15 Reasons To Be Thankful for Poland

One of the things my friends always ask me is why I’m so crazy about Poland when I wasn’t even born in that country. Some of them just don’t see why Poland matters. “What contributions has Poland made to the world?” they ask.

The answer is more than they think. I have compiled the following list to BEGIN demonstrating what Poland has to offer. There is no particular order to this list (So, no, I’m not saying that pączki are better than Saint Pope John Paul II).

1. Pączki:

Pączki are one of those foods that have transcended cultural borders to become a staple of universal cuisine. Whether you’re American, German, Australian or Dutch, chances are you’ve sunk your teeth into those fluffy balls of fruit-filled delight. Just remember that you have Poland to thank.

Polish paczki


2. Vitamins:

Do you take Vitamin C when you feel like you’re getting sick? Perhaps you take a daily multivitamin to supplement your health. You can thank a Pole, Casimir Funk, for discovering the concept and existence of vitamins in 1912. Although, I’m not sure if that’s the reason some vitamins have such a funky taste.

vitamins


3. Heliocentricity:

The earth revolves around the sun. Duhhhh. But we wouldn’t have known that if it weren’t for Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, who proved this phenomenon in the 16th century. For centuries prior to this, the accepted theory was that the earth was the center of the universe and the sun revolved around it. Not only did Copernicus discover the opposite (heliocentricity), but this discovery helped spur the Scientific Revolution.

copernicus heliocentricity


4. Saving Europe…TWICE:

In its history, Poland fought back two invasion forces that had the potential to completely change the social and political fabric of the European continent. The first was in 1683 when King John III Sobieski repulsed a massive Ottoman invasion at the gates of Vienna. The second occured in 1920 when Poland miraculously defeated a Soviet onslaught into the west during the Battle of Warsaw.

John III Sobieski


5. X-Rays:

Next time you’re getting your tooth X-rayed at the dentist’s office, remember Marie Skłodowska  Curie, a Polish female scientist who helped develop X-ray technology and was the first woman ever to win the Nobel Prize. She also discovered a new element and named it Polonium, after her home country.

Curie Xray


6. Big, Beautiful Castles:

OK, OK, many countries have castles. But Poland has the largest castle on the planet at Malbork. Built by the Teutonic Knights in the 14th century and later captured by the Poles, the massive fortification stretches for 52 acres. Still, I must note that there is some friendly competition between Malbork Castle in Poland and Prague Castle in the Czech Republic, which many sources also claim to be the largest castle in the world.

Castle Malbork


7. Polish Women:

In my experience, Polish women are intelligent, resourceful, tough, moral and beautiful. Sure, you find these qualities, and lack thereof,  in all nations, but I can only speak to the great influence strong Polish women like my mother and grandmother had on me.

blonde-girl


8. Polish Chocolates:

Forget Butterfingers and Hershey Bars. Poland offers a celestial collection of delectable confections that will leave you addicted and begging for more. From Wawel, to E. Wedel, to Prince Polo, you can’t go wrong with any Polish chocolate.

prince polo


9. Kiełbasa Sausage:

I just know I’m going to get comments asking me “Why didn’t you make Kiełbasa number one, two and three on this list, Crazy Polish Guy?” Well this list has no particular order, so maybe this is number one. Honestly, though, how could I make any list of fantastic Polish things without including kiełbasa? For some people, Poland’s whole purpose is kiełbasa.

Kielbasa


10. Polish Grandmothers:

They’re kind, loving and willing to force-feed you in ways that would make any CIA interrogator cringe. Everyone loves their grandma, whether she’s Polish or not, but we people of Polish descent have a certain image that comes to mind when we think of our Polish grandmothers; God bless them. Check out how to tell if your grandma is Polish.

Polish grandmother


11. Alcohol:

Żywiec, Tyskie, Krupnik, VODKA. What would the world do without them? And they’re all Polish (Yes, Russia, we’re claiming the Vodka). What would you do without Poland? Give thanks, my friends! Give thanks!

polish beer


12. The Lato Font:

Lato, that font style that everyone is using these days on new business presentations and school projects, is a Polish invention. The typeface, which is the Polish word for summer, was developed in 2010 by Warsaw designer Łukasz Dziedzic.

Polish Lato font


13. Legendary Classical Music:

You may recall the famous funeral march song that they always used to play in cartoons. That happens to be one of the most widely recognized musical pieces by Polish composer  Frédéric Chopin. Not only is he the most famous Polish musician of all time, but he is right up there in the same league as Ludwig van Beethoven and Peter Tchaikovsky when it comes to legendary composers.

chopin statue


14. Saint Pope John Paul II:

One of the most cherished figures in Poland, Saint Pope John Paul II, born Karol Wojtyła, is beloved and respected worldwide for having lead an exemplary life of piety and forgiveness, while simultaneously helping rip apart the fabric of communism in Eastern Europe. Among his most saintly acts was visiting the person who tried to assassinate him and offering him forgiveness. All across the world people revere his name, and Poland gave him to us.

Saint Pope John Paul II


15. Polish People

The world’s estimated Polish population is 60 million. Those 60 million people can be found anywhere from  Albania to Zambia, and if you count the people who are part Polish and part some other nationality (which I do), the number is likely far higher. Poles and people of Polish descent make important contributions to all aspects of global society, from politics, to coal mining and from sports to scientific research and development. I can assure you that this 0.8% of the world’s population packs a powerful punch.

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20 thoughts on “15 Reasons To Be Thankful for Poland

  1. YOu have a great start on Poland. It is a great nation, I agree with your subject matter. They have a great and proud history. Keep up the good work. Na razie pa.

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  2. Good Going !!!!! Especailly impressed with “Lato” designed by Lukasz Dziedzic as I, myself, am a pround member of the Dziedzic family !!!!!

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  3. I would add Solidarity, which was the first breach of the Iron Curtain and ultimately brought about the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe.

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  4. About Poland ,you absolutely right,I will add”Polish Gdansk”Polish Post Office workers fight to protect ,during World War II. Post Office.The gorgeous voice Czeslaw Niemen.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Also heroes of American Revolution: Kosciuszko and Pulaski (no not for the delicious mustards or the bridges!- it’s the other way around) Also lets not forget: St Maximillian Kolby, the WWII martyr who gave up his life to save another man. And goes without saying: Our Lady of Częstochowa, the “Queen of Poland!”
    My guess? We could go on and on!
    Nice job, Pan “Crazy”!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Poles were the first European nation to grant freedom to the freedom to the serfs and allow then to own the land they farmed, The Poles were the first nation the had an elected king and dismissed Royal succession. Never mentioned the Poles contributed more to democracy than the Greeks. Also, the Poles through their code breaking efforts helped the Allies defeat Hitler. The pols also saved the Brits during the Battle of Britain with their exiled pilots which England paid the back for by forbidding any Polish pilots from flying in the celebration of the fly over of London when the war ended. Poland lasted longer against the Nazi invasion than France, The Polish underground caused more damage and lost more fighters than the worshiped French underground,
    but,they were given to Stalin for their efforts…

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