Essay on Cultural Awareness of Poland

Published: 2021-07-21
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University of Richmond
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Culture is the way of life of a group of people living in a particular region at a given time. The identity of people's culture is often defined by their characteristics in consideration of their language, customs, laws, cuisine, and beliefs. According to Duyvesteyn (2011), cultures are developed over time through processes such as learning, sharing, interpretation of symbols, integration of ideas, and accommodation of changes.

A language is the written or spoken method that people utilize in communicating with each other. Languages usually aid individuals in expressing and cultivating their cultural values. In most cases, individuals who pronounce words similarly and speak the same language or in languages with words that are almost similar share ancestral lineage and culture. Customs are the unique ways different groups of people do things like great people, express love, or welcome guests. Customs describes a population's culture by showing the patterned behavior of individuals in the society (Duvyvesteyn, 2011). Laws are the rules and regulations that people of a particular community are expected to follow. The governing authority of the population is often the formulator and enforcer of laws. The rules and regulations that a community follows usually defines their culture since it shows what they consider right or wrong and also describes how they are supposed to relate to each other.

A cuisine is a way which a group of people prepares meals. Cuisines usually show how different people cook or serve food. It is a paramount element in the determination of a population's culture since it exhibits the unique preferences that different people possess. Factors such as weather, water bodies, and vegetation present at the region where particular people live play a significant role in the determination of their cuisine. Beliefs are the assumptions and convictions that individuals hold (Duyvesteyn, 2011). These assumptions and opinions often determine the spiritual and religious foundation of a population. The beliefs of people are critical in the determination of their culture since they highlight their views concerning issues such as their origin, rituals, life after death and artistry.

Poland is a sovereign nation located in central Europe. It covers an area of 312685 square kilometers of which 304255 square kilometers are land while 8430 square kilometers is of water. The Baltic Sea bounds the nation to the north and north-west, Russia and Lithuania to its north-east, Belarus to the east, Ukraine to its south-east, Slovakia to the south, the Czech Republic to its south-west, and Germany to the west. Poland has a population that is slightly above 38 million 97% are the nation's citizens. The primary language spoken in the country is Polish. However, the residents also speak foreign languages such as English, Russian, and Germany (Mierzejewska & Parysek, 2013). Before World War Two it was a multicultural nation. The Soviet and Germany genocides attack caused by conflicts over boundary issues and the ethnic policies of communists' government lead to the extinction of Poland's minorities. According to Reddaway et. al (2016), almost 3 million Jews from Poland were killed by Germans soldiers. Presently the number of Jews living in the country is estimated to be between 6000 to10000. About 90% of the people residing in the nation are Christians 87% of them are Catholics, 1.3 % are members of the Eastern Orthodox churches, and 0.4% are Protestants. Apart from Christianity Judaism and Islam are the other religious practices in the country.

In the mid-1500s Poland was one of the largest states in Europe. However, Germany and slave traders managed to invade its territories. The nation managed to attain its independence from Germany in 1918, the countries constant attacks from Germans during the World War Two era lead the country to lose its independence again thus it became a communist satellite state of the Soviet Union. In May of 1989, the nation's Polish government and the communist regimes crumbled thus leading to the democratization of Poland. The country is currently a democratic nation governed by a president who is the head of state and a prime minister who is the head of government (Mierzejewska & Parysek, (2013). Its armed force has four main branches, the land forces which has around 600000 soldiers, the air force with 26000 soldiers, the navy with 14300 soldiers, and the special forces with 1700 soldiers.

Poland is a country that has a complex terrain. Its terrain made it easy for Germany to strategically execute attacks to the nation's citizens without them noticing. Poland's surface is mostly made up of lowlands, uplands, and mountains. The country lies at about 173 m above the sea level since almost 91% of its territory is a part of the North European Plain. The far north region of the nation is a wide strip of plain along the Baltic Coast (Lee, 2016). This plain stretches from Germany to Kaliningrad in Russia. In this region, there are numerous seaside landscapes such as lakes, deltas, dunes, seaside cliffs, and bogs. The country's coastline is smooth and regular and has two main bays, Gulf of Gdansk to its East and Pomorska Bay to the west. The southern part of Poland's coastal plain has numerous post-glacial lakes and a hilly landscape. Shallow rivers have split the region into three main sections, the Pomeranian Lakeland, Great Poland Lakeland, and Masurian Lakeland.

The central region of Poland is made up of lowlands that are flat and monotonous. This area is divided into different plains by the basins of the nation's main rivers. The southern region of the country is made up of a vast flat land which progressively extends to form Poland's Uplands to the east, and Sudeten Mountains and Foreland to the west. The area has various plateaus, hills, and low mountains. This region is also densely populated since it is fertile and rich in minerals such as coal, and limestone (Lee, 2016). The far southern part of Poland is the Sub-Carpathian region valleys like Oswiecim and Sandomierz, and the Carpathian Mountains and basins. The highest range in this area is the Tatra Mountains' peak Rysy which is 2499 metres high.

The mountains in the southern region have numerous caves. The lower ranges of Carpathian region are such as Beskid Mountain, Pieniny, and Bieszczady which has a low run forest. The caves were utilized by the armies of nations like Germany and Czech Republic in storing of weapons and supplies that facilitated their attacks (Reddaway et. al, 2016). Poland is located in a region that experience transitional climate caused by the mixture of cold current from Scandinavia and Russia, the warm and wet currents from the Mediterranean sea, and the oceanic current from its west. This mixture has thus caused the nation experiences six different seasons through the year. The seasons often varies since at times they experience extremely cold or mild winters, summer seasons that are cool and rainy or hot and dry, they at times experience floods caused by the melting snow during spring.

The country experiences an average yearly temperature of about 90C in the southwestern region, 60C in its northeastern region, and 40C in its mountainous regions. The month of January is usually the coldest month with temperature ranging from -5 0C and -1.5 0C while July is its warmest with an average temperature of about 17 to 19 0C. About 60% percent of the land in Poland is utilized in farming. The nation's climate is conducive to growing of agricultural products such as barley, wheat, oats, sugar beet, potatoes, tobacco, corn, and fodder crops (Pacione, 2014). The weather is favorable for growing of fruits such as berries, apples, currants, pears, plums, and sour and sweet cherries. The people of Poland also rear pigs, cows, and poultry. Agriculture is mostly practiced in the central and southern regions of the nation.


Duyvesteyn, I. (2011). Hearts and Minds, Cultural Awareness and Good Intelligence: TheBlueprint for Successful Counter-insurgency?. Intelligence and National Security, 26(4),445-459.

Mierzejewska, L., & Parysek, J. J. (2013). Regional differences in the age structure of Polandspopulation in the years 19992010: a multivariate approach.

Bulletin of Geography. Socio-economic Series, 19(19), 61-72.Lee, R. (2016). Making Europe: towards a geography of European integration.

Shared Space: Divided Space: Essays on Conflict and Territorial Organization, 235.

Pacione, M. (Ed.). (2014). Progress in Agricultural Geography (Routledge Revivals).Routledge.Reddaway, W. F., Penson, J. H., Halecki, O., & Dyboski, R. (Eds.). (2016).

The Cambridge History of Poland. Cambridge University Press.

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