8 Polish Souvenirs That Aren't Tacky
#travel in poland
#lifestyle & opinion
no-image, 8 Polish Souvenirs That Aren't Tacky
Avoid the Polish equivalent of a Mind the Gap t-shirt or a figurine of the Statue of Liberty! Stay clear of mass-produced shawls and nesting dolls and look for these affordable and original items instead.
Nothing brings back memories of Poland like the smell of wild forest mushrooms. Even if you haven’t been anywhere near a forest during your trip, you certainly encountered dried mushrooms in classic Polish dishes, like barszcz or bigos. They will last for years when stored properly, and they will allow you to reproduce that authentic earthy taste in your own kitchen.
Music can also bring back vivid memories. While you’re getting some Chopin for your great-aunts, why not get a unique retro album for yourself? We recommend Night Patrol, an 80s album by legendary rock band Manaam ‒ an outstanding English-language record. If rock is not your thing, try contemporary folk or jazz.
3. Traditional whistle
Speaking of music, why not get a Polish instrument as a souvenir? Too expensive, you say? There is one affordable option: a gwizdek, pronounced ‘gfeez-dek’, a small folk instrument/toy. Made from earthenware, it is a water-filled flute shaped like a bird and it makes a pleasant chirruping sound. It doesn’t require any special skill, so you’ll be able to produce a melody without practicing beforehand.
4. DIY Polish architecture
If you’d like something a bit more imposing than a small whistle, you can always take a Polish building back home with you. You can purchase ashionable cardboard cut-outs that look exactly like the real deal. Made by design studio Zupagrafika , these detailed miniatures of Polish modernist buildings from have ‘cool souvenir’ written all over them.
5. Old-school dishware
Ostalgie is en vogue these days in Poland. If you want some typically Polish, communist-inspired design, ceramic beakers from state-owned cafeterias are the way to go. No need to steal some, you can get their contemporary likeness ‒ adorned with stylized retro prints ‒ in most design stores.
6. A surreal painting of Poland
If compulsive photo snapping is not your thing, you could bring back a painting as a keepsake. Tytus Brzozowski, for example, creates attractive and unusual drawings of Warsaw. Most Polish artists and designers sell affordable print-outs of their art.
7. A classic of Polish cinema
Even if you limit yourself to Oscar nominations or Martin Scorsese’s recommendations, there are a lot of excellent Polish films to choose from. If you want that captures the lost charm and beauty of pre-war Poland, try The Young Girls of Wilko by Andrzej Wajda. The film is based on a classic short story by the great writer Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz. Daniel Olbrychski, mostly known abroad because of Salt, plays a middle-aged man who returns to a country estate he used to frequent in his younger days. Most entertainment retailers will carry a subtitled version of the dvd.
8. A film poster
Film posters from the Polish Poster School are considered extremely valuable by connoisseurs. Most of them were created to promote foreign films, but they don’t conform to mass aesthetics and often have little in common with the familiar blockbuster posters of recent decades.
lifestyle & opinion
Author: Marek Kępa, April 2016