Poland & Polish People
Interesting facts about Poland
You may be thinking, this is a random hub for Richie to be writing about, he's not Polish is he? The answer being no, he's Welsh but has recently been on a date with a Polish girl. I thought it would be a nice gesture to learn a few things so I don't appear like one of those people who is only interested in his own country, apparently a lot of British people are ignorant and will mistake Polish accents with Russian or other East European countries.
Photo courtesy of wiki
To begin the facts about Poland I will start with some basic ones:
National Population: 38.5 million (in 2009)
Time Zone: GMT + 1 (GMT plus 2 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October)
Capital City: Warsaw, its Population: 1.7 million (in 2009)
Location: Contrary to popular belief, Poland is not an East European country it is Central Europe.
EU: It has been a member of the European union since 2004.
Language: Its major language being Polish, however there are a few small communities in the southwest that speak German and other languages include English and Russian.
Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/48722974@N07/4575154987/
A 2007 report on child well being stated Poland is the 2nd best of the 25 Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development countries surveyed for behavioral and risk of unhealthy lifestyle.
It came 3rd best for educational well-being, had the lowest percentage of overweight young people and the lowest number of teenagers under 15 who had participated in sexual intercourse.
Photo courtesy of uggboy
The Highest mountain peak in Poland is Rysy in the Tatry mountains, it is measured at 2,499m.
Poland is the 9t biggest country in Europe, it's capital cities have been Poznan, Krakow, Gniezno and Warsaw. Lublin has also served as a temporary capital city twice after the first and second world wars.
Photo courtesy of j-pocztarski
Religion: The majority of Polish people are Roman Catholic, over 95% to be exact, the other small percentage consists of Polish Autocephalous Orthodox, Russian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox, Protestant, Muslim and Jewish.
Pope John Paul II was born in Wadowice, Krakow, Poland in 1920. He was the 265th Pope from 1978.
Photo courtesy of fernhout
The icon of the Black Madonna is the most important religious shrine in Poland, it has been dated as far back as 1430 when the original painting was recreated using the same canvas that got damaged by raiders. Although the exact date of the previous painting has been been hotly debated and some stating it traveled from Jerusalem, it has since been visited by millions of Polish Catholic pilgrims.
The national symbol of Poland is the White tailed Eagle, it can be seen on currency, stamps, flags, important events and industrial carriers.
Photo courtesy of royvanwijk
Poland shares its borders with Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany and the Northern part of the country has a coastline upon the Baltic sea.
Poland has its coldest areas within the North-East and its Warmest parts are in the South-West. Its average temperature for July is 19 *C, but many summer days you can expect it to rise over 30 *C. Winter Sports amongst mountain areas can be practiced between January and March.
Photo courtesy of wikitravel
The official currency of Poland is the Zloty, Poland is one of the European countries yet to embrace the Euro but hopes to join in 2011.
Prices in Poland vary to that of the UK, whilst petrol prices are slightly cheaper they are pretty much level with the British at 114p per liter.
Food is excellent value for money and you can purchase a 3 course meal for around £25.00 at the fanciest of restaurants and £10-20 at a average brand restaurant. Cigarettes are very cheap at £1.30 for Malboro and alcohol is also lower prices than the UK.
Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/87569910@N00/8903464
Jadwiga was a monarch of Poland from 1384 - 1399 and is famous for her being titled 'King of Poland rather than Queen, this being because Queen's regnant was quite uncommon during this period.
She was responsible for strengthening Christianity in her country, many legends talk of her generosity towards the poor and one even tells how she once prayed in front of a large black crucifix in the cathedral where the Jesus on the cross is supposed to have spoken to her. Her skeletal body still remains to this day and after being exhumed 3 times now rests in a white marble sarcophagus at Kraków Academy, she was canonized as a saint in 1997 by Pope John Paul II.
Photo courtesy of bazylek
I am going to end this article with some food for thought (pun intended), I thought I would try and cover most areas of Polish culture and have included photographs which most other articles haven't. Like their neighboring countries, Poland have a great liking for sausages, one popular version is the Kiebalsa and they also like to include lots of bread with these meals. Other usual ingredients involve beetroot, sauerkraut, gherkins, kohlrabi and mushrooms, spices such as parsley, pepper, marjoram, dill and caraway seeds are then added to enhance flavors.
Photos courtesy of kingfox