Category Archives: society

What if society is a tropical forest?

People can use their hands and skills in many areas starting from handicraft, arts, services, care, farming, digging in the ground to picking up mushrooms or flowers and even in soldiering…Throughout the centuries thousands of such activities had been creating diverse and dynamic societies around the globe and across civilizations.
Now imagine you take the land from the farmers and give it to intense and big farming, you force the shopkeepers to close their workshops or stalls by opening new shopping malls, you pollute the gardens and orchards with toxic emissions and you destroy the factories or move them to other countries. What happened is you just removed many bricks from a wall thus made it weaker.
Even a light finger touch can make this fragile construction to fall into pieces or in other words a single spark can ignite this haystack of anger, frustration and hopelessness.

Now lets look at a forest. We all have been thought at school that
a healthy and strong forest consists of many trees species, bushes, grass, fungus and humus. Than on the other side we have human planted forests with very few type of trees if not with one which are extremely vulnerable to pests, wind and fire. Once destroyed it takes them ages to bring back a diverse life on its place. Anyway the factor of destruction is necessary to produce a new and rich ecosystem.

In our age of high unemployment especially among young people, with numerous examples of offshoring , moving machines, production lines and whole technologies to legally unbounded countries, where the employees are paid beggarly wages do we need a kind of destruction in order to bring back the natural balance of
a society? Can one use the parallel of a tropical forest to a human being society? If you consider humans as an ecosystem, why shouldn’t we try? We are animals though, so theoretically these rules apply to human race also.

Once we assume the above we must be aware of such a turning point may occur any time. Whether in form of a revolution or mass migrations, epidemic or other natural catastrophe we must be prepared. Do anything possible to keep our society in good condition, let the people use their natural skills and talents, free the spirit of human initiative and entrepreneurship.

And it is happening right now. Look around you and help all these city movements to preserve old professions, recipes, green areas, bicycle roads, children playgrounds, public spaces available to everyone and those who create any single workplace that can use the work of human hands and create beautiful things that a society needs or can use it for its own wellbeing and protection.

Be active, thing about your skills that you can share with others.
Be a living part of the unique tropical forest that your society constitutes.

Three weddings and a hangover

This summer was full of weddings… It was such a fun that one could say that only a gay wedding was missing there this time. Unfortunately all those were not mine but these happy couples are still my close friends and to be there was a real pleasure and quite a new experience for such a wedding veteran like me. After few years break in this specialized entertainment industry I discovered that there are new fancy developments. Starting with VIDEOS! I watched it with my jaw down and eyes wide open and I thought yes, this is it! Just have a look at this example shoot in Wroclaw Thank you parents.

For those who prefer more traditional thank you you can now print a real professionally looking photo album with hundreds pictures.  There is plenty of printing services around you but just remember that prepare yourself and spend some time on editing to have an absolutely astonishing result and make sure the final product will be delivered before the wedding starts. The printing process may take longer than the time left to deliver it 🙂

An interesting variant from what I’ve seen so far were those famous speeches you have on the Danish weddings! These may take hours (fortunately during the dinner! 🙂 Speech is one of the main parts of the wedding ceremony as well as singing songs with lyrics based upon the groom and bride stories. Note that even if you don’t get a word in Danish you keep singing and laugh, its simply hilarious!

You will find such a variety of music both in Poland and Denmark and still you can dance your ass off if you like. With excellent live bands, basses, keyboards, percussion, vocalists, accordion, saxophone, acoustic guitar, piano, whatever you can think of…

When it comes to drinks I must admit that wine is taking over both in Poland and Denmark. Allthough both countries have nothing to do with wine apart from drinking it. Oh, ooops, I forgot, did you know there are  now some wineries in Poland and Denmark?? Just wait for the climate change to show its pawns! Have a look at Vineyard Cantina

Do you remember how to play wedding games? Well they always have played an important role all around the world. There is equal fun if you try to kiss the bride while the groom is out or you rip the veil off or cut the socks, or tail, or push the eggs through the grooms pants or run around the chairs or try to bribe the toast master to let you dance with the bride. All these wedding games make one good thing -bring the guests together and make real fun to all. So they did to me.

Yes, with all these videos, photo albums and games few things remain stable throughout the centuries – white dress, veil, good music, food and great fun. What else you need to help you survive this pleasant hangover next day?

All you need is yoga light?

It started two years ago. With a patience typical for a “convert” I reached the point where I can touch my knees with my forehead and bind my hands behind the feet. However complicated it sounds like, the truth is there – yoga life brings you light!

I will always remember the night after my first yoga class when I slept like a baby and snoring like hell – as I was told the next morning. But who cared if I felt no sores, no pain, literally I felt like an angel! So I caught the hook or rather the hook caught me…

When I look now on my “yoga carrier” I may honestly say that it is still a yoga light one. Why? Have I ever tried to bath before and right after the class? Do I do it every morning and evening? Have I read the whole “Light on Yoga” by B.K.S. Iyengar yet? Did I give up on the whole meat of the world? Do I even fasten those two hours before the class? Nope, nope, nope, almost, almost there… And then if you watch few videos of any yoga guru you know that it is a yoga light version of what you are practicing.

But hey, tell me, isn’t it helping your body to relax? Isn’t your lumbago or migraine gone for good, aren’t your mornings so fresh now and isn’t your mind looking at things deeper than before? I bet they are, if not, please be patient, trust me and trust your body. It will do its job. Step by step you will get closer to your knees, maybe you will do it with the top of your head, and maybe you will even turn your full body on the other side but do it steadily! Remember, it’s not a competition, therefore no one is better then the other. Everybody is working out in silence and with patience for his own good.

I keep my fingers crossed behind my feet for you! 🙂

Namaste

PS.1 If you fell alone in a big/medium/small/micro city, don’t worry, you will soon talk to these funny guys net to your mat and what’s next is you will end up having drink or two oooops a tea or two at the neighbouring cafe! Voilà!

PS.2 If you live in Wroclaw, I recommend you Kuba’s classes. If you live in Gdansk, Sopot or Gdynia there’s no better place than this!

Riders and their little metal ponies

We live in a world of exaggeration. We exaggerate in the architecture (remember those crazy facade colors of the 90s…), our houses in Poland with average of 139 m2 are one of the biggest in the World, we are right behind Americans and Australians. The cars on our streets are also getting  bigger and bigger so the average jogger or rider has to be more fancy and with the latest outfit style.

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If you stop for a while and look around on the streets you will notice that almost every cyclist wears those fancy sporty clothes like helmet (which I understand, safety first!) but also the performance ultra shorts, elite team short sleeve jerseys with anti-sweat-anti-stretch-anti-wind&sun&rain functions etc. You can hardly recognize who’s riding – is it a girl or a boy? There are almost no jeans and skirts on the bicycles! Unlike the Dutch or Danish streets where the riders are wearing suits or dresses on the wheels and those with shorts and jerseys are left to sportsmen.

Is it a must to speed 30 and more km/hrs? Do they need to sweat each time they ride their little metal ponies? Why can’t they just simply use their bicycles for going to work or to the local shop? I wonder how many of those “sportsmen” drive their cars to and from the office and take their kids to schools and kindergartens…and then in the evening they jump on their mount for a ride…

Can you imagine that my father used to take me and my sister to the kindergarten on his bike for almost 4 years? Yes, its possible! And my grandmother still could ride her bike to church while she couldn’t walk anymore, isn’t it amazing?

Lets free our ponies from the sweat slavery, let them live their lives without hurry and competitiveness. Lets start to live with them not for them. Hereby I declare that from now on I shall not to drive that 1.5 km to my office with my 10 yrs old Peugeot 406 when its raining or windy. What I need is just one good and warm coat… 🙂

How to keep your spirit human?

Since I was a child there was always a fight in my mind between its right and left parts… In primary school my day schedule was filled with sport: swimming twice a day for 1.5 hrs workouts, weekly competitions, mid year workout camps. In the meantime I was trying to catch up with classes in math, chemistry, nature science carrying the books with me across the country. But when I was fed up with all that physical exhaustion I started to run a weekly school magazine…

Later on at high school, while solving mathematics/physics problems I used to sing in the choir and kept on issuing the magazine but this time in a monthly issues. There was so many maths and physics to catch up that these monthlies hardly managed to stay alive for those 4 years. But they did, fortunately.

When it came to think about the university, the choice was again very obvious and kinda natural. I started first with Drama School (why not?) but ended up on Environmental Pollution Science. You should know that I couldn’t imagine stop singing so I joined the Wroclaw University of Technology Choir. During the rest of my educational carrier I toured half of Europe and America and surely the whole Poland. I continued writing at home, “for the drawer” as we call it here …

Now…Is writing and singing enough while working for a high tech company? Nope, its not, so why not to start thinking of a human arts post graduate study? Which can be whatever but preferably philosophy, sociology close to any -ogies which may stir up my mind again and let the thinking flow and flow. For a technical mind with human arts flavor its a way of watering the soil, nourishing it with new ideas. It broadens perspectives and inspires that famous out of the box thinking, so desirable in our current liquid modernity as the polish sociologist calls “… the kind of chaotic continuation of modernity, where a person can shift from one social position to another in a fluid manner.”

Let it be fluid then and let’s see what happens next.

The unfinished book maturates in the drawer … 😉

A letter from the past. 25th Anniversary of Polish Freedom


This morning I was watching Barack Obama driving through the streets of Warsaw to celebrate with Polish people the 25th Anniversary of the Freedom and first free elections behind the Iron Curtain that happened on the 4th of June 1989. What was I doing that time? I was only 13 years old, finishing primary school, thinking of my future education and witnessing the Wind of Change blowing throughout the European prairies. So when I came back from work I went straight upstairs and opened my memoirs box (yep, I’m sentimental 🙂
What I’ve found was a bunch of letters I once wrote to my beloved friend, who was taken by her parents on a summer trip and to Greece and escaped from there later to Canada, right before those first elections. Her mother told her in that bus to Athens, that she would never see her friends and grandmother again…

Raciborz, 31st October 1989

Hello!

Bogna, I am sorry for not replying for such a long time but it was not my fault, its just that nothing is worth to write about. October was very, very hot with temperatures up to 31 Celsius! Polish television is getting better and better, there is still no English at schools because there are few English teachers, so I went to an English course and I now need to pay 37,420 zlotys per 94 classes.

Bogna, I am so, so curious what is going on there in Canada, how is the TV, how is your city, what are your plans for the future?! So let me start about myself.
I have graduated the school year 88/89 with very good results. I am now in the 7th grade (7d), my master teacher is Mrs Piasecka and half of the class is new. They came from 6e which was another athletic class and guess what, they just don’t know anything! I didn’t go to the School of Sports eventually and I think that was the right decision.
Now I can spend my time at different classes and courses like  English, chemistry and in general I have a lot of spare time and almost not getting ill, which I am happy for.
After the primary school I would love to continue in High School, preferably in the Human Arts profile or biology-chemistry but its not decided yet whether we would stay or we would emigrate to Germany for good (we’ve got all the passports already and anyway there are only us, uncles from the 9th floor and both grandparents who stayed in Poland so maybe we will meet abroad?)

I spent my summer holidays in Zagorze Slaskie, at that hotel from Rafako, my father’s company. I wanted also to go to DDR but I was too late with my application, and there were no places left.

So as you know in Poland we have a PRESIDENT (hi hi hi) Jaruzelski and I am not sure if that’s gonna change anything for good since the ham costs ca. 30,000 zloty, the sausage from 3,000 to 40,000 zloty, one pack of matches is 25 zlotys, ice cream almost 200 zlotys, bread 1,500 zlotys, bread-rolls 150 zlotys and butter 5,000!!! Literally every day the prices go higher and higher like crazy, seriously! Before we leave Poland I don’t know whats going to happen…

Nothing has changed in Raciborz, well maybe apart from that our blocks are not from Rafako anymore, but they belong to a company that bought them from Rafako for a song … So as in our backyard and there are also changes in the city. A lot of new blocks are being constructed (even next to our school) they also build a new post office and telephone exchange building which I hope will eventually give us the long expected phone number!

On our backyard more and more people are leaving for I don’t know where and there are also new people coming so in the end you really don’t know who’s still there are who are these new people. Once upon a time everybody was saying hello or good morning but now forget about it and there’s even no smile! (well, with few exceptions maybe).

I would like to write you about the winter holidays I had in Zagorze Slaskie. So, it was super, super, really cool and very super simply the best winter holidays I have ever been to! We had a lot of excursions, discotheques, movies, great teachers and of course the people over there – a big bunch of good friends! When going back home some of them had tears in their eyes… On the very last day we had an art exhibition of all our art works and the hotel director told us that we were the most joyfull and singing group she had ever hosted at her place!

Few last words for the end with greetings from folks from the backyards and our neighbors: Asia, Ola and Madzia. Please give my best regards to your parents, your sister and your little brother.

I look forward for your letter.  Bye!

Fabian

Discovering Future in the Past

Have you ever felt this enlightenment, after few dozens of pages, when something you were suspecting all of a sudden becomes clear and obvious and since then you know you learned the Reason?

This amusement accompanied me throughout 600 pages of Jan Sowa’s delightful book “Fantomowe ciało króla” (Phantom King’s Body”) At first you notice a strange title but after a while you know what this phantom means, as well as who’s the King’s body. Yes, its about a murder, phantom murder to be correct, of a King in the Kingdom of Poland in the late XVIIIth century. It is a story of the Fall of once the biggest country in Europe – the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth…

It is a story about how our Middle-Eastern Europe has been self-colonized by its aristocracy and later on colonized by the neighboring states. Fascinating reading on how the Roman’s Empire legacy continue to influence entire Europe which until today is divided by the Elbe riverrun.

You also come up to the questions like: Into what will develop the capitalism? or How to release our creativity? or Is all what we have given for ever and ever?

One of the most interesting analyses is the one regarding the post-colonialism in Eastern Europe . Once you read it you become to understand more of what is going on right now in Ukraine and Crimea. Current situation of Mid-Eastern Europe countries can be easily explained from the perspective of the post-colonial discourse and thanks to its analytic methods.

If you want to know how to overcome our fate and how to position ourselves beyond the periphery of Western World? It a book for you. Challenging & recommended reading.

Read more about Jan Sowa’s book here

Ukrainian Love Story

I’ve just finished the 700 pages of The Museum of Abandoned Secrets, an Ukrainian Love Story written by Oksana Zabuzhko.

From the times of post-World War II and its Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) fighters hidden in the forests to a modern day journalist who fell in love with a descendant of those forest soldiers. You fall in love immediately with these ancient and modern heroes, you follow their fight with the Soviets, the Nazis, the Russians and even the Poles, and there is no wonder why is it so attractive – the love they share is really strong and you want to know how it will express itself after all those nights spend in the deep, winter-cold forest or when standing against the new economical regime that is taking over the Ukrainian’s country and media, kicking off the old good journalist’s army and replacing it with a young and dumb forces of undergraduates of the new-social-networked-servile-to-government media schools…
This can only bring a good understanding of what is going on in Ukraine.

I recommend this book to everyone who is at least interested in whats going on right now on Maydan in Kiev. This book will enlighten you with so many wise sentences, comparisons, descriptions and stories from the past. A must for the Europeans, A must for people who care about the Freedom.

A Silesian Mansion…

I’ve been dreaming about this Silesian Mansion House… Not once, twice, but many times.
Each time I walk these wooden stairs up to the spacious and bright ball rooms with wooden floors and big windows opening to the park behind the castle. 19th century floor is creaking delicately and when I get closer to the window and open it the fresh air comes in together with the birds tweets…

In 1989 when the State Owned Farms were liquidated the wind of change had also reached Rudnik Mansion House.
My auntie, who used to live in that house as one of the Farm’s Accountant, emigrated within few months to Germany through the opened borders with her sons and daughter. Right after the inhabitant left the apartments the Mansion was sold immediately by the Agricultural Real Estate Agency to an unknown private person and that was the beginning of the end… Later on the Mansion was sold to a Foundation which was deliberately established to rip out some mortgage money from these still in good condition buildings and that was it. Today after almost 15 years, the interiors are completely devastated with almost nothing left but bare floors and walls. The roof starts leaking as somebody started to collect the roof tiles…

The local community claims that the situation is hopeless since the Foundation is in liquidation status and there are no moves from it in order to sell the property. Anyway the local authorities somehow managed to localize two of the Foundation members of the board but just by talking to them the community has been convinced that these two people were just substitutes in order to blur the real owners of the Mansion, who most probably left the country with the money years ago…

There are only two possibilities which may help to rescue the once beautiful property, either the creditors will call for their money/property back or the Agency who sold the buildings will try to take them, but in order to do so it wants a big favor from the community and wants to sell their other ruins from the neighboring area…Real Gordian knot. Will anybody find the Gordian or is there no hope?

I had a dream…the last one of the series was that I had established a Foundation and in the next twink of an eye the Mansion was full of young people, running around and painting the walls, decorating the rooms, planting azaleas in the garden…

Believe it or not but that dream happened to me before I knew about the REAL Foundation!

The same foundation/mortgage/escape scheme happened to hundreds or even thousands of Mansion Houses across Poland.
If anybody can help the Rudnik’s Community let me know.
I promise, my dream will become real soon…