Friday, 2 December 2011

Polish Club celebrates traditional Polish holiday

Sometimes Agnieszka Marchel doesn’t understand her friends’ references to pop culture.

Growing up with parents who immigrated from Poland, the family community services senior might not understand certain aspects of American culture, but she did her best to show MSU what Andrzejki, a major part of Polish culture, is all about Wednesday night in Wells Hall.

“I know for a fact this type of event is a huge event in Poland among the youth,” she said. “It can be a really good way of showing our culture.”

The MSU Polish Club celebrated Andrzejki, a superstitious event for young people to predict through a series of games who and when they will marry. About a dozen students attended.

Ania Bieciuk, chair of the MSU Polish Club, said last year when they made predictions celebrating Andrzejki, the club coincidentally had accurate guesses.

Video: Polish Celebration ...
“It was predicted that three of the girls would get married,” the comparative cultures and politics senior said.

“By summer, they were all engaged.”

For the first game, each student took a burning candle and poured the wax into a bowl of water.

After the wax formed a shape in the bowl, the students took the wax creation and held it in front of a light projector.

“We guess as a group what the shadow might be,” Bieciuk said. “Last year I had a salsa dancer or a weird-looking bird. I prefer to think it was a salsa dancer.”

Depending on the shadow on the wall, the students determined the profession of their future spouse or another prediction about the future.

Along with the games and predictions, the club brought Polish treats to MSU students.

“Meijer has a really nice international selection, and I found these krówkis, which are Polish chocolate fudge,” she said.

Psychology sophomore Nicole Kuzmowicz attended the event because her Polish parents said it would be a good time.

“I thought it would be fun to see the silly superstitions,” she said. “It’s just a (cultural) tradition you want to carry on and do it at (MSU), then maybe do it when you grow up.”

Although Bieciuk brought pizza, the club discussed the culture’s traditional foods during the event, including Polish sausage kielbasa and pierogis, which are dumplings filled with cheese, potatoes or fruit.

Kuzmowicz said although she and her family enjoy pierogi on Christmas, she’s a regular fan of Polish sausage.

“It’s delicious,” she said. “It’s a staple in my diet.”

Another game involved having participants choose a cup with an item placed underneath to predict their future, such as a toy symbolizing the member will have a baby, an apron representing the member will be a housewife and money predicting the participant will be career driven.

Marchel said with a majority of the club’s 30 members coming from the Polish community outside of Detroit, celebrating Andrzejki was a way to keep the culture’s traditions on campus and connect to students unfamiliar with Polish customs.

“For the people from the Detroit area, it’s about keeping their culture alive,” she said.

“But we love having students from other backgrounds because we can share our background with them.”

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