Friday, April 24, 2009

Cultural influences

There are many things that influence the culture of a country, from language to neighbouring countries, through to weather and freedoms. Something I have noticed lately in Poland is somewhat of a revolution in people from the first few times I came here. That is to do with a new national hero. The advantage of my job is that I am able to talk to a wide variety of people and am able to learn about the current and past psyche of Poland.

In the past, Poland (or more correctly, Polish people), had a wide variety of heroes, tending, in general, to be more matched to their national persona being more conservative in their choices. Common examples given to me in class have been people such as Pope John Paul (Jan Pawel in Polish), Copernicus, Chopin, Marie Curie (Maria Sklodowska in Polish) as more historical champions. Where as in more recent times, choices have been still conservative but slightly more modern, in Adam Malysz (pron. Adem Mow-wish) a multiple world cup ski jump champion and now in Robert Kubica (the F1 driver - pron. Coo-Bit-zar).

It is with Robert Kubica that I wish to stay as well. Something I have noticed is that his relative success has inspired many of the Polish people. In specifics, the people who drive public transport. Recent trips have seen my self along with countless grannies flying around the bus as the driver feels a round-a-bout is a perfect chance to practice his chicane form. A red light is a great chance to practice late breaking, and a pedestrian crossing means nothing, as they don't exist in F1. Sometimes, when riding the bus, I catch a glimpse of excitement in a granny's eyes as they enjoy the small moment of entertainment, as someone goes flying past them while they sit securely in their seat. Also, you can see a similar glimmer, of a time past, when they get thrown round the standing zone in the bus, it kicks their minds back to the days when nubile and flexible. The days when their hips weren't so fragile and a skinned knee was the sign of a day well spent. Then reality kicks back in as they curse at the driver and frown at the younger person who didn't give up their seat to them.

So you can see cultural influences and national pride is not just for rednecks and sportsmen, but for everyone that can take a small amount of pride in what someone does in the name of their country. Even if it threatens the secure existence of grannies.

P.S. I wanted some granny photos to go with this but couldn't get them in time. Maybe another post


Embejo said...

I for one would love to see some photos of Polish cousin has one. (A Polish granny that is...)Bring it on!

Magdalena said...

This post sounds like: "Warsaw that I saw WAS an eyesore" :(

Garth said...

Hey Magda, that is not true, it is just an observation, I hadn't taken public transport for a long time before Poland so I could be out of touch. :)

Thanks Erin, I am trying to figure out how to take photos of them without them hitting me with their shopping bags! I will keep you posted ;)

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