Tag: polish history
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.
Polish Alphabet2010/01/08 3:22:00 Written by EwaMaslowska
In contrary to the most Slavic languages (East and South), Poland use the Latin alphabet – introduced together with Christianity in 966, when Polish prince Mieszko got married to a Czech princesses Dąbrawa.
Receiving Christianity from the Czech Kingdom Poland has been included to the Western Christian Church, while most of the Slaves belong to the Byzantium circle.
The Roman Church and the Latin alphabet was the door to the written heritage of the West European Culture. As Latin alphabet wasn’t sufficient to illustrate Polish phonetics, the diacritical signs have been introduced, like ą, ę (the nasal vowels) or a letter combination (such as: sz, cz, dź, dż, ch, like English sh, ch, th). Foreigners often complain about it, but the rules of using them are very regular, so it is easy to learn it, and it is conducive to know the pronunciation.
Despite belonging to the Roman circle, Poland hasn’t lost the contacts with the rest of the Slavic world. Especially the folk culture preserves the pre-Christian Slavic heredity. The echo of the ancient believes is still reflected in traditional folk rituals and magical practices.
I will be pleased to present you some disappearing remains of the old believes, symbols and behaviour as an alphabet of Polish thoughts. If you are interested, follow the blog. You are welcome to comment!
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