Welcome, everybody. My name is Aleksander Dańda, the Consulate General of Poland for Hong Kong and Macau. It's great to be here.

1.The most significant festival or culture of Poland?

We have to remember that those traditions they come from different sources. The first of the sources is our Roman Catholic religion. Lot of those traditions they are strongly embedded in the religion, which is followed by more than 90% of the Polish population. About the second source of those traditions, this is our former religion, our pagan past, when were still a part of the Slavic family. And those two traditions intermix and then combined into a specific mix of different behaviors during specific times. So for example, on November 1st and November 2nd, we got the All Saints' Day and the Day of the Dead and we do not do trick or treating, we do not celebrate like the Americans for example during the Halloween. What we do instead is to go to the cemetery so we sweep the graves, we meet our families there, we talk to one another, and we recall the deceased family members. We like the candles for them to help them in the afterlife. Those are the tradition of Christian religion and the pagan tradition mixed together. I remember some of my first recollection for my child it is about the cemetery, and full of candlesticks and the glow from the candles is so bright that you think there's no night at all.

2. How would Polish celebrate Christmas?

Christmas is popular all over the world. In Poland, what is special what is unique about the way that we celebrate Christmas is that the most important part of Christmas comes before Christmas actually. It is the day before Christmas, Christmas Eve which is the most important for Polish people. What we do on that day is to prepare the special meal, special supper and this supper is held in the family way. So usually a bigger family gather around the table meaning that usually children come to their parents or grandparents and the whole big family sit around the table. Supper starts when the first star appears in the sky, this is the symbol of Jesus Christ being born like prophets in the Bible which was signified by the birth of a new Star. We see that the table we've got 12 dishes, this is also another symbolism because there were Twelve Apostles disciples of Jesus and we usually leave one place at the table extra for an unexpected guest so this is also the sign of Polish hospitality in here. There were so many Wars where our loved ones and lost that we hope that they will come back to us during that very special day. We start the supper sharing a special type of bread which is called the wafer ‘Oplatek’ in Polish. This is a wide type of bread which is also used during the celebrations of the church and we share this way for this bread so with everybody around the table we come over to such a person and we say our best wishes to each and every one of them.

3. Are there any like associations or any activities for Polish in Hong Kong?

There is one active association which is translated into ‘We love Poland, HK’. This association combines both the Hongkongers and also Polish people who share their love for this particular country. Activities organized by this group of people, some activities are connected with teaching the Polish language, not only to children but also to students or adults. We've also got are some talks about specific Polish tourist attractions or some special days or design which is quite a big thing in Poland as well like posters, comic books, that kind of thing.

4. I heard this is the first time you came to Hong Kong so how’re your feelings in here?

I arrived on the 1st of October so it's been only two weeks for me here. But what I can already see about this great city is, what strikes me the most in Hong Kong, is that you do not have any single dominant religion or single dominant culture in here, you are quite tolerant and is an accepting society. You do not judge other people, you do not say this is my religion, this is my belief, this is better than yours for example. Please do keep it that way because this is something unique.

5. Related stories and history of your national flower?

Our national flower is poppy, the red type of flower which grows usually in the fields. It is a national symbol from the times of the second world war. It is connected with the history of Poland during World War II when after the attack by Germany in 1939, the Polish government moved to London, and the Polish army was reorganized in the west of Europe and the army was also fighting the Germans. One of those places was in Italy 1944, in the mountains of Monte Cassino. And after 5-months of probably one of the bloodiest battles between the allies and the German, it was the Polish army which defeated the German there. There were so many deaths during the Battle of both sides, that's the whole field was like a red, but it was also red because of the flowers that poppies which covered the slopes of the Monte cassino, side of the bottle. So starting from that time, this flower, the current poppy became the national flower of Poland, it also appears in a sad song which is quite popular in Poland ‘The Red Poppies on Monte Cassino’.

6. Can you teach our audience some trendy slangs in your language?

I will try, however you should remember that the Polish language is considered to be one of the most difficult in the world when it comes to grammar and pronunciation.

When we like something, we do not like to show it in an open way. We usually try to say that ‘Well, maybe it's not bad’ but we will definitely not say that something is great. So, for the usual meeting of a person, when somebody says ‘Jak się masz?’ which means “How are you?” - the normal response in English would be ‘I'm fine, thank you.’ But the Polish person will not answer ‘I'm fine, thank you.’ We will answer ‘Stara bieda’ which means ‘The same old bad luck’. This is showing that in our mindset we are cautious, we don’t really feel pessimistic about something, but we hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Remember - you do not have to say this with a sad face, because we do not feel that way, we do not feel deeply pessimistic about something, we just don't like showing that we are optimistic about something.

6. Wrapping up

My name is Aleksander Dańda. I am Polish Consul general for Hong Kong and Macau and you are now listening to RTHK Radio 5, Serena Ha ‘Cultural Garden’.


大家好我叫Aleksander Dańda,是波蘭駐香港及澳門領事館的總領事。非常高興能在這裏。




聖誕節全世界都受到歡迎。在波蘭最獨特的慶祝聖誕節方式是,聖誕節前一天比起聖誕節正日更為重要。對於波蘭人來說平安夜最重要,在當天家家戶戶會準備特別的晚餐,整個家族會聚集在餐桌前,小朋友、家長、祖父母整個家庭都會坐下來。當第一顆星滑過夜空時,晚餐便正式開始,這象徵着耶穌基督的誕生如聖經中的先知所說。在餐桌上會有12道菜,象徵着耶穌的12門徒。我們通常會額外留一個空位給意料之外的賓客,代表了波蘭的好客。在波蘭曾經發生許多戰爭,我們希望死去的親人和摯愛能夠在這特別的一天回來團聚。開始晚餐時我們會分享一種特別的麵包,奧普拉特克(opłatek)聖餅,一種在教會也會分享的麵包,並互相送上祝福 。









當我們喜歡一件事物,我們不會直接表達,我們會說「嗯,還不賴,但我們絕對不會說這件事非常好。所以當我們見面時,當別人說「你好嗎」,正常回答會是「我很好,謝謝」。但是波蘭人不會回答「我很好,謝謝」,而是「照樣的不幸」,反映了我們非常小心謹慎,我們不是悲觀,只是抱最大的希望,做最壞的準備。 請記住不必用悲傷的表情說這句話,因為我們並不感到悲觀,我們只是不喜歡表明自己對某件事感到樂觀。


我是Aleksander,波蘭駐香港及澳門領事館的總領事。你現在收聽的是RTHK 第五台,夏妙然,文化花園。

波蘭駐香港總領事 Aleksander Dańda