Written by Martin S.Nowak Tuesday, 11 February 2014 21:48
The Slavic people are thought to have originated in what is now Ukraine, and dispersed from there in various directions, eventually dividing into three linguistic-cultural groups: the East Slavs (Russians, Belarussians, Ukrainians), the South Slavs (Serbians, Croats, Montenegrans, Macedonians, Bosnians, Slovenes, Bulgarians), and the West Slavs (Poles, Czechs, Slovakians).
Pan-Slavism was a movement to unite the Slavic peoples into a political and cultural union. Its earliest proponent was a Croatian priest, Juraj Krizanic, who in the 1600s put forth the idea that the Slavs should unite in a grand empire under the Muscovite czar as a counterweight against the Germans and Turks.
Written by Jan Koncewicz Sunday, 28 November 2004 17:00
Valentine's Day (in Polish: Walentynki) has not been celebrated in Poland until very recently. Only after the collapse of the Eastern European Block and the consequent opening of Poland's borders this well known, especially in English-language cultures holiday entered Polish society. Romantic Poles were very quick in adopting Valentines Day and nowadays it as popular in Poland as anywhere else.
As a result, men in Poland are now "burdened" with two occasions to adore their ladies with gifts and flowers, as the old custom of Women's Day (Dzien Kobiet) is still very popular as it used to be in the communist times. It is celebrated on March the 8th of each year. Women's Day is the old Polish version of the Valentine's Day with the one difference that all women are on the receiving side while all men are on the giving side. While the Valentine's Day is more privately celebrated between the lovers, the Women's Day is celebrated more as a national holiday for all women, whether they are 8, or 80 years old. At that day all women in Poland receive special attention (usually in the form of flowers) not only privately, but also at schools and at work (hospitals, offices, etc.). In addition to flowers, they sometimes receive greeting cards, which are not that popular in Poland as they are in North America.
Written by Martin S. Nowak Friday, 03 August 2007 17:00
While Poland is usually thought of as a staunchly Roman Catholic country, the founding of another popular Christian denomination, the Unitarians, can be traced to that nation. Unitarians' main belief is a rejection of the Trinity, that is, belief that God is incarnate in three forms, namely the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, is rejected. Instead, they believe in God as a single entity and in Christ as a divine teacher but not as a God. Freedom of religious thought and rationalism are hallmarks of Unitarianism.
Written by Donna M. Kocinski Wednesday, 01 September 2004 17:00
My first visit to Poland was in early December several years ago. My Ciocia (aunt), with whom we were staying in Krakow, sent us to walk to the old center of town. My sister and I were not quite sure what my Ciocia had in mind for us to see, but we obediently dressed warm and walked to the Rynek (Main Market Square). On this day, all people brought their Szopki (nativity scenes) for display, for competition and for a grand parade around the market place.
Winner of Szopka competition 2010 in the category of large szopkas, built by Marek Markowski and his family. Click the picture to see it magnified.
Written by Martin S. Nowak Sunday, 22 September 2013 18:47
The Age of the Vikings lasted from about 800 to 1100 A.D. During this time their influence extended from their origins in Scandinavia throughout most of Europe, Byzantium in Asia Minor, and westward to North America.
There is proof of a Viking settlement on the island of Labrador off the Canadian coast, and the existence of Vinland, a Norse settlement farther south, is believed to have been in present day Nova Scotia, Rhode Island or Cape Cod. The discovery of a runestone in Minnesota with Nordic characters engraved on it, along with other purported Viking relics, seems to point to a Viking foray into interior North America.
The Viking impact on Europe was much more profound.
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