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?
Picture source: www.demoty.pl