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Wrocław’s first English-language newspaper

City News A round-up of the main stories currently taking place in Wrocław. Pages 2 & 5

ECOFIN Our political commentator writes in Polish and in English about the recent historical visit to Poland of the EU Finance Ministers and the American Secretary of State. Page 3

European Day of Languages We have pictures from some of the events held during two weeks in Wrocław as part of the Europ ean Day o f Languages. Page 4

Business This month we hear from an employee at HP about working in Wrocław. We have a guide to importing from China. On the finance front, we learn about Lukas Bank’s change of name to Crédit Agricole and from Deloitte we learn how to pay less tax. Pages 6 & 7

Diwali Our country page is India this month and Diwali is one of the biggest and most important festivals in India. We learn about Diwali and how local Indians celebrate it. Page 8

Culture We interview Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou. We speak with local artist Marianna Stuhr, local performer Jim Williams and we learn about Kieślowski and Marie Curie. Pages 8 - 11

Cheap Eats and Juice Fasting This month we present our 2nd recommendation of valuefor-money cafes. Looking for inspiration to lose weight? Read about Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. Pages 16 & 17 Events - Pages 20 & 21 Property - Pages 22 & 23

On 6th October, in Chorzów, PM Tusk at the last convention of the PO electoral campaign

Polish Elections 2011 Stanisław Orliński This article was written 50 hours before the elections, although it is worth giving in to the temptation to summarize this year’s election campaign. It will also be interesting to compare with the results, which we will receive this week. In this year’s parliamentary elections, the Poles have stood before a difficult task. They have had to decide to continue to place hope in the ruling party’s programme, or trust in the promises made by the candidates for other parties Over a month ago, Donald Tusk, Prime Minister and leader of the ruling party PO (Civil Platform) set off around the country with his so-called Tuskobus to promote his party and get a feel for the mood of the nation. Unfortunately, the mood of the nation appeared to be less enthusiastic than that of the Prime Minister.

Although PO maintains a continual lead in the polls, the main opposition party, Law and Justice (PiS), is closing in the opinion polls (depending on the polling centre). If PiS should win (which is not impossible, contrary to appearances), it will be because a segment of the Polish nation has had enough of PO’s style of government. The ruling party has lost favour through its plenipotentiary policy (which the party itself decidedly distances itself from, and even combats) and propaganda of economic success presenting Poland as an oasis in times of crisis. For the average Pole seems not to feel its effects in everyday life. The party also rejects plenipotentiary, and with this aim prohibits the participation of persons related to one another in elections. One victim of this prohibition was wife of Minister of Culture Bohdan Zdrojewski, who is number one

on PO’s Wrocław electoral list. Barbara Zdrojewska, an active local government politician, had to pull out from her candidature to the Senate due to that of her husband Law and Justice, the main opposition party, usually described as right wing, is basically a socialist party. Recently however, it has made great effort to be seen as a party supporting SME. The party traditionally operates a nationalistic rhetoric, although in the campaign itself has referred surprisingly little to the martyrdom of the late President Lech Kaczyński, twin brother of the Party’s leader Jarosław. For the campaign, the party has drawn from its bosom pretty faces, such as Sylwia Ługowska, known as Kaczyński’s Angel, to show that he has the support of women and youth (she is 23 years old). Within the campaign, the party chairman published a book in which he writes that he does not

“believe that the election of Angela Merkel is down to pure coincidence”. The alarm was raised by Polish and German media, but the party chairman considered the information served by them that sees Angela Merkel’s election to be the work of the Stasi as over interpretation and with the intent of damaging his image on the international stage. Furthermore, he expressed his intention to hire legal representation to secure corrections in the media, and a readiness to meet Merkel in person should he become Prime Minister. Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) is the second, though less numerous, opposition party in the country. From polls it is apparent that it is losing support and as the heir to PZPR (the former communist ruling party) it is slowly exiting the political stage. Continued on page 8...

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City News

One of my favourite walks in Wrocław takes me around the city following the moat or fosa that surrounds the Old Town. Just behind the Opera House, in a small green space, you will find a poignant memorial to one of Poland’s great heroes and leaders. A young man who in his short life tried to change the world. This month, we will know who is to hold the reins of power in

many aspects of Polish life. We should not be apathetic. Each one of us can change this world, this society and this place in which we live. We may not all be built to undertake the magnificent sacrifice of Cavalry Captain Witold Pilecki (1901 to 1948), but we should aspire to having leaders who rise above mediocrity and possess vision. Witold Pilecki could not live a shadow of a life, he could not ignore injustice, he died for his principles. You can read his motto inscribed inside the ring at his memorial. If you have a story, opinion or even a favourite walk to share with our readers, email us:

Wrocław’s Public Transport System Ranking MPK Sp. z o.o. Wrocław took third place in the National Ranking of Best Companies for Urban Transport in 2011 conducted by the Official - Gazeta Prawna. Wrocław Teacher’s Awards - National Education Day National Education Day is on 10th October. An awards ceremony will take place at 12:00 in Impart Arts Centre. The awards will be for the outstanding achievement of education directors and teachers in Wrocław Schools. ‘White Saturday’ Free Hearing-Loss Consultations The Department of Health and Social Affairs Medical University of Wrocław and the Specialist Centre for Diagnosis and Rehabilitation of Children and Youth with hearing loss in Wrocław is offering a White Saturday on the 22nd of October 2011 between the hours of 9:00 - 14:00. They are offering free (a) hearing studies, (b) specialist consultations, (c) speech therapy, and (d) professional psychological pedagogical hearing care. A selection of the latest generation of hearing aid studies and consultations will be made upon registration, telephone: 71 355 67 19, Monday to Friday 8:00 - 19:00, for an appointment. Research and consultation will be carried out at: Specialized Diagnosis and Rehabilitation Centre for Children and Youth with hearing loss in Wrocław, ul. Braniborska 2/10. Flu Vaccinations for Seniors Seniors (over 65 years of age) are invited by the City to participate in the free vaccination programme against flu, which will be taking place in Wrocław this month until the 21st of November at the Immunisation points listed below: Przychodnia Grabiszyn, ul. Stalowa 50, tel. 71-362-11-21 Przychodnia Promed, ul. Robotnicza 42b, tel. 71-782-73-05 Przychodnia Stabłowice, ul. Stabłowicka 125, tel. 71-354-31-69 Przychodnia Stare Miasto, pl. Dominikanski 6, tel. 71-344-80-85 If you want to register for a free vaccination you must register by telephone or personally (open from 8:00 - 18:00 from Monday to Friday). An ID card is required. The "Preventive vaccinations for people over 65 years of age residing in Wrocław" is implemented by the Department of Health and Social Affairs Medical University of Wrocław. Train to Ukraine On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Ukrainian independence, the Ukrainian Association for Polish-Ukrainian Cultural Dialogue, "the new generation" and the Honorary Consulate of Ukraine in Wroclaw are participating in the project "TRAIN TO UKRAINE". A series of events will take place in Wrocław and Lower Silesia from 10th to 13th October to communicate Ukraine’s recent history and its culture, art, science and business. More details on website . The Wrocław International October 2011

The first Saturday of October was beautiful in more ways than one. In addition to enjoying nearly perfect weather, residents of Wrocław and beyond came together to march for equality during the Festiwal Równych Praw (Equal Rights Festival). The march was organized by Kampanii Przeciw Homofobii Wrocław (Wrocław Campaign Against Homophobia) as a way to raise visibility of queer issues and to fight to be recognized equally in Poland's heteronormative society. The march drew hundreds of participants holding rainbow flags, balloons and placards with such sayings as "Life is Not Straight", as well as wearing tshirts with amusing slogans, including "Some Chicks Marry Chicks. Get Over It."

Marchers were cheerful, shouting happily and dancing to the drummers' beats. The mood was certainly festive and hopeful. Until, that is, the counter-protesters arrived in a large boiling mass of testosterone. Almost entirely young white males pumping their fists in the air and chanting in angry, deep voices, they were a chilling reminder that there remain groups of people in Poland who violently oppose the acceptance of gay people and their rights. Dozens of riot police were on hand to hold back counter-protestors with shields and even appeared to have tear gas available. Thankfully, such measures were not necessary as the mob of men stayed well back from the marchers. What was more disturbing were the angry people who stood just

on the other side of the riot police lining the edges of the march. Some stared down marchers with evil glares and sneers, occasionally shouting out offensive comments such as, "Poland is stronger without pedophiles!" marchers continued on, but it was hard not to see the stress on their faces. It is clear that Poland has a lot of work to do to match the level of acceptance that queer people enjoy in Western Europe or the United States. Saturday's march might have been a bit frightening for those Poles who came out to voice their right for equality, but it was a very important step. As American anthropologist Margaret Mead once said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Noise Under Control Wrocław Airport now has a state-of-the-art noise monitoring system installed. The system will enable the airport to check and find deviations for accepted noise levels. The noise monitoring system is fully compliant with the latest regulations. Noise levels are now measured at four measuring points. The system also provides

photographic documentation of each operation, which can pinpoint the aircraft that lands or takes off, "louder". ‘Thanks to the new system, the airport can identify pilots who have not changed their old habits,’ says Dariusz Kuś, Director of Wrocław Airport. The airport will also be able to identify planes that do not match current standards and fine them

for breaching regulations. A dynamic development of airport traffic has been recorded since 2003. Within 5 years, the number of passengers has increased fivefold. In 2012, Wrocław Airport will launch a new terminal. There will be more than 3 million passengers a year, with a growth potential of up to 7 million.

City News 3 Komentator - Europe Germany Poland Lower Silesia is the monthly online portal which raises political and economic topics, publishes interviews with leading politicians and businessmen, deals with EU and PolishGerman issues. Dr Krzysztof Tokarz, Komentator’s Editor in Chief, is an expert in Polish -German relations. He has been published in media such as International Relationship, Polish-German POINT, Gazeta Lwowska. He has also given expert commentary on Wprost TV, Polsat News & Wrocław Radio.

Ministrowie finansów UE w nadodrzańskim mieście Do Wrocławia na nieformalny szczyt Ecofinu przyjechało wielu ministrów finansów i ludzi ze świata finansjery. Przez moment miasto stało się bardzo ważnym miejscem dla podejmowania decyzji i rozmów o losach europejskiej gospodarki. Limuzyny z notablami mknęły po mieście, a dziesiątki dziennikarzy z całej Europy pisało relacje z posiedzenia ministrów. Na konferencji prasowej kończącej pierwszy dzień nieformalnej konferencji Rady do Spraw Ekonomicznych i Finansowych /Ekofinu/ we Wrocławiu, minister finansów Jacek Rostowski znów straszył wojną, gdyby upadło euro. Wyjaśnił jednak, że chodzi mu tylko o taką ewentualność, która nie wiadomo czy się ziści. Minister Rostowski powiedział we Wrocławiu, że walczyć z panującym w całej Europie kryzysem można tylko wspólnie. Tylko solidarność może odnieść sukces w zwalczeniu przyczyn i skutków kryzysu. Szef polskich

finansów chwalił się przed zgromadzonymi w Hali Stulecia dziennikarzami kompromisem, jaki udało się we Wrocławiu wynegocjować. Rostowski szczególnie zachwalał porozumienie ws. pakietu prawa wzmacniającego zarządzanie gospodarcze i dyscyplinę budżetową państw. "Trzy ważne rzeczy się stały: u mo wa mi ęd z y b a n ka mi centralnymi, kompromis w

sprawie sześciopaku i po trzecie pogłębiona współpraca Europy z US A, któ rą s ymb o liz uj e obecność Timothy Geithnera, amerykańskiego sekretarza stanu na posiedzeniu ministrów we Wrocławiu” - ujawnił na konferencji prasowej, kończącej pierwszy dzień nieformalnego posiedzenia Ekofinu, Rostowski. Największym sukcesem był wi e l o kro t ni e wy mi e n ia n y "sześciopak". "Mamy kompromis w sprawie sześciopaku, dzięki któremu będziemy mogli stworzyć podstawy dla przyszłego systemu zarządzania ekonomicznego w UE" obwieścił Rostowski d z i e n n i k a r z o m . Sprawozdawczyni PE, eurodeputowana Sharon Bowles potwierdziła, że w Parlamencie Europejskim znajdzie się wi ęk szo ś ć ko niecz na d o przyjęcia ustaleń z wrocławskiego spotkania. Rostowski oświadczył, że amerykański sekretarz stanu Timothy Geithner wyraził swoje zaniepokojenie o stabilność

strefy euro i całej Europy. A m e r y k a n i e r e p r e z e n tu j ą pogląd, że euro to nie tylko pieniądze i gospodarka, ale także stabilność polityczna. Zatem Amerykanie również obawiają się kłopotów z powo du zawirowań w strefie euro. Z kolei niemiecki minister powiedział we Wrocławiu, że Grecja zadłuża się ponad miarę. Niełatwo będzie znaleźć proste rozwiązanie dla wyjścia z kryzysu, kiedy trzeba uwzględnić interesy aż 27 państw. Według szefa niemieckich finansów, powinno się wprowadzić takie reformy, któ re wz mo c nił yb y p akt stab ilizac yj n y, ko n iecz n y przecież do uzdrowienia sytuacji gospodarczej. Wolfgang Schäuble ujawnił, że na spotkaniu we Wrocławiu ministrowie finansów uzgadniali swoje stanowiska co do programów unijnych, w których priorytetem jest pomoc dla Grecji. Powiedział, że konieczne było stworzenie warunków niezbędnych do wypłacenia kolejnej transzy kredytu dla

Aten, który będzie do ich dyspozycji jeszcze we wrześniu. Schäuble podkreślał konieczność wprowadzania przez Greków bolesnych reform i dokonywania ostrych cięć budżetowych. Jego zdaniem należy zwalczać nie tylko skutki samej zapaści ekonomicznej, ale przede wszystkim jej przyczyny. Zdaniem niemieckiego ministra pomysł na walkę z kryzysem dobrze funkcjonuje w kilku krajach. Przyznał jednocześnie, że w przypadku Grecji ten sposób jakoś nie zadziałał. Jednocześnie zapewnił, że Ateny mogą liczyć na miliardy euro pożyczek. Schäuble mówił, że należy zrobić wszystko, co dotyczy regulacji przepisów europejskich, aby zwalczyć p anuj ąc y w UE kr yz ys gospodarczy. Na zakończenie warto zadać p yt a n i e , c z y o b y s a m i ministro wie wyciągnęli odpowiednie wnioski ze swego niefrasobliwego zarządzania finansami, które chyba nie zawsze było idealne.

TRANSLATION TO ENGLISH Wrocław welcomed the arrival of many finance ministers and representatives of the financial world for the informal Ecofin summit. For a moment the city became a focal point for talks and decision-making concerning the fate of the European economy. Limousines carrying distinguished guests sped through the streets and dozens of journalists from around the world reported on the ministerial meetings. At the press conference concluding the first day of the informal conference of the Council for Economic and Financial Affairs/ Ecofin, finance minister, Jacek Rostowski, once again warned of war should the Euro collapse. However, he did explain that this is only a possibility, of which there is not certainty. In Wrocław minister Rostowski

said that the Europe-wide crisis can only be fought together. Only solidarity in fighting the causes and effects of the crisis will bring successful results. The chief of Poland’s finances boasted to the journalists gathered at Centennial Hall of the compromise they were able to negotiate in Wrocław. Rostowski particularly praised the agreement concerning the legislative packet strengthening economic management and budget discipline of member states. "Three important things have happened: an agreement between the central banks, compromise on the ‘six-pack’ and thirdly, strengthened cooperation between Europe and USA, shown in the presence of Timothy Geithner, American Secretary of State, at the ministerial meeting in Wrocław,” said

Rostowski at the press conference concluding the first day of Ecofin’s informal meeting. The greatest success was the repeatedly mentioned "six-pack". "We have reached a compromise on the six-pack, thanks to which we will be able to create the basis for the future economic management system in UE" – proclaimed Rostowski. EP commentator, MEP Sharon Bowles said that there will be the majority required in the European Parliament to pass the motions agreed during the meetings in Wrocław. Rostowski declared that American Secretary of State Timothy Geithner expresses his concern over the stability of the Euro zone and Europe as a whole. The Americans are of the view that the Euro is not only a currency and economy, but also political stability. The Americans there-

fore fear any troubles resulting from turbulence in the Euro zone. Meanwhile the German minister said that Greece is falling into irrecoverable debt. It will not be easy to find a way out of the crisis, when you have to consider the interests of 27 nations. According to the chief of Germany's finances, reforms should be introduced which strengthen the stability pact, necessary for repairing the economic situation. Wolfgang Schäuble revealed that during the meetings in Wrocław, the financial ministers had agreed their positions concerning EU programs, among which is aid for Greece. He said that it is necessary to create the conditions required for release of another credit tranche for Athens, which would be made available before the end of September. Schäuble emphasized the neces-

sity for Greece to introduce painful reform and make drastic budget cuts. In his opinion, we need to combat, not only the effects of this economic collapse, but also the causes. According to the German minister, the idea for combating the crisis is working well in several nations. He also admitted that in case of Greece, this method had not worked for some reason. He also reassured that Athens can count on billions in loans. Schäuble said that everything should be done concerning the regulation of European regulations to fight the economic crisis in the EU. To conclude, it is worth raising the question whether these same ministers have drawn appropriate conclusions from their golucky financial management, which have not always been ideal.

The Wrocław International

October 2011

The Wrocław International

October 2011 Mav Hall

Mav Hall

Wojtek Nekanda Trepka.

Mav Hall

CDO Language School

Danuta Czaderska

Wojtek Nekanda Trepka.

Urszula Sokolnicka

Danuta Czaderska

Danuta Czaderska

Urszula Sokolnicka

Urszula Sokolnicka

City News

The International Friends of Wrocław were proud to be a partner of the European Day of Language; the week beginning September 26th was a very busy one for the club and its members. Mags and Steve Andrews, who normally bake English pies for the ex-pat community, found themselves serving up a full English breakfast for about 100 customers at Masala Restaurant (Ulica Kużnicza) on the Monday. This was actually double the figure that they had expected and it was a miracle of Biblical proportions that all hungry mouths were duly fed. A legacy of the full English breakfast is the expansion of one’s waist due to excess calories, and it was no surprise that many weight conscious members took advantage of Alice Renard's 8-km walk from Rynek to Biskupin the following morning. This was the first of what will hopefully become a regular Tuesday morning activity, weather permitting. Every Wednesday, the club holds a regular free coffee morning at their clubhouse. These coffee mornings are open to all (members, non members and visitors alike), and as part of the European Day of Languages

As all good Wrocławians know, the city has an abundance of fruitful treasures. Wrocław Zoo is one such example, and a recent addition has further enriched this popular family attraction. Once inside the Zoo, as you approach the antique detached aviary near the Japanese gate, you will pass a curiously quiet cage. On closer inspection, a group of weird and wonderful objects inside will certainly catch your eye. These are sophisticated wooden toys, containing blocks, hooks, logical mazes, screws, and towers. What kind of creature then, would want to play around with these unusual toys? A quick study of the cage's label reveals it is the home of the Kea (Nestor Notabilis), a parrot from New Zealand. Have a careful look inside the cage's interior and you will spot the parrots, almost invisible in their olive brown plumage, perching at the


events, the coffee morning on Wednesday, September 28th was advertised as "Multilingual". The idea was to attract as many different nationalities as possible and to learn two or three words of each others language. In total, over 60 people attended representing 18 countries and 15 different languages ranging from Arabic to Urdu, encompassing such linguistic delights as Gaelic and Cantonese Chinese. Traditional German and French snacks were also available. The John Bull Pub on Plac Solny was the venue of a traditional pub quiz on the evening of Thursday, September 29th. Members of IFW had compiled some of the questions, reflecting their own particular specialist subjects. As this was only a "for fun" quiz night, it was decided to turn a blind eye to some of the under the table googling of answers on iPhones. In the end, it was a very close run affair with very few points separating the top three teams. At the end of the week though, everybody can be considered a winner. The City of Wrocław, the European Day of Languages and the IFW. Like all good festivals, the planning of the next one starts right

top of a couple of branches. The first time that you make eye contact with this exuberant pair of birds, is the moment the game starts and the fun begins. Kea are believed to be one of the smartest bird species on the planet. Using their skillful claws, hooked beak and large brain, they can maneuver objects in any way they wish. In the

now and the International Friends of Wrocław will be throwing their hat into the ring and looking to be involved in bigger and better things next time.

wild they inhabit the alpine regions of New Zealand's South Island, and unlike any other parrots they can adapt to harsh snowy weather. Kea are extremely curious, brave and nosy in their search for food or fun. People tend to observe them with either amazement or fear, as the birds open and rummage bins, damage cars or even steal passports from tourists’ pockets!

For a regular update of activities, you can subscribe to IFW's free weekly newsletter by contacting

'New Year, New Start - Working Together as a Community'

For years, Kea were treated as vicious pests and even shot by New Zealanders. Fortunately, New Zealand have awarded the birds a primal right to its land, partly due to their intelligence and also the worryingly rapid decline in their population. Kea are now legally protected in the country, and scientific programs are run to learn more about those extraordinary creatures.

beads and wheels, whilst dropping the pieces of it around with joyful squeaks.

Wrocław Zoo was the first in Poland to host these rare birds, with a female arriving in 2008, followed by a male a year later. Their keeper, Mr. Jakub Molicki, has labeled the pair Kejusia and Kejuś. The pair look identical, but a ring has been placed on the male's leg to allow people to tell them apart. To prevent these sharp-minded birds from becoming bored and frustrated, Mr. Molicki has designed numerous toys and puzzles. Sometimes it takes the two shrewd parrots a mere day to dismantle the knotty rope with wooden

IFW ul. Piłsudskiego 44a (entrance at back of building from courtyard)

Visitors who are patient may well be lucky enough to see the birds up to some playful mischief. After a few seconds of encouragement you will turn speechless as their broad wings suddenly spread showing a bright flash of their orange feathers. Both children and adults will be drawn in for hours to these curiously naughty birds. The Kea are especially innovative and have the ability to improvise, pull, push, open, twist and squawk their way through the day, with an endless appetite for play. You can see these very birds for yourself at the Zoo, which is open every day until 6pm. The kea's cage is marked on the Zoo's map in the top right corner. So why not pay a visit to the Zoo and meet two of Wrocław's most unique inhabitants?

The Wrocław International

October 2011

and the company encourages them not only by setting clear career paths to our people but also with a wide range of trainings and workshops, both internal and external, that HP employees can benefit from.

If you happened to come across our billboards in September, then you know HP is recruiting! To give you a flavor of how HP operates, meet Dorota Banko, an operations manager at one of our Wroclaw locations.

Dorota: I’ve been with HP for over 5 years now. I begun as a specialist in Accounts Payable Department and then moved to a lead role within my team. It’s been roughly a year, since I’ve taken the Operational Manager position and I currently lead one of the departments that provide financial and accounting services to our clients. As you can see, the possibilities for professional development are there to grab!

Dorota: Initially I applied for a position within Accounts Payable Department that required fluent German. It didn’t take long before I was invited to an interview and it all went really

It is almost a year since we started building the new Pittsburgh Glass Works (PGW) plant in Komorniki near Środa Śląska. As you can see in the attached picture, we have come a long way in one year! The building is now complete and the utilies have been connected. We are now focusing on installing the production equipment that will be used to turn pieces of flat glass into Windshields for E u r o p e a n c a r s .

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quickly. First days at HP were dedicated to an onboarding session for new hires with a lot of networking workshops. It was a great opportunity to connect with people before getting down to business.

Dorota: Having a good motivation and positive approach al-

Our Polish staff are fully involved in preparing our Quality System and Operating Instructions to ensure we produce the exact quality the customer requires and we m i n i m i z e wa s t e i n t h e facility. Many of our people have been to the United States to learn about automotive glassmaking from our people there. We are still a long way from being in full production mode, but the completion of the

October 2011

ways pays off. Even if something doesn’t go not the way we planned it, the lessons learned are always beneficial. Every day brings new experiences, which you can hardly underestimate. I guess it’s a mixture of wellbalanced features: knowledge and experience do play a role, but you also need to have an open attitude and be able to set goals for yourself. The development possibilities are substantial

building ends a key step in the journey. We want to thank our construction partners, PM Group Engineering, Polimex-Mostostal General Contractors and the numerous sub-contractors who have worked together to complete our new home in Poland. (William (Bill) Hall, is the European Operations Manager of Pittsburgh Glass Works (Poland) Sp. z o.o. )

Dorota: What I enjoy the most is to keep active after working hours. I like swimming, biking, gardening and I do love spending time with my friends. I like travelling too, especially to Balkans – the diversity of this region and its cuisine are really amazing. I also regularly participate in charity actions driven by a volunteer group in my department.

closely with people of different cultural backgrounds gives me a lot of satisfaction. It’s a two way street – you can learn from the others, but you can also share your knowledge and support others.

Dorota: HP is a great place to work mainly because of the atmosphere we all contribute to and the approach towards employees. You can take my word for it – I’ve been here for quite some time now. ☺ Search for our current openings at

Dorota: Surely it’s a very interesting environment. Not only can we use a number of sophisticated tools and technologies, but we can gain experience on an international level. Working

The Canton Fair is a trade fair held in the spring and autumn seasons each year since the spring of 1957 in Guangzhou, China. The Fair is co-hosted by the Ministry of Commerce of China and People's Government of Guangdong Province, and organized by China Foreign Trade Centre. Its full name since 2007 has been the China Import and Export Fair, renamed from Chinese Export Commodities Fair. The fair,

comprehensive in nature, has won its renown of “China’s No.1 Fair” for the longest history, the highest level, the largest scale, the most complete exhibit variety, the biggest buyer attendance, the broadest buyer distribution, the greatest business turnover, and the best credit standing in China. For those wishing to source goods from China, this is an excellent chance to find everything under one roof.


Izabela Mościcka

LUKAS Bank’s offer of best on the market account for young people kicks off the bank’s transformation into Crédit Agricole Bank Polska. By 2014 the bank wants to be among the top universal banks in Poland.

charge, together with access to e -banking and SMS services. On top of that, the bank will offer a PLN 500 overdraft limit on accounts opened for a loan for a driving license and “Safe pocket” insurance covering the loss of keys, wallet or telephone.

Ten years after LUKAS was bought by the French banking group Crédit Agricole, on 23rd September Crédit Agricole's logo and name started appearing on the branches of the Polish bank. Since its establishment, the bank focused on instalment loans and, despite very high customer awareness of the brand, it still carries associations with instalment loans only. But the bank‟s ambition is to become one of top universal banks. The launch of the Crédit Agricole brand is designed to help the bank realise this ambition.

Next year, the remaining personal account offers will be refreshed too. Phillippe Marié also promises a new strategy for the SME market, part of which will be specifically dedicated to agribusiness customers.

one of them being the segment of young customers as students or people in their first job. With these customers in mind the bank will promote its first CAbranded product – “1st Account”.

By the end of 2014, Crédit Agricole Bank Polska wants to acquire 300,000 new current accounts, which will increase its base by 30%. To achieve this objective, the bank will address its offer to new target groups,

A survey made for us by Milward Brown shows that Polish customers are inclined to maintain a long-term relationship with the bank of their first account. „Young customers highly value attractive prices, the sta-

Whether you are an expatriate on assignment, an employee or a working student, rest assured that each April a tax man will knock on your door. On the other hand the situation is not as bad as it could be. Taxes in Poland are lower than in most Western European countries, but still high if you look at flat teen figures commonly applied in Central and Eastern Europe. The standard charge is 18% on the first 85,528 PLN (ca. 20,000 EUR) of annual income and 32% on the surplus, minus a small standard deduction. On top of that there are social security and health insurance premiums, applicable for most employees. In 2011 they will effectively take more than 12% of the first 100,770 PLN (ca. 23,500 EUR) of your annual salary and 3.2% of the surplus; the employer will pay his portion, too. There are a number of ways to make the dues less painful. If you are married, you can file a joint tax return with your spouse, reducing the tax by as much as 12,500 PLN. Each child takes 1,112.04 PLN off. Other allowed deductions include church donations, qualifying donations for public benefit purposes, internet expenses, a blood donor deduction and a few others. Students can enjoy exemption for most scholarship funds and reduced health insurance charges. If you perform creative work (like designing, constructing

bility of the bank as well as easy access to it,‟says Philippe Marié, Vice-President of the Management Board of Crédit Agricole Bank Polska, Head of Crédit Agricole Polska. „Over 70% of all accounts being opened in Poland are first accounts‟, he adds. The bank will charge no fees for the maintenance of the “1st Account”, the internet transfers and debit cards related to it. Also 3,200 ATMs will be free of

Former LUKAS Bank, a major credit card issuer, is also preparing new offers on the cards market. All credit and debit cards will carry a discount programme. The programme will involve at least 5,000 partners, which will translate into 10,000 thousand outlets. „Our ambition is for the "CA Bank discount club" to become the largest discount programme in Poland. We have invited to the programme not only nationwide chains but also strong local shops. The assumptions of the programme are very simple – discounts in partner shops will

or programming) or are appointed to management board or supervisory board, simple structuring could save a lot. The same applies if you receive stock options. Additional savings may be available for your employer. Many people performing independent services do so using a registered business activity (entrepreneurship) which may qualify for 19% flat taxation and substantially reduced social security premiums. Thanks to advantageous provisions of double tax treaties, additional opportunities are available for expatriates and people working abroad. It is common that such individuals have to file taxes in more than one country. Then what really counts is the total worldwide tax liability, not just Polish charges. Foreign individuals are in an especially privileged position. In some cases they may be totally exempt from Polish tax. Many can qualify for a flat 20% taxation on income. This is particularly nice if your income is above average. If you perform work in more than one country, it may be possible to split taxation between two countries to take advantage of the lower tax brackets in each system. If you are in Poland on assignment, it is important to remember that additional taxes may be due in your home country. In most cases double taxation can be eliminated in your favor so that the remaining tax to pay at home will be low or none. This means that the 20% in Poland

be granted directly at the checkout,‟ explains Phillipe Marié. „The plans presented by the bank are ambitious, but they are also equally costly. We have phased the change process, e.g., we will take 3 years to revamp all our branches to the new model. We are committed to be consistent in implementing our strategy,‟ adds the VicePresident. „The strategy also assumes improving financial results. In H1 2011 the bank generated consolidated net profit of PLN 64 million, which is 50% more than in the whole of 2010. Even though the incomes have not increased, due to the drop in instalment loans, the bank is going to compensate for it in other segments. We are observing in recent months an increase in cash loan sales. We are also developing insurance and structured products that will generate profit as soon as next year. Despite the investments we are going to make in universal banking, I am optimistic about the 2012 results,‟ adds Marié.

could be your total tax. What is more, the fact that you perform work on assignment may reduce your tax at home even if double tax treaties do not help. This is especially handy for US citizens who are tied to the American tax system. Double social security charges can also be managed. If you are an EU citizen, you should pay the premiums in the country where you actually work. However, this is not a practical solution if you do much traveling or change your location every few years. To keep all payments in your home country your employer may apply for a certificate of coverage. This possibility also applies to some non-EU countries, like the US or Canada. This way you can maintain continuity of payments and full rights to benefits at home while having access to public health services in Poland; also your future pension will be paid from one system. For those who do not trust the pillar system, zero-premium structuring may be an option, too. It is a good idea to take some time and think about your taxes, especially if there is a lot to think about. After all, you cannot avoid them but there is nothing wrong in looking for ways to pay less. Łukasz Lubicz is Tax Manager at the Wrocław office of Deloitte Doradztwo Podatkowe Sp. z o.o. Email:

The Wrocław International October 2011

First of all, I have been to Poland several times in this Presidency because my portfolio is quite wide. Very cleverly, the Ministers I work with each organize his or her council meeting or conference in different parts of Poland because the whole idea is for people from outside Poland to get to know the country. So the Minister of Culture is from Wrocław and I think that is why he organized this beautiful symposium, congress here and the informal council meeting also.

My first impression when I arrived was the progress from an infrastructure point of view. And also I know that in two years’ time you will have a new concert hall for 3,500 people and also other small theatres. I think Wrocław is preparing itself to become the Cultural Capital of Europe.

We have an international panel which decides which city will be the cultural capital and until 2016 they will supervise the preparations of the city based on a certain project the city submitted. So the committee has to supervise that the programme is followed correctly. If everything goes according to the programme, we shall award to you the Melina Mercouri prize of 1.5 million euro in 1.5 years. other language. We present awards to certain European writers and translate their work to many other European languages and vice versa we translate English, French, Italian and Greek literature to Polish. The other thing we are also doing for Poland is to give the prize for restoration of cultural monuments, the heritage monuments and every year we do that with Europa Nostra.

percent of our work force is working in culture. A congress is something very unique because not all presidencies organized such big events. But I think it is a very good way of bringing all the cultural stakeholders together:- musicians, painters, filmmakers, politicians, policy makers, people from the regions. According to our studies, culture contributes 4.5 percent to the GDP of Europe, more than the plastics industry, the real estate industry, or the automobile industry. So this is a big economic factor, it gives work to millions of people; 3.8

Its leader, Grzegorz Napieralski, even travelled to London seeking support from Poles living there, although it is not known how successful this was. The party’s campaign, which fights among others for women’s rights, has been compromised by two electoral TV spots. In the first, a female parliamentary candidate performs what is almost a striptease, and in the second, a girl rescued from attacking thugs by a parliamentar y candid ate performs a gesture suggesting she is offering her body in gratitude. After the elections, it may turn out that the Polish Popular Party (PSL), as has been the case in recent times, will tip the scales. The party has little support in the polls, however despite this, it has been able to get into parliament and co-form governments, as is the current situation. Its leader is Waldemar Pawlak, who holds

I think Mr Baumann proves what we are doing is correct. One of the very important actions in our agenda for culture is translating the literature from one language to an-

the portfolio of Deputy Prime Minister, and is referred to by some as unsinkable or energysaving. Members of the party are accused of pushing themselves into high positions, as was recently in the Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone, where despite the healthy condition of the company and protests of local authorities, the presiding chairman was replaced top-down by a woman with no previous association with business, who is now forcing changes to the composition of the company’s board. The party generally represents farmers in parliament. During the campaign it has raised the slogan of equalling subsidiaries paid to Polish farmers with those paid to their French and German colleagues. It also promotes itself as a party refusing to participate in disputes tearing away at Polish politics, and as the salt of the earth of Poland. In their spot they used a song, representing

The Wrocław International October 2011

the so-called discopolo genre, which is not heard in the salons as it is based on a simple rhythm and unsophisticated texts, extolling the primary importance of the human being. There are two new initiatives taking part in the elections this year: Ruch Poparcia Palikota and Obywatele do Senatu. The Ruch Poparcia Palikota election campaign is based on an aversion to the Catholic church, with its excessive influence on the lives of the citizens of the Republic of Poland. The second argument raised b y the movement’s leader, Janusz Palikot, is the lack of appropriate action on the part of the current government in the support of enterprise. Palikot derived from PO, so it is not really clear whether his movement was born to take votes from SLD, which also employs anticlerical rhetoric. And the current Prime Minister does not exclude the possibility of a coalition with the new movement.

This interview took place at the Four Domes Pavilion, due to be restored with the help of EU money.

Obywatele do Sentatu: For the first time ever there will be direct voting in the elections to the Senate, not for the party, but for the candidate (so-called singe mandate constituencies). The Senate is the Upper House of the Polish parliament voting on acts prepared by the Lower House (Sejm) to decide if they will come into force. The new initiative is based on the claim that there is now real verification and consideration of the acts because the Upper House is owned by the same parties as the Lower. Obywatele do Senatu, formed by the Union of Presidents, a body gathering the Presidents of 15 cities and towns in Poland (among others, Gdynia, Wrocław) wants to turn it into a local government body containing local authority representatives. Obywatele dla Senatu believes in individual people rather than their parties, and intends to return to the electorate real influence on daily life. They present themselves as an example of a bottom-up

initiative providing an alternative to the ruling party. At regional level, the elections will probably not change much. The balance of power in the Marshal’s Office and City Hall will most likely remain the same. If PO should lose, however unlikely that seems, only the voivode, or provincial governor, would change as a representative of the government at the regional level. It would seem that in the international context, a PO victory would be preferable, as they would continue their current international policy, which would allow to conclude Poland’s presidency of the European Unio n with out upheaval. However the decision on who should lead the country belongs to the electorate and it is they who elect the representatives who will form the new government. After all, protectio n of democracy in a civic society is the overriding aim.

Culture 9

Jolanta Kłonowska

Wrocław, seen as a city of opportunities and vibrant artistic life, attracts many people. One of them is Marianna Stuhr, a young graphic designer. Marianna, born and brought up in a family with a stage tradition, chose fine arts as her field of work. She studied graphic art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, then moved to Warsaw to work on her PhD thesis and do a teaching assistantship at the New Media Art‟s Faculty in the Polish-Japanese Institute of Information Technology. Recently, following her husband but at the same time attracted by the city's fame, she settled down in Wrocław. As a newcomer, she had to start from scratch. "It is quite difficult without a supervisor, without exchanging ideas with other artists, without knowing people," she admits, but she is not giving up. She wants to create something new for herself and bind her artistic career to Wrocław. As an artist, she follows two different streams of creation, one corporal and the other pictographical. The former occurs in her early project called “Alina”, the first significant collection of her work. The idea of drawing expressive nude female figures came from her fascination with the human body, emerging directly from her personal experience. A few years ago, she had serious health problems and underwent a difficult operation. Everything went well and she was cured; however, she deeply

tion with body deformation and her search for the beauty contained therein. The issue was developed in „Woman, a beast‟, another series of works, a natural and consequent continuation of experimentation with the female body.

Artist Marianna Stuhr experienced her sickness in an artistic way, and this is reflected in her art. The distorted, raucously-shaped women's figures or fragmented parts of the female body appear as a theme throughout her work. This also stems from Marianna‟s artistic fa sc i na tio n wi th Alina Szapocznikow, a Polish artist who as an adolescent, survived a concentration camp and was diagnosed with tuberculosis as an adult. When Marianna saw an Alina Szapocznikow artistic production for the first time, it was like a blinding flash of realisation. She felt a connection to Alina's story and admired her work so much that it resulted in her thesis called “Alina”, which was a kind of tribute to the artist. At the same time, it expressed Marianna‟s fascina-

The second stream of her output springs from her fascination with artefacts such as ancient architecture and antique art. She sees these elements as marked by the passage of time and partly destroyed. In her opinion, this gives them a new quality which she would like to process contemporarily. Marianna tries to translate these artefacts into the present by absorbing and interpreting them in her own language. This fascination with antique treasures resulted in a large collection of obelisk works. "There can‟t be more classical form as obelisk," she explained. "However, it finally occurred that the obelisk was only an excuse to begin the whole creation process," added the artist. In fact, her experience with the obelisk started before leaving for her artistic workshop in Germany when she was pressed to prepare some works in a very limited time. She came up with the idea to glance in her old sketch book of the holidays she had spent in Rome some time ago and that was it! "I commenced drawing the obelisk one beside another and that was like a revelation! Unexpected and amazing for me manner of expression! Suddenly, as

Obelisk - from obelisk manifesto series, serigraphy. This series was a result of the artist’s fascination with antique treasures. dyslexic, I discovered this incredible freedom of drawing and sketching I never had before as a good girl," she said. She started to put on blots, slashes, blobs and scrawls, and that was very inspiring to her. During her stay in the US, where she went on an artistic grant, she made thousands of obelisk variations using the silkscreen printing method and eventually developed them into abstract forms. Working with the thousands of glittering layers, she saw places where the elements osculated and overlapped each other. This inspired her to concentrate on the small pieces that showed enormous possibility. This led to the synthesis of the obelisks experience, which eventually resulted in her PhD project as a series of emphatic works. She found them quite musical, even jazzy. Wrocław is a new city for Marianna, a new place brimming with new ideas. One of these was a project created together with the French contemporary choreographer/dancer,

Romain Ravenel, for the Interdisciplinary Fringe Festival organized in September by Impart Arts Center. The project (workshop) was performed and registered at Impart in May 2011. For one week, the French dancer performed every day while Marianna drew him, trying to catch the outline he created in space. The project resulted in a few hundred sketches, creating a kind of pictographical alphabet. For Marianna, the most important result of this experience is twelve interesting sketches presenting the final effect of the artists' contribution. She is hoping to find funds to print them on large posters in order to show the result of the artistic collaboration to the audience. Ultimately, this event joined together her two streams of creative output as the visual corporal experience took the form of pictographical illustration. To find out more about her work visit

It's animal - woman series, etching

The Wrocław International October 2011



Grace Sexton

Liquidmime was pretty satisfied to get past the first round into the semi-finals. Finishing one of forty acts in the semi-final, the duo surpassed thousands of other hopeful competitors.

Jim Williams is becoming adept at being interviewed in Polish. He has become a well known figure in Poland since his appearance on the Polish TV Talent Show ‘Mam Talent’ as well as his other television appearances as part of the performance duo Liquidmime. He was born in Ohio, USA and also spent several years in Arizona, and Chicago, before moving here four years ago.

The conversion from stage to TV was a challenge for Jim as the TV producers had their own ideas and suggestions for the act and how it should be presented. There was a lot of negotiating between both parties to get what they both wanted. On stage, Liquidmime is viewed from one static perspective whereas the camera moves. „They suggested shots of rockets and cameras shaking and it got in the way of me being able to show my craft. We really had to be diplomatic,‟ explained Jim.

Jim has achieved a lot here in a short time. Liquidmime won first place in the 26th edition of PAKA, Poland‟s most prestigious cabaret festival, with the show “Virtual Humanity”. Liquidmime returned to the cabaret scene this year with a new program “Liquidmime nie żyje” (Liquidmime is Dead), winning grand prize and audience awards at both PAKA and LIDZBARSKIE WIECZORY HUMORU I SATYRY. Jim‟s professional background is theatre, having graduated in this field in the US, specialising in performing arts. He describes himself as basically a physical performer. Mime is the foundation of his act and that is where the name of his group comes from, Liquidmime. “Liquid” comes from the different means of performing from puppetry, music and dance, clowning to improvisation. Pantomime was the catalyst for his act. As a shy teenager, Jim found this medium that allowed him to express himself in a way that he could not normally. It opened up his personality and he gained control of his body and through this he found his professional calling. Anka Williams, Jim‟s wife, is the other half of Liquidmime. She started performing through Ballet and later became interested in mime. Her decision to perform took her away from her architecture studies to a very different career path. They are both trained actors but their calling is not traditional stage acting. They like to make something unique and their unusual and original act makes them hard to define.

‘When people see us they are usually quite surprised and astonished. We use some words, but very minimally for emphasis, often one word but heavily loaded.’ Often there is some political satire in Jim‟s work. He takes his inspiration from his many interests including world affairs.

Jim gets his inspiration from many sources, mainly those who act with their bodies, such as Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura.

‘When I was 12 I watched Ace Ventura for the first time and thought, wow, that guy’s a human cartoon. I want to do that too!’

‘I am hyper-interested in the global situation, in systems, political systems, monetary systems, religions. It's all manmade, a reality we create for ourselves and people forget it's just an illusion. Sometimes I get frustrated by not being able to change things more directly but in my act at least I can say something. For example, the act with the cowboy hat. One of the reasons I left the US is because the country managed to completely alter the meaning of freedom through overuse.’ Liquidmime often travels the country for various performances. Jim is always interested in what is going on around him and he remarks, „The elections are coming up in Poland now and since we are travelling the country to perform, we see all the posters for the various political parties. It sometimes gets hard to tell what billboards are for politicians and which ones are for products. It's all the same PR techniques. At least in Poland they have more than two parties so there is a better illusion of choice. In the end though, the whole point of the

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political show is to keep people apart instead of together and cooperating and getting consensus.‟ When discussing his new fame in Poland, Jim describes his status as a micro-celebrity. „I am definitely on the map and as a group in tandem with Anka the name „Liquidmime‟ is out there. I don‟t have any misconceptions about the size of my celebrity though. It can be pretty funny sometimes. I have been stopped for autographs on the train and at restaurants but sometimes people get confused with what reality show I was on because there're so many out there.‟ For Jim the whole reality TV show experience was pretty surreal. Jim took part in the auditions for the TV show „Mam Talent‟ (I have talent). He met an array of people and personalities and Jim explained:

‘The stress level was hilarious. I remember going into the bathroom getting hit with a stench I can only describe as puke and broken dreams.’

He is also a fan of cartoons and artists such Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. He admires Blue Man Group. „I love what they do, combining music, visuals and physical performance. They are also trying to convey a message to the audience.‟ The Australian duo, the Umbilical Brothers, also made a huge impression on Jim when he saw them in 2000. In the future, Jim would like to achieve the same level of success as the Umbilical Brothers in terms of taking a creation internationally to see more of the world with his kids and reach a wide range of audiences. Jim and Anka Williams live in Trzebnica to the north of Wro-

cław. When not performing they like to work in a local cultural centre with young people. „We want to continue as entertainers but also be philanthropic. We are starting a foundation that connects artists with people that need humour such as children in hospitals. I used to do this in Chicago, bringing some clown energy to kids. It‟s humour therapy and it works. I could see the real results of what I was doing and the experience was really rewarding,‟ said Jim. When speaking about Wrocław, Jim said that having travelled around Poland he can see that there is more and more to do in Wrocław. ‘There’s always something happening. Compared to other parts of the country Wrocław is more and more diverse. It‟s more relaxed and open-minded, especially the younger generation,‟ added Jim. He admits that he still loves Wrocław Rynek because ’it’s so European and I‟m just so not!‟ We asked him for tips for foreigners moving here. He said to learn the language. „It‟s really hard and will take time but if people see you making the effort they will make allowances. If they don‟t think you are trying they won‟t have as much patience. Learn about the culture and participate but don‟t forget where you‟re from because that adds to the whole experience. Maintain enough of your culture without being egotistical or protectionist about it.‟ Besides family and friends, real Ginger Ale is the main thing Jim misses from home. He and Anka continue to perform in Wrocław and throughout the country. Anyone who would like to see their show can find them at as well as YouTube.

Culture 11

The Hommage á Kieślowski festival was held between 23rd and 25th September in Sokołowsko. The event was dedicated to the director at the 15th anniversary of his death, and what would have been his 70th birthday. Director of Souls Krzysztof Kieślowski‟s artistic beginnings were in documentary films, in which he filmed microworlds, capturing in apparently innocent situations, the drama of everyday life, the perplexities and troubles of his characters. These films won a succession of awards as well as critical and p ub l ic ac cl a i m. T ho u g h K i e ś l o ws k i ‟ s wo r k w a s accompanied by persisting dilemmas: how far can the filmmaker intrude into the private lives of the people depicted? Where is the border of intimacy, which when exceeded, will result in a return to traumatic experiences for the interlocutor? Is it acceptable to cross this line? After making over twenty documentary films, Kieślowski abandoned this form of artistic statement and began work on fiction films. In Poland he created, among others, Amator, Przypadek and the ten-

part Dekalog. Overseas productions Podwójne Życie Weroniki (The Double Life of Véronique) and the Trzy Kolory (Three Colours) trilogy brought him worldwide renown. Due to the issues of an ethical nature d ealt within the films, Kieślowski‟s films come under what is known as film of moral anxiety. Silesian Davos Why was it Sokołowsko that hosted this celebration of Krzysztof Kieślowski‟s creative work? Well, the future director lived here for almost four years. He arrived with his parents in the early „50s, for his father to receive treatment for tuberculosis at the local healthcare centre. Sokołowsko is a village several dozen kilometres from Wrocław. Since 1855 it has been a specialist treatment centre for tuberculosis. It was the Sokołowsko formula that was used to create the tuberculosis treatment centre at Davos. It was in Sokołowsko that Kieślowski‟s interest in film was born. Here he first encountered his X muse. Many years later he recalled how through a hole in the roof he would watch films being

projected in the still-existing „Zdrowie” cinema. After completing his studies at Łódź Film School, he returned to Sokołowsko to film one of his first documentary films, „Prześwietlenie”. In honour of Kieślowski T h e fe s t i v a l o r g a n i z e r s presented to the public a significant part of the director‟s achievements. Along with the

most famous productions, audiences could also watch, for example, „Bliznę”, „Spokój”, „Bez końca”, „Gadające głowy” and „Siedem kobiet w różnym wieku”. The second day of the festival saw the music of composer Zbigniew Preisner, who collaborated on many occasions with Krzysztof Kieślowski, performed by the Marcin Wasilewski Trio. The celebrations were accompanied by discussion panels, during

which guest artists and film critics debated on the director‟s filmography. There was another panel dedicated to artists inspired by the work of Kie ślo ws k i. T here were projections of „Niebo” by Tom Tykwer, whose screenplay was by a Polish director, „I‟m so, so…” by Krzysztof Wierzbicki and „Kieślowski spotyka Wendersa” by Natalia Koryncka -Gruz.

A Scientific Martyr: The Life of Marie Skłodowska Curie

Marie Curie, we all have an image of a restless little lady in her laboratories, experimenting and making ma n y t e s t s u n t i l s h e revolutionised the world of physics and chemistry through her discovery of the ‘Theory of Radioactivity’ and of new elements. She was awarded two Nobel prizes, a very strong recognition from her fellow colleagues who esteemed her lifelong work while she was still alive. However, a closer look into her biography shows us what continuous battles Marie Curie had to fight throughout her whole life. Marie Curie came from a line of middle class, socially implicated and bright teachers. Her parents were no exception: the mother headed a girl‟s boarding school, her father was a mathematician. Not only were they cultivated, they were both militants for the recognition of the Polish State – an implication that ended up costing them their respective

the Sorbonne. This is where Marie met Pierre Curie who at that time worked at the Ecole Superieure. They both shared an interest in the research of electric conductivity and the magnetic properties of various steels. Their collaboration blossomed quickly into a romance and they married in 1895.

family fortunes. Marie was patriotic from a very young age, as a student she joined a revolutionary organisation and had to leave the Russian controlled side of Poland where she lived in Warsaw, to settle in Kraków which at the time was under the less strict Austro Hungarian Regime. Her interest in Chemistry was sparked from an early age. At 24, she followed her sister to Paris to continue her studies at

These were the happy days of her existence. Settled in France and happily married, Marie Curie conducted all manner of research in her home made laboratory. She dedicated most of her time to understanding the structure of atoms and the properties of different elements. When she learned that Henry Becquerel had discovered radioactivity in uranium, she started with her husband to conduct research in order to prove (through a self-made technique) that radiation comes from the atom itself and is not caused by interaction of several molecules as was believed initially. They shared with

Becquerel the Nobel Prize for this combined discovery in 1903. 10 years later, Marie received a second Nobel Prize for detecting two new elements far more radioactive than uranium: Polonium – she named after her birth country and Radium. She is to this day the only woman to have won two Nobel prizes in different fields and got her doctorate of Science degree at the Sorbonne in that same year. However, in the later stages of her life, she was confronted with many setbacks. In 1906, Pierre died in an accident. Although she was endorsed by prominent scientists such as Einstein, critics started questioning aloud what they would phrase as her “contribution to her husband‟s work”. Because the French Academy of Sciences refused to abandon its prejudice against women, she failed to be elected a member. Moreover, the public was strongly opposed to her later relationship with a married man (the physicist Languevin), the

fact that she was also foreign brought a twist to the polemic and helped make it front page news. Accused of immorality and living from the „notoriety of her lovers‟, angry mobs gathered at her house, putting pressure on politicians for her to leave France. She changed address, assisted by artists, scientists and friends who convinced her not to go back to Poland. Marie Curie did not seek the spotlight (she refused for instance to become a spokesperson for feminists) but imperturbably, she continued her research, remaining in the public eye. During WWI, she got her driving license so that she could bring to the front mobile posts with X-ray machines, and succeeded in installing them in many hospitals, helping over 1 million injured men. She died in 1934 from leukaemia as a result of her lifelong contact with radioactive substances and was outlived by two daughters.

The Wrocław International October 2011

When Lord Rama was returning to his kingdom Ayodhaya after 14 years of exile in the forest, little did he know that he would end up creating India’s most celebrated, most illuminated, most delicious, most sweet, most noisy, and most risky festival. It is said that Ram returned on a moonless night (Amaavas in Hindi), so the town’s residents placed diyas (special Indian earthenware lamps) around their houses to illuminate the city and set off firecrackers to celebrate their king’s return. This kicked off a beautiful tradition. The word Diwali (short for Deepawali) refers to diyas and means a row of lamps and therefore is also called the Festival of Lights in India.

years of exile spent roaming the forests with his wife, Sita, and brother, Lakshmana, and his defeat of the demon-king of Lanka, Ravana. It also celebrates Goddess Lakshmi, the beginning of the Hindu new year and the killing of the demon Narkhasur by Lord Krishna. In Sikhism, Diwali celebrates release of the sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Hargobind, from prison and connotes celebration of freedom. In Jainism, this auspicious day marks the attainment of Moksha by Mahavira.

“Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil and of light over darkness.”

Diwali is the most important festival for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and has many aspects to it. In Hinduism, Diwali celebrates the return of Lord Rama after 14

side their houses to not only watch the fireworks, but also to participate in igniting them. Accidents and injuries are quite possible, and that is what makes this festival risky; everyone is advised to be cautious. The fourth day, Bestavarsh, is dedicated to the specific worship of Govardhan and celebrates the beginning of the new year. The fifth day, bhai dhooj, is when brothers are supposed to visit their sisters to give them gifts in exchange for their best wishes for their well-being.

Diwali is associated with the Goddess Lakshmi - the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Legend has it that she favors the cleanest house on the occasion of Diwali; as a result, there is a great Indian Diwali tradition of cleaning the whole house from top to bottom. Also oil lamps (diyas) are kept burning throughout Diwali night as it is believed to guide the path of Goddess Lakshmi who is said to arrive secretly at night. There is a belief that the Goddess Parvati played dice with her husband, Lord Shiva, on Diwali night, so it remains a tradition - especially

in Northern India - to play cards with stakes after Lakshmi Pooja (worshipping the Goddess Lakshmi) in order to see a prosperous year ahead. The festival is spread over five days in North India (four days in South India). Some traditions are common to all the five days: decorating homes with lights and flowers, lighting diyas and placing them all around the house, making colorful designs called rangoli at the entrance of the house and conducting prayers. The first day, dhanteras, marks the beginning of a new financial year for businesses. There is also a tradition of buying anything new made of metal on this day. The second day, choti diwali or narak chaturdasi, celebrates the killing of the demon Naraksura by Lord Krishna and

hence the end of evil and the beginning of joy. This is the first and major day of festivities in South India, but the second in North India and nothing major happens on this day. This is the calm before the storm, because the third day is the main Diwali day - badi diwali. Needless to say, all hell breaks loose. The most significant event is the Lakshmi Pooja, worshipping the Goddess Lakshmi, for which an auspicious time of day is calculated astrologically, and each family member is expected to participate in this holy event. Of course, everyone is waiting for what comes after - the fireworks and the feast! Unlike the 4th of July or New Year’s Eve, on this day the fireworks are controlled by the people, 1.2 billion people to be specific. Everyone buys fireworks of a million different varieties, and people gather out-

There is no better time to visit India than during Diwali, celebrated this year on October 26th. It can fall anytime between midOctober and mid-November as it depends on the lunar and not the solar calendar. It is not hot, it is not yet very cold; the monsoon season is over, and the mood is festive. Every household is spending money, decorating their house, making food fit for royalty, meeting family and friends, greeting everyone with Happy Diwali!, and exchanging sweets and snacks with relatives, neighbors, friends, service providers and every soul they know. While Diwali involves significant expenses and some pollution and health risks, the spirit is also very real. It is a feast in itself to see genuine happiness and a true sense of togetherness. People sincerely enjoy these five days and try to make them the best days of the year. One can even say that Diwali achieves what a festival is supposed to: it creates hope in people.

Find Out How Local Indians Celebrate Diwali in Wrocław PRIYA AND RISHABH SHARMA



“Like for every other Indian living away from their family, Diwali is not merely a day when you light diyas, set off firecrackers and eat uncountable number of sweets. It’s the day you travel hundreds or thousands of miles to meet your family and friends and share precious moments to be cherished long after. Celebrating Diwali in Wrocław has been a fun and new experience for us. We light Tesco-bought candles, prepare Mąka Pszenna (Type 550) and Semolina sweets and offer our prayers to the Gods who have already taken a liking to an Ikea shelf. We gather together at some friends' houses to celebrate Diwali together. India or Poland, as long as you have friends and family to share the joy with, the celebration is complete!”

“For us, Diwali means a festival of lamps, worshipping the Goddess Lakshmi for blessings of happiness, peace and prosperity.

“Just like every Hindu, Diwali is the most important festival for us despite having lived in Poland for over 20 years. Handling Diwali preparations ourselves is very important for us as our kids were born in Poland and this is an opportunity for them to get familiar with our culture, customs and traditions, and for all of us to meet fellow Indians and friends living in Wrocław. After the common prayer, we set off firecrackers and have dinner – a special Diwali feast where each family prepares something. A few years ago, we celebrated Diwali on a major scale and gathered a group of 300 people and enjoyed the feast, fireworks and the artistic, cultural and spiritual program together.”

The Wrocław International October 2011

We start the festivities two days before Diwali, on Dhanteras, by buying a new pot. The next day we decorate our home and temple in our home with rangoli and lamps. We also prepare Indian sweets and vegetarian food. On Diwali day, in the evening, we wear nice Indian clothes and light lamps outside and inside our home. We do Laxmi Poojan in the Ganesh temple in our home and then distribute sweets and Indian food. Our children enjoy fireworks.”

Travel 13

This is not the name of a new application for your iPhone, nor a new arrival at the Wrocław zoo. So if you are wondering what is behind WuWa, welcome to “Wohnung und Werkraum” concept. After holidays, with the memories of our travels around the world still intensively alive and having not yet finished sharing our experiences with all of our family members and friends, we must get back to our day-to-day routines. However, this is also a good time for us to look around to see what we can discover right here in Wrocław. Wohnung and Werkraum, or WuWa, is an example of what we can find. WuWa is the acronym for Wohnung und Werkraum (Home and Workplace), the name for the architectural exhibition made in

Wrocław by The Deutsche Werkbund in 1929. This interesting group was founded in 1907 and they were not only forward-thinking architects but also designers, scientists, and artists. They were creators of a vanguard and inspirational new building concept as well as a modern style movement. Wrocław, as one of the most important German cities from the beginning of the 20th Century, was one of the cities chosen to introduce the world to the c o n c e p t o f t h e " N eu e s Bauen" (New Architecture) and the novel discipline of industrial design. The other cities that were chosen were Brno, Stuttgart, Prague, Basel, Zurich, Vienna and Karlsruhe, which demonstrates the importance of this design concept not only in Germany but throughout Europe.

The exhibition concept was created to present different solutions (like small and mediumsized apartments, detached and row houses) for the housing problem in Wrocław, largely caused by WWI. It opened on 15th June 1929 and continued through the last days of September (it was even extended several days due to its success). All costs were covered by the municipality, which made the decision that only local architects, artist, etc., would participate in the project. This was not a problem given that by this time the superb Local Academy of Fine Arts was based in Wrocław, which brought to town very talented students who became top European architects. Eleven architects were selected including Emil Lange, Paul Häusler, Moritz Hadda, Ludwig Moshamer, Paul Heim, Albert Kempter, Gustav Wolf, Adolf Rading, Theodor Effenberger, Hans Scharon and Heinrich Lauterbach (first project’s pioneer). While these names may not be familiar to you, they were very important visionaries who left their footprint and ideas about the art of building and design in what today we consider to be

architectural landmarks. Their vision also contributed to a simple concept never considered prior to the 20’s, the concept of living in the modern house. Cultural tourism is possible without leaving the city. Places like these are right here in Wrocław and are ready and waiting

to be re-discovered. Sonia Pacheco is Spanish and is currently extending her studies in Tourism at UNED University (Spain).





Block of flats

Building 1


Ul. Tramwajowa, 2.


Ul. Tramwajowa, 2.


Ul. Tramwajowa, 2b


Ul. Tramwajowa, 4


Ul. Tramwajowa, 6, 8 and 10

Building 13, 14 and 15


Ul. Tramwajowa, 12, 14 and 16

Ap. 16 and 17


Ul. Tramwajowa, 18 - 20

Ap. 18, 19 and 20


Ul. Tramwajowa, 22, 24 and 26

Ap. 21 and 22


Ul. Tramwajowa, 28 and 30

Semi-detached Building 26 and 27 houses with garage Detached house with Building 28 a garage Semi-detached house Building 29 and 30


Ul. Dembowskiego, 11/13


Ul. Dembowskiego, 9


Ul. Zielonego Dębu

Hostel for single people and newlywed couples Detached house

Building 31


Ul. Kopernika, 9

Building 35


Ul. Zielonego Dębu, 17

Detached house

Building 36


Ul. Zielonego Dębu, 19

Detached house

Building 37


Ul. Zielonego Dębu, 21

Eight-unit tenement Building 3, 4, 5 and 6 house High-rise tenement Building 7 block of flats Tenement rowBuilding 9 housing Building 10, 11, 12

As a curiosity all exist now a days except: Building 2 “Kindergarten for 60 children” (Heim/Kempter) destroyed by fire in 2006; Building 32 and 33 “Semidetached house” demolished in the 60’s, and Building 34 “Detached House” (Lauterbach) never built.

When you are moving to a new country, trying to deal with the minefield of redtape that it involves, it is important to have helpful, friendly and knowledgeable people on your team. At Move to Wrocław we have years of experience of moving people around the world and have all the connections you need in Wrocław to make your first step a great experience.

The Wrocław International October 2011


In questo numero abbiamo intervistato Marcello Murgia, 27 anni, impiegato presso ARAW (Agencja Rozwoju Aglomeracji Wrocławskiej), il Centro Estero di Wrocław. Per la prima volta incontriamo una persona di madre polacca che ha deciso di trasferirsi da Torino a Wrocław per affrontare un'avventura di lavoro innovativa, dove per innovazione intendiamo la creazione di strumenti (di lavoro e di conoscenza) a servizio della crescita (economica e culturale) e il modo in cui essi sono organizzati in un mercato aggressivo e competitivo come quello delle Investors Relations. 1) Marcello, che cosa ti ha spinto a lasciare Torino e che cosa hai trovato a Wrocław? Mi sono trasferito a Wrocław nel dicembre 2008. Due mesi prima ho conosciuto il mio attuale capo, presente a Torino per partecipare alle conferenze organizzate nel contesto di Torino Capitale Mondiale del Design. Occorre aggiungere, che ho dedicato l'estate 2008 a raccogliere materiale sulle strategie di attrattivita' di W r o cł a w i n t e r mi n i d i investimenti diretti, non mi

The Wrocław International

sorprese quindi la telefonata di qualcuno del Comune che mi chiese di accompagnare il capo di ARAW agli eventi di Torino World Design Capital. A quel tempo avevo gia' i biglietti di a/r per Wrocław per trascorrervi il Natale. Ebbi il mio colloquio di lavoro a Wrocław e non sfruttai piu' il biglietto di ritorno. Cercate di capirmi: sono capitato a Wrocław in un periodo in cui la citta' lottava e competeva con altre citta' e capitali per l'Expo, EURO2012, la sede dell'EIT, mi ha quindi accolto un ambiente pieno di stimoli e sfide allettanti! 2) Da quanto tempo vieni in Polonia, quando e' stata la prima volta? Piu' che Wrocław, ho avuto modo di conoscere da bambino un piccolo paese a sud di Wrocław dove ho sempre trascorso le mie vacanze estive, invidiatemi ovviamente dai miei coetanei che finivano regolarmente la scuola dopo di me e la ricominciavano prima. Ero solito associare la Polonia ad una sorta di paese bucolico fatto di prati, giochi innocui e grandi amicizie. 3) Qual e' il tuo approccio con la lingua? sei chiaramente bilingue, quanto questo ti ha

October 2011

aiutato nel lavoro e nella vita quotidiana in polonia? Il polacco che conoscevo prima di immergermi nella vita economica e culturale di Wrocław era un polacco che serviva essenzialmente adorganizzare le partite di calcio o le serate in compagnia. Una voltaintrodotto nel mondo delle strategie di supporto agli investimenti esteri e delle missioni economiche mi ha investito un'autentica rivoluzione lessicale. Benche' non siano mancati momenti di ced i me n to , le b asi c he possedevo sono s fondamentali per affrontarla. 4) Come pensi che siano trattati i polacchi in italia? In particolar modo l'esperienza diretta di tua madre. Mia madre non e' mai stata oggetto di attacchi dettati da contorte ideologie o insofferenze verso rappresentanti di altre nazionalita'. Dall'altro lato lei e altri polacchi che conosco, raramente vengono presi sul serio. Cosi' come gli italiani non possono fare a meno di persuadere i loro interlocutori dell'unicita' e fascino dell'Italia, non sorprende che anche i polacchi ci tengano a

promuovere la ricchezza storica, culturale e naturale della Polonia. Eppure in quel momento si disegna sui volti degli italiani un sorriso gentile, tollerante, benevolente, ma quasi mai sincero. 5) Dove ti vedi nel tuo futuro fra 10 - 20 anni? Mi vedo in Polonia, con figli riconoscenti di avere un padre che insegnera' loro l'italiano e un lavoro dove e’ lo spiritio di iniziativa che conta. E fa guadagnare. 6) Quale credi che sara' lo sviluppo di Wrocław e della Polonia nei prossimi anni? Ce la possono fare?

Wrocław e' "condannata" a crescere. Lo slogan di Torino e' "Torino, always on the move". Wrocław e' oggi un enorme cantiere. Benche' la mobilita' degli abitanti sia un po' complicata da lavori stradali, impalcature e altre modernizzazioni infrastrutturali, e' sicuramente Wrocław la citta' piu' on the move in questa parte d'Europa. Tra un investimento e l’altro Marcello cerca anche di immortalare la rivoluzione economica e culturale di Wrocław nel suo blog, "Un Italiano a Wrocław". Leggere per credere.

International Voices 15

2012 : Une année d’élections en France Alice Renard

En 2012 les élections nationales auront lieu en France. Les citoyens éliront d’abord le (la) Président(e) de la République puis les députés qui les représenteront à l’Assemblée Nationale.

Le calendrier à respecter En France, l’inscription sur une liste électorale ne se fait pas automatiquement.

Quatre dimanches de printemps Les dates sont déjà fixées. Pour l’élection présidentielle : premier tour le 22 avril 2012, deuxième tour le 6 mai 2012. Pour les élections législatives : premier tour le 3 juin 2012, deuxième tour le 17 juin 2012.

Il appartient donc à chacun de s’en préoccuper dans les délais légaux. Les citoyens voyageurs risquent en effet de constater la veille du scrutin qu’ils auraient bien voté mais qu’ils sont trop loin de leur bureau de vote ! Or le changement n’est pas beaucoup plus difficile de la France à la Pologne qu’à l’intérieur de la France. Seul impératif, comme en France : le faire avant le 31 décembre 2011.

Voter à Wroclaw est possible Pour la première fois en 2012, un bureau de vote sera ouvert à Wroclaw (à l’agence consulaire de France) venant compléter celui de Cracovie (au Consulat Général de France) et ceux de Varsovie (à l’Ambassade).

Les documents à fournir Ils sont à envoyer par courriel ou par la poste à l’Ambassade de France à Varsovie. Il s’agit d’une photo d’identité, d’une photocopie du passeport ou de la carte nationale d’identité, d’un justificatif de domicile, du formulaire disponible en ligne sur

le site Internet de l’Ambassade et soigneusement rempli (adresse, numéro de portable, adresse électronique). Où se renseigner ? L’Ambassade de France à Varsovie est ouverte du lundi au vendredi de 8h45 à 13h15. L’agence consulaire de la France à Wroclaw, 58 Rynek au 3ème étage, est ouverte le mardi de 10h à 12h le vendredi de 14h à 16h. Le site Internet de l’Ambassade peut aussi être consulté ainsi que d’autres sites :, Notre député(e) Pour la première fois, les Français de l’étranger seront représentés par leurs propres députés. La Pologne fait partie de la 7ème circonscription qui regroupe les pays de l’Europe centrale et balkanique.

Scrutins nationaux et scrutins locaux Au sein de l’Union Européenne, les Français, comme les autres citoyens européens, peuvent choisir de voter là où ils résident pour les scrutins locaux (communes, départements, régions) tout en conservant leur

droit de vote pour les scrutins nationaux (présidentiel et législatif). Source :

The Wrocław International October 2011

16 Education

Spelling of names and surnames in Polish is one of the most challenging problems in our language. This is the reason I have decided to make a little overview illustrating this problematic issue. My students are always surprised and shocked when they realize that sometimes their name has five forms. For example: Nominative – To jest John. (This is John.) Genitive – Nie ma Johna. (John is not here.) Dative – Dziękuję Johnowi za pomoc. (I thank you John for help.) Accusative – Lubię Johna. (I like John.) Instrumental – Idę z Johnem do pubu. (I go with John to the pub.) Locative – Mówię o Johnie. (I talk about John.) Vocative – O! John! (Oh! John! – being positively surprised when we see John on the street.) For some of the students it can be hard to accept so many forms of their names because they do not recognize themselves when somebody is saying: “Szukam Victora”. (I am looking for Victor) or “Idę z Jasonem do kina” (I go with Jason to the cinema). They may feel as though somebody is attacking their personality or editing their name to something more inti-

mate. Some of my students also ask me for support in the idea of not declining their names but unfortunately I cannot say “yes”, because we have to follow the grammar rules. Some foreigners feel happy because five forms of their name is like five different points of view for themselves, for the intricate human nature. I do not know another grammar problem which causes so many philosophic, deep and smart discussions after the part of lesson informing how to inflect names and surnames in Polish! The grammar rules are strict. Feminine names that end in 'a' are declined like nouns, for example, names Amelia, Herta, Olga, Victoria. For example: Nominative – To jest Amelia. (This is Amelia.) Genitive – Nie ma Amelii. (Amelia is not here.) Dative – Dziękuję Amelii za pomoc. (I thank you Amelia for help.) Accusative – Lubię Amelię. (I like Amelia.) Instrumental – Idę z Amelią do pubu. (I go with Amelia to the pub.) Locative – Mówię o Amelii. (I talk about Amelia.) Vocative – O! Amelia! (Oh! Amelia!) We do not inflect those feminine names without -a at the end, like Mariko, Marie, Judith, Lourdes, Yolande.

Masculine names with endings – i, -y, like Luigi and Harry are declined like adjectives, which makes for a very surprising sound for students who listen to it for the first time. For example: Nominative – To jest Luigi. (This is Luigi.) Genitive – Nie ma Luigiego. (Luigi is not here.) Dative – Dziękuję Luigiemu za pomoc. (I thank you Luigi for help.) Accusative – Lubię Luigiego. (I like Luigi.) Instrumental – Idę z Luigim do pubu. (I go with Luigi to the pub.) Locative – Mówię o Luigim. (I talk about Luigi.) Vocative – O! Luigi! (Oh, Luigi!) Masculine names that end with -a (Barnaba, Jarema) or with -o (Guillermo, Geronimo, Valerio) or with a consonant at the end (Michał, John, Jacques, Francis) are inflected like nouns. And the good news for those who would prefer not to have their names declined is that names with the ending -u, -e in their spelling (Matthew, Andrew, Manuele) are not declined at all! We only decline masculine names with an accent on the last syllable, like André, René, Louis. But we do not the inflect name “François”. There is a similar situation with surnames. We generally decline

them whenever it is possible to find the grammar pattern. We definitely do not inflect the surnames with a different accent or form when it is not possible to assign them to the Polish declination pattern like “Dubois”, “Pompidou”, “Delacroix”. Feminine surnames with endings -ska, -cka (Malino ws ka, Mecnarowska), -owa, -ova, -ewa (wives’ names – Walczakowa, Vyrková, Jakowlewa) are declined like adjectives. Feminine surnames with ending with -a (Duda, Falenda), with endings -ówna, -anka (Walczakówna, Jagodzianka like daughters’ surnames long time ago), with endings -ina, yna (Zarębina, Żabczyna - like wives’ surnames some time ago) are declined like nouns. We do not transform feminine surnames with consonants at the end or different vocals than 'a' (Amado, Jakowlenko, Kampe, Voyznuk). Masculine surnames with endings -ski, -cki, -dzki (Polański, Rudzki, Bałucki), surnames which look like common adjectives (Biały, Czarny, Łaskawy), surnames with endings -i, -y (Paolini, Rakoczy), with endings -e (D’Agnese, Lange), spelled with -e, but written with -é, -ée, -ai, ais (Rabelais, Merimée) are declined in the same manner as adjectives. Masculine surnames with consonants at the end (Hampton, Steel, Walczak, Lis), are declined in the same way as masculine nouns, those with -a at the end (those follow the feminine

pattern – Wajda, Kališta, Mata), with endings -o (Matejko, Komarenko - slavonic surnames follow feminine pattern, not slavonic, like “Picasso” follow masculine pattern). This was merely an overview illustrating this panoramic grammar problem. Declination of foreign surnames gives us more doubts and even Poles are never sure how to inflect it. People have always had the same dilemma about whether to decline the surname with an apostrophe or without (z Joyce’em, o Joysie). Further dilemmas include when we should take the original version of a surname like Shakespeare, Washington, Rousseau, Chopin and when the Polish version is also correct (Szekspir, Waszyngton, Russo, Szopen). The most shocking case for my students is always the fact that members of the British Royal Family in the Polish language is “Królowa Elżbieta” (Queen Elizabeth) and “Książę Karol” (Prince Charles)! We have the tendency to make the Polish version of names and surnames. My Dear Students! Do not despair! Maybe dividing your names in four, five versions will be a fantastic opportunity to discover other hidden aspects of your personality! Edyta Juszczyszyn is a qualified and experienced teacher of Polish for foreigners. She gives individual and group courses of Polish for foreigners at all levels. During her years of teaching she has worked with many foreigners from many different cultures.


norms things


normal, expected

sklep spożywcze - a non-selfservice shop Living in a foreign country is always exciting because you get to see how other people live. Yet, once you have stayed in a country for a long time, it might slowly become the way you live as well, depending on how you adjust and accept the differences. Understanding the differences is important. I find that day to day norms are a good places to look. The subject thi s mo nt h is something we all have to do on a regular basis, with varying degrees of success; shopping! In Poland, the local shop comes in three varieties: sklep spożywcze, sam and super sam. The first place requires well practiced Polish expressions and patience. Once it is your turn to be served, you will need to ask for an item and wait until the The Wrocław International

shopkeeper places it on the counter. You will then be met again at eye-level and asked: ''Coś jeszcze?'' - You may think is your cue to reel off all the other items - in fact it is to simply state the second item and wait again. This can go on for a long time and tires out both parties. To avoid all this palaver, write a shopping list and hand it in. Sam and Super Sam clearly avoid this first hurdle, but all three types of shop share the s e c o n d . I ma g i n e b u y i n g groceries in the morning and handing the shopkeeper a crisp 50 złoty note, fresh from the ATM. The likely reaction is either a look of dispair or worse still a look of 'You should know better than to come in here with 50 złoty and expect me to change it up!' Cashpoints do not

October 2011

dispense coins yet and probably never will; sometimes that is the only note available. The resourceful shopkeeper will nearly always find a way to give you change, but you often feel like s/he has done you a huge favour in the process. If you are well prepared with smaller banknotes and loose change, you will avoid hurdle 2. However, there is hurdle 3. Imagine your shopping comes to 28.39 zł. The shopkeeper may ask: 'A może pan/i ma 39 grosze?' You have to be quick. You have around 2 seconds to say 'yes' and produce it otherwise you will be told that it is 'za późno' and s/he will return the exact change. Frustrating. British shops also come with their own special charm.

Luckily, there are not many nonself-service shops and you can pick and choose what you like. However, a newsagent's in London for instance is nearly always foreign-owned and it could be difficult to understand how much your Mars Bar and copy of the Sun cost unless you are good with strong accents. That said, the service is usually very good and interestingly for Poles, there is no 'taca' for placing the money on, so there is usually a hand-to-hand exchange. On the greatest scale, we have the bastion of globalisation - the place all small shops hate for its power to create a sense of social alienation and unfair competition: the supermarket. This is perhaps the only place which, apart from the language, is exactly the same!

sam - a self-service shop super sam - a bigger selfservice shop, usually with a security guard (mini-market) coś jeszcze? - Anything else? palaver - kłopoty hurdle - przeszkoda ATM - Bankomat cashpoint - Bankomat resourceful - zaradny a może pan/i ma 39 grosze? Perhaps you have 39 grosze? za późno - too late taca - money tray bastion - bastion social alienation wyobcowanie społeczne



The American School of Wrocław’s first ever Open Day took place on the 31st August. The children took part in lots of different activities such as ballet dancing, singing songs, and playing games. Each teacher arranged special

games for the children in the different classrooms. The school caters for children from 6 months to 6 years in an multi-national environment. Classes are taught through English and the school also includes a Polish curriculum with daily

Polish lessons. There are many extra-curricular activities including dance, sports, music and art. Interestingly, the school also provides an after-school club which is open from 3pm to 5pm during the week and from 9am to 3:30pm on Saturday. Chil-

dren from 3 to 10 years are eligible for after-school care. We spoke to Principal Minakshi Sharma who was very pleased with the turn out on the Open Day. Ms Sharma, an experienced teacher herself, said that the school has a very interna-

tional mix of children from Poland, Korea, Japan, Spain, France, Germany and the US. The School is situated at ul. Wyścigowa 63 in the south of the city. Tel/fax no: 71 333 69 92 /

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The Wrocław International October 2011

18 Food & Wine

Too Much Flavour Frederick Abrams

When I first arrived Rynek was nearly black after sundown, zapiekanka the closest thing to pizza. The only ethnic restaurant in town, claiming to be Chinese, served typical Polish surówka with some strips of meat and rice devoid of herbs and spices. Now I reflect back on when in 1998 a Polish businessman asked me what I thought should be done with an empty space in Rynek. I said, "Wrocław needs a sushi bar," to which he replied, "Poles will never eat raw fish." I still think about when once I asked my most talented head chef why the food he prepared did not seem to have the same delicious taste I had become accustomed to and he answered, "A few Polish customers

complained that the food had too much flavour." A number of new foreign owned restaurants have quickly come and gone since Poland's admission to the EU, which to me is a sign of the

growing pains of this city. Wrocław has made leaps and bounds from what I encountered in 1989, but it has a long way to go before it can be regarded as a "culture capital" with respect to

gastronomy. I intend to continue this dialogue with the purpose of helping the city to achieve a difficult goal, which should ultimately be to the benefit of everybody.

Photo: Frederick Abrams

I have since contemplated a list of answers I might offer. Hence, this is the first of a series of pieces I wish to share not just to discuss this matter, but in a much broader perspective concerning the remarkable growth I have personally witnessed of the city since my first visit here as the Berlin Wall was being torn down nearby. At that time owning such a business, let alone living here, seemed unthinkable. My sole purpose was artistic, having been invited for cultural exchange purposes. As I witnessed globalization slowly take hold, Internet, satellite TV, hypermarkets, etc., beginning to bring standards up to a semblance of life in western countries, the one thing that to me was most sorely missing was the diversity of cuisine from various nationalities. This was part of my daily life growing up

in L.A. where there are thousands of Mexican restaurants, entire areas defined as Little Tokyo, Chinatown and Koreatown, hundreds of Thai restaurants and a sprinkling of everything else dispersed in between. My appreciation of European food and imported cuisine from colonized countries expanded dramatically, having spent over two decades since then living in Paris, Barcelona and Wrocław.

Fredrick Abrams

Only shortly after closing my restaurant, Abrams' Tower, during the summer, did I come across a thread started last spring on the Wrocław Expats Facebook page asking the question: Why does the quality of restaurants in this city seem to be declining?

Affordable Bites - Autograf Joaquin Cubero & Germán Rodríguez Páez Full Name: Autograf Klub


Other Info: Situated at Impart Arts Centre Opening Hours: Monday to Friday from 10am until last client TWI Choice: Mushroom pancakes, cheese and spinach sandwich Prices: Toasted Sandwiches 5zł; main courses 12zł to 19zł Alcohol: Beer, martini, wine, vodka and sodas Seats: Couches where you can rest and regular tables and chairs Stars: **** The Wrocław International

This restaurant-coffee shop offers different types of toast and pierogi. New items on the menu are bigger meals with pasta and pork chops with fries. The menu is very simple with just a few things to order, but we can guarantee that every dish has its own magic and homemade taste.

Photos: Joaquin Cubero & Germán Rodríguez Páez

Full Address: ul. Mazowiecka 17

Ambiance: Very hospitable. A perfect place to meet your friends or colleagues or to have a small gathering in a relaxed atmosphere with good music and cold beer. Every alternate Friday Autograf hosts a jam session (blues and jazz), organized by Impart. For more info visit In the series, Affordable Bites, we will present to you food joints in Wrocław where you can find good and filling meals at reasonable prices.

October 2011

An interior view of the cozy Autograf Klub (left)


Renu Singh Indian pasta cooked slowly in milk and flavoured with green cardamom and rose water.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes Servings: 4

This quick and easy-to-make delicacy is one of the best Indian desserts to satisfy a sweet tooth. Its creamy texture is obtained by simmering roasted vermicelli in gradually reducing milk. Vermicelli pudding is served and relished both warm and chilled and it literally melts in the mouth with each bite. METHOD: 1. In a medium-to-large saucepan, melt ghee over medium heat. Lightly sauté the cashew nuts until they turn a light golden brown. Add raisins and sauté until they puff up. Remove from the pan and set aside. 2. Add crushed vermicelli to the pan and roast until it turns a rich golden brown (about 2 to 4 minutes), stirring continuously to avoid burning. It is important to roast vermicelli (or else use preroasted vermicelli) as it does not absorb milk while cooking. If you are using pre-roasted vermicelli, simply coat it in ghee. 3. Once the vermicelli is nicely roasted and releases its aroma, add milk and sugar to the pan

and bring to a moderate boil. 4. Reduce the heat to low, add fried cashew nuts and raisins to the mixture and simmer until vermicelli is fully cooked and the mixture has thickened, but is still slightly liquid. This takes between 10 to 15 minutes; keep stirring at regular, frequent intervals. The consistency of this pudding depends entirely on your preference - thick and creamy or slightly runny.

INGREDIENTS: 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter) or unsalted butter a handful of cashew nuts, chopped and sautéed (optional) 8 to 10 raisins, sautéed (optional) 100 grams vermicelli (wheat or semolina pasta, crushed and roasted)

5. Mix ground cardamom and rose water and simmer for a further two minutes. Remove from heat and serve either warm or chilled, garnished with sliced almonds.

1 litre whole milk (3.2%)


1 tablespoon rose water (optional)

You may choose not to fry cashew nuts and raisins, and instead add later along with milk and sugar. Frying creates crunchy nutty bites and leaves the raisins soft and puffy. NOTE: Indian vermicelli and ghee are available at or Kuchnie Świata, Magnolia Park.

sugar to taste 1 teaspoon ground green cardamom

a few sliced almonds to garnish Renu Singh is a culinary enthusiast and brings to you every month a meticulously selected, tried and tested recipe from the pool of international flavours. You can reach her at:

Shannon Soesbe Could you give up meat for two weeks? Dairy? Sugar? What about bread, pasta and rice? And here is the big question: could you give them all up at once? After watching the documentary, "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead", I decided to do just that. One night, after randomly zooming around the internet, I found myself reading about a new juice fasting program based on the experience of Joe Cross, an Australian businessman who was about 100 pounds overweight, suffering from a rare illness that required him to take large doses of steroids, and feeling like he was nearly dead as a result. In an effort to lose weight, live healthier, and reduce his dependency on medicine, Cross decided to consume only fruit and vegetable juice mixes for 60 days. The documentary is his story of juicing while traveling across the USA in order to spread his belief that this juice fast could benefit anyone. He encountered a man from Iowa who weighed over 400 pounds and suffered from the same medical condition. In the end, both men got down to their goal weight and reported

food processor with a little broth and some seasonings, turned into a thick and velvety soup that was pure heaven. Once the juice-only portion kicked in, I started having real problems. I would get occasional boosts of energy, but then spend the rest of the day feeling lightheaded and completely out of sorts. My roommates cooked dinner and the smells wafting out of the kitchen nearly drove me insane. I made a list of everything I wanted to inhale once this wretched fast was over.

that their quality of life was outstanding. It was inspirational, to say the least.

nervous after reading testimonials that claimed the first three days would be miserable.

I decided to follow the 15 day beginner's plan recommended on t h e i r w e b s i t e It varies from Cross' juice-only fast in that it starts with five days of juice plus whole fruits and vegetables, follows up with five days of only juice, and finishes as it began. I was very excited to get started, although

That first week was not nearly as awful as I thought it would be, probably because I could still eat whole fruits and vegetables. I was not hungry all the time, like I thought I would be. I focused primarily on veggies; however, putting one or two apples in a juice mix made the juice much easier to drink. I discovered that roasted veggies, puréed in my

After a few days, though, I noticed that my bum knees had stopped hurting, and I was not so hungry all the time. I had more energy and was happy. By the end of phase two, I had also lost three kilos, so I was feeling really motivated. Unfortunately, once I started phase three, I began to gain back some of the weight I had lost, which was terribly demotivating. Despite the fact that I was not consuming anything other than fruits, vegetables, and the occasional handful of nuts for added protein, I could not lose any

more weight. I felt cheated and disappointed. When the 15 days were finished, so was I, even though I had originally hoped to extend the fast by another 15 days or even more. Now, a month after finishing the fast, I have continued to eat mostly fruits and vegetables, with almost no dairy and very little meat. I eat refined carbs more than I should, but vastly less than before. I do not even keep pasta in my house, which is a massive change for me. I have weighed myself once and was happy to see that I have not gained back all of those three kilos, so perhaps there is yet hope. Juicing has definitely broken a few of my bad eating habits and shown me that I am capable of making healthy choices on a consistent basis. In the end, that alone has proved to be of enormous value. Shannon Soesbe is from the United States of America. She teaches English in Wrocław. You can reach her at:

The Wrocław International October 2011


October 2011 - Programme

Wrocław Sound is a musical showcase, the festival of individuality and artists associated with the capital of Lower Silesia, drawing inspiration from the multicultural atmosphere of the city. Wrocław Sound is dominiated by nu-jazz, alternative, electronic, fusion - sounds that make the Wrocław scene expressive and unique. Other genres include blues, pop and rock. Since the first edition of the event in 2009, concerts are held in Impart Art Center, which is also the co-organizer. The program and coordinating organization is LionStage agency. The third Wrocław Sound Festival begins this month.

Program: Thursday, 20 October, 19.00 Competition "Young Wrocław" free entrance DER slapstick FUNK'N'TRONIC GBTRIO ROBOT HOUSE THIS GREAT END Friday, 21 October, 18.00 Clay Song Bartosz Administrator Passes Extinguish Forest Things sinusoidal

Saturday, 22 October, 18.00 Alicja Janosz Cormorants Career Liquid Love Fat Burning Step Matplaneta Sunday, 23 October, 19.30 Wrocław Sound Gala Tickets: 30zł 15zł 50zł 65zł


1 day ticket Gala Wroclaw Sound 2-day ticket a 3-day ticket (online sales) or at Centrum Sztuki Impart

MIRELLA RYLEWICZ - Exhibition "Almost nicely" Gallery







A presentation of nearly 20 paintings by Mirella Rylewicz. Despite the differences of formal links, lack of randomness, is a story about the ephemeral nature of reality or a collection of her personal ideas as an author. On view daily at Impart Art Centre, ul. Mazowiecka 17 Curator: Krzysztof Dziedzic

Photography as a full visual arts field is developing very dynamically in Poland. TIFF was created for this cultural development in Wrocław. The autumn edition of TIFF will focus on: Proprietary Slide Shows, Debuts, workshops, 5 Floor, Salon Film Accompanying Exhibitions, Concerts and Festival Club.

The Complexity of matter (Portrait 2) by Mirella Rylewicz

TIFF decided to take photographs from the school basement and place them on the 5th floor of the Contemporary Museum in Wrocław. This will be an opportunity to see the work of young artists. This will be followed by a debate between festival participants and representatives of Polish academic and cultural institutions. For film fans there is an intimate cinema festival, evening concerts and a Festival Club, where you will find a less formal, but very artistic, atmosphere, with inspiring talks about photography and more ... You will find the full festival program at

The Wrocław International October 2011

Help! We have run out of clothes!!!!!! Emmaus...the association supporting people in crisis situation, mainly focusing on the homeless, the long-term unemployed and the handicapped...will gladly and with gratitude collect your used clothes, shoes, furniture or any household or kitchen items. We can arrange transportation or invite you to drop the donations at our office in the centre of Wrocław: Kaczmarskiego str 7/9 (9am to 5pm every weekday). Our charity shop in Leśnica: Rubczaka 17/17A (9am to 5pm weekdays), (8am to 1pm Saturdays) Telephone number +48 517 506 688


VW Passat 1.8T , Production Year: 2000 Mileage: 186 000 km Specification: Engine block heater, heated seats, air-con, summer and winter tyres. Price: 15 500 pln, Phone: 609 433 316, or +44 7801 287327


St Christopher’s Church/Kościół św. Krzysztofa we Wrocławiu,

The Wrocław International October 2011


LOCATION: Szewska DETAILS: Newly refurbished apartment in the heart of Wrocław. A stone’s throw from the Rynek. This second floor apartment comprises of 1 bedroom, living room, hall, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. Easily accessible, with great connectivity to the city’s important locations. Total area 45 sq m. RENT: 2000 PLN plus 350 PLN for bills

LOCATION: Nadodrze area DETAILS: Beautifully refurbished 3-room apartment on 3rd floor of a period building in the up and coming Nadodrze area of Wroclaw. Only 20 minutes walk to the city centre and on very convenient tram line. The apartment is perfectly finished and all you need is your suitcase. RENT: 2900 PLN plus bills

Total area: 71 sq m Modern kitchen equipped with dishwasher, induction cooker, oven, large fridge and bar. Bedrooms with large dressing, bedsofa, flat tv, radio & Internet.


To view below two properties, please call Alina Kopystecka on +48 601 664 052.

SEMI-DETACHED HOUSE The new semi-detached house, 158 sq. m., is situated in the district - Pracze Odrzańskie, Piekarska Street. Ground surface is 77.0 sq. m. The décor is modern and stylish and will appeal to professionals and families alike. Around the area are recreation, stadium and ring road of Wroclaw. The property comprises of: GROUND FLOOR: Open plan lounge room with a large fitted kitchen with a integrated hob, oven and hood. The windows overlook the garden. Additional space has a toilet, dressing room, garage and utility room. FIRST FLOOR: Open spaces that creates a bedroom with bath and fireplace lounge. From the bedroom is the entrance to the cabinet and wardrobe. RE/MAX Concept is the exclusive agent for sale! Price: 999.000,00PLN.

DUPLEX APARTMENT The duplex apartment is located on the second and third floor of the building established in 2008 in the most prestigious district of Wroclaw – Krzyki, Łubinowa Street. Total area of the apartment is 90.90 sq. m. This apartment is characterized by a very high standard. The property comprises of: SECOND FLOOR: Open plan lounge/dining room with a large fitted kitchen with a integrated hob, oven and hood; bedroom; family bathroom with bath; balcony and anteroom. THIRD FLOOR: Bedroom, family bathroom with bath and office. The rooms are well proportioned and the interior is finished in a contemporary style with many classic design features. The estate is fenced. There is a playground and greenery nearby the building. RE/MAX Concept is the exclusive agent for sale! Price: 610.000,00PLN.

The Wrocław International October 2011


LOCATION: Krzyki area DETAILS: Romantic duplex in one of the greenest areas of Wrocław - Krzyki Borek. Very cozy 50 sq m apartment on 2 floors, available immediately. First floor: Kitchen, living room and balcony. Second floor: Large bedroom with balcony and a romantic bathroom. Height of the 2-floor attic is 3.6 metres. Apartment is fully furnished. There is also a garage and storage belonging to the apartment located in the ground floor. RENT: 2200 PLN plus electricity bill 1 month deposit required

LOCATION: Czackiego in Zacisze DETAILS: The newly furbished detached house comprises of 7 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and 2 kitchens arranged on three floors with a large south facing secluded garden with decked area. The property is fully equipped with modern appliances. A selection of double bedrooms (18 to 22 sq m) are available for rent. Available from October. RENT: Double bedroom from 1000 PLN plus bills FOR SALE LOCATION: Smolec area (5 kilometres from Wrocław border) DETAILS: A 168 sq m cozy house with a beautiful garden in a quiet area. Ground floor: Kitchen + living room + dining room + toilet + technical room First floor: 3 bedrooms + bathroom. All furnished and ready to move in, built in 2005.

LOCATION: Plac Solny (above Blue Bar Café) DETAILS: Centrally located apartment with parking. Comprising 1 bedroom with an open plan lounge-kitchen. This second floor apartment, which is quiet and private, has been recently refurbished to a high standard. RENT: 3000 PLN plus bills

OFFICE SPACE FOR SHARING LOCATION: Rynek DETAILS: Office space to share on 1st floor with excellent view of the Wrocław market square. Immediate availability of bureau tables. Possibility to use meeting room, independent toilet, cleaning service, community. Administration and consumption (water, gas and electricity) costs all included. RENT: 1 table 750 PLN per month. 2 tables 1100 PLN per month. 3 tables 1400 PLN per month. PC, telephone and Internet due to negotiation. LOCATION: Karwiany (south part of Wrocław) DETAILS: The property is 25 minutes from the city centre. Total living area is 177 sq m and includes 5 bedrooms, kitchen with separate dining space, living room and 2 full bathrooms. There is also 180 sq m of garden, 2 parking spaces (1 in garage and 1 uncovered). Available from mid October. RENT: 4500 PLN plus utility bills

The Wrocław International

October 2011

The Wrocław International

October 2011

The Wroclaw International, October 2011  
The Wroclaw International, October 2011  

Monthly english-language newspaper in Wroclaw, Poland