A short bus ride or some time sitting in a café is all it takes to discover that visions of a multicultural Poland are not yet supported by reality. Cultural diversity is still something that is very difficult to see in Poland.
In contrast to its rich tradition, contemporary Polish society is one of the less culturally diverse in the region. We learned that for ourselves when we sought (mostly) in vain for such diverse interviewees. Many of the stories we heard were excluded from this text. Not that they were not worth quoting. We encountered another significant obstacle – language which prevented us from sharing with you these often heartbreaking stories. One of our interviewees said that: “the language is difficult, very hard to master. My wife has tried a few times to learn Polish, but it proved impossible. And she has been living here like this for almost thirty years.” We should remember about this meaningful silence, because Poland is also a home for people whose paths never cross ours.
According to BBC Radio 4, owned by one of the biggest media consortia in the world, multiculturalism in Poland is just a matter of time. Despite fatalistic economic forecasts, the Polish economy still looks pretty good compared to other countries from the crisis-stricken eurozone.
So it cannot be ruled out that in the coming years Poland will become a “Little America” on the migration map of Europe and in so doing, will attract new generations of immigrants looking for a better life. However, we decided not to move too far into the future and we spoke instead with people who are already struggling with Polish reality on an everyday basis.
So how are immigrants coping with everyday life in Poland? What motivates their life choices? Today’s reportage written by Jakub Krzeski, Konrad Niemira and Matylda Tamborska under the professional supervision of Agnieszka Wądołowska tries to formulate some answers to these and other questions. If the forecasts of the British radio are to become true, we should really listen intently to these new-fashioned local heroes.