Friday, September 15, 2006


Poland for me is not about places but more about people. Probably it’s because I didn’t see much of it and I wouldn’t speculate about things I haven’t seen and Warsaw where I visited didn’t really make an impression on me at all. This city like Bucharest was badly destroyed during WWII so there isn’t much left there of its original beauty and the communist era buildings are far from being the masterpieces of architecture.

Poland is definitely about people. Pope John Paul II immediately comes to mind to most of the people but my story is about amazing famous polish women.

I would like to start with Marie Sklodowska-Curie. She was one of the greatest scientists in the history of mankind. Her main contribution was the discovery of polonium and radium, which laid the foundation of radiology. She won 2 Nobel prizes for her work and I am especially admire that woman because she made the breakthrough in science at the end of 19th – beginning of the 20th century when women had hardly any rights but she fought her way through to the men’s world and proved to be the best.

Another polish woman I admire is a contemporary writer, Ioanna Hmelevskaya. Her ironic detective stories (novels) are famous all over Eastern Europe. They are captivating, hilariously funny and smart. My favorite one is called “What the Dead Man Said”. Unfortunately, her novels have been only translated into Czech, Slovak, Russian and Swedish. According to the author the recent translations into English, German and Italian were very bad and people didn’t get the humor. So I challenge anyone to try to come up with a great translation because these books are really worth sharing with the world!

Finally, my favorite is the polish actress Barbara Brylska. She is especially dear to a Russian heart because she played a leading role of Nadya in a New Year’s Eve romantic comedy “The Irony of Fate or Enjoy Your Bath!”. The film was produced in 1975 and since then it became a classic, one of the most popular movies in Russia of all times. It has the same symbolic importance to the Russians as, say, “White Christmas” for Americans. One has to see it every New Year’s Eve, this is a tradition without which it won’t be a proper holiday. But why I liked this particular actress is because for me she is the symbol of an ideal woman: intelligent, beautiful, elegant – a role model. I watch this movie every year for about 25 years now and I never get bored or stop laughing.

So to sum up, Poland for me is a country of outstanding women. If you know any other great women from this country, please, share your story with us!

PS for more information on Poland you can visit

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