I don’t think that we need to treat each other like weird people when it comes to humor.
Latin people have this silly way of making jokes. Very subtle some times, or maybe very straight forward. Most of the times it is harmless joking, until we are in an environment where there is non-Latin people. But most of the time =) we are not mean when we joke.
It is merely another way to joke. Coming to Poland can be a difficult thing regarding humor. Who knows if it’s the same when going to other countries?!… Hmm. Very tricky question? I wouldn’t say that.
Maybe it’s easier to go to Italy for us and joke. But it is certain that they have their joke stereotypes, we have ours and so on.
Like for instance, before coming here, I tried to learn some Polish. Some things like “Mogłaby mi pani pomoć?” or “Jak się masz?” were very funny to tell you the truth.
Mogłaby sounds more like an African word, while the second sentence is quite Chinese or something :)
And we’ve laughed quite a lot on this. But I cannot wonder how this would have been some months ago, whether she would have been so open-minded about it? Maybe she would have been hurt?
Latin people can sometimes be very ignorant, indulgent, indifferent. Tell one Italian that they didn’t win the World Cup by merit and they would either spit on you and walk away, or they would nagg you until you will say “Ok… Let’s have it your way!” Either way, you cannot change their mind, you cannot hurt them inside. Anger is one thing, hurt is another!
But it is not the same here, is it? During the first (and the last) course on Polish we were being taught some Polish phrases, and in our own Latin-silly-involuntary way we connected some words on the phrase sheets and ended up with “Polski jest okropnie”.
This would be the best example, as harsh as it is. Polish is not awful! No language is. Verbal diversity as any other type of diversity is just a brilliant way of saying “We’re different, but yet the same!”
While for us it was, let’s say funny to come up with this, and it was simply a way of expressing what we felt inside (not that the language is stupid, but that it is so different from other languages so Poles find it very hard to learn other languages! It is the extreme opposite situation with Romanian which makes it easy to learn Italian, Spanish, French, English and any other related languages).
We (the Romanian group) joked on this with Angelika at the official dinner party, and because we were not carefull to explain to her how we ended up with this (because this was in fact the funny aspect, and not the direct meaning), she took it quite hard. I would have done the same without any doubt, but at least I would have known where it came from! Latin blood, Balkan… there is a reason for everything!
I have actually taken the decision not to take sides any longer. I am a “fan” of the conspiracy theories, and by that I mean merely some techniques to direct the world into one direction or another. Believe me that if we got away with Hitler it doesn’t mean that it cannot happen again. You can easily take a look at the Iraqi situation. I rest my case and I will surely learn more at the Conflicts and International Negociation course, during this semester.
I took a side after coming here, because I took a side before coming here. It was just a reaction to my action (I don’t know whether it was just me, or whether it was the Romanian subcounscious that led me to this).
I took a side before coming here by: thinking the best of Poland, thinking that EU is a leveled culture, thinking that Poland doesn’t have its own problems, thinking that Poles are somehow 100% different from us, other than sharing the same EU values.
I took a side after coming here by: seeing the worst in Łódź, seeing that Łódź has its own culture, understanding that Łódź has its own problems, feeling that Poles are just as different to Romanians as Romanians are different among them.
Maybe this has influenced the others around me, maybe not. But I’ll try to play a more active role in this. Needs to stop. At least I won’t be in it, just because I keep silent.
I’ve seen a lot of cultures from Egyptian to Swedish. I treated none of them with disrespect, and I will surely not start now just because I’m confused that my plans/perspectives on Poland are not the same as the ones I had back home.