The Polish complex
In this post i would like to write about the complexes which many Polish people might have, from the perspective of an Indian. This text will be a learning experience for me, so while writing this I am learning a lot of about the mindset of an average Pole. 🙂 I hope that i will be able to nail at least a few of Your complexes.
Lack of knowledge of foreign Languages
During my studies in Poland, I met a lot of students in dormitories and at my university who knew english, and could communicate easily with a foreigner. Lot of Polish students have travelled to another European country as part of the Erasmus programme, or have watched american movies or sit coms. You can see the excitement in their eyes, when they start the conversation with You in english. 🙂 Most of them are excited about the chance to practice their english.
But there was a huge majority of students who couldn’t speak english. Eventhough some of them knew english, they didn’t want to commit any mistakes. I was surprised why many of them told me ‘oh sorry my english is very bad’ with a bit of shyness. It turns out later, a few of them could easily communicate with me for 5 minutes straight with no problem. (Common! I survived with ‘’Dzień dobry! Jak się masz’’ with a horrible accent for one year in Poland’ 🙂 ) It is not just the students. Adults the age of my father and mother cant speak any english(or any foreign language for that matter). if You go to a shop, the chance that the sales lady speaks in english is 1 in a 100. We start the conversation with ‘dzien dobry’. The rest depends upon You. If You don’t know polish, You have to rely on the universal sign language. You have to know the basic numbers and product names in polish, or else You might end up eating pig kidneys for lunch( true story! But i didn’t cook the kidneys in the end. I threw it out)
High qualifications, low income
How many times have i met students, who were studying two/ three majors at the university at one go. (and all during the week. Not on weekends!) I was surprised to know that some one can study english at one university, Pedagogy in another university 10 km away from the fist one, and on top of that work 5 hours everyday at a shop. This concept was something very new for me. How much motivation should one have to complete two, three departments in a span of three years?
Lets all be honest, how many of these students earn a decent job after these studies? How much do they earn? Even with 2 degrees, many earn 2000 zł brutto. (I am not judging people on the basis of their salary)
Many Poles are very qualified, but still have to work years and years to get a decent salary. Polish people might have many degrees, but in the end the employer decides their fate. Employer has full control over how much a pole earns. Personally i hate the fact that an employer has full say on this matter.(maybe it should change?)
We all know the joke, that when a german guy has his car stolen in Germany, You can probably find it somewhere being ridden in Poland. Polish people in UK are infamous for being drunk, and for stealing cycles. The same applies to Poles in the Germany.
Now i could understand how an average Polish person might feel when he/ she is going to the Uk, or Germany and have to face these kind of stereotypes, or hear jokes about how their country men are known for being thieves. If i was a Pole, I would most probably have such a complex. The need to explain why some Poles steal…
Now I am not going to judge You here. (Remember we Indians have our own stereotypes and complexes?) I have to add that, I was surprised that Poles steal even bicycle seats in Poland. This is something new for me. In India i have left my bicycle unlocked for one full day, and no one touched it.
to be continued…