Tag: polish culture
Lexicon of cultural connotation: C – Constitution2013/05/08 17:09:00 Written by EwaMaslowska
The 3 of May is a national holiday in Poland. It is a celebration of the anniversary of the proclamation of the constitution in 1791. It was the first constitution in Europe, the second one in the world – after the American. The idea of the constitution was to reconstruct and strength the state by introducing a democratical way of governing the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and give more rights to the citizens, and develop a special program to protect peasants.
Unfortunately, the reformates’ could enjoy the victim of the constitution over the conservative groups only for 14 months. Under the pretext of defence the previous system and support the conservative opposition, a Russian Army attacked Poland in 1792. A desperate struggle to defend the constitution has failed. Poland fell under the rule of three neighbouring countries (Prussia, Austria and Russia) despite the Kościuszko insurrection (1794). Eventually, Poland lost independents for over 100 years. However, the spirit of the ideas of the constitution, the memory of the insurrection, a strong desire for freedom has never disappeared and after several uprisings and military activities during the First World War Poland regain its independence in 1918.
The May 3 was celebrated officially in 1972. Later on, it was banned by the occupants, but unofficial celebration has been continued to keep alive Polish aspirations for freedom. It was again made an official Polish holiday in April 1919 under the Second Polish Republic. During the communist time, it was removed from the list of national holidays, and in 1990, after the fail of the regime, the 3 May was restored and became the most important civil holiday. For Poles, the celebration of the May 3 Constitution is considered as a symbol of the best tradition of the history of the state and Polish culture.
Lexicon of Polish cultural connotation: K – Kiss (Kissing Day)2010/12/28 7:07:00 Written by EwaMaslowska
Kissing Day – 28 December or 6 July?
A kiss is primarily an expression of love, but also reverence, submission, respect and well wishes. It is the oldest way of communication, body language, overgrown rich symbolism. Kiss in Polish ‘całować’ is semantically associated with whole ‘cały’. This means not only the unity but also survival pol. ‘ocalić’.
The kiss, which farewells a knight or a hunter, was kind wishes and blessings ‘come back untouched ‘cały’. It was exchanged both by men and men and woman and men and had nothing to do with sexuality.
Sex free was also the kiss of respect. Kissing pop’s or bishop ring was the singe of reverence given to God. Kissing the national flag, sword blades, the Constitution belong to the gestures to show reverence to symbols.
In some countries, it was also a gesture of courtesy – like in Poland kissing lady’s hand in greeting and farewell. The custom is getting old fashion, but you can meet it even between young people.
The way of communication by a kiss is as old as humankind. It has been developing its meaning – direct and symbolic – with a culture of each language. Whatever it symbolize, the fundamental meaning of this gesture is expressing love with a strong sexual character, and that is why it is still celebrated as an international holiday. Why there are two different dates? It really doesn’t matter. Let’s kiss in the end and the middle of the year!
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