Ah, To Be Polish

From Milwaukee Area Polish Researchers Group
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  • If you come from Chicago, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit or Milwaukee there surely is a large church called "Saint Stanislaus," or "Saint Hedwig," within one block of your childhood home (that is, unless you're one of those suburban exiles, in which case the church is within one block of your babcia's house!)
  • Your knowledge of the Polish language is limited to 'naughty' words ie:., dupa, gowno, kurwa, etc, names for food ie: pierogi, kapusta, etc, and drinking toasts i.e.: nazdrowie.
  • You call your grandma "babcia" or "busia" and your grandpa "dziadzia." You know how to dance the polka, but you only do it at weddings after kicking back a few generous shots of vodka..
  • When frustrated, you slap your forehead, shake your head, and say "O Jezu Marija!" (ouch!)
  • You have one grandma that wears a babushka and galoshes every single day of the year and another grandma that wears a lot of jewelry and too much make-up.
  • You have at least one uncle named "Stan" or "Stash."
  • Your relatives have strong devotion to saints, the Blessed Virgin, the Pope, the Democratic Party, the U.S. Steelworkers, UAW, etc. and voted for John Kennedy
  • Your grandma has a shrine complete with votive candles and a picture of "Our Lady of Czestochowa" or "Infant of Prague ."
  • Your parents have at least one crucifix or religious picture mounted on a wall in their house with palms tucked behind it.
  • You get your food blessed at Easter and your house blessed at Christmas time.
  • Your family has a wigilia meal on Christmas Eve at which you share oplatki and kiss everyone.
  • You always prefer rye bread to white or wheat.
  • Your dad has forced you to eat horseradish, claiming that it will "put hair on your chest", even If you're a female!
  • You know the words to "Sto Lat" and sing it at all birthday parties.
  • You can out drink all of your friends.
  • You have waited in line at a church or bakery to buy pierogi or paczki.
  • Words like kiszka, kielbasa, and kolaczki actually mean something to you.
  • You actually know who Kosciuszko and Pulaski are, and why they're important.
  • You have at least one relative who plays the Accordion.
  • Your idea of "healthy" is boiled pierogi fried in butter w/onions, light beer, and filtered cigarettes.
  • You have at least one bar in your house - usually in the basement.
  • Your family always has an excuse to hold a "poprawinie" - e.g., when someone dies, or when someone gets married.
  • You've never been to Poland but you have mysterious relatives there to whom your busia sends gifts and money every Christmas.
  • You collect "prayer cards" from funerals.
  • You often visit cemeteries, light votive candles for dead relatives and generally spend an unhealthy amount of time obsessing about death.
  • People often have trouble pronouncing your last name.
  • You used to think that having a "highball" is high society.
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