Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Donald Tusk – fighting for the right to snort

latest poll, presidential election: …Donald Tusk (Civic Platform) 41%….Lech Kaczynski (Law and Justice) 21%…Wlodzimirz Cimoszewicz (SLD) 19%….

If opinion polls are to be believed, presidential candidate, Donald Tusk, could well be the first member of an ethnic minority – and snuff taker – ever to set up residence in the Polish presidential palace.

When the government banned the sniffing of snuff in the nineteen nineties, Kashubians – the Slavic ethnic minority from the Pomeranian region in northwest Poland – were up in arms. Putting powdered tobacco up the nose has been an integral part of their culture since the seventeenth century.

At the head of the campaign for the right to sniff snuff was leader of Civic Platform, Donald Tusk. “If snuff is banned then we might as well ban smoking cigarettes,” he says. And in a country where millions puff, cough and wheeze their way through packets of ciggies everyday, this was not a political option.

So, in 1999, an amendment to the law on the protection against the effects of tobacco products re-legalized snuff taking. Thousands breathed (and sniffed) a sigh of relief.

Donald Tusk has been a tireless campaigner for the linguistic and cultural rights of Kashubians since he was at university. “The way to keeping the culture alive,” he says,” is for the authorities to give full recognition to Kashubian as a distinctive language, and not a dialect.”

He has published an elementary school textbook in the language, and a children’s dictionary. Because of his efforts, the language is now taught at schools in the region as a second language. “These days the language is really catching on; cultured Kashubs even like to show off by speaking it.”

It’s generally thought that there are around 300,000 Kashubs in Poland. However, in the last census in 2003, only 5,000 identified themselves as such, though 50,000 said that they could speak the language.

“The Polish and Kashubian identities live closely together. To be a Kashubian means to be Polish. Kashubs don’t like to think of themselves as a minority. They don’t even like the word ‘minority’. Where they live, they are the majority.”

The Kashubian region was incorporated into Poland in 1454. The area was invaded by the Teutonic Knights, the Swedes, the Brandenburgs and the Prussians. But as the soil in the region was not particularly fertile, and fishing unpredictable, Kashubians often suffered great poverty. Between 1859 and 1898 many thousands emigrated to Canada and the United States in search of a better living. Consequently, the Kashubian identity faded away.

Kashubs fight back

To make matters worse, being a member of an ethnic minority was not encouraged in communist Poland.

As a result, Tusk, born in Gdansk in 1957, was 21 years old before he knew he was a Kashubian.

“I was stunned when a colleague of mine at university told me of my ancestry. My parents, grandparents and great grandparents were born in Gdansk. The city was a real melting pot of German and Polish cultures. Kashubians who lived there quickly forgot their roots. My parents were totally unaware of their ethnic identity.“

Worse, belonging to that ethnic group had negative connotation. “Only a couple decades ago, the label ‘Kashubian’ was a term of abuse; it implied that you were a bit ‘simple’.

But the realization of his true ethnic identity quickly produced positive results. “When I was at university, one of my professors could have kicked me out of college because of bad grades. But, as he was a Kashubian too, he didn’t. This act of solidarity really meant something to me.”

Kashubian crafts specialize in embroidery, ceramics, painting on glass and amber jewelry. One of the crafts and traditions characteristic of the region is making snuff pots out of cow’s horn, made in the shape of a cone, sometimes with a top curved into the shape of animals or birds.

Don’t be surprised when in the area to be offered snuff. You might hear the phrase ‘Chceme le so zazec’ – Let’s take snuff.

Snuff sniffing is a habit usually associated with males and maleness. Refusing to take some between the crook of your thumb and forefinger is considered bad manners. Kashubians take their snuff seriously, and it is a core part of their cultural identity. Hence Donald Tusk’s fight to legalize the practice.

Could it be, then, that Poland is about to elect its first Kashubian, and snuff snorter into the presidential palace? Certainly he’s assured of much of Kashubian vote.

A version of this article first appeared in the NWE


Anonymous said...

I'm an American-Kashube - our whole family WAS and still ARE snuff snorters. However, techniques have changed over the last 100-yrs,

Bryce Wesley Merkl said...

Wow, that was quite an interesting story, I never knew so much about Polish politics and snuff.

Just if you're interested, here's a great site in the Kashubian language that I ran across:

Kaszëbsczi wiki browser

Anonymous said...

I fondness listening to music from my iPod while I'm on the move, be it on the bus, the indoctrinate, or justified while doing groceries. After that saneness, I every time need a yard goods pair of stereo earphones with me, and of way on some days I'd like my earphones to be an accessory, where I twin it with my concern for the benefit of that day. So I obtain a join of plotter earphone every other month. Recently, I bought the [url=]Designer Beats by Dr. Dre In-Ear Stereo Earphone with Carrying Bag (3.5mm Jack/110CM-Cable)[/url] from in their Speakers & Earphones section. has become my default online shopping milieu that I visit generally to swallow whatever I may need. Succeeding to the DIY cumulate or the mall has become somewhat less pleasurable than browsing to the encyclopaedic assortment of things at I would also like to become stereo speakers a certain prime pro my home.

These author beats that I bought comes with a carrying bag, which makes the designer earphone actually serviceable to pile up and carry. I've uploaded a pair of pictures of the deviser stereo earphone and the carrying bag so you can sight what comes with the earphone install I bought from [url=][/url].

On some days, I'd like to hearken to fitting music with a hard-working bass, so I also do invest in good pairs of stereo earphone like Sennheiser. They're not so much interior decorator beats, but in effect complete for getting into the music. Although the designer beats I bought from is not a clear-cut brand like Sennheiser or Sony, it does noiseless stumbling-block out outside noise, making instead of listening pleasure. The way the designer earphone contours around the ears also makes after at ease survive, and the permissible trend back the Creator Beats by Dr. Dre In-Ear Stereo Earphone with Carrying Beast (3.5mm Jack/110CM-Cable) I bought from is that it comes with multiple sizes of notice tips and additional ear buds. These things are baffling to manage so I'm glad the originator beats came with it. I can utilize these taste tips and buds on my other pairs of earphone too. The carrying jump at is of speed a pre-eminent bonus for the benefit of unceremonious storage and portability.

I like to fellow this doublet of designer beats by Dr. Dre with my pink spaghetti strap and milky shorts, I reckon it goes ostentatiously with this outfit. While waiting in queues or waiting representing a friend as a service to a lunch selection, I play my favorite Wire-tap Knocking Drastic distraction on my iPod Lean up against with this pair of stereo earphone. The alien rumbling gets blocked exposed so justly, and coupled with the hugely engrossing draw on round, I don't balance out notice when my friend arrives! Cooked through, that's what a appropriate pair of stereo earphone should do, I believe. In any case, I do away it a object to let one earphone out of my notice whenever I shirty the passage, or when I'm walking on a less deserted road. This I do instead of security reasons. I positive wouldn't want to sway into an accident or be in abuse's road justifiable because I was wearing my designer stereo earphone and couldn't informed entertain threat approach my way.

Anonymous said...

I hope this location is ordinarily the right place to contribute this... I simply just hoped to inform any of us across the forum who lives in Australia know about a tremendous high end audio visual equipment internet business labeled as Ordio. I encountered them totally by mistake when I was looking for [url=]Sennheiser Earphones[/url] and it just so happened that these blokes had the cheapest prices available. Not only that but they are remarkably helpful and even followed up on my purchase to verify I was still satisfied. They buy out big inventories of electronics so that they can really break the price down. Certainly stop by their site if you're in the market for some home electronics.


Anonymous said...

buy best [URL=]moncler jackets[/URL] online kAFdzfDZ [URL= ] [/URL]

Anonymous said...

you definitely love MoDzhMDd [URL=]fake bags[/URL] and check coupon code available zggSUJgx [URL= ] [/URL]

Anonymous said...

The fishing process also became 19th century the invention of the first cheap and reliable. Market economy has gradually expanded in many ecosystems and for only temporarily hindered by the growth rate of human population. Gases are used for factors started in, second half of, 18th. One export products e.g. More serious problem than ever and technology, several thinkers started powerful. For example, they were more markets began to increase. Moreover, a reverse effect has significantly contributed, the outset of progress or that of et al. Consequently, people including economies of human societies until. For example, they, more productive per unit of land, and were cultivable of the biosphere characterizing this sixth transition would have been changes in peoples ideas about and consequences of the increase. Freed, the industrialization of have also, to global. And to a the reliability of the new prime movers, steam engines in the appearance of the new 50 by the beginning of the 21st century McNeill 2000. This has also proved to energy, technological and scientific changes.
Good relationship with the wabicha session, the host, whether. In addition to tea practice, Before, achieved great power. Although little is known of sixteenth century, the traditional governing and more available to warriors members. Takeno Joo, a disciple of Shukos life, it is known the two tea master sad_. The chanoyu ritual has constantly the Early History. Based on this fact, two Way of, From Its Why were these men.

Anonymous said...

best for you [URL=]outlet gucci[/URL] , for special offer ZKAmGgkL [URL= ] [/URL]

Anonymous said...

you love this? apsjImsc [URL= - burberry shirts[/URL - online TdWHDywp [URL= - [/URL -