We’re going to Poland!! Yes, pack your bags and come with me to this oft-visited nation. (“Visited” over the last thousand years by conquering powers like Lithuania, Russia, Prussia, Austria, Sweden, Germany and the Soviet Union.) We’re going to discover Poland as a colorful, culturally rich, polka-rific place where we can sing, dance and celebrate freedom, all the while remembering to value the ability to sing, dance and celebrate because those who came before us didn’t always have the chance.
— OVERVIEW: Poland’s long and complicated history has giving us not one, not two, but three “Polish Republics.”
— MUSIC: Poland’s national music weaves traditional folk songs into a substantial contribution to Western Classical music, cut with raucous dance numbers that will make for the best wedding.
— LANGUAGE: Polish is the language of choice here, and has always remained strong despite many conquests of the land by other powers, uniting present Poles with ancestors from countless generations past.
— WHEN YOU GO THERE: Poland is a consciously modern, forward-looking European nation, though it has a deeply complicated past.
— POLKA: The internationally popular half-step dance may have originated in Bohemia, but Poles brought it with them when they emigrated worldwide.