Filipinos are known the world over for warm smiles and a brand of hospitality that goes beyond polite welcome. As a Filipino visiting Poland for the first time I didn’t think Poles would be every bit as welcoming. With the country welcoming hundreds of thousands of young people for the Days in the Diocese and the main World Youth Day (WYD) events, I give you the low-down on 4 ways Polish loving care is definitely a concrete expression of God’s mercy and love:
- The most important person is you.
According to 20-year old Maciej Janczewski, a WYD volunteer at the Saints Peter and Paul parish in Warsaw, “the guest is the most important person in the house.” Aside from helping plan the Days in the Diocese events, which includes Masses, sports activities, city tours, liturgical activities, and recreation, he also acts as a guide/facilitator/translator for 23 delegates hosted by the parish from the Philippines and Brazil. He told me how much effort they put into the preps which required a lot of meetings, research, and planning.
- While in Poland, forget the diet.
I was completely taken aback by my first Polish meal. We had to get used to the fact that our Polish hosts would feed us a buffet style breakfast of huge servings everyday. Sometimes they’d even slice slabs of cake for us to make sure we ate. A table brimming with different kinds of food for guests from kabanos, their yummy Polish cheesecake or sernik, honey, hot bread, butter, cheese, tea, eggs, and ham seems to be the Polish way of feeding guests. This only goes to show how much they love taking care of their adopted children. That’s the Polish special treatment for you.
- Poles are a friendly bunch.
Polish people are quite passionate about sharing their culture and hearing about yours in return. You can always expect a smile or even a “dzien dobry” from random strangers you meet on the street. What really warms my heart is how they extend their genuine interest and concern towards people from the other end of the world.
- You’re instant family.
The Polish people will greet you with the warmest smiles and will kiss you on the cheek when saying goodbye. Staying with a foster family has taught me that you can see kindness in the most unexpected people. It’s uncanny how much I feel at ease with them – it’s almost as if I’m right at home.
About the Blogger
Genevieve Sagcal is a recent graduate of De La Salle University – Manila, where she took up AB Communication Arts. She has a knack for art, literature, photography, and travel. Gen aspires to use her passion for writing and many other God-given talents to share stories that inspire people to live with kindness and love.