Though I am a quarter Czechoslovakian from my mother’s side, along with an eighth German, Italian and Irish from my father’s side, I am half Polish from both of my parents.
Both of my great-great-grandparents from my mother’s and father’s side immigrated from Poland to Michigan.
I have never been to Poland, or met my great-great-grandparents to understand what Poland is like, but I have researched the country plenty of times to know the history and traditions. Some of the history and traditions from Poland are represented around Michigan that my family and I celebrate often.
Polka Restaurant and Beer Cafe, located in Troy, MI, offers polish-style cuisine in an atmosphere similar to that in Poland. It is a common dining spot for my family. Going there for a meal really gives you an understanding of the rich history and tradition of the country.
One of the richest traditions in Poland that has been celebrated for numerous years and my family still celebrates each holiday season is the breaking of the Christmas wafer, or Oplatki in Polish. This tradition is done to wish you good health and happiness throughout the year. Though I didn’t know this was such a big tradition in Poland until a few years ago, it is one I always look forward to doing with my family every Christmas.
My grandmother on my mother’s side still has all of her mother’s old musical records from some of her favorite Polka bands from Poland. Polkas are a type of dance and music in the Polish culture that are still popular today. I know it means a lot for my grandmother to still have those records.
Poland is a country filled with a rich history with a number of traditions my family and I cherish to this day. I am proud to have the Polish culture in my blood and I always enjoy celebrating that culture with my family.