The culture of Poland is one that has deep roots and has flourished over the past thousand years. Understanding the culture of Poland helps you to really understand the people and also gives an insight into the wonders of this nation.
A main driver of the Polish culture comes from its location in central-eastern Europe and allows this beautiful country to hail influences from both west and east.
There are many facets to Polish culture and it takes a lot of time and study to really understand how it works, there are a few main factors however which are listed below.
Religion in Poland
The people of Poland are religious and more so than most nations. This deep seated belief in religion has played a pivotal role in the Polish culture for centuries.
The main religion of Poland is Roman Catholic Christianity with 90% of the population being of the faith. The next largest religion is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Because of the importance of the Catholic religion in Poland, the religion is seen as the key symbol to the culture of the country.
While the constitution of the country allows for religious freedom of expression, the Catholic Church in Poland still takes centre stage for the population majority.
Because the culture of Poland is greatly impacted by its religion you will find that Polish people take their religious beliefs very seriously, so much so that they allow their thought process to include religion in a lot of what they do. This is to ensure they do the right thing by God.
Food in Polish culture is also very important as it brings people together.
The main staple of the Polish diet is meat, cabbage, fish, potatoes and different dough based foods such as bread and dumplings.
At any table in Poland you are likely to find different sausage meats cut into bite size pieces for everyone to enjoy. There are many varieties of sausage meat to eat and many of them come precooked and ready to cut for serving.
One of the main Polish dishes is called Pierogi and is stuffed dumplings fried in butter and onions, the stuffing is usually meat and sauerkraut (shredded sour white cabbage).
Another main staple is Bread, this is called chleb. Chleb is not as soft as western varieties and contains Rye within the bread. Chleb is wonderful and great tasting bread that you will find served with most meals in Poland.
The great number of influences in Polish food means there are many great tasting dishes to enjoy, it also shows the number of influences on its culture.
To the people of Poland hospitalityand respect are very important. You will find then when someone is cooking, they cook for the masses. This is especially notable in certain dishes such as soups, Golabki and Kopytka where big trays and saucepans are used to make enough for an army of people.
As mentioned, respect is very important in Poland, especially respecting elders. Polish culture means that everyone shows respect to one another and are well mannered too. The culture is one of age related hierarchy, so the older people are shown much respect by those younger in age. You could also say that the family situation is matriarchal with the Babcia (grandmother) being the pivotal figure.
If you were to visit Poland or be around Polish people you will experience the Polish culture and will be astounded by their respectful, hospitable and attentive nature.