Is it a shame to be Polish?

A few days ago, during an English lesson with one of my groups, I asked the question: “Are you proud of where you come from?” A simple question, isn’t it? If anybody asked me, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second. YES. Poland is my home. I was born here. I grew up here. It’s here I’ve found fantastic friends, loving family, a profession I like. It’s a beautiful country with a little bit of everything – fabulous mountains, vast lakes, the seaside with exceptional sunsets. We’ve also got four seasons of the year, which I like a lot. Especially the spring. Of course it’s not ideal. There are lots of problems. But is there any country in the world which does not have problems? I haven’t heard of any, I must say. The biggest problem is our pessimism. Our national apathy. Our lack of smile. But who can change it if not me? If not you? One of my British friends once asked me about my biggest dream. “A house” I said. “A wooden house with the view of the sea. But you know, it’s impossible to achieve, not here” I added. He looked at me, shook his head with disapproval and replied: “Oh stop being so Polish!” What could I say? He was so right…

Coming back to this classroom situation. What answers did I hear from some of the students? You probably know it well. “No, I’m not proud.” “No, I don’t like Poland.” “Poland is hopeless.” It almost left me speechless. Almost. I asked another question: “What are Polish people like?” What did I hear? Heavy drinkers, wheeler-dealers, lazy-bones… Oh my! – I thought. If we, the Polish, describe our own nation using such insults, how can others have a good opinion on us? Fortunately, when I asked: “Those of you who are patriots raise your hand, please,” I saw quite a lot of hands up, together with mine. So there’s still hope:)
And how about you? Which group do you belong to? Anti-patriots or patriots?




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10 Responses to Is it a shame to be Polish?

  1. I definitely agree. I think that everybody should be proud of his homeland and also we should be proud of being Poles. Every country has a unique tradition, language etc. Maybe we can discern some exceptions for example Iraq or Iran, where there are wars all the time. People don’t respect each other, country is totally destroyed. Maybe in this situation I wouldn’t be proud of being a citizen of this country. Luckily, I’m a Pole. Our great-grandparents fought for Poland. I know that nowadays we don’t have work, government sucks and we can’t achieve our dreams, but if sombody asks me “Are you proud of where you come from?” like in our lesson, I will answer YES. In every country there are “heavy aredrinkers, wheeler-dealers, lazy-bones” . Poland is just as WE represent it. Otherwise I think that we can achieve dreams in different country for example build “A wooden house with the view of the sea” in Spain and we will be still proud of being Poles. Malwina

  2. It’s really heartwarming to read a comment like this. It means it’s not that bad. You say that it’s difficult to be a patriot in a country like Iraq and Iran. Probably you are right. And it makes me even more convinced that we, Poles, have an easy task compared to Iraqi people or Syrians.

  3. It is difficult to determine whether or not I am a patriot. On one hand, I would not trade Poland to another country because we have beautiful customs, views, I have all my friends and family. On the other hand, I look at how people behave here, where you look on the benches lie drunkards, evidence of vandalism can be seen everywhere. On TV we constantly hear politicians who only how they are better than others. At times like these I’m just shamed for what is happening here.

  4. I love Poland for its uniqueness. This country has mountains, sea, beautiful lakes in Mazury. We have delicious food (possibly the best in the world) like ‘pierogi’. I like beautiful old Polish cities like Kraków, Wrocław. We have four seasons. In my opinion this is most important. We don’t like Polish politics? We live in a democratic country and we have a choice. We must be proud and optimistic.

    • You are right – we have a choice. Unfortunately many people criticize the government but don’t take part in general elections. It’s very immature, isn’t it?

      • There is only one word to define them – hypocrites. But many people don’t know whom to choose: a bad or a worse candidate. Maybe it is the fault of the media (web portals, TV, newspapers). They aren’t always reliable and have a big impact on people. So we don’t always know what is true.

  5. I am a patriot. I love my country. And I’m pround that I can be a Pole. People from many of countries say that Poles are the most beutiful women in the word, this is very nice. However, it isn’t the most important. The most important is love of the country and practical Polish traditions. In fact I think that some Polish people, who call themselves patriots only abuse national symbols and do empty gestures. I think, that it should all be straight from the heart, but not something compulsory. Poles should remember about the history and perhaps it will convince to patriotism…

  6. I am definitely a patriot! Though I was born in Germany, I think Polish people have so much to be proud of, for example cuisine, beautiful women and wonderful people, who have done so much for the world.

  7. Many people criticize our country and say that it’s hopeless. Anyways, I know so many people from foreign countries that would love to explore our beautiful country. My friend from India is a great example. He asks me lots of questions about our culture, cuisine, whether people here are kind and open-minded, as he is really planning on visiting me one day.
    I guess most of my peers would say that people here are not friendly at all, just pessimistic about every single thing and rude to each other.
    Getting back to my friend – we got to know each other about three, maybe four years ago and I said the same thing – ‘ I truly hate my country and people living here’. He asked why and I said ‘because they are so mean to everyone’ and then he made me realize one thing – just because some Polish people are not really friendly doesn’t mean that the whole nation is like that. I think every nation has nice and rude people all at once and that’s not a good reason to hate the place where you’re born.

  8. People tend to criticize something what they have instead of being grateful for it. But many of them forget that even in ther dream country, people are people. Same as in Poland. So dreaming about how different would it be in other countries is, in my opinion, pointless. Because every nation has his advantages and disadvantages.
    I don’t forbid anyone to move to another country, but instead of complaining about Poland, it is better to realize how lucky we were to be born in here. Away from the hunger and poverty like in Africa.

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