For bread, Lord, for bread

 
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Ute
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:50 pm    Post subject: For bread, Lord, for bread Reply with quote

For bread, Lord, for bread

Goral w gory spoziera
I lzy rekawem ociera
Bo gory porzucic trzeba
Dla chelba panie dla chelba
Goralu, czy ci nie zaI?
Goralu, wracaj do hal?

The Goral looks at the mountains
And wipes away his tears with his sleeve
Because he must leave the mountains
For bread, lord, for bread
Goral, are you not grieving?
Goral, come back to the high pastures.

(Popular Gorale Song by Michal Bilucki)

For bread, Lord, for bread

Goral w gory spoziera
I lzy rekawem ociera
Bo gory porzucic trzeba
Dla chelba panie dla chelba
Goralu, czy ci nie zaI?
Goralu, wracaj do hal?

The Goral looks at the mountains
And wipes away his tears with his sleeve
Because he must leave the mountains
For bread, lord, for bread
Goral, are you not grieving?
Goral, come back to the high pastures.

(Popular Gorale Song by Michal Bilucki)


My search for my paternal grandfather’s ancestors took me to two small villages in South Poland, Dlugopole and Banska (now Szaflary-Banska). Both villages are located at the foothills of the Polish Tatra Mountains in the district of Nowy Targ about 44 miles south of Krakow in a region known as Podhale. Podhale was part of the province Galicia in the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy and became part of the new Polish Republic after World War I. The inhabitants of Podhale, the Gorale (‘Highlanders’), are very independent mountain villagers, known for their own folk traditions and rich culture.

Podhale was a very poor region with farming, shepherding, and pasturing being the major occupation of the villagers. Most farms were small and poor and only with great efforts kept a family going in good times. Landless villagers and those whose farmland was too small to support a family were forced to find an income through other means with all members of the family, males and females of all ages alike, helping to support the family. They worked as farm helpers, maids, servants, day laborers at the farms and in the forests that belonged to the big landowners, at nearby manor estates, town houses, or in the gold, silver, copper, and iron ore mines in the Tatra Mountains.

Emigration for many was the only way to escape the troublesome and often hopeless struggle against the rugged soil, the harsh weather, against famines and epidemics, such as cholera, and against relentless poverty. What started as seasonal migration to big cities like Budapest that attracted impoverished peasants to work in construction and industry, to Northern Poland, France, or other European nations towards the end of the 19th century, became an often permanent trans-Atlantic emigration to the United States, Canada, South America, or Australia at the beginning of the 20th century. The enormous numbers of Podhale emigrants who entered the United States at the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century makes you wonder who was left in some of the small mountain villages.

What did it mean for them to leave their home country and families behind, knowing that they would most likely never see them again in their life time? My grandfather, like many immigrants to the United States, never spoke about his home country and family, and he never naturalized. I always thought that the immigrant generation was simply too busy dealing with surviving and making ends meet to dwell on the past, but was this the only reason? Was my grandfather hoping to return to Poland one day? Was the reason why he never spoke about his family or home country that it was too painful for him to talk about it? I'm just wondering and trying to understand, and I'd be interested to hear other opinions on that subject.


Last edited by Ute on Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:48 am; edited 3 times in total
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Bill Rushin
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

About emigration. IMO, I think that never returning to Poland was in the back of their minds but they didn't dwell on it as we (genealogists) do. We always dwell on how it was for them, the hardships etc. because we are recreating their lives through past history and we actually know their outcome because we can see what happened to them as we have it on paper a 100 years later.

It makes us sad reading about their hard lives. A hundred years from now what are they going to think and say about us? I would imagine as a young person or couple they were thrilled to go on a trip outside of their little village.(I see this excitement today in my cousins in SE Ohio-small coal mine towns) A new place, a new adventure = fun! When you and I were young we all wanted to leave home asap! Why not them? They all were hard working people, and they knew they could handle that part of it. My grandmother was so proud to own her own milk cow which was the greatest thing on earth to her with 8 sons to feed. Men could get a job just about anywhere, pay wasn't the greatest and the hours were long but that didn't discourage many to think of returning to the old country, it was worse over their if you think about it. You worked daylight to dark 6 days a week, washed up, ate and went to bed. Bad living conditions, you didn't own anything, you ate potatoes and cabbage a lot and meat was a luxury. The shepherd’s didn’t lie on a hillside looking at the mountain’s sucking on a piece of straw and watched their flock. They were milking the sheep, carting water, making cheese all day in a smoke filled hut in the woods.

I think they plodded along and hoped some day to return to visit but in which that never happened. I'm sure that they wrote letters to keep in touch or passed info through others who were returning back home. Some like my GF's brother did work here in the US and returned home with more money just as he planned. Many more never did have that chance to complete that dream however. Most Poles could not have property in Poland my GF said. Your family out grew the farm with too many kids to feed. Immigrants were offered jobs and if they saved a little money they could have a little piece of the American dream. So it worked for them. When everyone else around you is just as poor when starting out you don't realize you’re poor too.

My GP's had 2 or 3 farms after arriving here (1902-1912) and then 2 others in Ohio which they purchased in 1920. They were in heaven owning their little farm. GF mentioned missing the Tatra's more than his family. I'm certain his parents were dead by 1920 so what is there to go back to? I understand each family has different stories too. I think the folks back in Poland worried more about the children leaving and what was going to happen to them. But they didn't have as many mouths to feed so it was better for them too.

When a person gets older or after a close death of a family member a person thinks of family, the homestead and "good old days". We all do it; it's the nature of life. We as genealogists don't have access to all the "good times" in our old records, I wish we did, we might all think a little different.

Plus when WWI entered the picture (1914), more hard times; you couldn't go to the old country if you wanted to then. After the war the Bolsheviks’ and Russian problems, countries being divided and finally Poland was free from Austro-Hungary Empire. 1920-1938 was good start for Poland again. Then WWII hit, and after it ended what did they get? There was no celebration at all, the Russians took over control and if you mentioned you were a partisan you were shot. So the American Poles could not return to their country for fear of never getting back out. And this continued for 45 more years! How sad for the proud Poles, they couldn't go home if they wanted to.
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Ute
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill Rushin wrote: "About emigration. IMO, I think that never returning to Poland was in the back of their minds but they didn't dwell on it as we (genealogists) do. We always dwell on how it was for them, the hardships etc. because we are recreating their lives through past history and we actually know their outcome because we can see what happened to them as we have it on paper a 100 years later ....

Bill,
If I look at it from a rational standpoint, I fully understand our ancestors' situation after immigration to the United States, but looking at their life situation a little more deeply and trying to imagine what their everyday lives were like and who they were inside is a whole different dimension. They had feelings like us, and I cannot help it, hearing their life stories and struggles and looking at their pictures moves me to tears sometimes.


Last edited by Ute on Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:13 am; edited 3 times in total
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Zenon
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Joined: 28 Apr 2007
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Location: Poland

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is very interesting... I think that your discussion shows real, deeply ingrained reason, why we are doing all the "genealogy stuff" and we are getting into it deeper and deeper in time.

We ask ourselves questions: How did their life look in the Old Country? Why did they do what they did? How did they go through the hardship of traveling from areas located far away from any sea to the New World at that time? How did they start in the new, completely strange for them, place? How our life would look like if they took different decisions?

Most probably we will never know for sure all answers to this questions but we can try to getting closer. Recently, thanks to Michal Wilczewski, new member in our Forum, I found about another book which may help to understand the life of peasants in Poland in times of great emigration even better: The Nation in the Village: The Genesis of Peasant National Identity in Austrian Poland, 1848-1914 by professor Keely Stauter-Halsted. Although I haven't read it yet it is in prominent place on my 2read list. And Shellie found preview of this book (27 pages) on google books here: http://goo.gl/rcsnf .

Full post of Michal Wilczewski, scientist, researcher of everyday life history of peasants in the interwar period is here: http://forum.polishorigins.com/viewtopic.php?p=3060#3060 .


And below 'Góralu czy Ci nie żal' pefromed one of the Góralska Kapela (Gorals band) illustrated by pictures of Góral Tomasz Adamek. (In many restaurants in Zakopane every evening there are playing Górale groups their beautiful, authentic music).


[html-link]


Last edited by Zenon on Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ute
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Zenon wrote: "This is very interesting... I think that your discussion shows real, deeply ingrained reason, why we are doing all the "genealogy stuff" and we are getting into it deeper and deeper in time. .....



Zenon,
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about our discussion. That's what I like about PolishOrigins, that we are not only answering genealogical queries, but also have the opportunity to share links to interesting literature and music, discuss issues we are interested in, and share our thoughts and opinions on the forum.

Thank you also for the links to Prof. Keely Stauter-Halsted’s book and the Gorale song. The book sounds really interesting, I would love to read it, and the song is very nice. I love Gorale music -- the unusual mix of sadness and melancholy and deep joy of life all to be found within one song. Some time ago I found a website with Gorale music on it by a group named 'Gorales de Dourges', here is the link to their website with some of their music:

http://christophe.impega.free.fr/

My favorite tunes are 'Rimava' + 'Janicek'.

I also just came across an article named 'The Golden Yoke' that fits to our discussion about emigration. It deals with emigration from the village of Dlugopole, my paternal great-grandmother's home village, and the mixed feelings about emigration shared by people who have this experience:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1998-11-15/features/9811150473_1_zofia-chicago-depaul-blue-demons/


Last edited by Ute on Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Shellie
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Joined: 18 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh Ute! Thanks so much for the link to the Golden Yoke article. It was great! I should have told the forum about Prof. Keely Stauter-Halsted's book when I first got it. I don't why it didn't occur to me to do so! Let me know when you get the book so we can discuss it!
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Ute
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shellie wrote:
Oh Ute! Thanks so much for the link to the Golden Yoke article. It was great! I should have told the forum about Prof. Keely Stauter-Halsted's book when I first got it. I don't why it didn't occur to me to do so! Let me know when you get the book so we can discuss it!


Shellie,
I was also really thrilled to find that article today because it's a good addition to our discussion and I have the names Dlugopolski and Kowalkowski that are mentioned in the article in my family tree! I also found some older photos of Dlugopole online on the weekend -- the first ones I’ve ever seen of my great-grandmother’s home village – I’m going to post them this week.
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Ute
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shellie wrote:
Oh Ute! Thanks so much for the link to the Golden Yoke article. It was great! ...


Shellie,
I just found another article this morning entitled 'Sour Feelings in the Land of Milk and Honey'. It was published in the Chicago Tribune in 1998, and like 'The Golden Yoke' it deals with emigration from the village of Dlugopole, my great-grandmother's home village. Interesting to read and again some familiar names ...

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1998-11-15/features/9811150472_1_poland-bread-bungal
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Shellie
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Again Ute - it's another great article! I just posted an idea about forming a discussion group for THE NATION in the VILLAGE book: http://forum.polishorigins.com/viewtopic.php?t=750
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Ute
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shellie wrote:
Thanks Again Ute - it's another great article!

Shellie,
It seems to be my lucky week. I tried for years to find out more about emigration from the village of Dlugopole, and here are these great articles on exactly that topic. I didn't know they existed when I started the discussion on emigration until I went through my folders yesterday and found a list of references that I had printed out and put away for later use some years ago when I started researching my Podhale ancestors. I’ll transcribe the list of references and post it, perhaps we'll find more interesting information about Podhale and its people.
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