WILL POLES RETURN FOREVER?
FR. MARIAN WOŹNIAK
Christmas is time of returns from emigration. Observers of this phenomenon ask questions to themselves more and more frequently, how much Poles only want to visit our country on the occasion of family meetings, and how much they are thinking about their definite return
However, there is still a high number of Poles, who do not want to return Poland from emigration – 46 percent. Such data was collected in a survey carried out by the Poloniusz.pl service among 581 Poles living and working abroad. Only about 10 percent of responders are planning their return in the near future, and 18 percent of them- only in a few years’ time. Over a half of the surveyed are not, however, sure about their plans for the future. If the number of those who are in doubt amounts to 57 percent, their later declarations may distort the above-mentioned picture.
– Our analysis prove that the longer an emigrant lives abroad, the more difficult it is for him to return his country – Łukasz Kuceiwcz, the chief of the Poloniusz.pl website notes. – For example, among emigrants who live abroad shorter than 4 years, only one third are planning to stay longer and 33 percent are hesitating with their decisions. After 4 years of emigration the view of people changes, only 8 percent of them do not have any plans, and nearly 60 percent emigrants stay abroad forever. If those who govern Poland want Poles to return from emigration, they should provide them with conditions right now, otherwise in a few years’ time it will be too late.
Among participants of the survey pessimism was domineering, expressed in many comments: - After 20 years of work in Poland I only had debts and no joy of life. The time which I spent abroad, although I am not young, showed that both work and life can be better.
Work abroad even in the worst job can become an assurance of a good existence in the family. In Poland I could not afford even renting a flat. This is policy and economic situation of our country which force people to emigrate.
– Being abroad for a dozen years, I was working honestly. I and my wife received a flat, pension and all social benefits, which I would never get in Poland. We watch Polish television and we are shocked by what our politicians are dealing with and lack of respect to an ordinary man. In the sphere of the health service Poland is by 100 years behind Africa.
Laughter through tears
Nearly 40 percent of Poles living abroad would like to gain citizenship of the country in which they work, but the data prove that even those who are abroad shorter than a year want the citizenship. – It is a bit sad – comments the chief of the Poloniusz.pl website.
– We rather expected that first of all people who have been living for a few years in a particular country, are thinking about citizenship. However, it turns out that a big number of people leaving for abroad, are thinking about double citizenship in the first year of their life on emigration.
It is rather difficult to expect mass returns, although, undoubtedly, people living abroad, experience much frustration. – I still miss Poland, my family and friends – one of emigrants admits. Another person says: -The price of leaving country is very high, one starts everything from the beginning. I studied economics in Germany again and pedagogy in Poland via Internet in order to work in the job of a pedagogue and not end my career of the proverbial broom. One can have new friends, build a new identity, but one will always be a foreigner here.
Maybe similar reflections will start the time of returns. However, everything depends on the situation of our country. The better it is, the more it will attract Poles.
The website Poloniusz.pl is the biggest website with advertisements about work for Polish Diaspora. Every month it is visited by over 500 thousand Poles working abroad or thinking about leaving for abroad. Since the moment of being created in 2008, the website has been used by over 10 million compatriots.