Poland. The very name of this country gives me strong emotions. Not only because of the fact that it was my home for over 24 years. I believe, this beautiful piece of land located in the very center of Europe has two extremely different faces. A bit like a parent- alcoholic. We love him and we hate him at the same time.
On the one hand, we see it through the primacy of such vast literature, art and culture, and all this is surrounded by the band of age traditions and values about which teachers for many years have tortured us in all schools. National self-awareness in Polish society is at a very high level.
The other side of the coin is unfortunately not so beautiful, and the everyday life is not related to the knowledge we have acquired in schools over the years of education. Corruption scandals, the Second World War, the ever-growing national debt, the lack of work and prospects for the future are only the tip of the iceberg of the problems that pollute Polish society.
I think that for each of my countrymen it is a very difficult love, but nevertheless, almost all of us, despite all the flaws and grays of everyday life, carry in our hearts deeply rooted Polishness and national identity.
The supposed extent of the state of Polans (dark red color) in the X cenury
But how its all started?
A bit of facts about Polish culture:
It is part of European culture. Its specific character is the result of a mixture of influences of Western European and Eastern culture, in particular the Middle East, as well as its own kind of customs shaping Polish traditions.
Poland also has deeply rooted Christian traditions that remain alive and practiced by Polish society.
When and how?
Baptism of Poland, contemporary fresco in Gniezno, next to the Bolesław Chrobry monument, near the cathedral
The whole adventure with Christianity begins in 966 when the Baptism of Poland took place and the date of this is the beginning of the process of Christianization of Polish lands, as well as the beginning of the Polish State. This is an extremely important date, as well as showing how deeply and strictly Poland is related to Christianity.
Introduction of Christianity R.P.965, image of Jan Matejko from 1889, from the series History of civilization in Poland
Baptism of Poland – the traditional name of the baptism of the last prince Polan Mieszka I, who initiated the process of Christianization of Polish lands.
Jan Matejko, Mieszko I (1880) A collection of Polish kings and princes
But what was happening before that?
They were believed in many equal gods or in one principal and the rest as His personified.
Our ancestors saw divine power in nature. For example, soil was important for farmers, water for fishermen, etc. That is why the religion of our ancestors was so-called. a natural religion based on the laws of nature. Slavs are not just Poles.
The Slavs in the world are nearly half a billion, which is over 5% of the population on earth. During the last millennium, the Slavs ceased to be one nation and divided into a number of smaller ones.
At the beginning there were three of them: in the west, east and south. That is why today the Slavs are divided into these three groups. The nations of the Western Slavs include: Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Sorbs (this is the smallest Slavic nation inhabiting Lusatia in Germany). The Eastern Slavs include: Russians, Ukrainians, Belorussians, and Lemkos. The southern Slavs include: Slovenes, Croats, Bosnians, Serbs, Montenegrins, Macedonians, Bulgarians. Like you see, we are all one big family.
For many Slavic artists, their own folklore was the inspiration. The illustration depicts Sadko in the underwater kingdom of Ilya Riepina.
Although the Slav peoples and related belief systems, and probably also ethnogenesis, the Baltic peoples inhabited gigantic parts of Europe (most areas east of the Elbe, excluding areas occupied by Hungarians and nomadic peoples), no coherent message describing their beliefs has survived.
I could write about my country over and over, but this blog is not about it.
I just wanted to familiarize you with a bit of facts about where I come from and what really lies deep in the heart of each of my countrymen.
I want to encourage you to discuss the traditions in your countries. I think that in every part of the world we can find extremely interesting knowledge, and knowledge is what inspires not only individuals but entire nations. Share your experiences and thoughts with me.
My dream have always been traveling, but due to the intricacies of my life I have not had the chance to pursue this dream. Maybe your story will inspire me to visit your homeland and immerse myself in the knowledge I have never seen before?