I love Warsaw due to its history, especially the fact that during the World War II Warsaw was fighting with nazis almost beind destroyed. I must say, I wish I were so courageous like people in these horrible days:) We were fighting with both Hitler's army and Stalin's army. Almost always we were fighting for freedom when Germany and Russia wanted to destroy Poland. There are negative, black sites of our history, too, especially from World War II connected with Jews, I know. And I'm really sorry for that.
But I really encourage people to visit Poland, especially my hometown - Warsaw:) I can not assure you that you'll be treated like king or queen - I think that our fright of foreigners left after the World War II is still strong, especially by elder people. Young people are more open. When it comes typical feautures of character of Poles..hmmm...I must say that common for almost everyone of us is pride. What should I add more is that majority of us are generous. What I don't know whether to qualify as negative or positive is the fact that when a big disaster or danger appears(we notice it in the last moment) we stand up for each other and we fight until the end. Sometimes I keep on saying that I'd like to leave Poland, because people here are melancholic and sometimes miserable - in spite of this I always come back happy to Warsaw, maybe due to my family and friends, as some might say. I think there's another explanation for this - I love Poland, I couldn't stand Poland not existing, not being a Pole if it had gone to nowhere or just disappeared. I feel a true bond connecting me with everything that is Polish. Of course, there are many things I disagree with, especially Polish way of attitude towards foreigners(not every Pole is a an antisemit or foreigner - hater). I know that sometimes Poland is a country many laugh at, it hurts. The stereotypes of Polish people are not always true,as a matter of fact almost every stereotype is untrue:) It depends on us whether we judge something without knowing it or whether we get to know something first and then, only then making opinion of it, assessing it.
I hope you don't mind me saying all that thing:)
  |   reply 
Submitted by caskrzyp on 2008-04-14 15:33:14
Hi everyone, thanks so much for the kind words and comments. And special thanks to Christine who submitted my story -- it was a nice surprise to see "Buy A Vowel" receive a new audience!!

Now to answer the Qs posted...

-I do feel a stronger bond with the Polish culture since I visited the country. Since I was lucky enough to practice the Polish holiday traditions during my childhood, it felt like I was "going home," in a sense.

However, the longer I was in the country, the more and more I realize that I am more American than Polish. Poland's not the homeland for me; New York City is.

When I meet Poles nowadays, they keep on laughing that I pronounce my last name wrong. Even though we have a common bond, there's still a divide. I hope that makes sense.

-To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised by Poland. Warsaw met my expectations -- it was Soviet and dreary. Krakow blew me away. It's one of my favorite cities in Europe, hands down. Would love to go back someday with my family.
  |   reply 
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