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Interesting facts about Poland you might not have heard

  • Warsaw, Poland
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Published 4 months ago

Every country has its unique charms that attract foreigners -- from a different culture and unusual traditions, to delicious cuisines. Poland is no exception; as soon as you start living in the country, you will see how the different can also be exciting. Here are some interesting facts you might have never heard about Poland.

Victoriia Rabcheniuk

My name is Viktoriia and I am originally from Ukraine. For the past three months I have been working as a social media management intern in Pepe Housing, Warsaw. With the help of Erasmus Internship Program, I got a chance to discover the country from different perspectives and literally to fall in love with it!

Dubbing movies

In Poland, the foreign movies are dubbed in a special way. If you ever have a chance to catch your favourite drama on Polish TV, do not count on the romantic voice of a female character, because all the parts are read by one and only one man. Fortunately, in the cinema, all movies voices are in their original language with Polish subtitles.

Your name matters

The “Name Day” (imieniny) for Poles is more important than a birthday. Even though the birthday celebrations are important (particularly among the young Poles), imieniny dates are marked in local calendars. Therefore, everyone knows that you need to make a call to a Wojciech on 23rd of April, Maria on 2nd of February, or Anna in 26th of July. This day is considered to be about family and friends gathering at celebrant’s home and giving gifts.

A kiss on the hand

Poland is one of the few countries in the world where a kiss on the hand is a common thing. When in other countries people may use handshakes, hugs or a kiss on the cheek, Poles still like to express their politeness and courtesy with a kiss of a hand. They may also kiss on the cheeks when greeting each other either once or three times.

Chopin will speak to you

While walking around Warsaw, you have a chance to hear public benches serenading you with Chopin melodies. Chopin is well known as a reminder of country’s nationalism. His most famous polonaise is “The Military Polonaise”, which describes and glorifies Polish victory over foreign invaders. Besides the museum of Chopin and many graffiti murals of him around Poland, Poles also like to remind people of him by spreading his music on the streets of Warsaw. The melodies are touching and make pedestrians stop and listen.

Polish lunch

If we are already talking about food, perhaps it is important to mention that Polish lunch starts at 2 pm and consists of three courses. Usually, the poles start with soup, followed by a main course of meat, and then dessert. Therefore, if you stop by any place around this time, you can get all these three course cheaper than at any other time if you were ordering the dishes separately.

Goodbye winter, hello spring

Every spring Poles burn a human sized doll that represents the winter. This is their way to welcome the warmth of spring and say goodbye to the cold season. The doll is made of dry grass and old clothes and does look like a doll. While burning it, the participants of this ritual sing traditional songs to welcome spring into their hearts.

No such thing as a friendly smile

If you have even been to America, you have experienced walking down the street and getting a smile either from an old lady, a small boy, or a woman. If you are into giving a kind smile to strangers on the street too, drop this habit in Poland. Smiling to Poles on the street is a sign that you like them, are flirting with them, or something is wrong with you. After smiling to anyone on the street, there is more chance that you will get an expression saying “Do I know you? What is wrong with you?” than a smile back.

Sweet tooth

It may not seem that noticeable at first, but if you look carefully, you will notice that the biggest section of any store in Poland is the candy section. Indeed, Poland has got some great sweets you literally cannot stop eating, even if you are already full; Polish doughnuts (paczki), cheesecake (serniki), and angel wings (favorki) are the most popular ones.

Beer

Some beer lovers may say that beer has to be a beer. Therefore, no juices or syrups should be served with it! But Poland does not follow this rule and seeks any opportunity to try out something new. What about some juice in your beer to add some additional unusual flavour? Beer in Poland is often served with raspberry juice and drunk with a straw. This drink is refreshing and perfect for hot weather. Also, in winter time, Poles like to drink a warm beer served with cinnamon, cloves, and honey.

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