maanantai 6. syyskuuta 2010

25.8. Seeing Poland – Warsaw

Business trips sometimes allow also other experiences than purely work. So was it this time. Firstly there was the Intercity train. Now I am ready to change my opinions of Polish trains – these I like :) Air condition, numbered places, comfy seats – nice! And in addition the luxury of travelling in first class allows you to have coffee served to your seat, something you really value when trip has started at 6:07... Then Poznan, Oborniki, Poznan again – effective and interesting day in production site for a change.

After another Intercity trip we reached Warsaw. Even if the day was long, we (we being the team and me) headed to see the city having Greg as a guide with his 7 year experience from Warsaw. I had been in Warsaw before; at the end of March with windy rainy weather, with 10-12 hour working days in really stressful environment, and those circumstances gave a certain negative glow to the city in my eyes. Luckily, this time I saw things differently.

Two evenings in Warsaw were very mindbroadening from socio-cultural point of view.
After the tragic events last spring when the Polish lost their president, a political life has been through changes, ending to new president which is from different party than the government. However, there are people who do not accept the new era. One visible sight of that is a “cross incident”. I have to shorten the story here and probably lot's of "tones" are lost to several translations, but I'll do my best to try to say something about the matter... 
A wooden cross was erected in front of presidential residence as a memorial for the dead president, and as a place for people to bring flowers, candles and have a moment to honour him. Lately it was suggested that the cross should be removed and placed to some church, but this has caused a massive resistance. The cross represents much more things to some people; conspiracy which killed the president, beginning of the end of times, strong tiea between the state and the church which in the future might be separating.
Long story short; now there are people all the time around the cross (day and night that is). Others are “defending” the cross preventing its removal and praying for the sake of the opposite. Others are there to give an opinion againt the prayer side, and for example are playing with a ball to demonstrate the absurdness they think the "opposite"; strongly religious persons are showing. The situation has been lasting more than for a month now, and does not seem to be settling. Polices are guarding the area - day and night, as at least previously there has been some violent riots.

As I understood, the situation is very intricate, combining politics, religion, conservative and modern vision collision, and much more things that are not understandable unless you are familiar with the cultural background.  However, the occurrence was very interesting and it was very surreal to walk pass and witness it.

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