Archive for 'Culture'

Popular sports in Poland

Posted on 02. Sep, 2015 by in Culture, Sports, Vocabulary

Sport participation in Poland is on the rise with a range of sports growing faster in Poland then some of the more traditional western European country’s. Numerous sports are popular in Poland . Soccer (piłka nożna) is the country’s most popular sport , with a rich history of global competitiveness . Track and field (lekkoatletyka) , basketball (koszykówka) , boxing (boks) , ski jumping (skoki narciarskie), fencing (szermierka) , handball (piłka ręczna), cycling (kolarstwo), ice hockey (hokej na lodzie), swimming (pływactwo) , volleyball (siatkówka) , winter sports (sporty zimowe), weightlifting (podnoszenie ciężarów) and bodybuilding (kulturystyka) are notable other sports popular in Poland .

The golden era of football in Poland took place throughout the 1970s together with until the early 1980s , when the Polish national football team accomplished their best results in any FIFA World Cup competitions achieving third place in the 1974 and 1982 World Cups . The team won a gold medal in football at the 1972 Summer Olympics as well as winning 2 silver medals in 1976 and 1992 . Poland , together with Ukraine hosted the UEFA European Football Championship in 2012 (I happened to visit Poland during that time – lots of fun!).

The Polish mountains are the perfect location for hiking , winter sports and mountain biking and attract millions of tourists each year from all over the world . Baltic beaches and resorts are popular locations for fishing , canoeing , kayaking and a broad-range of other water-themed sports .


Here is useful sports vocabulary for you in Polish:

alpine skiing – narciarstwo alpejskie
archery – łucznictwo
badminton – badminton/kometka
basketball – koszykówka
bobsleigh – bobsleje
boxing – boks
canoeing – kajakarstwo
cricket – krykiet
cross-country skiing – biegi narciarskie
cycling – kolarstwo
diving – skoki do wody
equestrian – jeździectwo
fencing – szermierka
field hockey – hokej na trawie
figure skating – łyżwiarstwo figurowe
football – piłka nożna
freestyle skiing – narciarstwo dowolne
golf – golf
gymnastics – gimnastyka
handball – piłka ręczna
ice hockey – hokej na lodzie
judo – dżudo
luge – saneczkarstwo
modern pentathlon – pięciobój nowoczesny
nordic combined – kombinacja norweska
rowing – wioślarstwo
rugby – rugby
sailing – żeglarstwo
shooting – strzelectwo
ski jumping – skoki narciarskie
synchronized swimming – pływanie synchroniczne
table tennis – tenis stołowy
tennis – tenis
track cycling – kolarstwo torowe
volleyball – siatkówka
water polo – piłka wodna
weightlifting – podnoszenie ciężarów
wrestling – zapasy

What is your favorite sport? Please let us know in comments below:) Let’s see which sport Polish blog readers like the most!

Great Polish libraries

Posted on 27. Aug, 2015 by in Culture, Literature, Science

Many predict that the digital age will wipe public bookshelves clean, and permanently end the centuries-old era of libraries. As libraries’ relevance comes into question, librarians face an existential crisis at a time when students need them the most. Despite their perceived obsolescence in the digital age, both libraries and librarians are irreplaceable for many reasons.

Not Everything is Available on the Internet (Nie wszystko jest dostępne w Internecie): The amazing amount of useful information on the web has, for some, engendered the false assumption everything can be found online. It’s simply not true. Google Books recognizes this. That’s why they take on the task of digitizing millions of books from the world’s largest libraries. But even if Google does successfully digitize the sum of human knowledge, it is unlikely that the sum of contemporary authors and publishers will not allow their works to be freely accessible over the internet. It is already prohibited by law to make copyrighted books fully accessible through Google Book search.

Another important thing: the Internet isn’t free (Internet nie jest bezpłatny). Numerous academic research papers, journals, and other important materials are virtually inaccessible to someone seeking to pull them off the web for free. Rather, access is restricted to expensive subscription accounts, which are typically paid for by college libraries. Visiting a college library in person or logging in to the library through your school account, is therefore the only way to affordably access necessary archived resources.

There are some amazing libraries in Poland! You should definitely try to visit them in your spare time. Lots of them have a unique architecture, an impressive collection or a modern technology. Places, I would like to share with you, stand out among the others.

The University of Warsaw Library (Biblioteka Uniwersytecka w Warszawie)

The UW Library is one of the most important Polish libraries. A modern building consists of two parts: a commercial area (shops, cafes, offices) and a library space (reading rooms, a lending room, open stacks). Both structures are covered with an amazing garden. It is opens for all visitors, not only for students and employees.

We can distinguish to parts – lower and upper garden which are connected with lots of paths and bridges. During a walking we can admire a wide range of plants. Definitely a fish pond and a small fountain are noteworthy. When you see swimming ducks, fishes, blue or pinkish-white trees and shrubs, you will never think that this is the Library’s roof!

Certainly everybody will enjoy a visit here, and working in the office with an outstanding panorama of the whole Warsaw is without a doubt a pleasure.


My own photo taken 3 years ago

My own photo taken 3 years ago


Another great library to visit is The Jagiellonian Library in Kraków (Biblioteka Jagiellońska w Krakowie). History of the Jagiellonian Library is combined with the Jagiellonian University (Uniwersytet Jagielloński) which was established in the fourteenth century. A quantity and a diversity of collection is a reason to including the Library to the National Repository. Many rare books like medieval manuscripts or a collection of Polish underground literature can be found here. The main building has ten various reading rooms. The greatest is the Main Reading Room, also called Lectorium, can fit in 164 readers and allow using the reference collection which contains the newest and most important books from all the fields of knowledge. Bookshelves itself are impressive. They are situated on the two floors in each side of room. An imposing stained glass window on the ceiling let a light in. Additionally, old-fashioned, heavy, wooden tables create an exceptionally pleasant atmosphere.



As always, please let us know about your experience with Polish libraries:) We would love if you share them with us in comments below.

What international festivals in Poland would you like to see?

Posted on 12. Aug, 2015 by in Countries, Culture, music

Poland is a place where many cultural events happen, no doubt about that! Throughout the years big Polish cities organized a bunch of festivals. Their range vary from smoky jazz sessions and students days to serious classical music performances. There are also all kinds of folklore and sailor festivals. Here are some of these great festivals

One of the oldest is Wratislavia Cantans (Check this website out for more details) an international music and fine arts festival organized in Wrocław since 1966. It’s creator was a conductor, director of Philharmonic and composer Andrzej Markowski. Thanks to this excellent artist Wrocław might see live performances of numerous masterpieces of oratorio music by Monteverdi, Bach, Händel and others. His successors (Tadeusz Strugala, Lidia Geringer d’Oedenberg and Andrzej Kosendiak) first extended festivals’ formula, including chamber concerts, recitals and the visual art presentations ballet, opera in concert or film version and instrumental works, to back once again to vocal music. This festival takes place every Autumn (this year September 6-19th). So if you are a connoisseurs of classical music, reserve yourself time in September to visit Poland!


Another great festival to see is  “Warsaw Autumn” (Warszawska Jesień). It is a festival with a long tradition and a true witness to music history. It is the only contemporary music festival in Poland on an international scale and with an international status. This annual event was founded in 1956 by two composers and dedicated to contemporary music. The aim of this festival was and is to present new Polish and world music. Established in hard times of comunism was an island of creative freedom and art. It’s formula was always based on ecltecticism in its positive meaning. You can find there not only musical radicalism, references to tradition, past and culture that it’s connected with but also an audio-art or sound instalation. Nowadays there are books and musical records published after each edition. This year it takes place September 20th through September 30th.


Also a very important event is happening in Kraków: the Jewish Culture Festival. The First Festival took place in 1988 and it function as a field of dialogue between Jewish and Polish cultures. It was also a good occasion to talk about lost matter of Auschwitz and especially Auschwitz Concentration Camp back then. But next year brought a different adjustment and this festival became a place of meetings Jews and non-Jews from all over the world and sharing the living Jewish tradition. There are films, performances, presentations, and exhibitions to see. Presently there is also a possibility to participate in creating that tradition as there are organized workshops in Hasidic dance and song, Hebrew calligraphy, Jewish paper cutting and cooking. Every year festival is bringing more and more guests interested in celebrating life, Jewish culture and trying to build good relations.

Concert Jewish Culture Festival Krakow

If you ever took part in any of these festivals in Poland, please share it with us in comments below. I personally would love to hear about your experience!