Off topic: OT - Question for a friend about national identity
Thread poster: John Walsh

John Walsh  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:17
Member (2004)
Italian to English
Jun 15, 2009

Hi,
Sorry for writing in English in the "Polish" forum.
I have a friend who is working on a project related to Poland. He has two questions that I was hoping someone here might be able to answer:
1) Is there one "thing" (period in history, place, system, etc.) that would be considered a part of the "national identity" of Poland?
2) What would you consider the most important "symbol" of Poland? Not only a "tangible" symbol, like a building or city, but also an "intangible" symbol like a trait or national identity.
These questions may be difficult to answer but it is also difficult to ask the right questions to try to understand the "national identity" of Poland.
Thanks,
John

p.s. - Potete anche rispondere in italiano se preferite


[Edited at 2009-06-15 12:37 GMT]


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Lucyna Długołęcka  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:17
English to Polish
+ ...
German thesis Jun 15, 2009

Hi,
If you can read German, a MA thesis by Marius Zmuda, IDENTITÄT UND ABGRENZUNG.
DIE POLNISCHE „SZLACHTA“ AUF DER SUCHE NACH IHREM PLATZ IN EUROPA 1648 – 1668 may be of help to you. It is available on the web and contains a discussion of the Polish national identity.


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Barbara Gadomska  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:17
English to Polish
+ ...
"symbols" Jun 16, 2009

I would like to stress that this is my personal point of view.

A symbolic building: Wawel Castle in Krakow; however, I am sure that many people would say "Jasna Góra monastery in Częstochowa" or "Gdańsk Shipyard".
A characteristic trait: ability to wonderfully rally together in case of dire need (like war, natural disaster, etc), and constant bickering at all other times; also, a strange mixture of inferiority and superiority complexes.

A period in history: this is more difficult; Jagiellonian times were the period of the greatest glory ("Poland from sea to sea"), and they probably laid the foundation for the superiority part of our complexes; the Partitions (roughly, the 19th cent. up to WWI) together with failed uprisings and economic backwardness are probably responsible for all the rest.

Again, this is all very individual.
Best,
bg


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John Walsh  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:17
Member (2004)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
:) Jun 16, 2009

Thanks Lucyna and Barbara.
Poland has such a rich and fascinating history but people outside Poland generally remember the country only for its recent history, so WWII, cold war, solidarity movement, the Pope.
Is that the same for the Polish people? Do the people in Poland perceive and find national identity in the history before the 20th century or has the 20th century been the main factor that shaped the national identity? Is it different for young Poles?
Thank you so much

[Edited at 2009-06-16 09:35 GMT]


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Anna Dzidowska  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:17
English to Polish
+ ...
re: national identity Jun 16, 2009

I have to say those were pretty tough questions to answer.

I agree with Barbara that the Wawel Castle in Krakow is considered a symbolic building by many Poles and an important part of the Polish national identity (by the way, I asked that question to my husband and my parents and without hesitation all of them said Wawel). Also I believe that Krakow (rather than Warsaw though I may be biased here;) has a special place in the hearts of many Polish people.

Throughout the history religion has always played an important role in Poland so I would add religion in general, and Catholicism in particular as part of the national identity. And if you think Catholicism in Poland then you should also mention the Jasna Gora monastery with the famous Black Madonna and obviously JPII.

Again I agree with Barbara about Poles' solidarity in times of need and bickering. I would also add resourcefulness and complaining.

As for a particular period in history, I would say WWII and what followed. It still haunts us. Many Poles believe Poland fell victim of historic injustice in this context.

Hope it helps:)


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John Walsh  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:17
Member (2004)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
:) Jun 16, 2009

Anna Ujma wrote:

Hope it helps:)


Yes, it does help and I thank you


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Alexander Onishko  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:17
Russian to English
+ ...
Smok Wawelski Jun 16, 2009

Barbara Gadomska wrote:

I would like to stress that this is my personal point of view.

A symbolic building: Wawel Castle in Krakow;


I have also heard of Smok Wawelski (the Dragon of Wawel)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smok_Wawelski



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ewa truszewska
English to Polish
+ ...
national identity Jun 16, 2009

There is no one thing in History most certainly

starting with most recent
1.fall of Communism (Solidarity)
2.the Polish Pope
3.WWII- Warsaw uprising
4.Partitions
5.Jagiellonians
6.Adoption of Christianity


For me very personally certainly John Paul II, his death and his life as the model of holliness

[Zmieniono 2009-06-16 22:31 GMT]


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Agenor Hofmann-Delbor  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:17
English to Polish
+ ...
Vodka and Quarrelling Jun 17, 2009

I'm surprised nobody mentioned Polish Vodka - the only export product we have and probably also our national identity symbol. Except for our widely known quarrelling skills

[Zmieniono 2009-06-17 11:58 GMT]


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Lucyna Długołęcka  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:17
English to Polish
+ ...
Jokingly Jun 17, 2009

Sorry for Polish

We the Poles can laugh at ourselves

1. Jeden z mieszkańców Katowic chciał w lombardzie zastawić swojego syna.
2. Jako pierwsza nacja na świecie, opracowaliśmy sposób na picie denaturatu, płynu borygo, kwasu siarkowego i wody kolońskiej.
3. Grabarz z Krakowa miał we krwi 9,5 promila alkoholu i przeżył. Mieszkaniec Wrocławia w 1995 r. osiągnął absolutny medyczny rekord świata - 14,8 promila. Nasz bohaterski rodak przekroczył trzykrotnie śmiertelną dawkę. Zmarł w wyniku obrażeń poniesionych w wypadku samochodowym.
4. W zachodniej Europie pojawiają się alkohole z ostrzegawczym napisem: "Dawka śmiertelna - 3,5 promila. Nie dotyczy Polaków".
5. Tadeusz Kościuszko tak się spił pod Maciejowicami (1794), że zapomniał wziąć mapy i nie mógł dowodzić bitwą. Dlatego Polacy ponieśli klęskę w starciu z rosyjskimi wojskami.
6. Andrzej K. jest rekordzistą świata w szybkości picia piwa. Pół litra piwa wypija w 3 sekundy.
7. Polska kupuje piasek i żwir w Republice Południowej Afryki. A na Lipiu jest go pod dostatkiem(pod Rzeszowem)
8. Pewien mieszkaniec Warszawy w izbie wytrzeźwień przebywał 335 razy, za każdym razem przynajmniej 8 godzin. Jak wyliczył, jego przymusowy areszt trwał minimum 2.680 godzin (prawie 112 dni).
9. Pewien reprezentant Polski w kulturystyce 500 razy przekroczył medyczną normę testosteronu w organizmie zdrowego mężczyzny.
10. Władysław Reymont, autor "Chłopów", nie pojechał w 1924 roku do Sztokholmu po odbiór nagrody Nobla, gdyż nie mógł wytrzeźwieć. Pisarz zmarł rok później z powodu alkoholizmu.
11. Polacy chorzy na raka krtani wymyślili sposób palenia papierosów przez rurkę w tchawicy.
12. Jedna na 100 Polek przyznaje się, ze uderzyła męża. I to wielokrotnie!
13. W marcu 2000 r. na ulicach Warszawy podczas polowania na tygrysa, który uciekł z cyrku, zastrzelono weterynarza.
14. Wśród honorowych obywateli Wrocławia wciąż figurują: Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels i Hermann Goering.
15. Mieszkaniec Nowego Miasta Lubawskiego dwa razy uciekł z prosektorium. Mężczyzna, będąc w stanie kompletnego upojenia alkoholowego, nie dawał żadnych oznak życia. Lekarze, nie mogąc wyczuć pulsu, stwierdzali zgon.
16. Anna K. z Piotrkowa Trybunalskiego została skazana na trzy lata więzienia. Przez 10 lat unikała kary, zachodząc w kolejne ciąże.
17. W 1998 r. we Wrocławiu wykryto wytwórnię fałszywych studolarówek. Amerykańscy specjaliści z Secret Service ocenili, że są to najlepiej podrobione pieniądze na świecie. Zdaniem Amerykanów fałszywe "zielone" wykonane zostały staranniej niż ... autentyczne banknoty.

[Zmieniono 2009-06-17 07:18 GMT]


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