Polandian Best Babcia in Show Awards (PBBSA) 2011

Polandian welcomes a new contributor this time around, with Paddy from Pozdrowenia z Ursynowia making his debut. With his first effort, he touches on a favoured subject of his… The Babcia Brigade.


Yes, it’s that time of the year again: The final 6 contestants have been selected, the votes cast and counted and the judges bribed with dozens of ciastka. The Polandian ‘Best Babcia in Show’ Awards 2011 are here and this year’s competition has been stiffer than a bad case of arthritis as the womenfolk of Warsaw do battle once again.

Fighting for the attention of an opaque decision-making body that makes a FIFA meeting look open, the Babcias are competing for a lifetime’s supply of tinned peas, yoghurts and wart removal treatment. The stakes just couldn’t be higher.

So without further ado, let’s count down the entries and reveal this year’s winner.

In 6th position …

The judges’ summary for this entry, “this Babcia has the pleasing match of a fluffy grey fur coat combined with a purple mohair beret, launched at a jaunty angle as she plumps herself down on this prized spot on the tram. A solid entry.”

Just beating Babcia Number 6 to the coveted 5th position is this entrant:

“More beast of the unknown than of the human kind, this Babcia has struck out to new paths with a daring mix of grey and brown fur coat and dark cotton beret, although extra points are always awarded for genuine wool. We were particularly impressed with the passing resemblance to a Wookie.”

In 4th place:

No big cat roars louder than a Babcia claiming her seat or moaning at an injustice, so it’s in this spirit that this young lady was awarded the prestigious fourth place. “In combining a loud leopard skin fur coat with a bright white furry hat, she shows considerable inventiveness and lack of attention to colour coordination, all of which are essential elements to the Best in Babcia Show.”

This Warsaw lovely steals 3rd place:

“It was a tough choice between this Babcia and the previous one to claim third spot, but the flowing sable-fur of this Babcia’s coat meant we couldn’t deny her grace and style a podium finish. We warmly congratulate her and would encourage her to experiment further with the hat/coat combination in the future.”

2nd place is claimed by this charming couple:

Shock all round as a double-entry makes its highest position since the awards began… “These stout-ankled Babci make an impressive double act, combining the snow-leopard fake fur with a more industrial quilted jacket. It was hard for us to ignore the calm determination with which these ladies wait for the bus,” the judges said.

Drums rolling…. Fajerwerki prepared. …The Polandian Best Babcia in Show 2011 Rosette goes to:

Unanimous votes were cast in praise of, “the confident glare this Babcia is giving off, from whatever angle you view her; the football-pitch design of her fur coat and the luminous pink czapka, combined with the slight stoop of her shoulders make this a striking and definitive winner from this year’s field.”

Congratulations to the winner, your wart cream and other prizes are in the post!

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12 thoughts on “Polandian Best Babcia in Show Awards (PBBSA) 2011

  1. Lilo says:

    Har har, oh the ageism is so funny.

  2. island1 says:

    Photos from the front, or hand in your man card.

    Hang on… I think the winner is my mother-in-law.

  3. Bob says:

    Good post!

    Babcia’s are the underground group that controls the country of Poland, the Babcia Uklad so to speak.

    It is suspected that their headquarters is in Stary Ursynow with regional outposts in parish churches around the country. They should be considered to be unarmed but very dangerous.

    The dead giveaway is the czapkas, Different colors signify their different levels within the organization. You were lucky to capture a ‘pink’ – considered to be a group leader in a city the size of Warsaw.

  4. Kolin says:

    Your fourth place Babcia is striking – however I must take issue with you calling it a ‘furry hat.’ I don’t think it’s furry and I have been searching for a good name for these hats for some time. One possible option is ‘czapka jeż,’ or ‘pocupine hat.’ They are particularly in vogue this season, and in many colours. Lamentably, I fear that babcia season (or yeti season as I like to call it) will be drawing to a close in the coming weeks. We will have to wait until until November 1, 2011 for unveiling of ‘futro 2011.’

  5. chihuahua says:

    They are all wearing fur coats. Why isn’t PETA making any effort to make them go naked?

  6. Karen says:

    I just love it, it’s amazing!!!

  7. Steve says:

    Ditto Lilo’s comment. This has gone beyond the fascinated observations of people from an alien culture, to pure intolerance. What next? Will you be laughing at men with funny hats and long locks of hair down the side of their faces? Sorry Paddy, but I have a soft spot for Babcia, who lives with us, so I know I may be over-reacting. I do appreciate that it’s just meant to be a bit of fun: so did that German photographer.

  8. Paddy says:


    I can assure you I feel very affectionate towards everyone I picture and very awkward when doing so. Until recently, sadly, I too had an adopted Babcia.

    In fact I’ve wrestled with the morality of photographing anyone without their permission for some time. Although this is meant as a bit of fun, I hope that in some of the other photos I’ve taken – for example in my blog post today – I’ve shown that I am trying to capture something of their daily life, spirit and resolve as well – which is something worth capturing.


  9. Renusia says:

    I’m afraid of the “babcinych” furry and fluffy hats. They look quite alive, when I see them on the street. Watch out!!!!

  10. Yana Yana says:

    A week ago I saw a British Babcia (local, East Midlands variety) waiting patiently for the bus to arrive. She’s had a nice beige padded jacked, ski-type-hat with a “norwegian folk” pattern (mainly red and white), animal print scarf (greyish), teal wooly skirt, BARE CALVES and black PLASTIC sandals/flip-flops suitable for a swimming pool barely covering her feet in flesh-coloured semi transparent socks.
    It was 3-4 degrees Celsius and rather windy.
    I mean, she’s my champion! What a style :)

  11. ila says:

    HAHAHA so funny but all this is true this is how is look Poland Babcias they always have power with mohair beret and be in Churches!!!


  12. Vanessa says:

    Amazing post. ^^Yana Yana, i was laughing out loud at your comment.

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