The Polish American Community of Toledo is happy to announce that along with the Toledo Poznan Alliance of Toledo, we will again be awarding scholarships to High School/College students based on academics, extra-curricular activities and an essay submitted about “What Having a Polish-American Heritage Means To Me”. Last year four area high school or college students each received a $1000 scholarship toward their education.
Click on PACT/TPA scholarship application button on the right of the screen to download a copy of the application. After filling it out, send it to PACT, P.O. Box 1033, Sylvania, Ohio, 43560 no later than May 31st. Winners will be announced in June.
Join PACT for a Pierogi Making Circle and learn justhow easy and fun it can be!!
Has the thought of making pierogi made you nervous? It’s easy to do if you know the simple steps.
Date: Saturday, March 28
Where: Olivet Lutheran Church
5840 Monroe St.
Fee: $25 per person for new guests
$20 per person for return guests
Price includes: pierogi lessons, pierogi recipes, all ingredients, taste testing, one dozen pierogi to take home, and pierogi press **Please bring rolling pin and an apron if you have one. If you are a returning guest, please bring your pierogi press too.
Stan Machosky and Rozanne Nitschke will guide you in the art of making three types of authentic Polish pierogi: cabbage, meat, and cheese. This is a hands on lesson on making the dough and fillings. After the lesson, everyone will be able to taste their pierogi creations. And there will be plenty for you to take home just in time for Easter.
Guaranteed to be a hit at your Easter table.
Call Sherry to reserve your place at: 419-476-1171 or419-260-1970. Or Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Hope to see you all there. It’s bound to be a great time!!
Space for this lesson is limited, so call and reserve your seat early!!
NA ZDROWIE! POLISH HERITAGE NIGHT IS FRIDAY, JANUARY 23 at Huntington Center in Toledo!
Sponsored by Stanley’s Market.
It all starts with a delicious pregame all-you-can-eat Polish buffet dinner by Stanley’s Market, featuring their world-famous kielbasa….Smacznego! There will also be live music to get your toes tapping, as well as Polish-themed entertainment throughout the night while you enjoy exciting Walleye hockey.
A ticket combo is $33, which includes a game ticket and the buffet. If you already have a game ticket for that night, you can get the buffet for $20. For tickets and more information, contact Hannah Tyson at email@example.com or 419-725-9258.
This year PACT will have a shopka in the Toledo Holiday Parade.
by Stas Kmiec
Mention the word szopka (creche) or jaselka (nativity play) to someone born in Poland long ago, and you will see a spark of joy light up in their eyes. They recall the live nativity scenes, puppet shows, pageant plays and shimmering fairy tale castle-like scenes of their youth.
The Christmas creche is common to all of the Christian faith, but the szopka is unique to Poland. The szopka, once a humble peasant pleasure, has become a recognized Polish institution. A truly Polish Christmas celebration is not complete without some form of this scene.
The custom originated with St. Francis of Assisi, who set the first Nativity tableau in 1223. It was brought to Poland by Franciscan monks around the 13th century. The earliest sign of a manager scene in Poland was in St. Andrew’s church in Kraków. The first crìches were quite simple and portable, but eventually monks took on the roles of the figurines, with the exception of the infant and animals, and developed a living nativity.
Dialogue crept in and eventually the jaselka play developed. The monks were replaced by peasants, students, artisans and even the nobility. Figures from history, local tradition and legend, such as Pan Twardowski were added for national color. Allegorical figures such as the devil and smierc (death) carrying a scythe soon appeared, along with Biblical figures, such as, the Holy Family and King Herod.
The still managers became filled with multi-figure compositions. In addition to the Biblical figures and animals, Polish peasants in their regional finery and whole armies accompanying the three kings were displayed.
By the eighteenth century these figures were moveable. Stringed marionettes or stick puppets replaced the static figures. The performances presented two types of integrated plots: a Biblical one telling the Nativity story and a lay one of traditional, folk and satirical nature.
Still taking place in church, it was soon realized that the excitement of such an entertainment had gotten out of hand. In 1736 these plays were banned from the churches by Bishop Teodor Czartoryski, permitting only immobile scenes of a strictly Biblical Christmas. Both the live and puppet shows now were passed down to the people, who included them in the ritual of caroling (kolednicy). Following the ban the performances evolved into a true expression of folk art.
The live Jaselka became a traveling show beginning on St. Stephen’s day (December 26). The Bethlehem locale, was now set in Poland. Original characters and much of the traditional dialogue were preserved, but in the hands of artists and students it became a mirror of community life, with political satire and local anecdotes added in. Key moments were preserved, such as the well- known scene between King Herod and the devil. The devil triumphantly exclaims in retribution for Herod’s Massacre of the Innocents, “Królu Herodzie za twe zbytki, chodz do piekla, bos ty brzydki” (King Herod for your wicked ways come with me to hell because you are deplorable). This scene was extremely popular with the audience.
In literature and theater, the plays were made famous by such authors as Lucjan Rydel (Betlejem Polskie) and Leon Schiller (Szopka Krakowska and Pastoralka), and continue to appear in the repertoire of professional theater companies in Poland to this day.
Throughout the 18th century, native artisans were making crìches that were distinctively Polish in architectural design, folk costume and motif. Each region developed its own unique design, but it was in Kraków that it developed into a high art.
By the 19th century several elements defined the szopka’s shape, finding inspiration in the existing structures of Kraków. The stable’s roof was covered by a second story and was flanked by two towers. The two towers eventually resembled the Kosciól Mariacki (St. Mary’s Church) and the central Renaissance dome was reminiscent of Wawel Castle’s Zygmunt Chapel. By the end of the 19th century the stable was moved to the second floor and bottom floor was filled with figuures of folklore and history.
The outbreak of World War I brought an end to the szopka, when Austrian occupation forces prohibited home-to-home caroling accompanied by a szopka. Due to the change in political climate after Poland had regained its independence in 1918, it seemed this form of folk art would disappear entirely. A Jaselka was staged at a Kraków theater in 1923 and this sparked a revival of sorts. Szopki were made and sold as souvenirs. The city’s municipal authorities decided to save this decaying tradition by announcing the first competition in December of 1937. Eighty-six cribs were entered. With the exception of the wartime period of 1939-1944 the competitions have become an annual holiday tradition with a magnitude of entrants. Kraków hosts the competition in the central Rynek (marketplace) Square. The puppet shows survive to this day as popular entertainment and are included in this event, as well.
“Polish American Heritage Month”
A National Celebration of Polish History, Culture and Pride in Cooperation with the Polish
American Congress and Polonia across America
Since 1608, when the first Polish settlers arrived at Jamestown, VA, Polish people have been an important part of America’s history and culture. In 2014, Polish Americans will mark the 33rd Anniversary of the founding of Polish American Heritage Month, an event, which began in Philadelphia, PA, and became a national celebration of Polish history, culture and pride. During 2014, Poles will mark the 406th Anniversary of the First Polish Settlers who were among the first skilled workers in America. We, therefore, will also Salute All American Workers and urge people to purchase the products and services offered by American workers. Polish Americans will also mark the 235th Anniversary of the death of General Casimir Pulaski, Father of the American Cavalry. For additionalnformation about these historic events and Polish and Polish American history, visit the Museum’s Internet site at: PolishAmericanCenter.com. Information about ways to celebrate Polish American Heritage Month can be obtained by visiting the Polish American Heritage Month Committee’s site atPolishAmericanHeritageMonth.com. On this site you will find a list of “Things To Do During Polish American Heritage Month”, the 2014 coloring contest artwork for schools,and Heritage Month posters that can be downloaded and printed. Copies of the coloring contest artwork can also be obtained by calling the Heritage Month Committee, Monday through Friday between 9 A.M. and 5 P.M. at 215-922-1700.