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When we drived through poland-we saw so many churches and cemetery areas. And they were all beautiful and carefully maintained. And there was allways people in churches. Peaceful stop between driving.
Written Apr 28, 2013
Although Republic of Poland is divided into 17 voivodeships ( provinces) according to the administrative reform, which went into effect on 1 January 1999 - see more on -, there are also some traditionally recognised regions connected with geographical features, ethnicity and historical backgrounds. One of those region is Zulawy Wislane, which mostly in Pomeranian Voivodeship (wojewodztwo pomorskie - see more on ) upon the Vistula and Nogat Rivers, in fact in their estuary, a large delta situated on very fertile lands below the sea level in many places. It is famous of " flood control ditches in the depression wetland" and half-timbered houses. So why this information is here in the section of local customs tips? Because we here often say: "I did some sightseeing on Zulawy." or "I come from a village / town in Mazowsze (Mazovia)" or "I'd love to have a cottage and a lot somewhere in Warmia" etc. When someone would take you to Zulawy don't be afraid of ending up on a deserted land, in fact you're close to Gdansk or Tczew or Elblag. What's more, being there you can easily transfer to the other regions called Kaszuby, Kociewie, Bory Tucholskie, Mierzeja Wislana or any other.
Updated Oct 19, 2012
Most of the Poles take off their shoes before enter the house. This custom is very common in a lot of countries so probably most of you take it as granted but if it is not used to your contry (like in my country Greece) be prepared and observe what others do :)
Written May 2, 2011
Wielka Orkiestra Swiatecznej Pomocy (The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity) is the biggest and most prosperous charity organization in Poland. Its objectives, included in the status document, are saving children's lives, health promotion and education in the field of preventive treatment. Between 1993 and 2004 The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity has collected and spent over $50 mln for saving lives. Besides humanitarian work, the Foundation is also a powerful medium spreading the ideology of kindness, friendship, tolerance, and openness.
In ten years, the Foundation has completed 8 gigantic projects. It has bought the medical equipment needed on the numerous pediatric divisions specializing in: cardio-surgery, neonatal medicine, oncology, post-traumatic surgery, pediatric nephrology, diagnostics, newborns' surgery, and newborns & children under 5 years old divisions.
All together, over 10 thousands Pieces of the Most Modern Medical Equipment for Polish Public Hospitals was bought and distributed in public hospitals all around Poland. Among others, Foundation has bought: ambulances, incubators, physiologic monitors, oxygen blenders, infusion and drainage pumps, pulse oximeters, infant ventilators, new beds, anti-bed-sore mattresses, and many more.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Phone: Tel: +48 22 852 32 14
If you are in Poland in the begining of the year and on the second Sunday of January somebody will give you heartshaped sticker like shown on the pic give them some money back. It doesn’t matter how much will you give... You’ll take part in the biggest charity action in Poland called Wielka Orkiestra Swiatecznej Pomocy - The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. They collect money for saving children’s lives. Since 1993 they’ve collected over $44 mln. If you want to know more about this action please check their website.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
The Polish language, a member of the West Slavic branch of the Slavic languages, functions as the official language of Poland. It is a rather tricky language to master, due to numerous consonants one after another. The younger generations usually speak some English and German which are the most common second languages studied and spoken.
The language uses the Latin alphabet with a few additional letters, (formed with an additional slash or hook), bringing the total to 32. The letters you won't find include: q, v, and x, the only exception being direct translations from other languages (such as 'fax'). There are a whole range of words which look pretty similar to their English equivalents, such as 'policja', 'restauracja' 'hotel' and 'taxi'. These are hardly difficult to miss, but here are a handful of others that may be useful: 'kawiarnia' (cafe), herbaciarnia (tea house), ksiegarnia (book shop), nabial (dairy products), sklep (shop), prasa (newsagent), dworzec (station) and lotnisko (airport).
A very useful thing for me to know was the difference between 'woda gasowana' (carbonated water) and 'nie gasowana' (still water), not liking carbonated water very much and having bought that at least couple of times during 10 days in Poland!!
Updated Oct 8, 2010
I think Michael Palin quoted a research stating that "Polish was among the six most difficult languages to learn" in his Television travel series.
Want to learn Polish?
Written Aug 31, 2010
Polish is a difficult language to learn, but you can try! Here are some basic words that you can use while you're there to help you get around.
1. Czesc (CHESH): Hello
2. Dziekuje (JEE-KOO-YEH): Thank you
3. Jest piękna (YEST PYANG-KNA): Its beautiful/This is beautiful
4. Jest piszne (YEST PEESH-NEH): Its delicious/ This is delicious
3. Nie mowie po polsku (NYEE-MOE-VYI POE POL-SKOO): I don't speak Polish
4. Movie po Angielsku/francusku/hiszpansku (MOE-VYI PO ANG-EAL-SKOO/FRAN-SOO-SKOO/HEESH-SHPAN-SKOO): I speak English/French/Spanish
5. Moviesz po angielsku? (MOE-VYI PO ANG-EAL-SKOO): Do you speak English?
6. Gdzie są toalty? (G-JAY SOE TOE-LETEH): Where are the washrooms?
7. Skąd jestesz? (SKAWND YES-TESH): Where are you from?
8. Nie wiem (NYEE VYEM): I don`t know
9. Tak (TUCK): Yes
10. Nie (NYEE): No
11. Przepraszam (PSHUH-PRASH-UM): Excuse me
12. Gdzie (GJAY): Where
13. Co (TSO): What
14. Ile (EE-LEH): How much/many
15. Ile co kosztuje (EE-LEH TSO KOSH-TOO-YEH): How much is this?
14. Jak (YUCK): How
15. Rozumium (ROTS-OO-MIUM): I understand
16. Nie Rozumiem (NYEE ROTS-OO-MIUM): I don`t understand
Updated Dec 31, 2009
The day before Christmas is for Polish Catholics even more important than Christmas Day itself. It starts as a normal working day only busier as people frantically look for presents, do last minute shopping for food or decorate their Christmas trees. The shops close at about 3 or 4 p.m., buses get less and less frequent until only night buses are left. It is a family holiday so most restaurants will close as well.
Christmas Eve Supper is the most important of all Christmas meals, which all the family members try to attend. It starts with sharing the consecrated wafer and exchanging good wishes with the others. After that, the proper feast starts. Traditionally, there will be some hay put under the tablecloth, which is supposed to bring the family prosperity in the year to come and there will be one extra place laid for 'the lone wanderer', who, however, hardly ever comes but, theoretically, should be made welcome. The typical dishes on the table include herring in oil or vinegar, jellied fish, mushroom soup or borsch (betroot soup) with mushroom-filled dumplings, fried carp, kompot (a drink made from dried fruit) and for pudding a few kinds of cakes, the most popular of which is poppyseed cake. No meat or alcohol are allowed, but the ban on alcohol is not observed in all families. Some time during the meal Santa Claus arrives with the presents but, more often, children are sent to another room to watch out for the first star and, while they are there, the presents magically appear under the Christmas tree. When I was a child, only children would be showered with gifts on that day but nowadays all family members may get them. After the meal, there will be carol singing and, when the children are already in bed, some family members may go to attend the Midnight Mass. Of course, this is an idealized picture of Christmas Supper. There may also be some variations on it depending on the family.
Updated Dec 23, 2009
When Ingrid (Trekki) wrote to me, suggesting we could give links to our Christmas carols on our pages, I was really thrilled. Polish people have some really lovely ones that I am sure you will enjoy. And she has even taught me how to make the links. Thanks, Ingrid.
So here they are:
Dzisiaj w Betlejem
Wsrod nocnej ciszy
Oj maluski, maluski
Gdy sliczna Panna...
Wsrod nocnej ciszy
For German carols, see Trekki's Germany Local Customs tip.
Updated Dec 22, 2009
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