Polish Toledo

This blog is associated with www.polishtoledo.com

Monday, July 30, 2007

Babcia Zbyszynska Come On Down

Krystyna Zbyszynska, 84, became Poland's oldest parachutist when she made her first jump with her daughter-in-law, Poland's news channel TVN24 reported on Sunday.

"I survived World War Two and wasn't afraid, so what's there to be afraid of now?" she said after clambering out of her jumpsuit this weekend.

"Babcia (granny) Krysia is not your ordinary gran," explained one of her teenaged granddaughters.

"She tells me I'm not playing my music loud enough and comes into my room and wants to dance."

Asked whether she planned another jump Zbyszynska, from the northern city of Olsztyn, told the channel: "Yes, the day I turn 100."

Source: Reuters

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Jalapeño Pierogi? No, just Polish style. Thank you.

The World's Biggest Pierogi Festival just concluded in Whiting, Indiana a suburb of Chicago. Who won the best pierogi contest this year? A Mexican born restaurant owner named Jesus Alvarez.

Jesus sells 12 pierogi varieties, but he has added two more at his Whiting dinner. You can get seven pierogi, two side dishes and a roll for $6.29. Other food includes perch dinners, kluski, and stuffed cabbage.

"People come from far away. Just because I come from Mexico, don't think I don't love this food. I love it. This is my life," according to Alvarezowicz.

Labels: , , ,

Near Midnight for the Oasis

Poland's unique desert, Pustynia Błędowska, may be disappearing.

The "Polish Sahara", located in the south of the country, covered 80 sq kilometres at the turn of the 19 th century. Now it is only 32 sq kilometres. The main cause of this has been planting, started by local residents in the 1960s, to protect homesteads from sand.

It's hoped that the unique desert area can be saved with support of the European programme Nature 2000. Pustynia Błędowska is one of 50 natural sites listed in the programme this year.

Source: Polskie Radio

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Save Our Churches

Polish American Catholic Heritage Committee, who are planning to establish the Union of Polish Churches in America has been formulated and is growing.

This is hope for all Polish parishes to stay alive! Started by a group of Polish American Philadelphians, the group plans toencompass people from all of American Polonia. Their website is: http://www.polamcatholic.com/ .

All are asked to visit that site, and please be part of this most worthwhile project. Our Polish churches are so sacred to us, since Catholicism makes up a largepart of our heritage, and it cannot be ignored any longer. Any one interested can send an e-mail to the committe at: polamcatholic@zoomshare.com .

National Remembrance

The Institute of National Remembrance has appealed for a nationwide observance of the anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising in the same manner as has been practiced for decades in the Polish capital.

It is the custom in the capital that on August 1st at 17 hours all traffic comes to a halt and sirens are sounded to recall the heroic revolt of the people of Warsaw against the Nazis in 1944, in the final stages of World War Two. T

he bloody two month struggle went down in history as an act of unprecedented heroism of underground Home Army soldiers and civilians to fight for freedom. The uneven battle had been watched from across the Vistula river by advancing Soviets ordered to stand idle till January next year by Joseph Stalin.

This was to make sure the Poles do not have a chance to set up a democratic government in their capital before the Red Army enters it as a liberating force and establishing pro-Communist authorities.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Polish mothers prefer to stay home with toddlers

Most Polish mothers would prefer to remain home with their young children, a survey shows, although in practice the average Polish mother returns to work 12 months after a child is born. A report by the Millward Brown Market Research Institute find that 60% of Polish mothers would like to remain at home until their children are 2 years old and that 50% would prefer to do so until a child is 3.

The report, organized in collaboration with the St. Nicholas Foundation and the newspaper Rzeczpospolita, found that 60% of Polish mothers believe that children suffer when mothers work. Only 17% of respondents believe that day care at a place of employment is an adequate solution.

Source: CWNews.com

EU Socialism Affects Poland Negatively

The European Commission has accepted cuts in production capacity at Poland's Gdynia and Szczecin shipyards in return for over one billion euros in aid since Poland joined the union in 2004.

But Brussels has given the shipyard in Gdansk a month to reduce capacity or return the funds. Repaying the aid could mean bankruptcy for Gdansk, birthplace of the Solidarity movement, which would result in the loss of thousands of jobs.

Sorce: Polskie Radio

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sex in Poland

Poles rank fourth in the world in terms of satisfaction with their sex lives, according to the latest Durex's Sexual Wellbeing Survey, which interviewed 26,000 respondents from 26 countries.Poles also lead very active sex lives, "doing it" 143 times per year, compared to the survey's average of 103. Also, 79% of Polish respondents said sex was "important," the second result only behind Greece.

Labels: , ,

Oil from Saudi

Saudi Arabia is ready to export crude oil and natural gas to Poland. Saudi Oil Minister Ali bin Ibrahim al-Naimi confirmed during a meeting with Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski that his country is open to meet Poland's needs for fuels. Today we supply oil to many EU countries, the Saudi minister said, adding that Poland could become a strategic partner for Saudi Arabia inside the European Union. The Polish premier said that the energy sector firms have been developing fast in Poland. Considering their dynamic growth, the premier is convinced that cooperation even with such distant countries as Saudi Arabia is just a matter of time. He also signaled Poland's readiness for cooperation with Saudi partners in the construction of tankers.

Source: Polskie Radio


In Poland, Hope on Jewish Relations
Letter to the Editor
The New York Times
July 14, 2007

To the Editor:

The complexity of contemporary Poland was underscored by the two
news articles on Poles and Jews published side by side ("In Poland,
a Jewish Revival Thrives — Minus Jews" and "Call to Punish Polish
Priest for Anti-Semitic Remarks," July 12).

Anti-Semitism has not disappeared from Polish soil any more than it
has vanished from other countries in Europe. The anti-Semitic
broadcasts on Radio Maryja, which enjoys a large national audience,
not to mention the recent assault on the Polish chief rabbi, are
sobering reminders of the danger of what has been called the world's
oldest social pathology.

Yet Poland, since courageously overthrowing Communism in 1989, has
made tremendous strides in building strong links with Israel,
enhancing ties with world Jewry, and creating a welcoming climate
for Jewish renewal. These laudable efforts have been supported by
successive governments and bolstered by dedicated civic institutions
like the Forum for Dialogue Among Nations.

The American Jewish Committee, which has been active in Polish-
Jewish relations for decades, can attest to the dramatic change
under way. Significant gains have been achieved against the backdrop
of an anguished and multilayered history. Indeed, the increasingly
vibrant Polish-Jewish relationship should be seen as a metaphor for
the triumph of hope over despair.

David A. Harris
Executive Director
American Jewish Committee
New York, July 12, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

Rhythm in Poland

In case you didn't know, Poland is virtually all Catholic. The rhythm method is popular. This 4 year old drummer got a whole lotta rhythm already.

Watch him bang away.


Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Friday, July 13, 2007

More Children Coming Soon

507 Polish women between the ages of 30 and 59 were surveyed by the BCMM marketing firm. The study found that around 70% of respondents consider families with four or more children to be the future of Poland.

While 48% of the respondents opposed a pro-natal government policy, 43% considered families with four children to be the ideal size. Further, 72% of respondents rejected the idea that parents of families with four or more children are irresponsible, and 84% rejected the idea that such families should be marginalized. Only 37% of respondents believed that parents of large families fail to care for their children.

Recently the birth rate in Poland has been so low as to threaten a state of negative population growth when coupled with outward migration.

Recently the Polish PM at an EU Constitution Summit said Poland would have more voting power in the Union if it were not for the Nazi extermination of 6million Poles during WWII. He estimated Poland's population would be around 66 million rather than the present 38 million. 66 million would Put Poland 4th; behind Germany, France and the U.K.

Because the rest of Europe is near or at zero population growth - Polish families with 4 children on average would make Poland the largest populated country on the continent by the year 2040.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Blade & Polish Funeral Directors

Bob Driver writes a newspaper column down in Tampa, Florida. His July 11 column lamented that the St. Petersburg Times transfered control of obituaries to the advertising department from the news department like many dailies did in the past few years.

Here's his last paragraph of the column:

I worked three years for the Toledo (Ohio) Blade, a pretty good paper in its time. But like many newspapers (even the good ones) it had lousy management. One of its newsroom policies was that every reporter – even those who had 10 or 20 years experience – had to write obits. At any moment on any working day, a busy reporter might get the command: “Pick up on Line 1 – Dumbrowski’s got four obits.” (For some reason, most of Toledo’s funeral directors were Polish). Needless to say, the Blade had a high rate of turnover among its reporters. Management finally got smart and assigned all the routine obits to one person, a woman who doubled as a receptionist. I was told she did a superb job. I’m sure the Times has obit handlers just as good as she was.

Labels: , ,

What Better Place?

Over 330 exorcists from 29 countries around the world have arrived in the southern locality of Czestochowa for their annual meeting during which they are to discus new ways of fighting Satan. According to the church guidelines, an exorcist is a bishop or an appointed chaplain who is able to "communicate with the evil". In their rituals exorcists are often assisted by psychologists and psychiatrists. Czestochowa is home to the shrine of the Black Madonna and annual destination for many pilgrims from around the continent.

European exorcists meet once a year, usually in Italy or Germany. This
is their second meeting in Czestochowa.

Source: Polskie Radio

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Poles Denied ?

Congress is working on legislation that would likely deny Polish citizens visa-free entry to the US.

Under the proposed bill, countries that see more than 10% of their visa applications rejected will fail to qualify. While the cap is higher than the 3% in force now, Poles have 26% of their visa applications rejected.

Meanwhile, international terrorists are coming to our shores left and right.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cleveland Style Turbo Polka

Oh look what they've done to the Cleveland Style Slovenian Polka! Wonder what Frankie Vankovic would think if he was still alive and kickin'? This group BTW, is from Slovenia.

Here's Frankie Yankovic performing in the early 1960's. Probably from "Polka Varieties" a local Sunday afternoon Polka show on Cleveland's biggest TV station at the time, WEWS Channel 5.

[Frank Yankovic Bio]

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Not Mulholland Drive or Twin Peaks but Gdansk

The American surrealistic movie director David Lynch is among the guests of the Festival of Stars in the Polish city of Gdansk.

He was given an enthusiastic reception after the Polish premiere of his latest feature `Inland Empire'. Several Polish actors appear in the film which was partly shot in Poland. Lynch has often described himself as a great friend of Poland, particularly the city of £odz which is one of the major centers of Polish film industry. The program of the Festival of Stars includes some 40 events – film shows, concerts and meetings with film people.

They were called "Blue Laws" when I was a kid in Ohio

The Polish Parliament has approved a ban on trading in shops and supermarkets covering twelve days in a year. They include Christmas, Easter, the Constitution Day of May Third, the Pentecost, Corpus Christi, Ascention Day - August 15, All Saints' Day on November 1 and Independence Day on November 11. Chemists' and petrol stations are the only exceptions. 275 deputies were for the new law, 103 were against and 25 abstained. The bill has to be approved by the upper house of the Parliament – the Senate.

CIA Prison Where?

Marek Siwiec, Poland's former national security adviser will sue a European investigator for naming him in a report that accused Poland of maintaining secret CIA prisons for suspected terrorists.

He previously demanded that the Council of Europe investigator Dick Marty remove his name from the report, in which he was mentioned as a government official aware of secret facilities and could be held accountable for the prisons.

Half Packed Pews

The national census is held in Poland every ten years. The `census' on church attendance is conducted every year. The results of the latest count, just published, give the Polish Church much reason for satisfaction but the Church does not intend to rest on its laurels.

When Poland joined the EU in 2004, some people in Poland expected imminent secularization trends spreading into the country. After the death of Pope John Paul II over two years ago, many people thought that those whose links with the church were based solely on an emotional attitude to the Polish Pope would turn away from the church. The latest census on church attendance, conducted in November 2006, shows that such fears proved unjustified. The national average of Sunday mass attendance in some 10,000 Polish parishes is 45.8 percent, an increase of just under one percentage point on 2005. Sixteen percent of those attending Sunday mass receive Holy Communion.

According to Jonathan Luxmoore, a prominent analyst of religious scene in Poland and Central Europe, the Polish Church can be satisfied with the result.

`There may be people who are not satisfied, who might think it should be even higher in a great Catholic nation such as Poland but that would be the dream of churches all around the world, not least in Western Europe. I think the Polish Church can be pretty satisfied but of course it's important not to rest on one's laurels. The Church has built up that public support through decades of very hard, very intelligent and wise work so it would need to continue doing that wise work in future as well.'

Source: Polskie Radio

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Extreme Polish Stubbornness

Mika Brzezinski anchorwoman rips Paris Hilton report, bosses and producers of MSNBC

Labels: , , , ,

What's Old is New Again

Your Polish dzia-dzia's moonshine has gone luxury. Bottles of nalewki, (pronounced nah-LEV-key) making a come back with $25 half liters.

The latest trend in Poland's drinks industry is small-batch, expensive versions of traditional homemade fruit-infused vodka. Poles are getting a chance to return to their drinking roots — if they're willing to shell out higher prices for tasty hooch made on the family farm.

Equipment normally used is a de-pitting machine, a 25-ton press and a small bottling machine. The sun and alcohol reaps the best things from the fruits — taste, smell, color.

After a couple months, the taste is adjusted with sugar composing a taste as you would with wine or whiskey. Then it's stored away in the cellar to mature for at least a year before bottling.

The stuff is being sold in exclusive liquor shops in France and Switzerland. Watch for it coming to America in the next year or so.

Unlike mass-market flavored vodkas, which are often colorless and have more of the fiery taste of the alcohol, these infusions are a mellower experience, with richer, complex flavors and a sweeter taste better suited to sipping as aperitifs than drinking by the shot.

Poland's bigger drinks makers, such as Polmos Lublin, are going after the handcrafted competition with their own products. The company owns a majority stake in Nalewki i Inne, whose specialty shops sell over 25 different flavors, ranging from cranberry to blackthorn to wild plum. Polmos Lublin — a vodka maker — supplies the alcohol base from its distillery in eastern Poland. While Stolichnaya and Finlandia make flavor-infused or flavored vodkas, they are distilled differently and aren't nalewki.

When communism collapsed in Poland in 1989, the handful of well-heeled Poles sipped western whiskies and cognac. Now, many are returning to their native drinking tradition, even as the economy grows at over 6 percent a year, putting more spending money in people's pocket. "There is a lot of interest in a return to tradition, in a return to our roots in Poland," said Polmos Lublin spokeswoman Dorota Zdanowska.

Primary source: AP

To paraphrase Henri Beraud, the French thinker: Drinking alcohol is life, tasting it - science, discussing it - art.

Labels: , ,

Energy Diversification for Poland

Polish and Norwegian authorities have agreed on the financial terms for a pipeline to channel natural gas from Norway's offshore fields to Poland, which is trying to lessen its reliance on Russian energy. Poland is achieving progress in terms of diversifying natural gas supplies.

Like other countries in the former communist bloc, Poland is growing increasingly jittery about its dependence on Russian energy. Russia has been involved in a string of rows with countries that depend on it for gas and oil or which are key transit routes for the energy Russia sells to European Union nations.

The planned gas pipeline from Norway to Poland is due to run via Denmark. Polisg Gas Company will purchase a 15-percent stake in three Norwegian offshore gas exploration and production licences.

Respect to Culture sez Kaczynski

The Polish government will not accept the portion of the the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union that covers issues of discrimination on the basis of sexual preference.

Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski has announced that Poland will not grant legal recognition to same-sex unions, saying that the step would violate the country's cultural heritage. He pointed out that Poland had joined the European Union with the understanding that the sovereignty of the nation would be respected on matters of culture. The recognition of marriage, he said, falls into that category.

The Polish government has been in conflict with leaders of the European Union over issues involving the treatment of homosexuality. The announcement by Kaczynski appears likely to bring that conflict to a head.

Source: CWNews.com