Beloved Grandmas

Polish Babcia

Polish Babcia

Many foreigners who have spent a little time in Poland seem to be in agreement that Poland’s most important national treasure is the Polish ‘babcia’ (pol grandma). These woollen-hat-wearing, walking-stick-bearing senior citizens are a key feature of the Polish landscape. Foreigners see them as ‘bus seat hunters’. According to many Brits living in Poland, Polish babcias are like morality wardens and never fear to express their opinion out loud. When we are in the park, watching the snow to fall, they walk up to us and tell us to buy a hat. They warn us against running too fast to catch the bus, or to not do any harm. One Englishman mentioned that while queuing in a shop he did not have any hands free and had to hold a few bank notes in his mouth for a moment. A babcia sternly told him to, “Take it out, you never know where it’s been!” Foreigners stress that Poland’s grandmas are one of the friendliest parts of Polish culture.

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