What's Happening in Polish Youngstown
Subject: What's Happening in Polish Youngstown
Send date: 2012-04-11 12:24:30
Issue #: 150

e Newsletter


Got a Problem With Pussy Willows?
Anderson Cooper derides Dyngus Day traditions as "stupid"
Do the Irish ever get offended by the drunken fest that supposedly honors their patron saint? It was a question I posed to my German-Irish spouse last month after going to Downtown Youngstown’s St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl. It came to mind again when I was surprised at my own mixed feelings about participating in the Śmigus-Dyngus celebrations in Cleveland on Monday. Don’t get me wrong—it was a fun, festive time. But for someone who devotes hours to educating and promoting pride in Polish heritage to third- and fourth-generation descendants, I couldn’t help but feel something wasn’t right about the Dyngus Queen with a kielbasa on her head and a pierogi on her scepter.  That was until I received word about Anderson Cooper adding the holiday celebration to his RidicuList. Unable to contain his composure or disdain for the multicity celebrations with dancing, drinking, squirt guns and pussy willows, the CNN anchor just came out and labeled the event as “obscure and stupid” while showing fathers dancing the polka with their daughters. Seriously?
Personally I think that the women who honored their Polish heritage by donning scarves and labeled themselves as babushki for the day do little to directly honor the proud culture of
Skłodowska-Curie, Kościuszko, Pułaski and Blessed John Paul II. However, I believe enjoying a day surrounded by others in red and white eagle t-shirts smiling and laughing and obviously telling the world they are “Polish and Proud” can plant a seed of interest. For years many of these people avoided telling others they were Polish for fear of hearing yet another bad joke. Now, perhaps the next time they hear about an art exhibit at the Centrum in Slavic Village or a Polish Arts Club event at the Butler Museum they will be prompted to attend. So back off Anderson. I’m sure the Vanderbilts created some traditions we might think are unusual, too.  Or is that your two older half-brothers, Stan and Chris Stokowski  never invited you to join in the fun with them? We can right that wrong today…Anderson, consider this your invitation to join us and learn anytime!  What are your thoughts?

Dyngus Day Cleveland
Sto Lat to the organizers of this fledgling celebration! From a three bar party last year, this year’s Dyngus Day celebration spread to more than a half dozen locations and numerous locks. DJ Kiska and his crew worked very hard to create a fun second year event. We are particularly proud of the contribution of the girls of the Krakowiaki Polish Folk Circle and their choreographer Cathy Pilat Katrenich. The girls supported both sides of the cultural spirit of the day. They donned their Łowicz costumes, wowed the crowd with a traditional oberek and led the accordion parade thru the "Polish Triangle" in the Gordon Square Arts District. But starting at 2:30 and going until long after the parade ended, the girls shared the spirit of folk dance and Polish-American polkas by serving as the entertainment in each of the event’s venues throughout the day. They were undoubtedly excited to take off their boots by the time they finished but at 8. However thanks to them and their participatory routine, many adults and children got a taste of Polish fun. Dzięki girls! See more photos HERE

Celebrate Spring at Polish Happy Hour
This past winter in Europe was very cold and harsh and Poland suffered miserably. No doubt this year they are certainly ready for their spring welcoming rituals like "drowning the winter witch" named
Marzena then setting her effigy on fire. Don’t know that we will be doing any drowning or setting fires, but we celebrate some of these traditions when we welcome the longer and warmer days on Thursday April 10 at Polish Happy Hour from 5:30 until 9:30. We will travel west to Barry Dyngles Restaurant and Pub on 1601 South Raccoon Road in Austintown. I can taste those award winning ribs and loaded baked potato soup already! That’s in addition to the Polish music, beer and vodka cocktail specials that you love!

Getting to know St. Stan
Today is the feast day of the saint most closely associated with Polish American churches, St. Stanislaus. A quick computer search results in more than 100
parishes named in the Polish-born noble man’s honor.  To honor the day, why not read up on his history here

Pinching like an expert
Did you pierogi is probably the only Polish dish that has its own patron saint "Swiety Jacek z pierogami!", (
St. Hyacinth and his pierogi!) is an old expression of surprise, roughly equivalent to the American "good grief" or "holy smokes!". These little bits of trivia as well as tips on dough, fillings and storage are what you will learn by participating in our next Polska Kuchnia session: pierogi on Sunday, April 22. Remember, space is limited so reserve your spot today! Find out more here

American pilots of the Kosciuszko Squadron
Foundation to Illuminate America’s Heroes is working to share the story of Merian Cooper and the other Americans who flew missions in defense of Poland during the War of 1920. The foundation has an ambitious goal of raising the $1 million to support efforts leading to the production of a Hollywood feature movie based on the fascinating, but little known, true stories of these people and events. Check out their YouTube presentation here

News from Poland
Russia will provide the aircraft debris to Poland
memorial services around the world marked the second anniversary this week of the crash that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski and so many others, Russian officials announced they are ready to start the process of transfer of plane fragments for examination.  Last week, the Polish military extended the investigation until October 2012. The issue of transfer of the Polish parts of crashed aircraft, which are tangible proof in a criminal case, will be considered after the completion of the investigation and approval of the decision process, it was reported. Learn more about this story here and other news from Poland at our Polish Media Watch

Calendar Highlights
April 15
Deadline for the Polish American Historical Association annual conference…April 21 Jimmy Kilian from Chicago , 28th anniversary of Happy Polkaland Show Celebration…April 29 Remembrance at the National Katyn Memorial, Baltimore… May 4-6 Wheeling Polka Fest…May 12 Thaddeus Kosciuszko Park dedication, Columbus…June 15 Deadline to apply for Summer Language and Culture Program at Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin.

Do Zobaczenia!
Aundréa and Your PolishYoungstown Team

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