Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Taste of Polonia Festival 2015 Labor Day Weekend

Chicago is the home to the highest number of Polish immigrants and Polish-Americans in the United States.  If you are looking for a Polish cultural event, Chicago is the place to be.  One of the best festivals is the Labor Day Weekend Taste of Polonia Festival.

Since 1979, the festival is sponsored by the Copernicus Center, a well established Polish cultural hub. 

Between Friday, September 4th and Monday, September 7th, you will enjoy Polish cuisine and beer, kids attractions, casino, film festival, folk dancing, exhibits, and live music.

This year, you can party with De Mono and Marika, popular bands straight from Poland.  Visit Taste of Polonia website to find out all the details about the festival.

Some directions from the Copernicus Center website:
Driving Directions
The Copernicus Center is located on the Northwest side of Chicago at 5216 West Lawrence Avenue, one block east of Milwaukee Avenue, and two blocks west of the Kennedy Expressway (I-90), Exit 84. (watch for sign at the exit) 
Public Transportation
The Copernicus Center is easily accessible by public transportation. The Lawrence Avenue bus #81 stops in front of the building. CTA and PACE buses stop at the CTA Jefferson Park Terminal, located just two blocks northwest of the Center. METRA (Union Pacific/Northwest Line) and CTA Blue Line trains both stop at “Jefferson Park.”

Friday, August 7, 2015

Kids of Polish immigrants learn Polish online at Libratus

There is an interesting online service directed to help kids of Polish immigrants to learn Polish.  
Website: http://www.libratus.edu.pl

Andrzej Duda officially sworn in as a new Polish President

Yesterday, Andrzej Duda became a new Polish President. He beat President Bronislaw Komorowski who couldn't convince Poles to give him a chance to lead the country in a second term. Duda was backed by the opposition conservative Law and Justice party while Komorowski had the support of the ruling Civic Platform party.

On the personal note, having an attractive wife Agata and cute daughter Kinga appealed to Poles as well since we all like photogenic families and in today's elections the image is priceless.

Even though the President has limited powers, Duda promised a lot of changes including lowering the retirement age and increasing tax free income levels. The most important presidential powers are overseeing Polish arm forces and ability to veto legislations.

President Duda is 43 and his term is 5 years so he has plenty of time to prove himself. So, like in the old Polish saying, pożyjemy zobaczymy (time will show).

The official website of the President of the Republic of Poland.

President Andrzej Duda with wife Agata.         
Kinga, daughter of the President and his parents.

Friday, July 31, 2015

71st anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising against the German occupation

The Warsaw Uprising began on August 1st, 1944 and this year Poles celebrate 71st anniversary of this heroic 63-day fight of World War II by the Polish Home Army against the German occupation. 

The Warsaw Rising is considered to be the single largest military effort undertaken by a resistance group in Europe. The Polish resistance Home Army decided to start the rising to free the capital from under the Nazi occupation at a time when the Soviet Red Army was approaching Warsaw from the east on its way to Berlin. However, on Stalin's orders the Soviet offensive was stopped and Warsaw was left to bleed to death. Before the Soviets finally captured the city in January 1945, the Nazis had demolished most of the buildings and infrastructure.
There are hundreds of pictures documenting this tragic event: Warsaw Uprising Photos

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Excellent Polish politics blog in English

Just recently, I came across an excellent Polish politics blog written in English.  The blog is being run by Aleks Szczerbiak, Professor of Politics and Contemporary European Studies at the University of Sussex.

I found his analysis of the current political news in Poland to be excellent.

Check it out at: https://polishpoliticsblog.wordpress.com/

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Polish comedy group "Kabaret Ani Mru-Mru" touring USA

By far, Kabaret Ani Mru-Mru, is one of the best Polish comedy groups today.  Their sketches are witty and hilarious.  If you enjoy Polish comedy, you will have a blast.

Dates and cities.

Copernicus Center 
9/26/2015 (Saturday) 7:00 PM 
5216 W Lawrence Avenue
Chicago, IL 60630

Tribeca Performing Arts Center 
9/27/2015 (Sunday) 3:00 PM 
199 Chambers Street
New York, NY

Polish American Cultural Center 
9/27/2015 (Sunday) 7:00 PM 
1-3 Monroe Street
Passaic, NJ 07055

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Greedy cunning old woman strikes at Bialystok

Personally, I think the story of the "cunning old lady" or "chytra baba" from last year's Christmas celebration at the town square in Radom became a template for all the nasty freeloaders all over Poland. You can watch the video and read my post from last year here.

First, let me just explain how important the tradition of the Christmas wafer or "opłatek" is during the Christmas Eve in Polish tradition.  The wafers are a reminder of the Body of Christ and are shared among the family before the Christmas Eve dinner.  Wafers are baked from wheat flour and water and depict some Christian images.  Family members wish each other health, happiness, and fortune and break a piece of the wafer from each other's hand consuming the wafers as a sign of peace.  All in all, the significance of the wafer is one of the most important Polish Christmas traditions.

Now, take a look at the below YouTube video.  The lady with the basket passes the wafers to all the people at the town square in Białystok when the greedy cunning old lady grabs a fistful of wafers without any hesitation.  And what do you know?  Yes, she even has a baggy for her loot.  I guess she'll be making wafer sandwiches for the Christmas diner.