18 signs you were born and raised in Poland

1. As a child, you ate gooseberries until your stomach hurt.

Your summers involved eating sour cherries and cherries straight from the trees, raspberries straight from a bush and strawberries straight from a plant. And it wasn’t that you didn’t wash the fruit that caused you pain, you just couldn’t stop and ate way too much!

2. Every Saturday you woke up to the smell of a freshly-baked ciasto.

It was either a golden sponge cake layered with whipped cream and strawberries, a rhubarb crumble yeast-cake or a peach cheesecake, which had to be available for any guests visiting on the weekend.

3. You witnessed a domestic animal being killed at least once in your lifetime.

Your grandparents most likely lived in the countryside and you spent many summer vacations at their house. You ran through the wheat fields and got told off for ruining the crops. You climbed trees and maybe broke your first bone by falling off. You also have an unfortunate memory of a chicken running around without its head or pig screams coming from the pigpen. You might have become a vegetarian because of that.

4. You celebrate Easter Monday by pouring water on other people.

The tradition is called “Śmigus Dyngus”, and initially it was boys who would pour water on girls and vice-versa, but now it’s all families that continue the tradition. This is when water guns come into serious use. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like, you’re going to get wet.

5. Your living room was also your parent’s bedroom.

You grew up in a minuscule apartment in a block building. The whole apartment was around 40m2 and not larger that 60m2. In the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s blocks were built across all Poland to accommodate the influx of population migrating to cities. The housing was designed to fulfill only the basic living needs and so the living room was also your parent’s bedroom and you shared a room with your siblings. The kitchen and bathroom were so small that you could barely turn around. The apartment also included a tiny balcony, about a square meter or two of surface, which your mother used for hanging the laundry out and you for playing “string telephone” with your neighbor friends.

6. Your mum is a cooking machine when you visit home.

Arriving at your parents place you find the fridge stuffed with kopytka, pierogi, bigos and gołąbki and your mum tells you “Well, I wasn’t sure what you would like to eat”. There is ciasto for you for dessert, too, whether it’s Saturday or not.

7. Your father can fix anything yet barely knows how to turn on his cell phone.

Your car broke down – call your dad. The washing machine made a noise – he’ll ask you what kind of a noise it is, how frequent and based on that will tell you what the problem is. Your faucet is dripping? He’ll explain step by step how to clean it out or tighten the seals. When it comes to technology, though, he can barely make calls on a mobile phone (no smartphone please!), turn on a laptop, open a browser or type.

8. You walked to school by yourself since you were in 2nd grade.

You were super independent as a child. You played outside your block with friends and your parents only called you home when it was time for dinner (they would lean out from the window and call your name, no mobile phones back then!). You helped with cooking and by the time you were 12 you could cook a full meal by yourself and bake a ciasto. Around that age, you also started picking up your younger siblings from kindergarten, walk them home and take care of them until your parents arrived from work.

9. Your Christmas dinner involves 12 dishes made out of 5 ingredients.

The ingredients are sauerkraut, wild mushrooms, beetroot, fish and poppy seeds. Historically, not much variety of sustenance used to be available in winter months, and so the Polish needed to invent festive food with what they had at hand. In addition, Polish Christmas dinner is eaten on the 24th, symbolically awaiting Jesus’s birth and is meatless. What’s created of the 5 main ingredients are: a creamy wild-mushroom soup for starters, a clove-infused clear barszcz or beatroot soup, pierogi stuffed with sauerkraut and wild mushrooms, łazanki (noodles with more sauerkraut!), and a variations of fish dishes (with carrot and onion cold topping, in cream, fried). For dessert, there is makowiec (poppy seed cake) and kutia (poppy seeds mixed with wheat, dried fruit, honey and nuts). Surprisingly, there are no potato-based dishes, but given that we eat them on every other day of the year, that’s okay.

10. You know that no party is as epic as a Polish wedding.

A typical wedding lasts for two days. The church ceremony is on a Saturday and the party starts right after that. Bottles and bottles of vodka are constantly brought to tables and drunk in shots. The food is served all evening- and night-long. The dancing and the food slow down the alcohol effect and so everyone seems to be cheerfully tipsy and silly, not downright drunk. The second day of the wedding is called poprawiny and it involves more of the same: food, drinks and dancing.

11. Your parents don’t celebrate birthdays as much as they celebrate imieniny, their nameday.

Let’s be honest, here, though. You prefer to celebrate you birthday.

12. You know at least 10 people with the same name as yours.

Name choices are very limited in Poland and so, first names are very repetitive amongst the population. Every other girl seems to be called Kasia, Basia, Ania and Magda and boys are Paweł, Łukasz, Marcin and Tomek. And if an ‘unusual’ name emerges like Maja or Nikola, it quickly catches on and again, many are named with it.

13. You say no when you actually mean yes.

In Polish, there is a word for yes – “tak” — and no — “nie.” But you use “no” when you agree with what someone is saying. The word sounds negative to a foreign ear. “Do you want some tea?” “No”. “Do you like this TV show?” “No.” Or you use it to show that you are listening attentively. Your whole phone conversation might seem like you are disagreeing with someone, but you’re really not: “Halo? No. No. No. Aha. No. No pa.”

14. When you speak Polish, you sound angry.

You got off a phone with your parents and your foreigner friends ask: “What happened, did you just fall out with your parents?” “No, I just told them about my week”. There is something about our tone of voice or the way we use our language that sounds harsh.

15. If you don’t like the top your sister is wearing, you tell her.

You are direct with your friends and family. If you’re at your friend’s house and are hungry, you ask them what they have to eat. You only heard about the need to say things gently to people (or not say them at all) when you started hanging out with foreigners.

16. You offer tea to anyone who comes into your house.

Tea is just as popular a drink in Poland as it is in England (no exaggeration there!) We don’t drink it with milk, though – just plain tea with sugar or tea with a round slice of lemon in it.

17. You complain.

A lot. You complain about the long winter. When the snow starts melting you complain about the mud. And when eventually the summer comes, it is too hot! You complain about the politicians (even though you haven’t actually voted in years) and prices (even though you can afford to live comfortably and you actually own your apartment and a car and live without mortgages).

18. But all of your complaining doesn’t make you an unhappy person.

A complaint is often a conversation-starter. It’s easier to make friends when you can both moan about something together. Then you move on to joyful topics.

Henry Sapiecha

Archbishop Adam Stefan Sapiecha

Appointed  18 February 1946
Term ended  21 July 1951
Parents  Adam Stanislaw Sapieha
Grandparents  Leon Sapieha
Installed  18 February 1946
Name  Adam Sapieha
Consecration  December 17, 1911
Great-grandparents  Aleksander Antoni Sapieha

Adam_Stefan_Sapieha_(1867-1951) image www.sapiecha.com

Predecessor  Jan Puzyna de Kosielsko
Successor  Eugeniusz Baziak (apostolic administrator)
Other posts  Cardinal-Priest of S. Maria Nuova
Died  July 21, 1951, Krakow, Poland
Similar People  Wladyslaw II Jagiello, Anna Jagiellon, James Cromwell, Wladyslaw IV Vasa, Jadwiga of Poland

Prince Adam Stefan Stanislaw Bonifacy Jozef Sapieha ([ˈadam ˈstefan saˈpʲexa]; 14 May 1867 – 23 July 1951) was a Polish cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Archbishop of Krakow. Between 1922–1923 he was a senator of the Second Polish Republic (Polish Rzeczpospolita). In 1946, Pope Pius XII created him Cardinal.

archbishop adam sapiecha later in life image www.sapiecha.com

Sapieha was born in 1867 in the castle of Krasiczyn, then part of the Austrian Empire. His family, originally from Lithuania, were members of the Polish nobility. He was the youngest of the seven children of Prince Adam Stanislaw Sapieha-Kodenski and Princess Jadwiga Klementyna Sanguszko-Lubartowicza, daughter of Wladyslaw Hieronim Sanguszko.


archbishop adam sapiecha image www.sapiecha.com

After graduating from gymnasium in Lwow in 1886, he enrolled in the Law Department at the University of Vienna, starting simultaneously law studies at Institut Catholique in Lille. In 1887 on the basis of his certificate from the University of Vienna Sapieha continued studies at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. After two years he passed the examination and returned to Vienna for further studies, where he remained until 1890, obtaining the certificate of completion. In the same year he began theological studies at the University of Innsbruck, and in 1892 signed up for the third year of seminary studies in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lviv.

Early vocation

After returning to the home country in 1897, he was designated vice-rector of the diocesan seminary in Lwow, where he worked until 1901. He resigned because he was discouraged by the imposed rules of education of young priests. After a half-year trip across the United States of America, he was designated a vicar of the St. Nicholas congregation in Lwow in October 1902. In 1905 Sapieha was appointed a papal chamberlain, and sent to Rome where he was a consultant on matters concerning the Roman Catholic Church in Poland, in the annexed territories, the realization of an idea by Lwow Armenian Catholic Archbishop Jozef Teodorowicz (who was the Sapieha’s long-term friend) to have a representative of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland at the Roman Curia.

archbishop adam stefan sapiecha image www.sapiecha.com

He was educated at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he was also ordained as priest on 1 October 1893 by Bishop Jan Puzyna de Kosielsko (later Bishop of Krakow and Cardinal). Father Sapieha did pastoral work in the Diocese of Lemberg, in whose seminary he served as a faculty member for four years until becoming its rector. In October 1895 he started further studies in Rome, where he obtained a doctorate of civil and canon law at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy. At the same time he studied diplomacy at the Pontifical Academy of Ecclesiastical Nobles.


adam sapiecha archbishop image www.sapiecha.com

Sapieha was appointed Bishop of Krakow on 24 November 1911 and was consecrated by Pope St. Pius X in the Sistine Chapel on 7 December of the same year. In 1915, he established a relief committee for victims of World War I.

After World War I, Sapieha became a vocal opponent of the new concordat negotiated between the Holy See and the newly resurrected Polish state. He argued that the Polish Church should be completely independent of the state and that its primate should be the Archbishop of Warsaw. This attitude led to a conflict with Cardinal Achille Ratti, Pope Benedict XV’s nuncio who himself later became Pope, during the first post-war congress of Polish bishops in Gniezno held 26–30 August 1919. Sapieha thought that the Polish should decide its affairs without outside influence and asked Ratti to leave the conference room. Sapieha was not elevated to the cardinalate by Ratti after he became Pope Pius XI in 1922.

In 1922, Sapieha was elected senator from the Christian Union of National Unity party. He ordered a memorial service and issued a proclamation on the assassination of Gabriel Narutowicz. It was the only speech he delivered as a senator because papal mandate at the time prohibited clergy from holding public office. He resigned on 9 March 1923.

Sapieha was appointed Metropolitan Archbishop in 1925 when the Diocese of Krakow was elevated to the rank of Archdiocese. He received a degree honoris causa from the Jagiellonian University in 1926. In September 1930, after opposition leaders were arrested and placed in confinement at Brest Fortress, Archbishops Sapieha and Teodorowicz strongly criticized the government. Despite this, and other occasional disagreements with the government, Sapieha was awarded the Order of the White Eagle in 1936.

In 1937, Sapieha, who had opposed the Pilsudski regime (sanacja), made the controversial decision to move Pilsudski’s body, within Wawel’s Cathedral, from St. Leonard’s Crypt to the crypt under the Silver Bells.

In 1939 he asked Pope Pius XI to accept his resignation due to age and failing health, but the pope refused. After the death of Pius XI, he repeated his request to the new pope, Pius XII on 19 June 1939. In anticipation of the upcoming war and at Jozef Beck’s instigation he withdrew his resignation.

Activities during the Second World War

During World War II, while Primate August Hlond was in France, Sapieha was the de facto head of the Polish church in jurisdictions directly annexed by the Third Reich (primate Hlond was represented by Walenty Dymek, auxiliary bishop of Poznan) and was and one of the main leaders of the nation. One of the most important organisations to which he belonged was the National Council of Welfare, created on the model of Caritas. From the war’s start of the Nazi occupation, he was an independence activist, working with the Polish government-in-exile.

In August 1944, Sapieha was forced to operate the Polish seminary in secret because the Germans began killing seminarians whenever they found them. He moved his students (including the future Pope John Paul II, Karol Wojtyla) into the Bishop’s Palace in Krakow to finish their training during the Nazi Occupation of Poland.

Sapieha’s biographer, Jacek Czajkowski describes the circumstances of the archbishop being invited by Governor Hans Frank to Hitler’s birthday party in April 1942. He told the German official: No! They are not going to change anything, but they will take a photograph of me and write that a Polish bishop arrived at Hitler’s birthday party with best wishes. Tell him I will not come. Another such anecdote recalls when governor Hans Frank ordered the archbishop to hand him the keys to the Wawel Castle. Sapieha replied: But don’t forget to give them back to me when you will be leaving Wawel.


In March 1945, he initiated the publication of Tygodnik Powszechny. He was created Cardinal-Priest, of the title of Santa Maria Nuova, on 18 February 1946. On 1 November 1946 he conferred priestly ordination on Karol Wojtyla in the chapel of his episcopal residence.

After the Kielce pogrom he provided aid for the affected Jews.

Sapieha knew Karol Wojtyla (later John Paul II) was destined to become a priest when a young Karol delivered a welcoming speech during the archbishop’s visit to his school. Some people consider him a mentor of Pope John Paul II. In 1949, he proposed that Stefan Wyszynski, Metropolitan Archbishop of Gniezno and Warsaw since 12 November 1948, should be termed Primate of Poland. The following year, 1950, he wrote letters to then-Polish president Boleslaw Bierut protesting Bierut’s repression of the church. Sapieha died on 23 July 1951, and his funeral on 28 July turned into a political demonstration. He was buried in the Wawel Cathedral, in a crypt under the confessional of St. Stanislas.


In the 2005 CBS miniseries Pope John Paul II, Archbishop Sapieha was portrayed by American actor James Cromwell.


Henry Sapieha


Janina & Antoni Sapiecha with people & family in Australia

janina sapiecha sings a song with henry & antoni in pic at donna-lee wedding www.sapiecha.com

Janina Sapiecha [Donna-lee’s grandmother] does an impromptu song at Donna-lee-Sapiecha [Eyers] wedding.

Henry-Sapiecha- WITH PARENTS @ DONNA-LEE- WEDDING-karens-house image www.sapiecha.com

Antoni & Janina Sapiecha with son [Me] Henry Sapiecha at Donna-lee Sapiecha [Eyers] My eldest daughter, marriage day in Toowoomba Qld Australia in the garden setting of Donna-lee’s mother Karen Francin Margaret Cuskelly Sapiecha

Sapiecha-Ashgrove-Brisbane-Qld FAMILY GROUP PARTY-image www.sapiecha.com

Antoni & Janina Sapiecha centre stage in a family gathering in Ashgrove Brisbane QLD Australia. From left to right. My brother Anthony Michael Sapiecha- Mr Brooker the then husband of my sister Sabina Sapiecha-Ross owers husband of my sister Helina Sapiecha is behind my mother. My father Antoni Sapiecha next to my mother in red.My son Arron Bradley Sapiecha-Then me Henry Sapiecha [ The Kenny Rogers look-a-like] with the blue shirt & trimmed beard. My cousin Marek Tulyeko-Jan son of my mothers sister from Poland.

Then we have the gorgeous young boys from left to right as yet to be identified.

The event will be disclosed as I get the info…


Another Sapiecha family gathering in Ashgrove Brisbane QLD Australia.

From Left to right rear>

Mr Brooker husband of Sabina Sapiecha – Helina Sapiecha sibling of Henry Sapiecha & daughter of Janina & Antoni & Janina Sapiecha in this pic.-Ross Owers husband of my sister Helina Sapiecha- Karen Francis Margaret Sapiecha wife of Henry Sapiecha- & mother of Donna-lee- Shara-lee & Aaron Bradley children of Henry Sapiecha

Front row left to right.>

Sabina Sapiecha [Brooker]-Janina Sapiecha- Antoni Sapiecha Parents of Sabina, Helina, Regina, Henry & Anthony.Sapiecha.

tony-&-henry-sapiecha-MUM POP-image www.sapiecha.com

Happy times with my brother & parents in a pic at Ashgrove Wardell St Brisbane Qld Australia.

Left to right> Anthony Michael Sapiecha-Janina Sapiecha-Antoni Sapiecha-Henry Sapiecha- {Long haired Henry ]The two sons Anthony & Henry of parents Janina & Antoni shown in this image

janina & antoni sapiecha with family members in wardell st ashgrove brisbane qld image www.sapiecha.com

henry sapiecha with parents janina & antoni sapiecha image wardell st ashgrove brisbane image www.sapiecha.com


Henry Sapiecha


Henry-Sapiecha BABY GROUP PIC-image www.sapiecha.com

Henry Sapiecha the baby at a Christening event held by Antoni & Janina Sapiecha parents of Henry Sapiecha the baby.I will Id the other people in the group pic as I get the info.etc

Mother Janina Sapiecha is holding Henry Sapiecha in centre stage with dad Antoni Sapiecha standing behind Janina & Henry [Henyeck]

BRONEK PARTY PIC BW image www.sapiecha.com


Sapiecha & Chihinski Family picture pose-Me on the RHS above next to my Father Antoni Sapiecha.In order

From left to right top row.

Regina Sapiecha-Mrs Chihinski-Mr Chihinski-Janina Sapiecha-Antoni Sapiecha-Henry Sapiecha

Bottom row left to right>

Anthony Michael Sapiecha- Son of Mr & Mrs Chihinski-Daughter of Mr & Mrs Chihinski-Sabina Sapiecha-Helina Sapiecha


Names of the Australian Sapiecha family in B&W pic image LEFT TO RIGHT.

Henry Sapiecha-Antoni Sapiecha-Anthony Michael Sapiecha-Janina Sapiecha-Helina Sapiecha- Sabina Sapiecha-Regina Sapiecha

SAPIECHA FAMILY SETTEE PIC NO Henry image www.sapiecha.com

Since Henry Sapiecha [Yours truly] took the pic I am not in it.

From Left to Right we have>

Regina Sapiecha-Janina Sapiecha-Sabina Sapiecha-Helina Sapiecha-Antoni Sapiecha-Anthony Michael Sapiecha

Lots more to come-Watch this space.

colour-enhanced-sapiecha-family group-australia image www.sapiecha.com


Henry Sapiecha


sandwich-image www.foodpassions.net

Spread thinly between supporting their ageing parents and helping their own children find a stable financial footing, a generation of Australians find themselves sandwiched in the middle. It may seem overwhelming but with proper planning, you can escape the sandwich, support those you care for and still live the life you want.

Whether you look up or down your family tree, demographic and economic changes in Australia mean more of the people you care about are likely to need financial support.

Looking up the family tree

People are living longer. In 1901, only 4% of Australians were aged 65 years or older. By 2010, this figure had risen to 13.5%, and is estimated to increase to up to 23% by 2041.*

As your parents age you may be called on to care for them in ways you may not be emotionally and financially prepared for. While the likelihood and timing of these events will vary, you can plan for them with strategies that include:

  • Legal measures such as enduring power of attorney give you the power to make financial decisions on behalf of your parents. If they lose capacity, it makes it much easier for you to make decisions that protect them and their assets.
  • Expert investment planning can help your parents purchase aged care or nursing home accommodation and services if the need arises.
  • Appointing a professional trustee to manage day-to-day financial affairs for your parents can ensure their assets are expertly managed, allowing you to spend time with your parents rather than their accountants.

Looking down the family tree

Looking down the family tree means looking out for your children, no matter how old they are. Good financial pre-planning for your children can cover a range of issues:

  • Helping them buy their own home, but doing so in a way that doesn’t affect your own future lifestyle. Tax, superannuation, insurance and estate planning approaches can make this possible.
  • Ensuring your children or grandchildren are carefully considered in situations such as divorce or blended families.
  • Protecting vulnerable children. Some children need extra care, and money alone isn’t enough.

Financial Advice

Plan for your peace of mind

The reality is that someone you care about is likely to need your financial assistance at some point – it may be your parents, your partner, children or grandchildren. That’s why it’s so important to look up and down the family tree when reviewing or planning your financial future. And that includes looking after yourself with the right medical and life insurance cover.

A plan will help you secure your financial future in a tax effective way, underpinned by thoughtful consideration rather than being created under the emotional weight of an emergency.

Take the first step with our free book

Perpetual has created a guide with practical tips to help you secure the retirement income you need, protect your wealth and safeguard your family’s financial future.

Download your copy of the guide now.

* Australian Bureau of Statistics


Henry Sapiecha