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Removals to Poland | Understanding the culture and customs

Przeprowadzka do Polski | Zrozumienie kultury i zwyczajów

Moving to another country is not only a matter of logistics and adapting to a new environment, but also understanding the local culture and customs. Poland, with its rich history and unique identity, offers many cultural aspects that are worth exploring before moving. Here is a guide to help you better understand Poland and its people.

Hospitality and family after moving to Poland

Poland is a country where hospitality and strong family ties play a key role. Family gatherings, especially on the occasion of holidays such as Christmas or Easter, are festive and rich in traditional dishes. Accepting an invitation to a home-cooked dinner is a great opportunity to familiarise yourself with Polish cuisine and customs. Poles also value spending time with their families, which is an important part of their social life.

Respect for tradition in PolandRespect for tradition in Poland

Polish culture is deeply rooted in traditions that have survived for centuries. It is important to respectfully refer to these customs, even if they seem somewhat archaic. For example, many places still have the custom of blessing food on Easter Saturday or celebrating name days instead of birthdays.

Formality and etiquette in Poland

Polish etiquette requires a certain degree of formality. In traditional and business contexts, especially among the older generation, polite forms of address such as ‘pan’ or ‘pani’ before the name are recommended. Also in Polish there are formal and informal forms of phrases that are important in everyday use.

Poles attach great importance to etiquette, which is evident in both their private and business lives. Here are some key points:

  • punctuality: being on time is highly valued in Poland, both in social and business contexts;
  • Gifts: bringing a small gift, such as a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers, when you are invited to someone’s home is a sign of good manners;
  • titles and forms of politeness: especially among the older generation, it is advisable to use academic or professional titles together with the surname;

Polish holidays and celebrations

The Polish calendar is full of national and religious holidays, which are celebrated with great commitment. It is worth familiarising yourself with the most important ones, such as the National Independence Day (11 November) or all the May holidays, which combine historical and religious aspects. Understanding these days will help you to better understand Polish national identity.

Polish holidays and traditions have deep historical and cultural roots, which makes them full of symbolic meanings. For example:

  • Christmas Eve: this is an evening filled with traditions such as sharing a wafer together, a dinner of twelve Lenten dishes and waiting for the first star before the supper begins; these customs allude to Poland’s Christian roots and show the importance of family time;
  • Easter: this holiday is celebrated with just as much pomp, with unique customs such as the blessing of food in church on Holy Saturday and Lany Monday, when it is traditional to douse oneself with water to ensure health and prosperity for the coming year;
  • local festivals and cultural events.

Poland offers a rich calendar of cultural events that are a great opportunity to understand local art, music and heritage. Examples of such events include:

  • Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow: this is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the world, presenting Jewish history, culture and music;
  • Warsaw Film Festival: An international film festival that provides an opportunity to see Polish film productions alongside international works;
  • Dominican Fair in Gdańsk: a summer festival lasting several weeks that brings together local craftsmen, artists and musicians, offering both locals and tourists a glimpse of Polish trade and craft traditions.

Language after moving to Poland

Although many Poles speak foreign languages, knowledge of the basics of Polish is highly valued and can significantly help to integrate into the local community. Language is also key to a deeper understanding of local media, literature and culture.

Understanding the political and social context after moving to Poland

Polish history is complex and full of turbulence, which influences contemporary attitudes and opinions. In order to better understand current events and public sentiment, it is useful to familiarise oneself with Poland’s recent history, especially the period after 1989, when the country underwent a transition from communism to market democracy.

Participation in the life of the local community

Getting involved in local initiatives, such as volunteering or participating in community events, can speed up the integration process. It is also a chance to get to know people and understand everyday life in Poland.

Culture after the move to Poland

Understanding Polish culture after removals to Poland and customs takes time and openness, but is key to fully adapting and enjoying life in a new country. Integration into the local community will be easier once you have gained an insight into these unique aspects of life in Poland.