|“At this point, I joined with her in reciting what has become the PYTown Team mantra repeated hundreds of times before each event: ‘We have planned a wonderful event and everyone is going to love it.’ ” |
|Our 4th annual Polish Heritage Day Celebration last Sunday continued the tradition of fun and progressive improvements to the things you find the most important...speedy, if any, food lines, lots of elbow room thanks to a huge outdoor tent with seating and entertainment, delicious food, tasty drinks and unexpected surprises like PolishYoungstown ball caps, polo shirts, beer mugs and shot glasses! Catch a glimpse of some of the fun on our YouTube Channel, here and here. |
Want to take a moment here to recognize my Team of volunteers. WOW! I'm honored and proud to work with such dedicated, creative, reliable, altruistic Cultural Evangelists! The Mahoning Valley is a better educated and more fun place because of you! Learn more about the role these folks are and how they put it together in the staff member’s reflection here.
How about you? We want you to share your Polish Day 2011 story, picture or even critique from the big event. Do you have a better picture than this one of Aundrea's poodle Josie? We would love to hear from you!
Send it to us here and we will feature it on our website and Facebook page!
A big moment for the PolishYoungstown Team came when we were honored with a presentation by Jan Cygnier, Commander of District 9 of the Polish Army Veterans Association of America. Cygnier had worked closely with Lisa Skomara Lotze on moving the veteran’s monument to Peterson Park. However, when he took the microphone, he graciously thanked Lisa, Marianne, Aundréa and TownOne Streetscapes for our efforts by presenting us with the prized Ignacy Jan Paderewski Medal. Created by Polish sculptor Andrew Pityński, these limited-edition, die-cast bronze, commemorative coins are mini pieces of artwork. They are designed for the living members of the PAWA and the Women's Auxiliary Corps, children and grandchildren of veterans who have already departed on eternal guard, and for select people outside the organization.
The fun isn’t over yet! Get together with us and share your Polish Day stories while creating new ones at Polish Happy Hour on Thursday, Sept 8th 5:30-9 PM at Barry Dyngles on Raccoon Road in Austintown. It is that time of year so we will be celebrating Dożynki or Harvest Celebration. Considered to be one of Poland’s most revered traditions, For 1,000 years in Poland, the tenant farmers presented the Lord and the Lady of the Manor with gifts and garlands of wheat and wild flowers as part of a joyous fall celebration of the harvest. Throughout Poland’s history much importance was placed on the harvest because it represents the fruits of the farmers’ labors, as well as their ability to sustain themselves throughout the winter months. In gratitude, the “starosta” or lord of the Manor shares food, drink and music with his tenants. A procession of farmers with their implements, presenters and dancers in regional costumes accompanied by musicians will initiate the festival. Dożynki reminds us today of our inherent connection to the land and to nature itself. Without the land, both in the past and present, there is no bread or life and indeed, no cause for celebration. It just so happens that this year, PHH is falling on Matki Boskiej Zielnej, the Polish Feast of Greenery. The farm people bring to church great bouquets of herbs, vegetables, and corn, interwoven with a few flowers from the fields and gardens, which are blessed by the priest. These bouquets are carried home and kept until the name day of the following year. When there is sickness in the household, the herbs are brewed and used for medicinal purposes, not only for the people, but for the livestock as well. So here is what we want you to do. Bring a sampling of what you have grown this year-herbs, tomatoes, zucchini, whatever-and at 7 PM we will offer a special blessing for your efforts and household. If you have canned peppers, baked zucchini bread or come such, bring it in too. We have a prize for the best tasting homegrown item! Maybe we will whip up some of these yummy foods too! Our nonprofit partner at this month’s event, appropriately enough, is Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley. So bring one or a bag full of non-perishable food items to get entered into a drawing for a door prize!
But it can’t all be fun and games. It is back to school time and we encourage you to try out our Tuesday Polish language classes. On September 6th at 6:30 PM there will be an Open House to give you a taste of what class is like. Classes will begin the following Tuesday evening. During the once-a-week program, you will develop basic cultural and survival skills like using appropriate forms of addressing people of different age, table manners, simple telephone conversations, as well as shopping and ordering in a cafe or restaurant. This class coaches rather than lectures using the communicative approach, so you learn not only the intricacies of the Polish language, but the breadth and depth of this culture as well. It is never too late to learn a new skill even if you just pick up some conversational usage. So come on down and check it out. More info call 330-354-2190 or check out the website here.
If you would like your child to learn more about your heritage, the Krakowiaki is adopting a Polish School for Kids (ages 3-16) format this fall. Your children will learn Polish language, customs, and traditions, create Polish crafts, sing some Polish songs. Research shows that connecting with their family's past not only helps children understand where they've come from, it reinforces values and traditions that are central to a spiritual life. A strong family tree makes kids feel protected and proud to be who they are. For more information call 330-318-7963.
If part of your fall studies include your family heritage, you will want to get familiar with the Polonica Americana Research Institute. PARI is a research facility dedicated to Polish family history and hosts lectures, workshops, and seminars, as well as serving as a repository for immigrant family files. PolishYoungstown is working on taking a weekend excursion to the bucolic campus of St. Mary’s of Orchard Lake to allow you conduct your research and visit their Galeria, Museums and the Polish shops in historic Hamtramck. Pencil in Oct. 7-9 so you can do a little family research of your own! Let us know if you are interested here More details to follow!
Poland News: President Bronisław Komorowski has signed an amnesty for illegal immigrants living and working in the country. The hope is that the 40,000 to 400,000 illegal immigrants residing emerge from the black labor market and integrate with society, the president said. Like here, these folks make a living working in seasonal jobs in the construction, as farm hands or working as cleaners. Learn more this story and other news in Poland at our Polish Media Watch.
COMING UP: Labor Day may symbolize the end of summer but that doesn’t mean ALL the fun has to end! ... At the Canfield Fair, the Polish Arts Club has put together a lovely Polish exhibit in the International Barn near Gate 5. Make it part of your Fair visit... Kuzman’s is hosting Lenny Gomulka Saturday 3-7 PM...Head to St John Cantius in Cleveland all weekend for great polka music and tasty food as well as a performance by Living Traditions Folk Ensemble on Saturday evening... Or if you want an excuse to get out of town one more time, travel to the 46th Annual Polish American Festival this weekend and next at the American Czestochowa Shrine, Doylestown, PA.
Do Zobaczenia! (Until we meet again...)
Your PolishYoungstown Team