How have my tastes, authorities and idols changed since I was just a kid?

November 30th, 2012 by szczypczyk3paula3s

By Paula SZCZYPCZYK (1995), LOK Kraków/Poland

Somewhere in the past we were all children. You may not believe it when you look at some adults but that is the fact we can’t deny! But it only proves that so many things have changed from that time.

What was it all like…? The retrospection!

How many of us – girls -  didn’t scream: “ MOM! I want to be a princess!”? Almost none! And what about you boys? Didn’t you want to be soldiers, racing drivers or firefighters? We all had dreams about our future jobs… but did you achieve your targets?

Such an innocent kid I was...

Such an innocent kid I was! ;-)

And what about our heros? In childhood many of us considered our parents as the most amazing people on Earth and so did I. They were everything to us but thoroughout the years we started to create a big gap between us and them. Of course, they are still very important but what I mean is that while growing up we became more independent.

The next thing? Taste!

Colorful bracelets...

Oh, those colorful bracelets…

When we were 5 years old our parents decided for us what we should wear, eat, what we should watch or listen to. And to be honest – we didin’t mind it. Within years each of us started to create their own taste. Mass media reached us with its big, tempting hand. Commercials started to influence our unformed opinions. Fashion started to be something really important. It made us – girls – want to look pretty and attractive so we started to wear shiny skirts and lots of jewellery. Young, good-looking singers were our idols – my idols. Britney Spears or Polish – Doda! That was it! We tried to look like them, we danced to their music… Almost all of my schoolmates liked the same things… and then a big question came.

What’s going on? Why don’t I enjoy things I used to like?

When I went to junior high school I was about 13 years old and I thought: “Hey, Paula! What are you doing?! Does it all make sense? You’re better than that!” And I became more interested in stuff a bit more complicated than pop music and plastic bracelets. I started listening to different kinds of music and developing their history. Not only at this point did things change but also my clothes became more balanced since that time and I’ve found my own style. I didn’t have to copy stars from television anymore! I became more concious – mass media stopped playing such a big role in my life. Actually – I’ve stopped watching TV. I became able to notice that there were so  many more valuable things than appearance and having fun all the time. I was looking for something deeper in life because things I was going through back then were pretty superficial and shallow.

That also brings other changes. My authorities have changed as well. Now I don’t judge people so easily and the ones who impress me can be great examples not only in appearance but also (actually mainly) in behaving. To be honest – I haven’t found anyone like that yet. Unfortunately!

Me with a waxwork of a big musical inspiration – Jimi Hendrix

But I keep on searching and while doing it – I find many inspiring things which develop me on many levels. I find interesting creative people like musicians and writers.

It’s obvoius that when we grow up, everything about us changes. We’re curious about the world so we search and discover. All things what we go through make us evolve and develop. We have to be open-minded so we could fully experience different stuff but we should also remember about our own tastes. If we don’t  – we can lose ourselves in a whirl of other people’s beliefs.

What about you? How have you changed and why? Or maybe you’re the same person you were 10 years ago…?


How did the individuals try to change living conditions of their families?

January 25th, 2012 by szczypczyk3paula3s

By Paula SZCZYPCZYK (1995), Kasia LENAR (1995), Renata CHOROBIK (1995), Szymon ŚWIĄTKOWSKI (1995), LOK Kraków/Poland

To ask this question, we have carried out an interview with one old lady, Ms. Maria Kowalska.

Trait d’union: Good afternoon Ms Kowalska!

Ms Kowalska : Hello, darlings!

Trait d’union: We are here to ask you a couple questions about the past.

Ms Kowalska: There is absolutely no problem. Ask me anything.

Trait d’union: What was the life like about 50 years ago? What were the life conditions like? Was it hard?

Ms Kowalska: Oh, it was during the PRL-times!

Trait d’union: Could you tell us about it?

Ms Kowalska: Sure. From 1952 to 1989 Poland was called the People’s Republic of Poland (Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa – PRL). It was a really hard time for Poland! There were many problems with almost everything. Getting food, censorship, a lot of strikes.

Trait d’union: What were the worst things?

Ms Kowalska: The worst things were associated with the food, I think. The shelves in shops were totally empty so people had to stand many hours in queues, sometimes even all day and night! It was horrible. After standing in a huge queue for food, you had to show special ration cards. Each card showed a daily portion of food per person. Everything was rationed. For example, meat, bread, milk, butter. Everything was based on propaganda. If there was something against the government, the authorities did everything to find you and put you into a jail. Poland was very backwards, because the government wanted to a create self- sufficient country, so there was no contact with the west side of Europe where everything was moving forwards.

Queue for a toilet paper

Trait d’union: According to your declaration it was very difficult to survive at this time and to provide yourself and your family with basic necessities for life. So please tell me did you do anything to make your life better during this time?

Ms Kowalska: Oh, definitely yes. Despite the fact that there was martial law, everyone tried to improve their life conditions. There was a well-prospering Black Market on which people could buy those special cards that I’ve mentioned, food, alcohol and almost everything you needed. Black Market, cultivated on a large scale, rescued the supplies of Polish homes. People were also often made to steal different things from places where they were working.

Trait d’union: Did the people do anything to influence the actions of the authorities, you know rebellions or protests?

Ms Kowalska: First of all, there wasn’t any possibility to do this by the press, because the authorities put censorship into practice, even cards and postcards were controlled. Also TV stations were subjected to the authorities and didn’t give information about the hard living conditions. People also to make their lives better and more comfortable, were joining PZPR (the Polish United Labour Party) what wasn’t good because it made PRL stronger and more powerful. They also organized many strikes and demanded proper life, food on shops shelves.

Trait d’union: I can’t imagine what everyday life looked like in the past, but I have to express admiration for you and other people who have survived this PRL time and can transfer the information to the next generation. Thank you for the interview, it was really nice to talk to you! Goodbye.

Ms Kowalska: It was so to me, too. Goodbye.