10 July 2012

Polish American

We are Polish American.

We have American accents. 

We eat cheeseburgers and french fries and pizza and macaroni & cheese.  Sometimes. 

We eat pierogi and bigos and kielbasa and szarlotka. Sometimes.

Sometimes, we eat foods traditional to Mexico, India, Korea, and elsewhere in the world, while listening to their music and learning about that country's culture.

We speak English and wear clothes sold in stores in America.

We speak Polish and my kids are learning Polish.  Bit by bit, slowly, but learning. 

Family in Poland receives phone calls from us two, three, four times a week.  My Babcia listens to her prawnuczki sing to her French children's songs on the phone and tells me how the weather is and how her last doctor visit went, while I worry, as any granddaughter worries about her grandmother.

We watch American cartoons.  We watch Polish cartoons.

We say American nursery rhymes.  We say Polish nursery rhymes.

We also say Spanish and French nursery rhymes.

We celebrate American holidays.  We celebrate Polish holidays.

We talk about how our family came to Amerika, what we gave up to come here, what we gained, why we came here. 

We talk about how we had to learn a new language, how hard it was to adjust to a new land with different customs, foods, language.  I tell them "If it was hard for us and we kept trying, that means you come from a strong family.  If you want and need to learn something new, you are able to because you are strong.  Keep trying."  Because I don't want to have them give up on Math, Science, Social Studies, or other school subjects just because they think it's hard.

My kids have, on their father's side, other ancestral ties. I teach them about those other cultures as well. Even though it's not mine, even though that side is several generations back and I am very limited with information from that side of where/who/when.

We look on Google Maps places where we have been to, where our large family has been or lives now, both in the USA and in other countries.  We look at places my kids say they want to visit one day, virtually traveling down roads in Poland, Paris, France, Washington, D.C., New York. 

My kids ask about other people they know who are from other countries and virtually walk down the streets of those people's countries, talking about what looks different, what looks the same.

It's a big world, and it's all theirs to learn about.

That's my Polish American family.

Na razie...

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