Tag Archives: Customs

Ten Polish demotivating party pics

Errr… Just popped over here, noticed the last post went off six days ago and got my act together to stave off an impending week-long break in posting. I do not know whether the task was really challenging, since as every student during his exam period I am intently looking out for opportunities to indulge in self-delusion, or, in plain English I am trying to dabble in something that can dissuade me from learning for a while.

One of the websites popular among Polish students is Demotywatory.pl, containing miscellany of pictures aimed at… well… they are said to “(de)motivate” people. My real interest in the service was spurred by my fellow Polandian’s involuntary appearance there…

source: http://statichg.demotywatory.pl/uploads/201009/1284476615_by_gago08_500.jpg

Demotywatory.pl is to a large extent run by youngsters, hence one of the topics that crop up there frequently are parties. And because it is carnival, time of partying (for those who are not overwhelmed by exam period), it occured to me I should familiarise you with some of the most popular pictures from the website, which also depict some Polish party customs, mock at idiosyncracies, ridicule unwritten rules or generally present people captured in embarassing situations.

1. Rule number two (rule number one is for sure “attend parties thrown at home, but don’t throw them”) – do not close your eyes before you go to your own bed.

source: http://statichg.demotywatory.pl/uploads/201011/1290274897_by_Tom_500.jpg

Bringing along a small horse and keeping it on a lead is not extremely popular, but drunk animals might incur some measurable losses…

2. Family party


As a matter of prinicple held before it gets dark so that all guest can stagger home safely. Outfits are casual, the most frequent topics are: politics, family affairs, politics and family affairs. If you run out of contentious issues in politics or family affairs you can always try backbiting your neighbours or anyone else who is not around. Children do not like those parties because they are not allowed to drink, grown-ups bend over backwards to slip away from the house to avert hearing questions such as “when will you finally get married?”.

3. There is a cross, there is a party

source: http://statichg.demotywatory.pl/uploads/201008/1280938872_by_bushec_500.jpg

A relatively new pastime activity in August 2010.

Venue: Warsaw, Krakowskie Przedmieście, outside the presidential palace

Target group: *head covering description missing*

Set-up: Clasping hands, singing patriotic songs and dancing around the cross.

There’s a heavy cross to bear…

4. The reason why the lights are off…

source: http://statichg.demotywatory.pl/uploads/201007/1279323113_by_jurexplay_500.jpg

I do not know if tweaking with the photo in Photoshop would help, but pics similar to the one above are not rare  on fejsbuk or nasza klasa (if you use the former you probably vote for PO, if the latter – for PiS). If  you happen you photograph that badly you probably do not take trouble to go to the polls at all…

5. Geek party

source: http://statichg.demotywatory.pl/uploads/201003/1270134753_by_starcu_500.jpg

Essential equipment: portable computers, (at least one per participant), connected to the Internet, if possible all within one local network (capacity 100 Mbps).

Unwatned guests:  human beings of the opposite sex.

The worst scenario: Internet provider breakdown.

No, they’re not going to watch “18+” films.

6. “How was the party?” – the nightmare materialises

source: http://statichg.demotywatory.pl/uploads/1263921247_by_Saszlyk_500.jpg

Tacky wallpaper – 15 PLN per square metre

Bottle of juice – 3.49 PLN

Seeing the face pulled by the hapless boy – priceless…

7. Outdoor bender

source: http://statichg.demotywatory.pl/uploads/201003/1269609117_by_dziunia00900_500.jpg

Time: morning rush hours, when normal people are stuck in traffic jams on their way to work, daylight necessary

Venue: who cares

Company: at 6 a.m. look out for two pissheads hanging around outside your cornershop, then offer them food (cucumbers in a jar) and drinks (a bottle of plonk) on the house. They’ll keep you company until they get really hammered…

Budget: approximately 10 PLN, risk of overrunning: low

Prerequisite skills: “strong head”, whatever it means…

8. Old-school party

source: http://statichg.demotywatory.pl/uploads/201003/1268494509_by_Jerem92_500.jpg

Photo surely dug up from archives. Should I have rummaged through mine?

Venue: school canteen, somewhere in Poland

Props: cult objects from early 1990s: spectacles, jumpers, tablecloth, mugs. Those guys are now probably in their early or mid thirties, I don’t recognise any scholars from my university…

Atmosphere: generally conducive to intellectual debates. No alcohol permitted.

9. School party

source: http://statichg.demotywatory.pl/uploads/1261466799_by_bulateam89_500.jpg

Venue: primary (podstawówka) or secondary (gimnazjum) school

Start time: Friday 17:00

End time: Friday 20:00

Unless a local priest forbids…

Course of events:

17:00 Participants gather round

17:15 Boys call a committee to investigate strength of surrounding wallls

17:30 Girls and boys and lean against walls to prevent them from pulling down

18:30 Participants cluster together to work out a strategy

19:00 Slow dancing begins

19:45 The party hots up.

20:00 Despite hue and cry the party is scattered to four winds…

Brings back memories from childhood. People grow up but times are not changing in this respect. Today I would get a slap on my face for what was acceptable when I was ten years younger…

10. Polish wake

source: http://statichg.demotywatory.pl/uploads/201007/1278609690_by_kawior9012_500.jpg

As the description says, a regular party, just one player is missing. This is why I do not attend wakes. I know it can be a good custom, but too often it turns into a booze-up and guests begin to drink to the deceased’s health.

Enjoy yourselves in 2011! All the best from Polandians!

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Moaning not only a Polish sport

Fellow blogger Glenn appeared in a local weekly recently to share some of his thoughts about Poland.

Glenn Standish in Teraz Torun

The beginning of his story is predictable and the Polish have heard similar many times:

“When I decided to move to Poland, my friends in England were asking – What are you doing? Are you mad? Poland is boring, depressive, uninteresting… Just give it up”.”Typical British judging book by its cover”.

Then we go straight to the list of complaints:

“Being polite doesn’t cost anything, and I think we already got used to not hearing some of those basic words, that define the culture of communication. I often pay attention to little things that can make your day. Rarely when I give someone my seat on a bus I hear thank you. Also in shops, in various public offices, there is no place for a simple kindness, for a word like “please” or simply a smile. It needs to be said: customer service in Toruń leaves a lot to be desired.”

“Once I went to buy a Mars bar in a local shop. The lady scans it. Beep, beep. Again. It doesn’t work – she says indifferently. I didn’t get the Mars bar. Why do they have Mars bars if I can’t buy them? I don’t know if it’s that I’m a foreigner, but there was simply some initiative missing. They could at least ring the manager and ask what they should do. It’s even worse when you want o return a product […]”

Reading this makes all Polish people sigh with relief! It’s not us who are the moaners! Everyone on our place moans the same. For Poles are renowned moaners, and they constantly complain about all aspects of life from traffic to politics. Moaning, some say, is the national sport. Ask a Pole how he is doing, and you’ll hear how bad his health is, how bad other people’s manners are, how badly the country is being run, and generally how terrible the state of things is. We even moan about our constant moaning.

To see someone out-moan us, to lose our gold medal in moaning is unthinkable and rare. Hold on, this is our sport! It’s like Chinese team winning World Cup Cricket.

It’s not that Glenn doesn’t have a point. It’s that everyone in Poland already complains about the same things as he does. (It is only a pity Glenn didn’t manage to squeeze in anything he particularly liked about Poland. Did Glenn go beyond the book cover?)

Maybe, if others moan as well, our Polish moaning is legitimised?

If you enjoyed this post why not visit my news blog, or click on Pawel on the left to see my other posts on Polandian.

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