DANISH ATMOSPHERE

Jan Żaryn

Aarhus, the second big city in Jutland, is inhabited also by Poles. Nobody knows how many of them live here. During the ceremony on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of regaining independence, the Holy Mass on Sunday was attended by 200 Poles or more. The church belongs to the Jesuits. There are five of them, including three Poles, one German and one Vietnamese. The celebration of independence was prepared by a group of laymen, among the others, by Mr. Wiesław, his wife and Mr. Piotr from the Club of the ‘Polish Newspaper’. It was just thanks to him that I am in Aarhus. However, before the Sunday ceremony, I met with Poles in a hall rented by the Club of the ‘Polish Newspaper’ from the protestants. They are favourable but they are only asking us to keep the hall clean. It is Saturday evening, 25 or maybe 30 people have arrived. I say hello to everybody and begin a lecture about great people of independence. And suddenly….

I experienced it in Poland particularly in Ostrołęka, when my history lecture was disrupted with voices shouting that I was not speaking what I was supposed to. T-shirts with the inscription ‘Constitution’ appeared then and three women were trying to prevent me from going on speaking. Now in Denmark the situation retook place. Suddenly a man and a woman stood up and began to give out everybody present white roses. A gift like a gift! I did not interrupt the lecture. So, they began to shout that I should not speak about people of Church as those merited for Poland independence, because – as far as I understood – they are not Catholics, so it insulted them. Because the cause-result connection was difficult to catch, and the provocation was not developing, two spoken attackers undertook another issue. They called me a fascist and racist whom it was not allowed – as far as I understood – either listen to or invite. I only asked why they had decided to insult me – but I did not hear an answer. They were shouting and took out a banner with the inscription ‘Constitution’ and did not intend to end that attack on the a building not belonging to them. So, there was a slight commotion until the couple began to go towards the exit. They also threatened to send police there, as they reckoned they would be assaulted. Indeed nobody assault them but they wanted to feel as victims of that incident. Police did not arrive and the attackers left the building. How many articles of the constitution had they breached before leaving? However, I was going on with my lecture. That event would not be worth recalling if it was not for the earlier cases in Ostrołęka. It looks that representatives and supporters of the total opposition got trained, gaining robbers’ knowledge and deciding to implement it in practice, by attacking meetings organized not by them in their country and abroad. They make us look disgraceful to the Danish protestants in this case. I am waiting for the moment when an important representative of today’s opposition from the Civic Platform party will speak publicly and condemn such aggressive behaviours, stating that rudeness and provocation do not bring any honour to their supporters. I will not see this moment, as it is difficult to expect it when anyone of them will condemn people trained by them.

Luckily, on Sunday, the ceremonies were worthy and magnificent. On the 100th anniversary of regaining independence, Poles living in Aarhus and nearby, funded a new flag which was sanctified and is going to be in the Catholic parish church for the next 100 years, or maybe longer. It is to prove that in 2018 Danish Poles remembered about reborn Homeland and also about their predecessors who had arrived here in the years of the Second Republic of Poland and funded the first flag. According to the Polish religiousness Polish Catholics – since their Danish journey – has been accompanied by Our Lady of Częstochowa. There were speeches, including the one by Mrs. Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Denmark, there was a letter from the Speaker of Seym of the Republic of Poland and there was a beautiful concert of a band called Od Czapy. We were singing beautiful songs and then were eating tasty stewed cabbage prepared by women – wives of the main organizers. Yummy! I felt there as if I had been in Poland – the country without any provocateurs or troublemakers, but among people happy about being Poles, about being able to do something positive and their social work makes sense. Because being a Pole feeling nostalgia for homeland makes sense.

So, I met two kinds of Poland in Denmark – both of them are seen in the country. Their common feature is only an act and nothing else. Everything separates us from that Poland so much – the one appearing, to an irony, with the ‘Constitution’ on T-shirts and banners – that it is impossible to communicate and find the common code. Will the total opposition in Poland understand it?

Translated by Aneta Amrozik

Niedziela 48/2018 (2 XII 2018)

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Lidia Dudkiewicz • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl