Monthly Archives: January 2009

When I hear ‘Poland’, I think….

Indeed, WHAT do you think? This is my new Twitter mini-poll.

All you need to do is to finish the sentence and pass it on on Twitter. Just remember to tag it by adding #polblog to your message so that I can find it and blog about it, of course. That’s if you are on Twitter (who ISN’T these days?).

If you don’t have a Twitter account, just use the comment box below to finish the sentence.


So far I’ve had two responses:

Lolly aka @blogtillyoudrop said: When I hear ‘Poland’, I think yummy Pieroggis (She also posted a link to her picture of pierogi)

Steve aka @ziemba said: When I hear ‘Poland’ I think of oscypek and kielbasa! (He also kindly illustrated his post with a pic of, well, oscypek – a smoked Polish highland cheese – and kielbasa, taken in Chicago)

So far then it’s all about food. Is there anything else?

Go on, post your nswer, pass it on, spread the word. And come back to see what people say.

And remember to follow the Polski blog on Twitter too.


Here’s one more via Twitter from @catmindu: polish plumbers.. kabanosh, snow. (Hmmmm, as far as I am concerned, from now on snow makes me think of suspended tube and cancelled trains in south London, but that’s a different story… ;)

Please remember to hashtag your tweets with #polblog !

Maanam – best of Polish music

My recent music posts concentrated mostly on some new Polish artists, but I’ve just come across a really old video which gave me goose pimples and made me shout with joy.

Everybody, may I introduce you to one of the best Polish bands ever, Maanam.

At the height of their career – and this was way back in the early 1980s, when Poland was still in the ugly claws of Communism – Maanam were the epitome of cool, largely thanks to their unique sound and the distinctive voice and fiery personality of their lead singer, Kora.

The band formed in 1976 in Kraków and for a long time were closely associated with the city – musically were almost its emblem. To some at least.

Often referred to as post-punk, guitar-heavy and energetic, the band ruled the airwaves in the 1980s and in early 1990s (I think it might have been 1989 or 1990) became the first Polish band whose video was featured on MTV.  And then it went downhill.

They’re still going strong and even touring Poland,  but they’re much more commercial nowadays.

So let me show you three of their most electrifying videos from the times they were really cool. The first one is called ‘Luciola’ and just listen to the guitar and watch the quirky, dark and simply AWESOME video:

Now this one is equally dark, but somehow even more twisted. For some strange reason visually it’s very similar to ‘Luciola’.

In this one Kora sings in English and even though foreign languages are probably not her strongest point, I could listen to this song on repeat for ever. The video also offers a rare glimpse of Kraków the way it looked when nobody had any hope for a better future. Ladies and gents, it’s ‘Lipstick on the glass':

GOOSE PIMPLES! Loved that, did you? I’m really curious to see what you thought and whether you think the songs have stood the test of time.

So to finish this Maanam-athon, one last vid, ‘Simple story':

Your thoughts?

More Polish Music:
Czesław Spiewa
Smolik and Novika

the Polski blog – ways to subscribe

Just a quick welcome to all my new readers and followers, hope you like the blog.

Here’s how to follow the Polski blog if you can’t visit the site often but want to stay up to date with all my posts.


The simplest method is of course the RRS feedjust click here and use the address in your reader, like Google Reader, Netvibes, Bloglines, etc.

Or you can grab one of the following widgets if you’d like to install it on your blog or site:

(click on ‘Get Widget’ at the bottom to get the code)


Or go straight to the Netvibes Widget page to see more options and/or install it the platform of your choice.


You can also get the updates on Twitter – just go to and follow the blog.


Yes, there is one! See here and become a fan today. Go on, you know you want to….

Fact or myth? Polish winters are harsh

I wrote about it some time ago here, so I won’t be repeating myself. The short answer is: they can be, but in general nowadays they are only slightly colder than their British equivalents.

Anyway, all this is just a lame excuse to share this video with you. Enjoy.


Kraków in winter

How to recognise the recession?

polska gazetaBy how many Polish people go back home. That’s if you believe the Guardian. Last weekend the paper published a couple of articles in which it outlined the most obvious signs of a recession. And they are a lower electricity consumption and reverse migration of Poles (is there such a thing, or have I just invented it?). Reasons why Poland is a better option than the UK in 2009?

The Polish economy – now the world’s 20th largest – is proving a lot more resilient to the financial crisis than Britain’s, mainly because its banking system is not riddled with the toxic material that has poisoned the UK’s once-mighty banks. And it is attracting former emigres home in droves. (…) It has been estimated that of Poland’s 38 million people, one million have made their way to Britain and Ireland in the past five years. About 6% of the workforce left in a very short space of time – and they were generally young, motivated and well educated.

A Polish minister told the paper Poland had suffered labour shortages, but – thanks to fast rising wages in Poland – more and more people nowadays decide to go back home. The minister also

added that Dell’s recent announcement that it would move 2,000 jobs from Limerick to Poland was a “very good sign” for the Polish economy, although it was ironic because plenty of Poles were already working at Dell in Ireland.

The Irish Times meanwhile reported last week that Dell encourages its Polish workers in Ireland to apply for jobs in their home country. And you have to admit they’re clever about their approach:

With no relocation package or language lessons on offer, a company spokesman admitted that few Irish workers were likely to move to the central Polish city of Lodz.

Indeed. Very unlikely.

Recently I mentioned two other programmes aimed at returning Poles and it seems the drive to make people return to Poland is now gaining momentum, helped by the rapidly worsening economic situation in the UK and Ireland.

It doesn’t of course mean that ALL Polish people will go back, but it may imply that the era of cheap Polish labour – and jokes – might be coming to an end…

Image © Kai Hendry via Flickr used under CC licence

How to wish good luck (Obama special) – polish your Polish, part 10



Good luck!

More Polish your Polish language tips

Image © sp1ffyd via Flickr used under CC licence