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Posts Tagged ‘Warszawa’

If you frequent the Facebook Universe you probably came across a new music video called “Nie Ma Cwaniaka na Warszawiaka” by Projekt Warszawiak.

The clip made its debut on January 5th and has been viewed by close to 2 million people to date.

Projekt Warszawiak (“Projekt” means “Project” and “Warszawiak” denotes a person from Warsaw) is a collective of Warsaw based artists who created an EP album as a “tribute to all the Warsaw street musicians, prewar composers and song writers who gave the music spirit to this city.”

The majority of the songs are  re-interpretations of old Polish ballads with a modern twist.

“Nie Ma Cwaniaka na Warszawiaka” loosely translates to “No one is as crafty as a Warszawiak” and features actor Lukasz Garlicki in the roles of a bartender at Warsaw’s famed Przekaski Zakaski, a Turk selling kebabs and a male version of the Warsaw mermaid among others.

Check it out and let us know what you think.

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Remember when not so long ago Poland was a hot bed for the very best in automotive technology?

No, Poland didn’t produce Mercedes-Benzes…

…Ferraris …

… Alfa Romeos

or Pagani Zondas…

…Gymperts…

…or hot McLarens.

These cars weren’t yet on Poland’s radar. But Poles did do some mean cruising in…

The Maluch!

That’s right!

The Maluch, the Syrena, the Polonez and Trabant – remember those slick warriors of the Eastern Block roads? They bring back so many good memories.

Primarily created by the Fabryka Samochodów Osobowych (FSO) (Factory for Passenger Automobiles) in Warsaw, these little bad boys ruled the streets of Communist Poland.

Here’s a flashback to the best of the best:

The Warszawa

The first Polish car built after WWII. It was manufactured in 1951 under license from the Soviets. It made for a great taxi because of its sturdiness.

The Syrena

Six years later, the Syrena hit the market. It was named after a mermaid but weighed just about as much as an elephant – 950 kg.

The Trabant

This East German made speedster was originally supposed to be a three-wheeled motorcycle. It hit the streets in 1957 and was named after the Soviet space satellite Sputnik.

The Fiat 125p

In 1965, the Polish government partnered with the Italians and license agreements with Fiat to manufacture the Polish Fiat. They started with the Fiat 125p. Nicknamed the “Kredens” (cupboard), “Kant” (edge) or “Bandyta” (bandit) it was most commonly know as “Duży Fiat” (the big Fiat)

The Fiat 126p aka The Maluch

In 1973 FSO introduced the Polish Fiat 126p. The iconic car of the Solidarity era. It was quickly labeled the “Maluch”, which means “the toddler” some also called it “Kaszlak” (“cougher”) because its engine’s sound resembles a cough when it is started.

The Maluch was versitalile…

…easy to maintain…

…great on gas…

And the girls loved it!

Finally,there was the car named after a Polish dance – The Polonez (named after the polonaise)

Introduced in 1978 it was also exported to Chile and Colombia (where it was used as a cop car and taxi)

And if you’re familiar with the 80’s Polish cop show 07 zgłoś się (07 come in) you’ll recognize it from the series.

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Yesterday morning, Poles around the word watched the funeral of President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria. The event was simply breathtaking and Poles should be proud.  There was over 1000 years of history and culture on display for the world to see. The funeral Mass was held in Krakow’s St. Mary’s Basilica and was followed by a procession that took the coffins to a crypt under the historic Wawel Cathedral. It would not be a stretch to say that this was one of the most spectacular events ever captured on film.

The day before was beautiful too. In Warsaw, thousands watched as the coffins were driven through the city.  They took a route frequented by the late president. Amidst the magic hour glow, the procession was marked with thousands of spectators, hundreds of religious figures, soldiers on horseback and countless scouts all saluting as the coffin drove by. It all seemed straight out of a storybook.

Poles outside of the country share an often intangible bond with their motherland. Sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why that is. After all, not everyone with Polish roots was born there or has immediate relatives there, yet they feel compelled to identify themselves as Polish. Perhaps, it’s because of events like this. Drama unites people and Poland has seen its share of ups and downs. Whether the atrocities of WWII, the struggles of the Solidarity movement, the fall of Communism, the election of Pope John Paul II, his attempted assassination and subsequent death, and of course, Katyn. Poles are united by drama and the Smolensk plane crash as well as the death of the country’s President provided another dramatic chapter in the story of a nation that thrives on it. Watching from abroad one could feel the nationalistic pull of this shared tragedy. It’s probably fair to say that as Poles abroad watched their nation mourn the thought “I wish I could be there,” crossed their minds.

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If you appreciate good music then you probably love New Order and David Bowie. What’s not to love about great tunes, wicked style, drama and lots and lots of British musical rowdiness. New Order is of course best known for their huge hits Blue Monday  and Bizarre Love Triangle. Their synthpop sound is pure genius and for many it’s what great 80’s music is all about. They pioneered dance music and were a gateway to the early rave scene. Don’t believe me? Then check out the 2002 classic flick 24 Hour Party People.

But before there was New Order, the band existed as Joy Division. Led by Ian Curtis, the Greater Manchester band is best know for its haunting hit Love Will Tear Us Apart. Joy Division was only reincarnated as New Order after the death of Ian Curtis.

Before Joy Division was Joy Division they went by the name Warsaw. Why Warsaw, you ask? Well it all comes back to David Bowie.

Under the gun to pick a name before their first appearance, the band was being pressured to go with the name Stiff Kittens (not cool) and instead decided to go with Warsaw in honour of the song “Warszawa” written by David Bowie (very cool).

Warsaw played their first gig on 29 May 1977. However, they ultimately changed their name to avoid confusion with a London punk band called Warsaw Pakt (seems like anything “Warsaw” was very popular back then.)

But where did David Bowie get the brilliant idea to call one of his songs “Warszawa”?

He visited the city in 1973 and wanted to write an instrumental song meant to evoke the desolation of the city. The mysterious lyrics and melody in the middle part of the song are apparently based upon a recording of the Polish choir “Śląsk”. The song was co-written by legendary music producer Brian Eno and was released in 1977.

Here David Bowie performs “Warszawa” as the opening number of his December 12 1978 Tokyo concert.

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