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The Warsaw Voice » Society » May 28, 2013
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From the editor
May 28, 2013   
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Perhaps comparing Robert Lewandowski (the soccer player), Nicolaus Copernicus (the astronomer who proved that the Earth revolves around the Sun and not the other way round), Marie Curie-Skłodowska (who won two Nobel Prizes, in physics and in chemistry) and Frederic Chopin (the composer) is too risky, but they have many things in common. They all achieved world fame not as celebrities but as genuinely brilliant people in their own field. All of them were immersed in two cultures—Polish and French in two cases, Polish and German in the other two. And we’re proud of all of them, all recognizable names abroad as well as at home.

We love to identify with successful members of our tribe. If Chopin composed such beautiful music, each one of us has cause for pride, even if we can’t tell a high note from a low one. Each time Lewandowski scores a goal for Germany’s Borussia Dortmund, Poles feel like winners, even if they don’t know where Dortmund is.

Where such essentially tribal passions come from is a question for researchers. For us, let it suffice that they exist. They’re a powerful factor to be reckoned with in politics, business and social psychology.

Poland is no soccer powerhouse and soccer successes are not our trademark. But Robert Lewandowski is a symbol of Poland, much more well-known and appreciated today than the fact that it was the Poles who initiated the disintegration of the Soviet Union 25 years ago.
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