MISJA 21: Podróż dookoła Polski w 21 dni Euro

Nasi wysłannicy z Londynu i Łodzi - Petter Larsson z City University i Maciej Stańczyk z Gazety Wyborczej - przemierzają kraj w poszukiwaniu największego sukcesu i porażki Mistrzostw Europy w Piłce Nożnej UEFA - Euro 2012.

Częstochowa - Sophie Gost

  • piątek, 24 czerwca 2011
    • YES they do speak English, but do you speak Polish?

      English: younger people speak well but the older generation doesn’t say many words. If you start to speak with someone in Czestochowa who is older than 50, then you’re likely to get a quick look, then they’ll turn around and get someone who speaks English. Or this will happen: (this is actually my favourite habit that I’ve noticed people like doing) they will keep speaking in Polish, just in amore loud and clear voice and they will hope that you catch up what they say.

      Since, Polish isn’t anything like English or Swedish I never understand the words. But who needs words when you have hand gestures and communication through guessing?

       

      If Poland need to be ready for a massive chunk of tourists next summer, I think the language will be a problem, but then again who said it wasn’t for us to learn Polish ;) No but seriously, it won’t affect your chance of receiving information; Poland is such a well-oriented country.

       

      However, what I’ve missed the most is small talks on the bus or in a shop with the older generation. They’ve experienced a lot and it would have been so cool to communicate with them. Information is useful but actually quite boring; the fun part is the talking.

       

      Polish language school next? 

       

      Sophie

      

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      piątek, 24 czerwca 2011 18:51
    • Nail polish and leopard patterns, that's my stereotypical Pole

      “But what is a stereotypical Pole?” My shadow journalist keeps asking me when I almost refuse to answer the question. It isn’t that I want to be political correct and not stereotype people, it is just that I don’t really remember what I was thinking before coming here.

       

      I tried to think about “what I was thinking before” last night. Couln’t remember. And when I woke up this morning: I still couldn’t remember.

       

      It wasn’t until this afternoon, while I was sitting in a bumpy bus from the countryside back to the city that I remembered it. What happened was that I was sitting next to a lady in her sixties and as I looked down on the floor, I saw how she carefully had decorated her toenails with orange nail-polish. Looking around me in the bus I saw it everywhere, blue, purple, pink, white and even green nail-polish. And their hair! Wow, you see everything here, red, purple, black and pink. Trust me, you’re more likely to see a woman in her sixties with hair coloured than kept natural. However, the nail-polish and hair colouring is nothing compared to how the ladies love to dress up. It is colours (again), lace, patterns in leopard, flowers or whatever you can imagine. It mixes and matches, and yes sometimes it doesn’t matches. And sometimes it is tacky. But that’s just it, it’s their very unique Polish style! And now I remember what I’ve always been thinking before coming.

       

      What I find interesting about this is that Poles aren’t so much for expressing themselves. (I guess compared to French people who is?) But Polish people have told me that they don’t waste a smile.

       

      “No one smiles on the street,” a Polish women told me the other day. And I have to admit it is true. But their style is so full of expressions. Ironic maybe.

       

      Of course, the leopard pattern with colourful nails doesn’t apply for everyone; the younger generation isn’t always like that. That’s the whole point of stereotypes. In addition, Polish men don’t wear that much leopard patterned cloths, I’ve noticed.

       

      Regarding men, before arriving if I had to describe the stereotypical Polish man, I would say that he is a construction worker and drinks a lot. However, I have no real memory of this and I don’t know any Polish men who work within construction. It is just the general view of “cheap labour” in London and Sweden that makes me think of that. On the bus today, it was the first time since arriving that I saw a few construction workers. And my first though was actually; I wonder where they are from...

       

      That’s why I hate the “stereotypical Pole” issue. It is just so stupid, because of course some of it is true, but then again who cares? Why is that a problem, as long as your insight enough to expected more than that. Being from Sweden, I always have to face a lot of prejudices and therefore I think we all do, no matter where we’re from. At the end of the day, the stereotyping says more about yourself than about “them”.

       

      I could continue this post with describing who I’ve meet and how they look like anyone from Sweden or the UK, I could say that they speak perfect English and works with Art, the Media or engineering. I could break your prejudices, but I think you should come here yourself and see what a fascinating place it is.

       

      Glad midsommar alla svenskar :)

       

      Sophie

       

       

       

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      piątek, 24 czerwca 2011 18:46
  • czwartek, 23 czerwca 2011
    • “People complain, it is the illness of Częstochowa”

      What kind of place is Czestochowa really?

       

      Before Saturday, I didn’t know much more than that Czestochowa was the pilgrims’ Mecca and that Jasna Gósa was Poland’s spiritual heart. I tried to research before arriving, but found very little on what was going for the younger generations. Since I don’t know Polish, I thought google translate would help me out in my search online, but to be honest I didn’t find anything. The guidebooks didn’t help either, they only told about hotels in nearby Krakow and suggested for day trips to Czestochowa. And of course they told about every holey corner of the city.

       

      Eager to get to know the city behind its name, I was heading for a new perspective. After I had arrived, and as I blogged about at the start of the week, the Culture Night last Saturday totally changed my mind. I saw nothing but a cheerful atmosphere, reggae concerts for free in a park and people form all ages mixing together at the Czestochowa Avenue. I was surprised, and understood that this city has a lot more to offer visitors than the obvious religious parts of it.

       

      However, speaking with Poles, they seem to complain and dislike the city and they find it hard to accept that I enjoy my days here.

       

      I meet up with Janek Brozynski, 22, from Czestochowa for a kebab and asked him about the real Czestochowa and what it can offer young people. Enthusiastic over his birth city, Janek, unlike many of his friend doesn’t want to leave the city.

       

      “I love to travel, but I could never move to another country and emigrate. Not many people want to live here, they move to Warsaw or Krakóv. It is really a pity. I like living here.”

       

      Janek Brozynski sitting on his car in central Czestochowa Wednesday afternoon. 

       

      I asked him about the huge numbers of young Polish people choosing to live in England or other European countries.

       

      And he believes that most Polish people immigrate to new countries because of economic reasons. He says that it is easy to move and people might want a change.

       

      “Maybe this city doesn’t create perspective, but it is the people that are the perspective.”

       

      Janek likes Czestochowa because he feels comfortable with the size and thinks that it is real Polish life, unlike popular destinations like Kraków and Warsaw (where most young Poles want to live). Janek thinks that the two cities are admired, but only because they have been influenced by London or other European cities.

       

      Janek, studying to become an English teacher, is coordinator of a United Nations First Development Goals, taking place in Poland, Hungary and Italy. He also works for the IVS, European Voluntary Service and host and send people all over Europe. He often guides and welcome young people to the city and says:

      “This city isn’t dead. There are many things going on, the rock festival next week, there is a jazz community and the students organise many things. And Czestochowa is a shining star on the Polish reggae map.”    

       

      But he recognise many of the complaints that I’ve heard the last week.  

       

      “If you speak to a person in this town, they will complain. It is the illness of the city.”

       

      But he thinks that the solution is that people take more responsibility and that more young people should start to be creative. He and his friends have started a performance group with inspiration from a fellow group in Cataluña, Spain. Next week they will travel to Spain and he feels that Poles should do things in the city that make them happy.

       

      “Maybe we cannot expect a concert with Madonna, but if anyone wants to do anything there is place for it.”

       

       

      

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      czwartek, 23 czerwca 2011 22:21
    • Corpus Christi Czestochowa - in pictures

      Nuns stops for a pray at the Plac Bieganskiego, Thursday morning. The parad -a procession, starts at the Cathedral after a Mass and people walk along the Avenue to the Jasna Góra - at the other end of town.

       

       

      A man carries birch-tree leaves, it symbolise happiness. Corpus Christi is Latin for 'the body of Christ'. 

       

       

      Three women resting while waiitng for the procession to carry on. The procession carries consecrated wafer which symbloise the sacrifice of Christ.

       

       

      Young man tries to lighten the smokes for the final ceremony at Jasna Góra. The sun is shining and people seek protection in the shadow while listing to the Priest.

       

       

      The procession is meant to demonstrate the hierarchy of heaven and the wafer that has been sanctified during the Mass is carried to the final celebration at Jasna Góra.

       

       

       

       

       

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      czwartek, 23 czerwca 2011 20:53
    • Corpus Christi in Czestochowa

      Today Corpus Christi is celebrated all over Poland. Yesterday I meet Janek Brozynski, 22, student, who is a part of a fire group called Czart Stowarzyszenie. The group found its inspiration in Catalunia, Spain where it is common to use small fire works and dress out (think jugglers and jokers) performing shows on the streets. In Poland, Janek and his group are the only group doing these street shows and if you were in Czestochowa last Saturday the 18 of June, then you probably saw them dressed out as devils during the Culture night. Even though they will not make an event today, you can watch an interview with Janek where he talks about the history and the Spanish origin, it actually comes from Corpus Christi and how they dance away the bad spirits of Czestochowa.

      Watch it on Misja21's YouTube channel.

       

      Keep an eye on the blog, will update from the celebrations in Czestochowa later today. Comment and tell me how you celebrate your Bank Holiday.

       

      Sophie

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      czwartek, 23 czerwca 2011 08:52
  • środa, 22 czerwca 2011
    • Eating and Drinking in Czestochowa

      Finding your way in Poland can be tricky since the generation above 40 + often don’t speak English. What happens when you ask someone for advice, direction or information if that they give you a quick look and then turn around and get someone else to help you. That’s why I often get relieved when someone a bit younger serves me. This happened yesterday at Oslo Pub and Restaurant. A place well known in Czestochowa and was on the to-do list yesterday. They brew their own beer and one is more than welcome to see the brewery. I tried a light beer with honey, and it was sweeeet :) Asking the kind waitress for some advice in choice of dinner, she recommended chicken with feta cheese and, curry rice and salad. Okey, I know this probably isn’t a Polish cuisine, but one has to try what one gets recommended right? (I was also curious of how Polish chief makes curry rice). The place is decorated with beer from all over the world and if you’re a beer fanatic, you’ll truly enjoy this place.

       

      Me outside of the Oslo Beer Brewery, Czestochowa Poland.

       

       

      Fine beer with honey

       

      My shadow journalist and photographer wanted me to try some fantastic herbata, tea, so we went to a coffee in the centre. What I’ve noticed in Poland is that herbata is the only way, and I’ve seen more shops selling herbata than supermarkets. To my delight, the tea is often sold as loose tea. It is fantastic news for me, as I’ve said before, I drink more than 5 cups a day. The herbata that we tried, Zíelona herbata, was something of a chai tea – but without the milk. The way to drink it: Hot water and a bag of green or black tea (cytryna/ ceyon) then add one slice of lemon and a small glass of ginger and cinnamon extract (Imbir). 

       

      Tea time again :)

       

      As we were sitting and chatting I noticed that my dear fellow photographer Sebastian was wearing a reggae t-shit and a reggae bracelet. It has actually been one of the things that have surprised me the most in Poland, people really love reggae and it’s a big thing here. Everyday I see people wearing this bracelets’ and listen to Polish reggae. Each year, Czestochowa hosts a reggae festival and local talents perform. Just like in my first blog post from Czestochowa, a reggae band was performing “Rebel” (watch it on Misja21’s YouTube channel) just a few blocks from the Monastery of Jasna Góra. This truly is the city of surprises and everyday I realise that Czestochowa is more than just the obvious.

       

      Heading back home from adventures of the day, I see many kebab shops along the avenue and it strikes me that the take away culture in Czestochowa isn’t that exciting. Except from the normal take away’s like McDonalds, KFC and pizzas most coffee places sells cakes and fruits. When I tried to find a coffee place that sells salads and sandwiches the other day I ended up buying one at a coffee chain with signs in English. Ironically, the waitress didn’t speak English.

       

      I asked my Polish friend Karolina about this and she said: “Polish people likes to eat at home.”

       

      What do you say Czestochowíaníe, are there take away’s missing in town or have I missed seeing them? I’d love to hear your comments on the eating culture.

       

      Take care,

       

      Sophie

       

       

      

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      środa, 22 czerwca 2011 11:39
    • In another part of Czestochowa

      Yesterday I went for a visit in the old town, which for me normally would be associated with small houses and charming alleys. Roughly 30 minutes walk from the Jasna Góra, things are not se well preserved. In the south part of Czestochowa (as I’ve previously described in the area of Katedralna street) houses are destroyed and look like temporary homes for some. There is food and cloths on the inside and I can tell that people are sleeping there.

       

       

      This worn down house has tenants

       

      

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