Cultural: Some Polish basics

As I was walking through the snow today--I was reflecting on "Poland".  What about it?  I remember as we travel around to various churches in the states, we get some basic questions. Questions you may be surprised about.

So let me address a few of the questions people ask.

Where is Poland? It's right there in the green.....between Germany and Belarus. Technically it's "Central Europe"--not Eastern Europe. I know that many people think like I did--the dividing line between eastern and western Europe was in Germany where communism drew a line across the country. To many of us, "Eastern Europe" included all former communist countries that were also part of Europe.  However, there is a division called "Central Europe" that we basically overlooked.  Poland is part of that group.

  • What do the people look like?  They are mostly fair skinned Europeans. They have blond or dark. They do not normally have black hair nor dark skin.  How's that for generalities?
  • What do they like to eat?  Well, dairy, pork, and potatoes and cabbage are very common.  A very typical dinner meal might be a breaded pork chop or chicken breast, potatoes with dill,  and a pile of cabbage and carrots or some other vegetable like beets and some hot tea or coffee.  Restaurant eating, while growing in popularity, is not the first choice of most the people I know. In fact, the people who live around me only go out to eat for very special occasions.

I snagged a couple of pictures for you.

 Typical breaded pork chops and potatoes. It's delicious, BTW!

Typical breaded pork chops and potatoes. It's delicious, BTW!

People often think of pierogi when they think of this part of the world.  Russian ones are filled with potatoes, but typically Polish ones have cabbage and/or mushrooms in them. They are also quite tasty. They are a pastry made similar to homemade noodles, I believe.  (I've not actually made either pierogi, or homemade pasta.)

 Pierogi

Pierogi

No doubt you've heard of kielbasa. People here eat lots of smoked meats.  They have all kinds ---from smoked chicken, turkey, pork, including wild pig.

 pic from Google images - credit European Deli

pic from Google images - credit European Deli

Enough about food.

What religion do they follow?  Most Polish people are Roman Catholic.  Poland is the most Roman Catholic country in the world.

  • What language do they speak?  Polish
  • Why do Americans tell "Pollock" jokes?  I don't know.  A "Polak" is actually a Polish man. A "Polka" is a Polish woman.  Neither is derogatory in Polish.

Maybe someday you will have a chance to visit Poland. We have some wonderful sites that you really should see if you come!  

Becky Petersen