Ask me anything about Poland.

Today is the anniversary of Warsaw Uprising during the WWII, which is quite an important date for Polish people.

Because of this, I thought I should celebrate it on here as well, in a way that could be both fun and educating.

Is there anything, important or just trivial, or in between, that you’d like to know about Poland, or Polish people, or Polish language?

Ask me in the comments, and I will be happy to answer your questions. I can’t promise you I know everything about Poland, Polish people and language, because I don’t, but I am Polish, so I know a lot, plus being Polish I know very many Polish people I can ask, so that way I’ll be learning too.

If there will be any questions that I’ll think deserve some more in depth answer, or that would be particularly interesting for me, I might do a separate post with the answer, we’ll just see how it goes.

So yeah, don’t be shy, just ask me. 🙂


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26 thoughts on “Ask me anything about Poland.”

    1. That’s absolutely true! Polish people definitely love carp as a Christmas Eve dish. And they make it in soo many different ways. Why – I don’t know, I guess for the same reason that Brits love pudding. It seems to be a very old tradition.
      There have been videos on Youtube that went viral in Poland, how people in a supermarket are fighting for a carp.
      I think in some cases it may even just be so that if it’s a tradition that we eat carp on Christmas Eve, then it wouldn’t be normal to do something else. I think so because funnily enough for me, I haven’t seen that many Poles eating carp on any other day, it’s just Christmas Eve, and I’ve also heard many people saying they actually don’t like carp so much. 😀 And I don’t like it either, no one in my immediate family does, and because of this, in opposite to most of our fellow countrymen, we don’t ever have carp for Christmas Eve. We have various other fish though. ‘Cause there perhaps can be Christmas without that yucky carp, but without any fish?! Crime! Or so says my Mum anyway. 😀
      As for the ham, well hm, I can’t agree with you, the ham you can get in an average Polish shop is plain yuck, or maybe I have some sort of weird aversion. So I assume you mean smoked ham, because Polish smoked ham, Polish homemade smoked ham can really be scrumptious.
      i don’t have that much English vocab regarding meat smoking in my brain so I guess this won’t provide you with a lot of detailed info but my Dad is an avid meat smoker, so I know a bit about how such ham is made, although I’m not sure if it’s som way that is exclusive to Poland, I guess not.
      It is a horribly long process. It has to be pickled (or that’s I guess how it’s called), so it just has to soak with salt, spices ad herbs, he adds allspice, corriander, juniper, lovage and lots of other herbs and spices depending on the sort of ham. And this whole pickling lasts for like 2 weeks apparently. Then it’s drained, and smoked, on the cold smoke, because as he says then it can be good even for half a year. I actually like more dry ham much more, it’s somehow more tasteful.
      Hope that helps a bit. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh this is an incredibly broad topic. People were happy and relieved for sure, the Soviet Union destroyed our country in so many ways, not only ruining the economy etc. but also destroying families – people were transported to Siberia, imprisoned, killed – many people still feel the consequences of that or are deeply traumatised by the system. But I think it could be also all very confusing for them – obviously USSR was glorified in the media, so people often just didn’t know what to actually think, both about the USSR in general and then about its fall, I believe it had to evoke lots of contradictory emotions among people. We kinda took the advantage of the fact that the USSR is getting weaker and were one of the first countries to overthrow the communist system and start the transformation. So the ultimate fall of the USSR helped people to see and understand that that era is fully over. Of course behind that there were huge changes in politics, economy, that affected people more or less directly, and I think it all also affected people’s mentality, you’d think it’s just 30 years so things can’t change very drastically for a nation but I feel like our mentality has really evolved since then, which on the other hand is not that very surprising as back then they had very limited access to the media and everything was strictly controlled by the system, so the people just knew and thought what they wanted them to know and think, nothing else. Hope that gives you a little more idea. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Your FAQ is great and very versatile, I like it. 🙂
      As for the magazines and newspapers, don’t know if general preferences are much different from many other European countries. Lifestyle/health/fashion magazines are hugely popular among women, there are a whole lot of them. There are tons of sport magazines, as well as more speciffic ones like for people particularly interested in chemistry, old cars, modern history, science, amateur radio… quite a lot of magazines focusing on rather narrow topics. There are also religious, mainly Catholic magazines of different kinds, some are newspapers with a clearly Catholic view on things, some are focusing only on religious things, while others are more versatile and besides faith related things can also feature some cultural reviews, columns on social issues or politics or family life or whatever actually…
      Newspapers, I’d actually say they’re pretty much divided into two main groups – rightist and leftist. Rightist are gaining more attention now as our current government is conservative, before, the newspapers market was a bit dominated by the more liberal ones. Some of the rightist titles are “Gazeta Polska”, “W Polityce”, “Do Rzeczy”, “Tygodnik Powszechny”, “W Sieci”. Some leftist ones are “Gazeta Wyborcza”, “Newsweek Polska”, “Krytyka Polityczna”, “Polityka”. There are of course also local newspapers which are often read by people.
      As for comics, I’m afraid I can’t give you a lot of info since being blind I was never particularly interested in that field, however I know there is a strong community of comics lovers overhere and we do have some rich comics traditions. I have an impression comics were particularly liked here in the 80’s, I’ve heard many people born in like 70’s claiming that they loved comics as kids.
      As for the lustration, I am certainly not an expert in the field and I don’t know what interests you particularly, but it definitely is a controversial topic, particularly now. Former communists or their collaborators may not be directly a part of the government but many of them still occupy responsible positions in the country, often are claimed as experts by leftist environment, and there are their children, grand children and other people close to them with the same views that also are still on important positions in the country. And now, as our current government is conservative, they are trying to improve the lustration and make it a real thing, so there’s a lot of fuss aroudn that since obviously those communists aren’t happy to b bereft of power and the influence they had on things, and all the material means that come with it. So there are lots of extreme opinions on that.
      Smolensk is another topic of great controversions, some people believe it was just a nasty accident, assuming that if someone thinks otherwise they’re making conspiracy theories, while others want to know the truth. There have been many people killed and it certainly didn’t look like a pure accident or coincidence, it’s enormous pain for the victims’ families that they still don’t know why and how it happened and still can’t get to the truth, I feel for them deeply and really hope it will be solved soon and if there is anyone to blame for this catastrophe, that they will bear the appropriate consequences. You may think that the PiS government and particularly our dead president’s twin brother are too suspicious and searching for th e drama like people often tend to say, but I think if it really was just a drama, then there wouldn’t be so many issues around that and the former government would already take the steps to clear it up. For me it’s just no wonder they want to know what happened to their close ones and so many great people who did, and could did many more good things for the country.
      Don’t know if that’s clear and whether it gives you any valuable info but hope I helped, let me know if you want some more precise information or something. 🙂

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    1. I think in a way they still do have some sort of aversion to Germany because of the past, I know Polish people who openly claim that they don’t like the German, however I don’t think it’s very strong antipathy nowadays and certainly not all of us feel this way since it’s quite generalising. I know or have heard about quite a few Polish-German couples, or Poles living in Germany and loving it, I guess since Germans are the biggest national minority over here I guess it has to be mutual.
      Other than that, I guess our opinions on Germany and German people are pretty similar as in most European countries. Most Polish people tend to think Germany is a very well off, orderly and liberal country, people are very punctual, frank, hard working and maybe even a bit perfectionist, quiet, rather not very outgoing, they can think very prospectively and are hospitable and nice. They like their wurst and beer, and I’ve heard people calling stereotypical Germans Helga and Helmut quite often. German things usually seem to be considered high quality and stylish. I’ve heard many Polish women saying that they think German guys are handsome. Not only German technologies/devices, but also cosmetics, clothes or candy are liked and valued here. And OMG the language, people can’t not comment on how harsh and ugly it is when they hear it somewhere, I’ve heard only a few people, all absolute Germanophiles, who said they love German language. I can agree it’s harsh but I definitely wouldn’t say it’s ugly, some words are actually pretty cute like Kaninchen or gemütlich. 😀

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      1. Hi Emilia, thanks very much for your answer. I never thought of German as a harsh language but compared to Polish it is, I guess. Compared to English I don’t know. Either way it gives a funny accent though LOL. Do you know what? I remembered yesterday I’ve been to Polandcmany, many years ago. My father had a Polish girl friend from Poznan and I visited them there. What a beautiful place. Definitely would love to go back and see more of your beautiful country.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I think compared to English it is also quite harsh, but then so is Polish in comparison to English, I guess, or so say some English natives I know. anyway I personally like some harshness to the language, it makes it more expressive and gives it more personality. Oh that’s so cool you’ve been to Poland, and I’m glad to hear you liked it, it certainly is a beautiful country. And yeah, Poznań is lovely, I’ve been there only once too, but I love it. Let me know when you’d be visiting Poland again so I could show you some interesting places over here, I live in Pomerania and there’s a lot of beautiful things to see here. 🙂

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      1. Thanks for the invitation. We certainly come back to it. And if you ever come to the UK I’ll let you experience some of Norfolk. I would love to know how Poznan looks now.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I may not be very oriented in the topic as I’ve never been particularly interested in digital marketing, but I’m pretty sure you’d be able to find something. Both marketing and technologies in general are fields that are developing incredibly quickly here, and professionals in these areas are certainly desired by lots of companies. You’d probably have to learn at least some basic Polish to get any well-paid job here, but other than that I think you shouldn’t have difficulty finding a job. Good luck and hope you’ll like Poland if you will settle here. 🙂

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    1. I’m back on my laptop so here’s my answer for your question.
      As in all European countries, I guess, we have a lot of imported sweets from other countries which are greatly liked. For example Milka chocolates, or Haribo gummy bears, or crisps from Lay’s. Some sweets and snacks are not popular or actually hard to find in any Polish shops, or not imported here at all, like most Polish kids haven’t everheard about Doritos for example.
      And we also have a lot of our own sweets that are also exported to other countries.
      The chocolates I sent you are called Michałki, which is a plural form of Michałek, Michałek is a nickname of Michał, and Michał is Polish for Michael. Michałki are a classic.
      Some other Polish sweets are:
      delicje – delicje means delicious, and these are small sponge biscuits with jelly filling, topped with dark chocolate. The jelly comes in many flavours, there are raspberry delicje, as well as cherry and orange ones, and probably some more. In my opinion, as well as my family’s,the orange ones are the best.
      Pierniczki toruńskie – gingerbreads from Toruń. These are small gingerbreads produced in Toruń, Toruń is a Polish city in Kuyavian-Pomeranian voivodeship, it’s famous for those gingerbreads and there is even the Gingerbread Museum. They’re soft, poured with chocolate and often with marmelade or jam filling. They can be in different shapes, and gingerbreads aregenerally popular biscuits in Poland, so not all are necessarily from Toruń.
      Grześki – Grześki are another sweets called after a boy’s name, Grześki is plural of Grzesiek, and Grzesiek is a nickname for Grzegorz (Gregory). These are wafers, often poured with chocolate, that can be in many flavours and sizes. Similar are Prince Polo and Princessa, these are always poured with chocolate and very crispy. Another examples of sweets with boys’ names in Poland are two chocolate bars – Pawełek (little Paul) which can be advocat, toffi or cherry, and even Jacek, nougat-flavoured. Though those two aren’t really anything special, at least in my opinion, many people like them though.
      Ptasie mleczko (literally bird’s milk), it is a marshmallow made of milky vanilla filling, very characteristic and foamy with the chocolate poured on it. I’m personally not a big fan of such foamy sweets but many many people like it and it is an iconic and very elegant candy.
      Krówki (literally little cows) are creamy caramel sweets, very chewy,a bit like toffi. They’re wrapped in papers with a cow on them, hence the name.
      Irysy (irises), similar to krówki, chewy toffi candies.
      Calypso – Polish ice cream.
      Warm ice cream – a waffle filled with creamy-foamy filling and chocolate sauce.
      Malaga and kasztanki – these are candies that you can buy together in a mix, malaga arefilled with semi-liquid filling, and kasztanki (meanslittle chestnuts) have a cocoa filling, andI guess some nuts too, they’re kinda crispy.
      Torcik Wedlowski (Wedel’s small cake,Wedel is a well-known Polish confectionery company) it is a small wafer cake with chocolate and hazelnut cream. It is kinda refined and looks very good, so is great for a gift for example.
      Hope that helps and gives you some idea, I’m sure you can buy some of these online if you’d like, or just come to Poland and I’ll show you. 😀

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