Hey friends! I have another post about Polish culture. If you haven’t read my first blog post on Polish culture, make sure to check it out! As I have been traveling throughout Poland, there are other differences I have noticed in culture. As a “Westerner,” it’s fun to note these differences. It’s crazy how many differences there just by just crossing the “pond!”
Yes, PDA, public display of affection. It happens in Poland ALL OF THE TIME. Holding hands, hugging, kissing, the whole shebang. And to the public, it means nothing. It really catches me off guard when this happens near me. In the States, this doesn’t really happen much (in terms of public kissing and all of that hoopla). But if you ever come to Poland, (or Europe in general), expect this and try not to surprised!
It’s gross, and there’s research behind it. But hey, it’s European I guess. Smoking inside is very illegal, but it is accepted in public areas. Every time I walk somewhere, I pass at least 10 people who smoke. I just hold my breath. The main reason why smoking is still prevalent in Europe is because their governments have not pushed anti-smoking campaigns like the USA. So in this case, go USA!
8. Putting Feet Up
I recently put my feet up on the seat in front of me in the subway, and I was “yelled” at by locals to put them down. This brought me memories when I did the very same thing in Vienna last summer. In Poland and in Europe, it is VERY disrespectful to put your feet up on furniture. In the end, your feet and shoes are filthy and they don’t want that on their materials. This maybe acceptable in the States, but don’t do it in Europe!
9. Fast Food Culture
Fast food places such as McDonalds or Burger King in Poland are actually restaurants. The Polish and other Europeans really value the social aspect of eating meals. Whenever they eat, they take their time and their waiter or waitress does not rush them, or visit them like they do in the States. When I went to McDonalds (yes, I caved and craved McNuggets), all who ordered sat, and ate their food, socialized, and let their food digest. So, I did the same to be European.
Despite all of our differences, we have more similarities than differences. One similarity is that we are HUMAN! But another one is that Polish citizens are great at English! They understand and can respond well, which makes it easy to travel. But one difference is that WE don’t speak Polish, but we try hard! So far, I have mastered the following: Cześć (pronounced chayshed), dziękuję (pronounced jenkuyeh), and dzień dobry (pronounced djen dobreh). These are enough to get me by. Back to the point, communication is simple, and despite our cultural variances, we are much more similar than different!