Monthly Archives: July 2010

Satanism, palmistry and homosexuality hand in hand


Some things leave me speechless. Like this one. What you see in this picture is a newly-designed logo for Nowy Sacz, a city in the south of Poland.

You may like it or not, but would you ever think it promotes Satanism and homosexuality?

Sadly, that’s exactly what the local pastoral ministry thinks. It expressed its outrage last week as in its representatives’ eyes the new logo – based on the human palm-shaped layout of Nowy Sacz’s old town, with the black spot denoting the location of the town hall – is a symbol of Satanism and palmistry. Neither of which are obviously supported by the Catholic Church. And neither is homosexuality, which allegedly is also promoted through this brightly-coloured sign, according to the same ministry.

The mayor is doing his best to apply common sense:

“An open right hand is the international symbol of goodwill and agreement, and the rainbow colouring of the hand is a sign of the town’s multiculturalism.”

Such ‘incidents’ and other ridiculous knee-jerk reactions are not exclusively Polish phenomena, but many people in Poland will tell you they are. They have their reasons to believe that – we, as a nation, for decades have been exposed to dodgy political deals, still largely don’t trust our leaders and public institutions and are generally unwilling to give them the benefit of the doubt.

It’ll take a long while to overcome this – if at all – but in the meantime it would be good if we learned not to find conspiracy theories in everything or at least not to publicise and blow out of proportion minor incidents, which can and do happen everywhere in the world.

Made in Wisła

This is an interesting initiative. Polish manufacturers from Wisła, a tourist resort in Beskidy, south of Poland, have had enough of cheap ‘local’ souvenirs mass-produced in China with little or no relevance to locally produced goods.

From now on they want to promote local souvenirs, food and other products and, to distinguish them from cheap, irrelevant tat, they plan to add stickers with a special logo and a “Made in Wisła” slogan to all goods produced locally.

“Tourists will be able to recognise sausages from Wisła, local cakes, spring water, wooden toys, local souvenirs or wooden houses. They can take home nice local cakes and not a ciupaga [Highlander’s axe] made in China”

Pawel Bragiel, the chair of Wisła Friends Association told Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza.

He also claims Wisła is the first town in Poland to introduce such logo and such initiative.

I think it’s brilliant people begin to recognise and support what they know best. I do hope others will follow.

Fresh Polish music: Michał Zygmunt

When I say fresh here, I mean new – new to me at least. I’ve discovered  Michał by accident when someone posted a link to this lovely video.

Michał talks about his music (in Polish, but with English subtitles) and the clip is illustrated with his fantastic acoustic jazz.

According to his site, his debut album, The Worlds, “was considered by music journalists to be an exceptional debut”.

Now feast your eyes on this great video by Patryk Kizny and enjoy Michał’s music.

Perfect for a hot summer evening.

Acoustic (English subtitles) from Patryk Kizny on Vimeo.

London has its Polish bank now too

I noticed today that Poland’s once biggest bank had opened a branch in central London.

PKO Bank Polski has a nice shiny branch in Shaftesbury Avenue. Weird location if you ask me, but maybe there are more branches in other parts of London.

As it’s Sunday, I couldn’t go inside and check what’s on offer, but I’ll investigate and report back.