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Dating in Poland


When I was in a "dating age" in Poland in 80s in Poland, dating was called: "walking with somebody". Dating was also limited to young people, between 15-25 years old. "Walking with somebody" meant enjoying spending time together with your girlfriend or boyfriend walking on the streets or in the parks and holding hands. These were the only private moments since young people were not watched, being among strangers on the streets in public areas. Besides walking, couples spend their free time watching movies in cinema theatre or hiking in the countryside during weekends. The rule was that any financial charges for movie or eventual ice-cream were covered by a boyfriend. Young couples were not able nor allowed to have privacy in their homes for many reasons. In cities people usually lived in small and crowded apartments with their parents and siblings. Bringing somebody home signified that the couple is becoming serious about each other.

Read more: Dating in Poland


On the Wrong Site of the Frontline

This is the third article devoted to World War II in Poland for a series started in the September edition on the anniversary of the war. Read the first article Long Shadows of War - Poland and World War II . This is also a first part of mu Uncle Franek memoirs.

wujek FranekAs I already pointed out in the previous article, the majority of Poles in the regions annexed to Germany during World War II, especially in Upper Silesia, were treated like second-class German citizens. The whole Silesian population was divided into four categories - the first two included people who were members of German political, cultural or sport organizations or had pure German blood. The third category, so-called "volksdeutch" (folk Germans or country Germans) were people of mixed blood and mixed culture who spoke either German or Silesian at home. The Silesian language is just a Polish dialect, mixed with some German and Czech words. These people, according to Nazi standards, were not completely germanized but had lived in the region of Silesia for generations. Originally, there was an idea that all of these people should be sent to the Reich in order to germanize them, but this task was simply impossible since there were so many people who would need "germanization." They therefore received temporary German citizenship for a period of ten years. Commonly, people who belonged to this group had all the duties of the first and the second categories: they were required to send their men to Wehrmacht, but they were denied the special privileges of the two higher class.

Read more: On the Wrong Site of the Frontline


Birthday and Namesday Celebration in Poland

For Poles the namesdays are the days of their patrons, are usually more important than the birthdays. In Polish: "imieniny" meaning "namesday" or "name day", orginate from "imie" = name. Many namesdays are related to old Polish traditions or seasons of the year. for instance - the beginning of the year is related to Mieszko, the end of the year to Sylwester, the shortest day during the year to St. John or the Miner's Day to St.Barbara - miners' patron. Read more about it in the next part of this article. Besides, the celebration of the namesday (name day) does not reveal the age and everybody can easily figure out when is his friend's birthday just by checking the calendar.

Read more: Birthday and Namesday Celebration in Poland


International Children's Day - June 1st

When I was a child I really liked this feast, since this was my feast! I always thought that the International Children's Day, in Polish: Miedzynarodowy Dzien Dziecka which we celebrated in Poland - is really international. Later I realized that this feast is almost unknown outside of the communistic block, in spite of the fact that it did not become really politicized (in spite of the initial efforts). I also thought that this day was introduced by the United Nations - since it was always called "international" - but in reality the United Nations proclaimed not the June but the November 20th as the Universal Children's Day - by the resolution of the national assembly in 1954. November 20th - is devoted to promoting the welfare of the children of the world.

The stamps below are from 1951 when the communistic government was trying to policize the International Children's Day

The text on the sign with the pictures of communists in the center:
Youth! Together we will strengthen the peace

The text's translation:
Pioneer love the Peoples' Poland

Read more: International Children's Day - June 1st


Papal Audience: Handshake with John Paul II, the Holy Father

A couple years ago, just a few months after I had two new knees replaced by Dr. Sridhar, my Sacred Heart - St. Gerard combined choir (I was a director then) made a trip planned to the Vatican to sing at St. Peter's - and also to meet the Pope for the Wednesday Papal gathering.

Handshake with the Holy FatherFor a number of days before that particular Wednesday, the entire choir traveled Venice - Padua - Florence - Sienna - Assisi and Rome - a fabulous trip! Along the way, my husband Dick was my official wheelchair pusher - since he was not sure whether I was going to be able to hold up on the cobblestones. The doctor had said I'd be OK - but it didn't take long to realize, Italy has some "hard roads" to travel - so the rented wheel chair was probably the best $100 Dick ever spent.

Read more: Papal Audience: Handshake with John Paul II, the Holy Father


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