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Page 45



ARE EVERYWHERE SŁAWOMIR KOWALSKI, Deputy Director of the Department for Cooperation with the Polish Diaspora and Poles Abroad, former Polish Consul in Norway, awarded by the European Business Club for courage, empathy and commitment to protecting Polish families abroad and for his services in representing the Polish state, talks to Jerzy Mosoń. Please accept my congratulations on your winning the European Business Club award. This may not be the first distinction you have received, but its character differs from the previous ones. Would you agree with that? Actually, I’m surprised that business circles have decided to award this distinction to me, but I’m also very grateful. It is an award not so much for me, but it’s in recognition for the efforts of Polish consuls in resolving the problems they face in serving Poland and Polish citizens. PM

What were your biggest challenges during your work as a consul? You are now working in a different capacity… At the moment I am working with consuls as a deputy director of the Department of Cooperation with the Polish Diaspora and Poles Abroad. We work with Polish communities abroad as well as with national institutions, many of which deal with the issue of policies regarding Polish communities in foreign countries. Our activities are based on the government programme of cooperation with the Polish diaspora and Poles abroad. One of the challenges we face is the need to support expatriate Poles in maintaining their national identity in exile. The government programme PM

I have mentioned, which we implement to this purpose, focuses on education, including Polish language teaching. The ability to use your native tongue is important not only for new generations of Poles who left the country when they were young, but also for those born abroad. Language is the basic tool for maintaining contact with Poland, learning about Polish culture, as well as for building bridges in relations between Poland and the country they live in. We deal with various projects whose goal is to build Polish identity through broader access to culture. We make it easier for Poles living abroad to enjoy the benefits of the Polish cultural heritage. One of our goals is also to build the potential of Polish communities through facilitating their integration process, to help them build a positive image of Polish people in the respective countries. It is important to us that Poles living abroad should not only build their Polishness, but also add value to the host societies. To this end, we encourage our countrymen to take an active part in the public life of the countries they live in. Is it easy to be a Pole living in a foreign country right now? I think it's easy to be Polish everywhere, because being Polish is a joy. However, there are different policies in different countries. PM

My consular experience shows that you need to focus on the positive and build relationships wherever possible. I am also convinced that you need to build Polishness starting with your own identity. History shows us that it worked under the German occupation, when our strong potential allowed us to survive. These are the lessons of history. But are expatriate Poles business patriots who support the Polish economy by making the right choices as consumers? "History teaches you how to live." It is one of those Latin proverbs which are worth coming back to because our history teaches us who we are. When it comes to consumer habits, in Norway, where I worked recently, not just Poles who lived there showed interest in buying Polish products. Norwegian consumers did, too. The reason is simple: Polish products are good, especially food. Other nations show us that we can also be proud of our culture and tradition. I am now reading Adam Zamoyski’s book "Poland. A History.” Zamoyski writes about Polish history in an attractive way. I believe that you can also promote Poland in this way, through culture and art. But similar gems can be found in every field, as exemplified by your “Polish Market” Economic and Honorary Pearls. • PM

2-3/2020 polish market


Profile for Polish Market

Polish Market No.2-3 (293)/2020  

"Polish Market” is a prestigious English-language magazine published since 1996. In its pages, it promotes the Polish economy, businesses,...

Polish Market No.2-3 (293)/2020  

"Polish Market” is a prestigious English-language magazine published since 1996. In its pages, it promotes the Polish economy, businesses,...