Polish saudade - Ireneusz Białek's blog

“Everything but Portugal,” one of my collaborators often says during meetings when things need to be done fast but suddenly our interlocutors start to show an interest in a given topic. This is her – expressed jokingly – warning that the conversation with me concerning the subject may take a long time.


Indeed, I very much like Portugal as well as Portuguese cuisine and people moodily yanking guitar strings to the rhythm of fado. This may be the reason why the first-ever text on this blog begins with a scene from a beach in Portugal. It is just along such beaches and many roads and lanes going through charming small towns and villages that I would like to, one day, criss-cross Portugal on the tandem bike I use from time to time to move around Krakow.

However, this blog is about my Polish longings and hopes. They are related to my native country and all that should unite across the borders Poles and the Portuguese as well as many other nations of united Europe. I write here about societal systems friendly to people regardless of their worldview, age, disability or lack of it, or origin, who wish to build together a common future of this continent, which has experienced so many divisions. I, for one, am critical of such divisions based on the past, stereotyping and inequalities.

I also hope for dialogue with the readers who, just like myself, experience something one might call Polish saudade, even if the Portuguese say that the word is intrinsically linked with the waves of the Atlantic Ocean hitting against their part of the soil we share.