Is Poland as Welcoming as it Expects Other Countries to be?

Posted on: 19.05.2010    12:11:57

Since the “dark years” of Communism, there have been many changes on the political and economic scene in Poland. Among many, though, there was one that brought Polish people awareness of other cultures and nations. As a result of the changes that took place in the year 1989, Poland has become a different country, attracting a huge influx of immigrants as well as tourists.

There were times in Poland when coming across a person from another country was something that involved raising eyebrows, finger pointing and gossiping, let alone seeing someone of a different race. Those days are gone today as Polish people have gradually become accustomed to those types of situations. It is, of course, more visible in larger cities where a coloured person on the street is more common occurrence. However, in small towns and villages seeing a person from a foreign country might still bring some excitement to their inhabitants.

It is interesting, though, what attitudes you might expect from Poles when you are a person visiting the country. Despite the fact that Poland is considered one of the most hospitable countries in the world, you may receive a second opinion when you come from Russia or Ukraine . It is estimated that Polish people express negative emotions towards newcomers from beyond Poland’s Eastern border. This is not only the result of the unpleasant history between Poland and Russia , for example, but there are also other factors that contribute to that.

Sadly, Polish people tend to associate those countries with growing crime rates and poverty which consequently makes them believe that having foreigners from the former Soviet Union is not only disadvantageous but also unprofitable. It’s not only Russia, Ukraine or Belarus that get such poor reception from Poles. There are inhabitants from other countries (such as Armenia and Vietnam) who try to settle in Poland.

Another factor that worries the Polish people is the fact that people from foreign countries take away any open vacancies at the Polish Universities. Often times, these people come to Poland on privileged scholarships which guarantee them the index without any entrance exams. Whereas Polish students have to take the entrance exams, and very often, due to limited number of students that a given University accepts, are rejected from the possibility of studying at the University. Why? Because if the university has 50 vacancies and 30% of them are already taken (which is a common fact nowadays), there is limited space remaining for the Polish students. The same goes when it comes to the labour market. Poles do not like to compete with nationals, let alone foreigners.

The warmth of the welcome is the exact opposite in Poland when it comes to people from Western countries. Polish people are especially fond of Americans and English with whom they can practice the language they have learned from as early as kindergarten. You can even notice a spark of jealousy in some people’s eyes when you are around a foreigner from one of those countries.The Western countries are exactly the countries Poland wants to collaborate with: rich, prosperous countries that help the Polish economy and the country in general.

Call it arrogance, or discrimination, but isn’t this type of practice what each country uses nowadays and it makes you smile when you think thar one of Poland’s major exports is its people.

Commenting on this Skills Provision, the specialist Eastern European recruitment
company said that as Poland’s prosperity increased the quality of Polish workers had declined much as it has in the West and their recruitment processes had tightened to try and avoid the Euro tourist


Author: Chris Slay

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