vrijdag 30 november 2007

week 48

Busy week, and it is more and more difficult to keep track of all the news related to our subject. So let's see, what do we have here.

Last Sunday, some statistics hit the news. According to it, there are 100.000 Poles
working in Holland. The message was: "Look government said there will be 100.000 per year, and now we have it already, after 6 months".
Statistics has always one problem, it is easy to exploit it for your own purpose. First of all, I'm not sure if this number is from 1st of May 2007 (opening of the labour market) or from 1st of May 2004 (EU), the article is not clear on this. Second, is it really Poles or perhaps citizens of all the "new" EU memebers (everybody tends to forget that there were 9 other countries joining EU in 2004).
So instead of 100.000 it could be 50.000.
Anyway, many annoying comments under this news, but also some voices, which give a hope, that stereotypes can be changed.
But still, I have not heard any voice saying:"...look, 100.000 so it means at least a few thousands of doctors, engineers, scientist, and young educated people...".
No no no, nobody noticed... yet.

During the week more news:

Leader of PVV Geert Wilders says that the border must be closed for Poles minimun until 2009.
He points out that "huge" numbers of East-European imigrants cause problems in the cities. Criminalty blah blah. Making long story short, typical langauge of a
populist. I've been waiting for it actually. Geert Wilders and Rita verdonk (another populist here) use Polish minority regularly as a tool to get some
attention, make some noise in the media, and win some votes in the future elections. The example of Rita's action you can read here. Three weeks ago she called for another rule: "Polish people should be allowed to work here only for six months".

Another one Poles should not follow the example of
imigrants from Turkey, who came to Holland in the '60 and '70. According to this, they should integrate or be forced to be integrated (language, culture etc) asap.
so the problems in the future can be mitigated. One thing which is always overlooked here is that Poles are Europeans, we share the same religious roots, culture,
and history. I'm often puzzeled by this, because the only difference I really see is that Sinter Klaas comes here on 5th Dec and not on 6th, and is supported by
this strange creatures - Zwarte Pieten.

And finally one news rasing an alarm that "huge numbers" of Poles, people from Bulgaria nad Romenia, are comming to Holland.
It seems that the attention of the media, slowly goes in the direction of the newest memebers of EU. Same story, again.

Oh yes, one thing from yesterday, in the metro (page 3), the article about international criminality, was ilustrated by the photo of Polish licence plate...
You see that is what I'm talking about.

vrijdag 23 november 2007

The Border

Today we have another news. This time from Germany. German police organizes protest against
opening of the border with Poland. They call it no less then "open route for crminals and terrorist".

Actually they just trying to keep their jobs, that is it. But silly crowd sees what wants to see,
and belives what wants to belive.

I "enjoy" reading the same story on the both sides of the border.

It is very sad to read the comments On Dutch website nu.nl
, and even more to see that most agrressive comments are voted the highest.
The picture from these messages could be as following: German, French, or English criminals are welcome,
but these from "new EU" not.

On the other side (of still existing border), people write comments on
gazeta.pl and majority
cannot belive that these "Western societies" are so silly to belive in this kind of "propaganda".

Anyway, there is no way to discuss with people who belive that "every Pole is a drunkard and a thief".
I have only one message to these guys, what do you think these protesting Germans think about Dutch ?

woensdag 21 november 2007

Problems with education, also because of me ?

Few weeks ago, sometime in September this news was for a while on the home page of
nu.nl. You can read there that "huge number" of Polish children, which are flooding Dutch schools cause serious problems for the Dutch education system. According to this article Polish children require special treatment and additional effort from teachers. I don't get it completely, but I assume that the message was that Polish education is so bad that children need additional lessons to catch up ?

First of all. This is even more painful, when you see that the streotypes about your children are created and broadcasted in the media. But just coming back to the hard facts, it is important to notice, that the parents of these children work here and pay taxes in this country. Taxes, which are also spent on the education.

And when it comes to the special treatment,additional effort etc, hmmmm, I'm sure that the teachers from
school changed their minds, already.

Fishing for Dutch only ?

I've been too busy for a while to comment on the current events, but today I think the level of the discussion reached the bottom (at least on the scale of the most redicilous). So I have to react.

To be honest, I expected some attack from populists like Rita Verdonk, since they were quiet for a while. But I'm taken by suprise again.

Now it is about fishing. Yes, fishing. So today at nu.nl we have a news about thousands of Polish
workers who are making Dutch water empty, by fishing, and eating all the fishes. Of course
again, it mentions things like difference in culture and ethics.

It seems that Polish people living here are seen as a cause of all problems. I will not be suprised if the goverment proposes sending "east europeans" (how they call us) back home, in order to solve the traffic jam crisis.

dinsdag 13 november 2007

CapGemini transfers boring work to Poland

Before we focus on the current news, let's take a look at the past.

Not so long time ago, I have read here
an interview with Henk Vermaas, director of CapGemini in Holland. Since the article is in the magazine devoted to jobs, Mr. Vermaas explains why his company is so nice to work for. What struck me was the sentence:

"...we hebben ook werk dat in Nederland als saai werd ervaren, naar onze vestiging in Polen uitbesteed. Wat je dan overhoudt, is gewoon leuker werk."

[... work considered boring here in Holland has been transfered to our Polish branch. This way we can simply keep interesting work here.]

Wow, that is an interesting approach . So in order to compete with Google, Motorola and other local big software companies for good employees on Polish market , CapGemini transfers the boring work there. And then even openly admits it.

It is very creative approach indeed. Google, for instance, opened its R&D in Cracow because Polish students are very consistent in scoring top places in the most important programming competitions and mathematical contests, like its own Top Coder But it seems that CapGemini have not noticed, and its picture of Polish market have not been updated since 1981.

zondag 11 november 2007

BMWs and Beer

So just when I thought that I will have to look hard for a subject, yesterday on some party I had this typical conversation. The guy I've never seen before, heard that I'm Polish and started this stupid (probably funny to him) remarks. According to him, we drink beer all the time, and always drive big BMW because this gives us the feeling that we are somebody.

I was still too polite, and did not explain him that actually the image of typical Dutch in Poland is equally wrong, where Dutch is a homosexual person on drugs who has no problem killing his grandparents when they are old.

But anyway I think we are the same, but some people instead of BMW, think that are someone, just because they have certain passport.

zaterdag 10 november 2007

Kick off

I am Polish living here (in The Netherlands) a while now. Since the time I understand Dutch, I face all these stereotypes about Poland, and Polish people in general. Here I want to share with you mine point of view.